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20 Tips to Run Successful Black Friday Campaigns

2 Nov 2023
Sarah Marks

The Black Friday to Cyber Monday weekend is an unmissable opportunity for your airport ecommerce business to boost revenue and engage new and existing customers.

What started in the US has become big business worldwide—globally, Black Friday online sales grew 3.5% to $65.3 billion in 2022.

It’s the perfect time for airports to spotlight their range of products and services, from flights and parking to in-terminal dining and retail, showcasing the convenience and value the airport can offer to travellers.

But the opportunity for increased revenue also brings with it the inevitable surge in traffic, customer support requests and sales. Your Black Friday marketing strategy 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.

If done right, you can achieve your ideal scenario of a breakthrough in sales, engaging more happy passengers than ever with fewer hiccups.

How do you run a successful Black Friday campaign?

A successful Black Friday campaign doesn’t happen by chance. It requires a well-thought-out strategy that combines customer insights, effective marketing and seamless execution.

This approach not only helps drive sales on the day itself but can also build lasting customer relationships. With Black Friday just around the corner, you should already be well on the way with planning your Black Friday campaigns. Here are some insights to fine-tune your 2023 Black Friday marketing plan.

1. Prepare early for passengers who are already researching

Research from Deloitte shows that 66% of shoppers plan to shop on Black Friday weekend, up from 49% in 2022. They’re eager to engage with brands and deals and interested to see what’s on offer.

In the UK, 27% of travellers have increased their travel budgets for 2024, and they’re actively thinking of where to go—Vigo in Spain tops the list of destinations they’re searching for.

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 get seen amongst a wave of intense competition.

2. Create irresistible offers

Many retailers run massive savings deals on popular items to attract 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 ‘deal buster’ 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 bundling products, limited-time deals and even ‘gamifying’ discounts.

Devise a ‘not-to-be-missed’ offer to draw customers to your website. Consider an email marketing campaign that focuses on the sale product and directs readers to a landing page where they can convert quickly and easily.

Once you’ve 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 worldwide was nearly 80% in 2022. That looks like a high number, but it’s not all bad news. According to Salesforce, consumers took advantage of the Black Friday weekend discounts, and cart abandonment rates were actually 5% lower than in the weeks leading up to the big shopping weekend.

Targeted cart abandonment emails are effective at persuading a customer back to their basket to complete their purchase. SaleCycle reports that cart abandonment emails have a close to 40% open rate and 23.33% click-through rate.

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 have a contingency plan 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 at 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

Paid search is one of the biggest drivers of traffic and sales for Black Friday weekend shopping. In 2022, 29% of online sales were attributable to paid search during the holiday weekend. Plan your adverts and the copy you’ll need for them ahead of time so you can put more thought into the content, keywords and ad placement.

Remember that ad bids can become more expensive during competitive times like this, and 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 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

With 76% of ecommerce traffic and nearly half of online sales coming through mobile, it’s vital to consider what your customer experience is like on mobile devices.

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 let customers autofill saved information and 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 subscribers, 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. Increase conversion rates with scarcity

The sale weekend attracts a lot of frantic buyers looking for the best last-minute deals. 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 knowing that many people have already bought the product, and partly because of a sense of urgency.

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

Customers and prospects must be able to get in touch with you easily during Black Friday weekend. 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 an AI-powered 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.

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 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 spark 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. Remember to comply with GDPR requirements to ensure your retargeting efforts are above board.

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 failing, 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.

Run your Black Friday campaigns with Rezcomm

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. Download our brochure, watch our video, or contact us for a chat to optimise your airport ecommerce sales through seasonal offers with Rezcomm.