In 2015, UK shoppers spent more than £3.3 billion over Black Friday weekend, a rise of 31% on the previous year and many big name websites including Tesco, Argos and John Lewis couldn’t cope with the online traffic. With the growth of online shopping and more retailers taking part in this year’s Black Friday promotions, analysts were predicting a further increase of 25% in 2017 but early figures suggest this didn’t materialise.
While the marketeers continue to review the economic factors, we reviewed the way some clothing websites promoted their Black Friday deals. From our experience of user behaviour when shopping online, we noticed a few things they could have done to improve engagement and potentially increase sales.
The landing page is the first page that users see and the first chance to inform users about the special offers available on Black Friday. We often observe users skipping past landing pages to find the products they have come to look for, but on a promotional day such as Black Friday, users will also have a goal to see what the retailer is offering before deciding whether to stay or move onto another website.
Three retailers we looked at last week, all made good use of their landing page and informed users about the promotional prices available on Black Friday but in different ways.
Karen Millen offered 25% off everything with a strong “Shop now” call to action. Miss Selfridge went bolder with their “Black Friday” branding, an “Up to 50%” off with call to action options to shop all or specific styles of clothes. Both websites made good use of the percentage of reductions which will appeal to users and drive engagement to browse the products available.
Gym Shark’s offer was ‘up to 50%’ off, the same as Miss Selfridge, but they took a more subtle approach to Black Friday branding and offers with the landing page, choosing a quirkier headline “Embrace the darkness” and call to action “Shop Blackout”. This fun use of micro copy reflects the personality of the brand and encourages engagement and further exploration.
Product listing pages
Product listing pages are arguably the most important page for online retailers to get right. This is where users scan through products for something that interests them and then either dive in to find more and potentially buy or move on and away if nothing on the page peaked their interest.
The product image is most important to users, but we also see users drawn to the price, star ratings and product descriptions. Typically, users scan through product listing pages, looking at images and then quickly scan the price and other information before deciding if to find out more about that product or move on to another.
For Black Friday promotions, and sales promotions in general, users are interested in the savings they can make. Here we saw a difference between the websites in how they followed through the promotional offers to their product listing pages.
Karen Millen carried through their 25% off everything message on the landing page and the branding carries through to the product listing page with the banner “25% off Black Friday” on each product shown. This confirms and reinforces to users they are on the right page for offers. However, the products on Karen Millen show only one price. It’s not clear if this is the original price or the sales price and this may confuse users who are looking to find savings.
Contrast this with Miss Selfridge product listing page. Similar to Karen Millen, they headed up the page with “Black Friday” and included a banner “Black Fri-Yay” on every product. Miss Selfridge also made clear what the price saving was on every product. They clearly showed the original price, e.g. “Was £32.00” and the promotion price in pink “Now £25.60”.
From our experience, users quickly scan and check pricing. They notice and are drawn to products when sale pricing is included so it is important to make the savings clear to users on the product listing page. On the Karen Millen website, users may get confused and abandon the site because they would not know what price they were going to pay in the promotion, is it the price shown or the price less 25%?
Price is one thing, but each of these Black Friday promotions were marketed by percentage reductions. Miss Selfridge and Gym Shark both offered a variable reduction, “up to 50%” and users coming through to the product listing page may want to know if they are saving 10% , 25% or the maximum 50%.
Miss Selfridge did not include it, leaving users with the question unanswered but Gym Shark did it well. They used a bold red banner at the top of the product image and included the original and sale price below the product image.
Used together, the product image, promotional percentage saving and promotional pricing all reinforce the Black Friday promotion and increase users’ trust as it makes clear what the savings are.
Comparing the websites on Black Friday we saw most websites worked hard on presenting attractive landing pages to promote their offers for the weekend. However, not all followed this through to the product listing pages where users actually get engaged in selecting products to buy. We’ll leave the economists to ponder the numbers overall but from a users’ perspective we think more can be done to reinforce the savings on offer and increase trust and that’s good for users and retailers alike.