Looking to increase cash flow by boosting online sales? Think about taking advantage of Black Friday in July sales. Traditionally held around the middle of July, such sales offer businesses a chance to increase online sales.
A relatively new "holiday," Black Friday in July was born in 2015 when Amazon launched its first Prime Day. Other major retailers followed suit, including Walmart, JCPenney and Macy's.
Today, the sales event has gone mainstream. A wide variety of companies celebrate Black Friday in July and experience increased online sales.
"Thanks to the promotional frenzy brought on by Black Friday in July, the number of online shoppers swells, which is a positive for all online retailers," says Adam Ortman, director of innovation and technology at Generator Media + Analytics, an integrated media agency.
"Shoppers hunt for the best deals on many different sites, increasing the online sales opportunities for brands across the web," says Ortman.
To take advantage of Black Friday in July and potentially increase online sales, keep the following tips in mind.
1. Offer enticing online sales deals for Black Friday in July.
"The retailers who tend to experience the best Black Friday in July results are the ones that follow the true spirit of the theme and offer doorbuster-like deals and discounts," says Amy Bourne, chief operating officer of Brad's Deals. The website features a team of consumer advocates who find and share the best web prices on merchandise.
Free shipping offers attract attention and get customers in the door, leading to a higher frequency of small impulse purchases.
—Amy Bourne, chief operating officer, Brad's Deals
"Black Friday in July customers seek the best deals," says Lisa Chu, owner of Black n Bianco, an online retailer of children's formal wear. "Offer your best prices on high-quality merchandise, or your offerings will get lost in the clutter."
2. Target your audience.
Knowing your audience well can help you target customers more effectively, says Chu.
"We've been through several Black Friday in July sales," she says. "After some trial and error, we were able to achieve success by researching our customers, which helped us understand them and what they want."
"Every industry is different," Chu continues. "The key to a successful Black Friday in July is creating a strategy that resonates with your customer base."
3. Reach out to bloggers.
"We've found one of the best ways to boost online sales during Black Friday in July is to contact bloggers in your niche who feature deals roundups," says Syed Ali Hasan, digital marketing manager for Film Jackets, an online apparel company. "Having your deals featured on blogs can generate a huge amount of traffic and online sales."
Hasan advises pitching to blogs about your product(s) and asking for coverage.
"Make sure to contact the person who writes on topics such as Black Friday Deals and Best Deals To Shop on Black Friday," he says.
4. Lower free shipping thresholds.
"Retailers often have great success when they lower or even eliminate their free shipping thresholds during Black Friday in July," says Bourne. "Free shipping offers attract attention and get customers in the door, leading to a higher frequency of small impulse purchases."
According to Bourne, across-the-board free shipping is an effective loss leader.
"The average order value doesn't drop as much as you might suspect," she says. "Customers wind up spending more money once they see all of the great deals."
5. Try targeted advertising.
"Many digital media targeted ad capabilities now exist, which allow you to efficiently pinpoint customers best suited for your brand's products and services," says Ortman. "These tactics are readily available to marketers and extremely easy to execute."
Ortman gives an example.
"You can target consumers who are currently or have recently searched for, watched videos about or seen reviews for specific products and services," he says. "Rather than casting a large net by merely bidding on keywords or leveraging generalized display audiences, you can target your ads to consumers actively shopping for your types of products."
6. Use promotional remarketing.
"Remarket to people who have been on your site and shown interest but didn't buy, and to customers who bought from you last Black Friday in July and would be happy to know there is another sale," says Filip Silobod, founder of Honest Marketing, a digital marketing agency.
"Remarketing is an effective tactic in today's digital marketing arena," agrees Ortman. "When consumers visit your site and don't purchase, remarketing to them with a deeper promotion can re-engage them and increase online sales."
7. Take advantage of countdown ads.
"Automated ads that allow for ad copy to be customized to the lead up or duration of a promotion are effective," says Ortman. "For example, 'Only 3 days left,' where the '3 days' automatically adjusts to the date specified. Such ads are fantastic at generating haste and increasing click-through rates (CTRs)."
8. Pay attention to reviews.
Ensuring that reviews of your products and services are as good as possible is crucial for healthy online sales this Black Friday in July.
"In today's digital marketplace, reviews and ratings are currency," says Ortman. "Many consumers trust product reviews as much as personal recommendations. Additionally, product and seller reviews and ratings are often automatically integrated into your digital advertising."
9. Plan ahead.
"To take advantage of Black Friday in July and ensure online sales, we plan ahead just like we do for Black Friday after Thanksgiving," says Chu. "We send thousands of emails weeks ahead showing what items will be for sale and noting that inventory is limited."
"The emails give customers the opportunity to plan ahead, and they create a sense of urgency," she continues. "We let them know that the products are limited. Once the inventory is sold out, the sale is over."
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