Written by: Toni Stratis, Marketing Pro

I recently attended a webinar through Shopify with some awesome speakers, including Canadian entrepreneur Mackenzie Yeates (Kotn).

One key learning for me was the forced shift in behaviour for consumers across North America in 2020 (thank you COVID-19). If you sell a product and don’t have e-commerce, you’ve quickly fallen VERY behind.

In 2019, 58% of US holiday shoppers admitted to shopping online for gifts. I can only imagine what the stat will be for 2020.

Pending restrictions in some provinces, people will still shop brick and mortar, however, you can expect them to do online research first. When customers show up in your store, they’ll likely already know what they are there to buy.

Ok great, so what does this all mean for Black Friday or even Cyber Monday?

If we know customers are going to be browsing and shopping online anyway, does it make sense to host a sale?

Short answer without reading the rest of this blog – YES.

If you’re reading this, now is the time to start planning. It’s tough to predict behavior in the future, but we can guess that online traffic is going to continue trending up.

I also believe that Canadians are going to be shopping EARLY this year. Some may have even already started… I did. (I am all about shopping early).

Another interesting stat to help you consider launching a Black Friday deal this year. It’s an opportunity to convert new shoppers – Google tells us that 66% of shoppers plan to shop local small business, and 30% will purchase from new brands.  If you can get Infront of these shoppers for Black Friday (Friday, November 27 2020), you can win them over long-term (and perhaps boost your 2020 sales and recover from the impacts of the Spring/Summer lock-down).

Here are some of my tips to creating a great plan for Black Friday 2020:

  1. Be online ready! Consider a quick survey to your current customers to understand how you perform online. Make improvements and get ready for increased traffic and simple shopping cart processes
  2. Did you run a Black Friday deal in 2019 that was successful? Keep it simple, for yourself and your shoppers. Run a similar campaign again – humans are creatures of habit and will appreciate the familiarity of your offer.
  3. Don’t be afraid to invest in your Black Friday offer. Search and Social are great ways to increase awareness, consideration and eventually a conversion. Use Black Friday to your advantage – online shoppers WILL be looking for deals.
  4. Ask for help. If you’re not sure where to begin, talk to a marketing expert to create a marketing plan, hire a Graphic Designer to build out your campaign and leverage your customer data for insights.

I also have a few really simple ideas for offers that consumers will love:

  1. Free shipping. This always feels like a great deal and is very easy for your customer to understand.
  2. Gift with purchase. Encourage shoppers to spend a minimum amount in order to receive an item for free, whether selected by them or a popular, universal item you know your shoppers will appreciate.
  3. Blanket Discount. Whether it is a dollar amount off, or a percentage, this type of offer is again very easy for shoppers to understand the value they are getting.
  4. Donation. If your strategy includes supporting non-profits, this is a great opportunity to give back. For every $10 purchase, donate $1 to the organization you support.
  5. Category Discount. This works really well with clothing brands like Roots (40% off Sweats) and or home furnishing brands like Urban Barn (15% Off Kitchen). Go for a popular category to earn attention, and you’ll find some shoppers will opt for full price items in other categories anyway.

If you need more ideas, feel free to get in touch! toni@fullscoop.ca