How can eCommerce brands protect themselves this Black Friday?

Amit Relan, Co-Founder and CEO, mFilterIt, writes about how eCommerce brands can add a layer of extra security to their marketing strategies and grow fearlessly

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How can eCommerce brands protect themselves this Black Friday?

Amit Relan

Black Friday is one of the most anticipated events for eCommerce marketers. To make the most of it, they go beyond the usual levels to bring new users. And with the growing number of online shoppers, the craze for Black Friday sales has crossed all records. 

Amidst all these preparations, the fraudsters also gear up to make the most of this time. They come back with better and sneakier techniques that can bring them maximum returns. According to the 2021 stats, there has been a staggering increase of 385% in payment fraud during last year’s festivities. 

And with the marketing spends massively growing, the fraudsters are not going to miss the golden chance. Thus, marketers need a safety net over their marketing strategies to protect their brands from unknown threats that come during this sale season. 

Here are some of the strategies to 10x the sale during the black Friday season along with the threats that marketers should look out for and protect themselves from.

Tip #1: Optimise your website 

Amid the hustle-bustle of leveraging the incredible Black Friday offers, no one appreciates a slow website. The longer it takes a website to load, the higher the chances are that the customer will lose patience and abandon the purchase. According to the stats, a website that loads within 1-4 seconds has a chance to reach a 12-30% of conversion rate. Optimising the website is necessary during the Black Friday season to avoid any crashes or outages.

The other side       

Optimising the website is not enough for this Black Friday sale. During this time the fraudsters become more active and plan various ways to defraud the advertisers and steal their ad budget. When optimising your website, ensure to add a shield with an ad traffic validation solution to detect who is coming to your website – Bot or Human. 

Due to heavy bot traffic, the website can get slow and impact the shopping experience of the user. The threat not just lurks over the brand’s website but to the brand’s reputation as well. Some fraudsters also impersonate the brand’s website to make it look real. And once an unsuspecting user makes their purchase or adds their personal information, they become a victim of a phishing attack. Whereas the brand is unaware of this, and the consumer assumes that the brand doesn’t care about them.

Tip #2: Give loyal customers exclusive deals

During the sale season, don’t forget to appreciate the loyal customers. Make them feel recognised for their loyalty by providing exclusive discounts, buy one get one offers or coupon codes. Incentivising the customers for their long-term commitment will make them come back for more especially during the Black Friday sale.  

The other side 

While coupons and incentives are an effective way to bring in new customers and keep the existing ones, they can also be a mode to commit fraud for marketers. The fraudulent affiliates misuse the coupons, discounts and offers for their own benefit. In the case of coupons and discounts, they use bots to avail the coupons. Not just this, they also take the pay out for the traffic they sent to advertisers’ websites. The advertiser is under the impression that they are getting genuine traffic. However, they get bot traffic and when their users fail to avail the coupons or discounts, they blame the brand. 

Tip #3: Provide incentives on minimum spends 

Another effective way to attract interested shoppers is to reward them for minimum spends. Every time a customer spends a certain amount, they can be rewarded. The reward in this can be a percentage of their purchase as a cashback, gift card, free shipping, or a gift. The rewards on minimum spends can push the customers to purchase more and win rewards in return as a token of appreciation from the brand. 

The other side

Incentives in return for minimum spends can be a good deal to keep customers happy and excited for the sale. However, when the fraudsters also enter the ring it becomes hazardous for the brand. The fraudsters use bots and fake devices to make purchases and match the requirements to avail the reward. This results in a discrepancy in the advertiser’s data and they also end up wasting the incentives on invalid traffic. 

Tip #4: Leverage the power of PPC ads 

PPC ads are the best way to be seen by an interested audience especially when every shopaholic is looking for the best Black Friday deals. To leverage the best from the PPC ads, ensure that the ad content speaks directly with the customers. By optimising the PPC ads with the right keywords, audience targeting and a landing page, the advertisers can maximise their sales during the shopping season. 

The other side 

PPC ads are the most favourable way for fraudsters to steal money from advertisers. The fraudsters use bots to commit click fraud and drain out advertisers’ budgets. And with the spends increasing during the sale season, the chances of fraudsters becoming active with their conning activities are high. Not just bots, but fraudulent affiliates also use this opportunity to earn some extra bucks. 

They bid on the branded keywords of the advertiser and rank higher than the brand. This way, when user searches for the brand they are diverted to the affiliate’s website and make the purchase. As a result, the affiliate steals the organic traffic of the brand and also gets the pay-out for being the attributed source when the KPI is met. 

Tip #5: Use social media to add an edge 

Social media is the biggest advantage for advertisers in today’s time. In 2020, social commerce met the sales number of $26.97 billion and it is expected to reach $56.17 billion by 2023. Using social media, brands can reach their interested audience in creative ways and also offer various deals and discounts to grab the attention. On top of that, social media also helps the brand to get more followers apart from the increase in sales. 

The other side 

There is no doubt that social media is a gold mine for advertisers to increase reach, visibility, and sales. However, it has become the new breeding ground for various fraudsters. The consters misuse the brand assets for their own benefit. One of the common fraudulent practices is the creation of fake accounts. The fraudsters impersonate the brand’s social media account and usually trick the consumers to share their personal information or make a purchase.

Add a layer of safety  

Black Friday and Cyber Monday is the money-making time of the year for eCommerce brands. However, the marketer’s job is not over by creating strategies to increase their sales. They have to take smart decisions to compete with the evolving threats looming around their brand. With time fraudsters are becoming better at hiding behind a real human. To combat that, a multi-layer solution is essential for eCommerce brands.  

Ensure the safety of your brand’s assets and save your advertising spends with ad traffic validation and brand safety suite. With the help of AI, ML and data science capabilities, we detect invalid sources and ensure cleaner traffic interacts with your brand. On top of that, with the help of open-source intelligence, we find the threats to your brand assets across the digital ecosystem. 

Thus, it’s time for marketers to broaden their horizons and ensure to add a layer of security to their marketing strategies and grow fearlessly. 

(Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author. The facts and opinions appearing in the article do not reflect the views of and we do not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.)

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