Black Friday trends: planning your electrical product strategy

You may not be thinking about Christmas as summer’s only just coming to a close, but if you’re a retailer, you need to be preparing your holiday strategy now.

Christmas shopping really kicks off in November, with Black Friday sales creating a buying frenzy. But consumers won’t be waiting until the actual day to find the best deals, they’ll be on the lookout weeks before.

How can retailers ensure they are present not only on the day, but for that all important research phase too?

Using data from our new Black Friday report, and our tried and true PIPR strategy, we look at the most popular Black Friday retail category – electricals – to show how to create a foolproof strategy for any seasonal event. 

‘Seasonal evergreen’ trends

Electrical products have high search volume all year-round, with peaks at the same time year on year, so the strategy is a little different from sharp peaking seasonal trends, such as ‘Winter coat’ demand at the end of each year. We refer to this as a ‘Seasonal evergreen trend’, as you need strong presence year-round, coupled with a plan for capitalising on peak demand. 

Plan early

Influence at the right time

Peak at the right time

Repeat – reviewing the success of your strategy

2019 Black Friday Report

Black Friday Strategy Report

PLAN – Analyse Black Friday trends

Below shows the search volume for categories of electrical product terms:

Black Friday trend peaks Jul 2016 to Jun 2019

Black Friday trend peaks Jul 2016 to Jun 2019

Search volume begins to rise as early as August, but is popular all year. It’s therefore critical to have an updated, year-round landing page with optimised content.

In the lower volume months, it’s also important to conduct link-building activities to raise your profile in time for peak purchase and start building a PPC strategy to avoid expensive CPC costs.

INFLUENCE – Generate interest in time for peak purchase

During this period, build…

  • Cookie pools
  • Promotions / discounts
  • Email & marketing campaigns 
  • Relationships with publications & affiliates

Know what products to discount and advertise

The below table shows the most searched electrical products from last Black Friday:

Top Black Friday terms 2018

Black Friday trends: Top Black Friday terms 2018

Using search volume of general or overarching product categories – which get searched every year – as a starting point, you can assess the feasibility of your business being able to offer a discount on the latest versions of these products. 

For example: fairly broad search terms like ‘iPad’ that don’t specify the model are likely to be searched again this year. Similarly, mobile phone model searches will most likely reflect the latest models released.

2019 Black Friday Report

Black Friday Strategy Report

Black Friday pricing

Your chosen product pricing strategy is everything on Black Friday. Make sure your offer is better than your competitors, and doesn’t leave you out of pocket…

  1. Don’t discount your hero products too early

Discounting products too early will give your competitors a chance to either outperform you on price, or offer more appealing discounts and promotions. Keep a close eye on competitor prices, and react to their discounting instead, to gain the upper hand. 

In this same vein, don’t announce your ‘Hero’ products too early, as your competitors may just match this.  

Lastly, be wary of focussing on extremely popular products as your ‘Hero’ product (e.g. the newest iPhone) as everyone will try to win here. This will inevitably lead to a race to the bottom. 

  1. Build your ‘War chest’

Set aside capital to protect your pricing perception, or invest in ‘Hero’ deals out of pocket. 

Many times, retailers won’t be able to secure deals on all their ‘Hero’ products, so be sure to set aside some capital to invest in these products.

For instance, say your ‘Hero’ product deal is undercut by a competitor on Black Friday. It is unlikely that you will be able to get vendor funding on the day. In this case, it’s best to be ready to invest yourself, on the day, if needs be.

  1. Secure good vendor deals

To protect your margins as much as possible, negotiate with your vendors to get the best possible prices for key products.

Using Pricing Intelligence tools such as Pricesearcher, you can discover where your competitors are offering lower prices. 

Based on this, you can make an intelligent assumption that they have secured a good vendor deal, and use this pricing insight as a negotiation tool.

Black Friday content

Once you have assessed the right products and planned your pricing, you can begin to build a more focussed Black Friday keyword strategy, targeting the most searched, up-to-date models. 

You can then create content to champion these products well before the main peaks in November and December, with an aim to acquire traffic, influence customers, and build a cookie pool which you can later re-target.

PEAK – Be ready for increased demand on Black Friday

All of this planning should pay-off come peak purchase: Black Friday. It’s finally time to release your deals!

If you’ve advertised said deals successfully, and caught discount-hungry consumers in the previous months, they may come direct to your site.

However, you shouldn’t rely on this – with your built up cookie pool, you should retarget pre-engaged customers, publish reactive content and join relevant conversations on social media. 

REPEAT – Maintain your year-round Black Friday landing page

Review the success of your Black Friday strategy and ensure you have a year round landing page for Black Friday. 

Black Friday trends

Black Friday isn’t going anywhere, and as shoppers become more demanding – expecting exceptional deals and services – brands and retailers will need to continue to cultivate clever campaigns to keep their heads above water.

Using data to track Black Friday trends to inform these long, and shorter term strategies, is a retailers best bet at keeping their finger on the pulse of what their customers are looking for. 

And, once you’ve honed your PIPR strategy you can apply this process for any seasonal event, and know exactly when to activate different elements of your wider strategy. 

 

For a deeper dive into Black Friday PIPR strategy, download the report.

2019 Black Friday Report

Black Friday Strategy Report