Black Friday - Cyber Monday is an unmissable opportunity for your airport ecommerce business to boost revenue and engage new and existing customers.
In our previous blog we shared ideas to help with creating and promoting Black Friday deals.
Many of these strategies, such as creating a content calendar, using clear email subject headings, implementing cart abandonment workflows, engaging customers with visual cues and including special offers, work for year-round email campaigns.
But Black Friday and Cyber Monday, and the inevitable influx of traffic, support requests and sales can be tricky to navigate. The ideal scenario is that your airport achieves a breakthrough in sales, engaging more happy passengers than ever with fewer hiccups. Your plan for Black Friday campaigns needs to stand up in the real world, presenting a seamless experience to customers across channels, delivering on promises, and building brand advocacy and revenue.
With Black Friday just around the corner, you should already be well on the way with planning your Black Friday campaigns.
Use these ideas to put the finishing touches to your 2019 marketing strategy:
1. Prepare early for passengers who are already researching
Research from McKinsey found that more than 70% of shoppers plan to get involved in Black Friday. They’re eager to engage with brands and deals and interested to see what’s on offer.
Prepare your holiday sales and discounts as early as possible so you can let your customers and website visitors know about them in plenty of time. Good organisation will also help your emails and adverts to get seen amongst a wave of intense competition.
2. Create irresistible offers
Many retailers run massive savings deals on popular items to get customers to their store or website. Once the customer’s attention is captured, it’s likely they’ll buy a few more items on their way to the checkout. The original ‘dealbuster’ product may even serve as a loss leader, enticing buyers to add more to their cart, pushing the sale back into profit. Other businesses use tactics like product bundles, daily deals that run for a limited time and even ‘gamifying’ discounts.
Devise a ‘not-to-be-missed’ offer to draw customers to your website. Consider an email campaign that focuses on the sale product and directs readers to a landing page where they can convert quickly and easily.
Once you have drawn new visitors to your airport ecommerce store use upselling, cross-selling and seasonal product bundles to boost average order value.
3. Build a cart abandonment email workflow
The average Black Friday cart abandonment rate in the US was nearly 82% in 2018. Targeted abandonment emails are very effective at persuading a customer back to their basket and encouraging them to complete their purchase.
Check out our Black Friday blog for more compelling statistics that show why it’s worth investing in cart recovery campaigns.
4. Create website banners and images to promote sales
Graphics and strong visual content are effective ways to promote your sales, whether you’re using banner ads or changing the header image on your homepage for the duration of the Black Friday/Cyber Monday weekend. There are plenty of online design tools and templates that can help you create stunning images that give clear signals to your customer about your deals and offers.
5. Plan your resources
What will you do if something goes wrong? What happens if one of your suppliers runs out of stock, or if customer support teams are overloaded? It’s important to prepare for an increase in demand across your whole airport operation. After all, that increase in demand is what you’re aiming for!
6. Make sure that your website can handle extra traffic
Sometimes too many requests on your website can lead to the site slowing or even crashing. This type of downtime is usually only triggered by a huge amount of simultaneous traffic, but again, a spike in traffic is what you’re campaigning for, so it’s a good idea to make sure your web host can support it.
7. Ensure your facilities can handle increased demand
If your Black Friday deals are time or destination specific, consider the increased demand you’ll experience in the terminal. Use the analytics and forecasting tools available in your Rezcomm dashboard to predict peak times at security and check in, or peak demand at onsite concessions. This will enable you to ensure sufficient stock of products and smooth passage of customers through the airport.
8. Plan adverts and copy
It’s important to plan your adverts and the copy you’ll need for them ahead of time. This means you can put more thought into the content and the ad placement.
Remember too that ad bids can become more expensive during competitive times like this. You may need to increase your bid price on certain keywords to increase your visibility. Take this into account when you plan your seasonal advertising budget.
9. Build a buzz around your planned sale
Customers have come to expect Black Friday deals, but there should still be a sense of excitement around what’s on offer. Build a buzz around your sales. You can do this by sending enticing emails containing sneak peeks at upcoming products, and capturing the curiosity of prospective buyers on social media. The earlier you begin this, the more momentum you will have by the time Black Friday arrives.
10. Optimise for mobile
It’s vital to consider what your customer experience is like on mobile. Checkout must be simple and intuitive, and any forms must be easy to fill in on a small screen. Asking your customers to complete lengthy forms on a tiny interface can be an absolute conversion killer, so it’s important to let customers autofill saved information and to ensure that forms verify as they’re filled in. Ideally, you’re looking to reduce the number of keystrokes and clicks in the path to purchase to an absolute minimum whilst retaining a secure, trustworthy checkout and the opportunity to capture customer data.
