It’s time to get coffee brewing, get your cards out, fluff out your pillows, sit back and enjoy the biggest shopping weekend of the year. Yep, Thanksgiving is just around the corner and so is Black Friday! What does that mean for online store owners? Well, in 2017, over $1 billion was collectively sold by Shopify merchants around the world during Black Friday! With the fundamental shift in the annual shopping extravaganza, 2018 is going to be no different! If you have an online website, get ready for an amazing opportunity to increase your business, size, and location no bar! But to bank upon a satisfactory black Friday bringing in great business, you need to take certain steps and prepare your online store for an influx of traffic, sales, orders to fulfill, and support requests. We have created a list of things to help you build up the right resources to handle black Friday like a pro!
How Should Your Online Store Get Ready for Black Friday?
Plan in Advance
As cliched as “Failing to plan is planning to fail” sounds, it is the eternal truth!
Black Friday is not less than a tradition for people where they can shop their favorite brands at steep discounts. With Christmas just a month away from the Black Friday sale, chances are most people buy in gifts for friends and family during this sale, which means most shoppers start planning their purchases well in advance. This indicates that you need to go one step further and plan even earlier for the big day. Let your customers and website visitors know the kind of products you have, the categories that will be on discount, with the help of attractive banners and images. You will need to design them in advance so that you can put them up and start advertising before the black Friday sale itself.
Your email subscription list will prove to be gold during this season. Announce that you are going to have a black Friday sale at your store. Encourage users to start with listing products in advance and send them an email if the desired product goes on discount. Also, consider offering exclusive pre-sales coupons only for email subscribers. Your customers are going to be bombarded by emails from other stores as well, so make sure your email subject lines are unique and catchy, the emails are to the point, crisp and exciting. Make sure you create landing pages for your client’s top sellers and links to CTAs within promotional emails.
Offer Unmissable Deals
Offer an unmissable deal, a legit unmissable deal at a price point you don’t offer during any other holiday season or sales event of the year. Since Black Friday is such a high spend shopping day! You need to be competitive to stand out. Since people are already in the mindset to entertain impulse buys, your deal should take advantage of a human’s desire to justify a purchase. Offer deals that buying from you feels like a no-brainer.
Test Your Website
Don’t get overconfident about the kind of load your website can handle, especially during a mega event like black Friday. If you want a lot of customers landing onto your pages, you need to be prepared that your website can handle the traffic load. Simultaneous requests, owing to more traffic to your website can slow it down, and even crash it. The last thing you need on the D-day is a website down with the spike in traffic and unsatisfied angry customers. Ensure you test it with various tools available.
Customers are rolling into your website, and products are rolling out from their carts to their addresses! But you suddenly notice that you are short on inventory. All your efforts to build momentum for the black Friday will go in vain if you do not have enough products in stock to service your customers. Work with your suppliers and ensure they are prepared to handle the increased demand or if your team manufactures the products, stay prepared before-hand and spare yourselves the horror.
There is nothing wrong in creating contingency plans in case things go awry. Just like the above point, you need to consider another essential pillar for your online store, your logistics. What if the shipping company you work with becomes too busy and can no longer take more orders from you? Prepare for such difficult situations and have a back-up in place.
Last year’s Black Friday saw more mobile purchases than desktop purchases and the trend is most likely to continue. As a store owner, you need to ensure that your store’s user experience on mobile is excellent. How easy and intuitive is it to make purchases on your store? Do you have a website that is genuinely mobile responsive?
Plan Your Ads
An ad agency in 2017, found that on Black Friday, click-through rates more than doubled across all of their client’s ads. Shoppers tend to respond well to ads during the holiday season, but because this is an established trend, you will find the price of running ads during black Friday typically goes up. But your customers are still likely to pay attention to ads, which is why it is critical to invest in marketing ads, but only to plan it well in advance.
Pitch to Blogs and Influencers
Influencer marketing campaigns are gaining a lot of attention, and you can use this lucrative medium to propagate black Friday sale at your store. However, it can sometimes take weeks of negotiation with a blogging website or an influencer before you finalize an agreement, so plan earlier. Get them to feature your products and planned sales in their posts, to gain traction.
Fear of Missing Out (FOMO)
Most Black Friday sales are impulse purchases by people, so make sure you are using the correct tools to boost sales and encouraging users to buy. Using tactics such as showing a countdown of when a deal will expire, showing the available stock at the stated price, showing how many people are currently viewing their product, communicates a sense of urgency and rarity, which will go a long way in bringing more sales.
Integrate Live Chat
Customers should never face a tough time contacting you for support. This is especially critical during Black Friday, as there’s more traffic on your site and there could be many with some or the other query. The best way to do that is to integrate a live chat option on your website. You don’t want a potential customer leaving an abandoned cart or leaving disgruntled because he couldn’t get an answer quickly enough.
Black Friday can be a hectic time of the year. When it comes to managing customers during such a window, ensure you provide a fantastic experience by having a quick response time and ensuring you stay courteous and respectful, even to impatient customers. Have a list of responses prepared for the most commonly asked queries. This will enable you to deliver more consistent and helpful service with least possible upfront effort.
This is a crucial step. Customers looking to find a particular product should be prompted the name of your online store selling those products. Research product niche event keywords and terms, these may be different from the previous year. Write comprehensive product descriptions, for better ranking for target keywords. Meta descriptions should also entice users to click by mentioning things like free shipping or product ratings.
Black Friday shoppers might have never landed on your store previously, which is why it is essential to building a trustful relationship with them. Show them social proofing regarding the trustworthiness of your store, returns policy and any other customer service USP you possess. All the other landing pages such as testimonials, company history, staff portfolios should work properly and be updated. Highlight your support helplines, to let them know you are available in case of any mishap.
Keep the Stress Away
Don’t stress too much and go overboard by putting all your energy into this weekend, so you don’t have the excitement left for the upcoming festive season around Christmas. You are fresh in the mind of the customers, so make sure you have a compelling post-sale email program in place. After all, in the end, you will want to build a store that your customers want to shop at all the time, and not just during Black Friday!
So buckle up and get your groove on for 23rd November 2018 – this year’s Friday, to provide another great shopping experience to your customers!