Good news for beauty brands: while it’s been a challenging year for all, research indicates that Black Friday 2020 could still be a strong season for increasing revenue. According to insights from Integral Ad Science, 72% of European customers will maintain or increase their shopping budget this festive season – with 41% spending on health and beauty products.
Couple that with this year’s upwards trend for shopping online, and it’s a sign that, if they haven’t already, brands need to start preparing their November eTail activity. It’s a tricky period for prestige companies who fear heavy discounting will sacrifice their luxury image, but there are ways around it, and employing a good strategy now can lead to a Q4 sales boost.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday are nearly here, so it’s important beauty brands move fast to reap the rewards. Here are six tips to get started…
1. Target Seasonal Search Terms
High volumes of shoppers are searching ‘Black Friday beauty deals’ and ‘Black Friday perfume’ come November, so brands should ensure SEO and PPC strategies are targeting similarly lucrative terms. Creating a Black Friday category page or blog article on brand.com will increase chances of gaining visibility – a quick win copy teams can turn around in days.
This shouldn’t be left too late, though. Google can take a while to crawl new website content, particularly on sites that haven’t been updated regularly. If a brand’s own SEO isn’t hitting best practice and the traffic is low, partnerships with third-party retailers on their beauty blogs offer a brand-boosting alternative.
2. Elevate Your Digital Content
If retailers offer their usual discounts – 15% off at Boots, 20% off at John Lewis and VAT off at Debenhams – it may be difficult for beauty brands to get noticed, and to protect their equity. However, content allows them to reinforce a luxury aesthetic, with product images proving the easiest way to propel a prestige look and feel.
60% of shoppers say they need to see 3-4 images before making a purchase, yet 73% of products have just one image and 15% have two. This means that 88% of product pages are falling short of customers’ needs, resulting in a direct loss of sales. Ensure product pages have the recommended number of words in the description, plus a set of high-quality visuals that educate, excite and persuade potential buyers. Look to thumb-stopping swatches of makeup, tangible texture stills for skincare and haircare, and a mix of packshots and lifestyle images to illustrate the notes of a fragrance.
3. Increase Your Stock Levels
Black Friday drives frenzy and high demand due to publicity and deals, making it a crucial time for brands and retailers to increase their stock holding. Case in point: between 2018 and 2019, MMI saw the number of ‘out of stock’ products increase from 6% to 10% during Black Friday. While one fragrance retailer experienced no stock issues – a sign they were well-prepared – a high street department store had almost 40% of SKUs sold out, resulting in a loss of sales.
4. Monitor Third-Party Retailer Ads
Brands lucky enough to have a third-party retailer ad over Black Friday should make sure they get what they pay for, using an ad tracking platform. MMI data reveals that 24% of ads (just under a quarter) do not click out to all the products seen on the banner, while 6% of landing pages were incorrect. However, by monitoring ads using a tool like AdView, marketers have clear evidence that promotions weren’t delivered per the brief, meaning they’ll be entitled to a rebate or free activity.
5. Do a PR Push
For brands planning an extra-special Black Friday offer, it’s important that PR teams are briefed early, so they are able to release the story to online journalists. Already, publications such as Elle and Cosmopolitan have pushed their Black Friday 2020 beauty round-ups live, and securing a spot in one of these articles will help brands boost their sales. It’s competitive, though; writers are looking for savings their readers will be truly excited about, which is why being creative with Black Friday strategies is vital for gaining press coverage.
6. Consider Alternative Promotions
Charlotte Tilbury’s Black Friday sales are so game-changing, beauty lovers go actively seeking them out. The searches for ‘Black Friday Charlotte Tilbury’ outstrip the more generic ‘Black Friday makeup’. Of course, there are strong discounts, but it helps that the style of promotion remains on-brand, retaining a ‘playful prestige’ feel that helps their Black Friday offers to stand out. Last year’s Mystery Boxes are a good example; fun and engaging, they held £300 worth of surprise products for £150 – and shoppers snapped them up fast.
Meanwhile, Deciem closed their online and bricks-and-mortar stores last Black Friday, saying they “strongly believe that skincare decisions should be based on education rather than impulse”. Instead, they offered a 23% discount throughout the rest of the month, allowing customers to make more considered purchases, and netting plenty of press coverage in the process.
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