Black Friday has grown from a single day into a nearly week-long event of retail sales and promotions. Consumers are now expecting physical and online stores to participate, and the build-up can be almost as big as the event itself.
Alex Borg, Technical Operations Manager at a leading fulfillment provider, send boxoutlined five ways ecommerce stores can prepare for Black Friday sales and how good organization is the key to success.
Browse your site
“With billions spent every year around Black Friday, you don’t want to lose sales because of a bad website. Check your entire site to look for possible issues that could be caused by increased traffic on Black Friday. Start with your site speed; A slow website can turn people off immediately. Things like cleaning up your media library and optimizing images can help, but you may also need to consider a fast host to make your site truly reliable.”
“Go through each page to make sure there are no broken pages or expired links; Nobody likes seeing a 404 error message when looking for Black Friday deals. Finally, go through your order process. Is it seamless? Could you add more payment methods? Is there a guest checkout and, above all, is it mobile-friendly? Cart abandonment for Black Friday is around 77%, so do whatever you can to improve that last step for the user.”
Optimize your content
“It’s no use having great products at bargain prices if customers can’t find them. Read through your current category copy and see if it can be improved to include more keywords related to the specific product, or if it could be made shorter and clearer for a better user experience. Update all products with title tags and clear descriptions. Use bullet points whenever possible. This makes your content informative for your customers, but also easier for search engines to search.”
“Do it on time. Many people research what to buy on Black Friday and may come back to look for a discount during the event itself. You want to get people down the funnel early so they’ll remember you when the time comes.”
“It goes without saying that stocking up is the number one rule for Black Friday. Conduct an in-depth analysis of all items you stock and analyze sales for the previous Black Friday to forecast this year’s sales. Using an automated system eliminates the margin for error, so now might be a good time to look at an inventory analysis tool if you don’t already have one.”
“You may have decided to do your marketing with a loss leader or a break-even product. In this case, use sales forecasts to decide which products are best for the purpose, and then see if you have enough available. If not, you can reorder before the Black Friday deadline.”
“Black Friday can be a very hectic time for e-commerce shops, but also for customers. Many consumers stock up ahead of Christmas or have multiple orders from multiple retailers. Providing excellent customer service could help with initial sales but more importantly with repeat customer retention and loyalty. Fix potential problems such as E.g. out-of-stock products, faulty items or late deliveries, and update staff training in these areas. If possible, consider adding a chat feature to your website to provide an initial response to any questions.”
“Delivery is a critical area for any e-commerce business. In fact, 63% of consumers cite delivery speed as an important factor when shopping online. Think about how you’re going to handle the increased shipping demands so customers don’t have to wait too long. You may need to use temp workers or outsource your fulfillment operations to keep buyers happy.”
“Now is not the time to cut back on marketing. Focusing on Black Friday logistics can be easy, but marketing is just as important. Plan ahead for people who are surfing now and waiting for Black Friday discounts by installing a popup on your website. Suggest that they be the first to know when an item goes on sale for Black Friday by leaving an email address. Analyze the items people are searching for the most or what sold in bulk last year and create email marketing around them.”
“Last but not least, don’t forget about social media. Increase your marketing efforts in this area and even consider social selling. TikTok is seeing exponential growth for sellers on the platform. Black Friday might just be the right time to burn out at a TikTok shop or Instagram storefront.”