11. Get feedback on website functionality
The way a customer or first-time visitor experiences your airport website is key to their impression of your business and the likelihood that they will convert. By testing your site for areas you could improve, it becomes possible to identify sticking points. Rezcomm’s ecommerce platform was actually specifically designed with customer testing and use as an integral concept. We’ve eliminated any snags or potential points of confusion and frustration so you can be sure that your booking portal is as intuitive as they come.
12. Reengage existing and previous customers
Use the targeted email marketing and CRM tools in your Rezcomm solution to bring existing customers back on board with special loyalty-based offers. Campaigns can be personalised to bring back customers who haven’t engaged with your airport for a while, or to make a fuss of consistently loyal customers with special VIP preview deals.
13. Start your email marketing campaigns
Email marketing is still the most effective channel for conversion.
Plan, create and schedule all of your Black Friday/Cyber Monday emails in plenty of time. Include reengagement and cart recovery campaigns that bring customers back to your website. A Black Friday workflow could include the following emails:
- An announcement ahead of time, sent to existing subscriber, informing them of the deals, followed by a reminder when the sale begins
- A reminder before the sale ends. A countdown can be useful here
- An exclusive sale for email subscribers or your most loyal customers
- A sneak-peek of upcoming promotions
14. Encourage conversion with scarcity
The sale weekend attracts a lot of frantic buyers looking for the best last-minute deals. Make sure to let your customers know when a deal is about to end or if a product is low on stock. This adds an element of scarcity, which encourages conversion – partly because customer trust is increased with the knowledge that a lot of people have already bought the product, and partly because of FOMO.
15. Reward your loyal customers
This is a great time to cement relationships with previous customers. Give existing customers the opportunity to access deals before the general public, or offer exclusive deals to email subscribers. These techniques also create an incentive for customers to open and read your marketing messages, meaning you have a better chance of engaging with them.
16. Integrate a live chat function
During the Black Friday weekend it’s important that customers and prospects can get in touch with you easily. It makes no sense to promote offers and products only to lose a sale because a potential customer couldn’t get a response to a question.
Consider staffing and monitoring a live chat over the weekend, supported by a chatbot to help with common queries. You can also include answers to FAQs on your product landing pages and within the checkout process, for example when a customer is viewing their cart.
It’s vital to ensure that customers receive a quick and courteous response to any queries. This is a fundamental part of good customer experience. Setting up a chatbot with some standard phrases and replies will allow you to deliver a consistent and helpful service, and means that customers feel ‘heard’ while they wait to connect with a support agent.
17. Set up Google Analytics
Alongside the reporting and analytics in your Rezcomm dashboard, Google Analytics provides powerful traffic tracking that allows you to gain an even deeper understanding of your customers. This will help you to know things like which pages of your site your customer visits, how long they spend there, how they read your product pages, and what they search for.
18. Watch the competition
Keep an eye on the marketing messaging coming from your most direct competitors. You can do this most easily by subscribing to their email list. This can help you to form ideas for your own campaigns. You can also check what they’re up to on social media, and even find out which websites are talking about them by setting up Google Alerts.
19. Build a long-term relationship with seasonal shoppers
Your relationship with Black Friday buyers doesn’t have to dwindle after the weekend. Build strategies to nurture and maintain your relationship with new customers with a loyalty loop. This involves engaging them consistently with post-sale emails and producing highly shareable content on social media.
If a customer hasn’t signed up to your email list, it’s worth retargeting them with a personalised offer. This is easy to do with retargeting pixels (a script that works through website cookies), and can allow you to bring them back to your website, display relevant and enticing ad copy about products based on their buying and browsing behaviour, and maybe even convince them to subscribe.
20. Analyse what worked and what didn’t
Because of the enormous marketing potential available over the course of the Black Friday weekend, this is an excellent time to evaluate the success of campaigns and to learn from mistakes. The experience of running a promotion that was less successful than predicted can have an ongoing value outside of revenue growth.
This underlines how important it is to track every aspect of your campaigns, sales and customer behaviour. Rezcomm’s systems allow your airport to track sales and marketing in real-time, so if a campaign is bombing you can tweak it even as it goes live. What’s more, the comprehensive reporting from all your Black Friday weekend campaigns will inform your marketing strategy for the following year, and for other seasonal marketing.
Rezcomm’s world-first combined omnichannel platform for airport sales, marketing and customer-centric analytics can help you build your airport’s long-term growth. We already partner with airports that serve a quarter of a billion passengers worldwide. If you want to ask the experts about optimising airport ecommerce sales through seasonal offers, contact us for a chat today.
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