Planning, key to sell more on Black Friday

Home 12 tips for Black Friday

In just a few weeks comes Black Friday, the most important event of the year for online stores and also for consumers, who can get their hands on products they need while benefiting from significant discounts.

Miquel Baixas has just published “El gran Libro de la Venta Online”, by Deusto editions

Before the last Friday of November arrives, we wanted to anticipate to discuss with Miquel Baixas, entrepreneur, business angel and author of the book “The Big Book of Online Sales”, just published by Deusto editions, the main keys to take advantage of this important date, but also the general situation that, after the pandemic, has revolutionized the e-commerce sector.

-Miquel, in times of crisis, post pandemic… has there been an increase in the opening of online businesses?

From my point of view, it is undeniable that the pandemic has led to a brutal evolution of the digital market. In fact, it has caused more than that. It has caused consumer habits to change completely.

People who had never shopped online before, or who were afraid to put their credit card on a website, did so. And seeing that everything went well and that the customer service was good, they are repeating.

For those of us professionals who have been in this industry longer, this is something we expected to happen 5 years from now. But the pandemic has changed everything. It has accelerated the online business industry in just a couple of months.

Is the Internet the ideal sales channel in this context or is a new 2.0 bubble being generated?

Regarding whether it is the ideal sales channel or a new bubble, I think that little by little it is going to become the favourite channel for consumers. What’s more, for the younger public, it already is. And the generations to come are going to live with it.

On the other hand, you just have to think about the buying process that each of us do when we need something. First of all, we look it up on the internet, right, or not? We gather information about different brands, then we analyze it, compare prices, features, and finally we make a decision.

So, is it a new channel or a bubble? As long as consumer habits evolve in favor of the online world, it will be one of the main sales channels for companies. In addition, selling on the internet gives us the possibility to target a much wider audience, practically everyone.

Do you know how many people there are on the planet? More than 7,850 million. And with internet access there are more than 4.7 billion. Is the market you can address thanks to the internet big or not? There are no longer geographical barriers. You don’t have to limit yourself to the neighbourhood where you have your shop. And, as you can see, there is room for everyone.

-What aspects should be considered before starting to sell online?

I believe that before launching into selling, whether online or offline, what you have to do is validate the business idea or product. Because without this step, it is likely that the investment we make to launch the idea, will be in vain.

What do I mean? It often happens that entrepreneurs do not want to launch a product until they have all the details perfectly studied and designed. And waiting for this to happen is a mistake. What I always advise my students to do is to launch a minimum viable product and adjust it and add details as their customers validate it.

That way, in the end they will have a defined product according to what the market is demanding. And they make sure that there will be sales. After having this clear, it would be necessary to consider aspects such as:

  • Define a value proposition
  • Design the details of the minimum viable product
  • Create a recruitment system to find the first customers
  • Activate some advertising and promotion campaign on organic channels to reach more people.

-Why is it necessary to have a marketing strategy in place before jumping into selling?

When we talk about marketing, we are talking about the set of actions that we put in place to establish a relationship with a potential customer. And the aim is that this is lasting and stable over time.

Logically, what we are looking for is that this relationship leads to a sale. If there is no previous contact with the brand or the consumer does not know the brand, it is more difficult for them to buy when they see an ad or receive some other impact. In fact, a person does not usually buy the first time they see an ad on social networks or any other platform.

Therefore, every business should have a good marketing strategy that focuses on the customer and their needs. In addition, it also serves to build trust and authority, while solving some of the main objections that the consumer has. You could say it sets the stage for the sale.

-What is a sales letter?

A sales letter is a web page focused on closing a sale. In them you can sell products, services or trainings. And it is where the customer will make the final decision to buy or not.

Although its effectiveness will depend largely on the entire marketing and sales strategy that is carried out, this is a fundamental element and plays a key role. Therefore, it is necessary to devote maximum attention and be very careful in the details: texts, design, images, testimonials, payment methods, FAQs..

All the elements included in the sales letter, must dismantle any resistance that exists towards the purchase and must make it very clear what is obtained with the product or service being sold.

-How do technological advances help us sell more?

The truth is that technology is changing the world of sales. In fact, there are processes that used to be 100% manual and can now be carried out in an automated way. For example, sales funnels would not be possible without technology. And thanks to them, we can introduce thousands of people into a buying process at the same time. Can you imagine having to contact them one by one?

On the other hand, other applications like chatbots can also help us sell more online. They are tools that are configured to maintain a conversation with a user and answer the questions you ask. There will be cases where this is not possible and then an email address will be provided.

But they work just fine. You just need to know how to set them up to save you time and effort. But more and more marketing applications based on Artificial Intelligence or even the creation of digital human avatars are coming in. The marketing industry is on the verge of a radical change in this sense but we are still in a very early stage.

-What are the challenges of customer service in the online universe?

Precisely, here, chatbots are being very useful. And they are helping us a lot to automate customer service. In any case, it is essential to have support systems. And there are very simple ones, for example, Slack or Telegram groups.

If we are talking about support for people who are not yet customers, we can use Facebook messenger, specific applications such as Helpdesk or Whatsapp. At the end of the day, tools are an important part of customer service, but it is even more important to provide good support and to do it quickly.

-In a few weeks Black Friday arrives, what can online stores do to prepare for one of the main dates of the year?

I think the most important thing of all is to plan ahead. That is, it is necessary to decide the type of offer that is going to be launched and what sales strategy is going to be implemented. We can talk about a direct discount, apply a coupon, a batch of products, free shipping, 2×1… There are many types of discounts.

It is also important to check that the online store and payment systems are working properly. Imagine that you prepare everything and then the payment gateways or checkouts fail. Then, we could think about taking the opportunity of Black Friday to add upsell to other products that are of higher cost and to which we do not apply discounts.

That is, the offer could be the hook to later offer premium products, or higher value products. With this we can get an even better return on the investment of the campaign. You could also start to warm up the audience a few weeks before. Through emails or RRSS, it is possible to launch messages that create expectations so that the customer, when the promotion is activated, buys.

And to build loyalty among those who are already customers, another good idea is to prepare exclusive discounts for them. With these ideas it is possible to draw a good strategy that will help us to invoice during Black Friday.

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