What is Black Friday? 

Black Friday is the ideal time to boost your eCommerce store’s revenue ahead of Christmas and before the end of the calendar year. Black Friday falls every year on the day after Thanksgiving, celebrated in the United States. Some even saying that it is becoming more popular than the Thanksgiving holiday itself.

This year Black Friday takes place on the 25th November. The day is regarded as the first day of the holiday shopping period, even though Black Friday is not an official holiday. The majority of retailers begin this shopping period with better than normal sales & offers, enticing consumers with their deals.

Although the date changes, as it usually falls a month prior to Christmas it provides the opportunity for business to sell their stock for lower prices. Often focusing on selling items that are commonly purchased in the run-up to the holiday season, the likes of presents and gifts.

All the while not forgetting the consumers wants and needs, it provides them with the availability to qualify for some unprecedented deals. Although Black Friday started in America, it has made a big impact on the UK Market and more businesses are taking part in the post-Thanksgiving sales.

It is vital to keep in mind that in order for your Black Friday sales to go well you need to know how to prepare your business for a very busy day and how to make people aware of your deals. Below we have listed some top tips to help you do this.

Prepare for Sales

When it comes to preparation it is important to have a bulletproof yet contingent plan, we have experienced last minute plans before and they can be damaging to the business. Ideally, you should have a plan a month before and a campaign running up to the event. One of the most important elements to your campaign should be raising awareness of the deals that you will be offering for Black Friday. By raising awareness your consumers will be aware of what deals to look out for and they are also likely to take note and come back to you to purchase on the day.

An element of preparation is also to update the relevant elements of your website, including the possibility of having a temporary category for the day or creating new banners and sliders to promote your offers. Prices must be calculated and confirmed, with everyone in the business aware of the deals that are available on Black Friday.

Take Stock of Inventory

For all stores, you need to be sure you know how much stock you have and that this is reflected on your website. Now is your chance to order more stock if need be. As well as the stock you are going to sell, you need to be sure that you have enough of other essentials. Items including packing materials such as boxes and labels and for brick-and-mortar stores, shopping bags and receipt tape.

Staff

All of your staff should be knowledgeable about what’s on offer and where these are placed in the shop, it may be that you reorganise to have all of the deals in one place. If you are expecting a surge of customers, then you should think about having more staff than usual working or even hiring temporary staff for the event. In either case, you will need extra staff to not only work the tills reducing queues, but stocking shelves, and keeping the shop floor tidy.

Website

With Black Friday fast approaching, there is a huge demand on your eCommerce site! Especially as every year, there are more people shopping for Black Friday Bargains from the comfort of their own home. Ensuring your site is fully equipped to handle the high number of visitors is crucial, you do not want your site going down during one of the busiest shopping periods of the year. It is important to check elements like the load capacity and ensure your site can handle a high amount of traffic without becoming slow or inactive. Along with site speed, you must make sure your site is secure, during high spending periods and with thousands of traffic to and from your site it can become vulnerable to attacks. Check with your web developer that the site is up to date and functioning properly and make sure they are on hand to help with any unexpected issues. Along with ensuring your site has the capabilities of handling such a high volume of visitors and is secure throughout the holiday you should also take this as a great opportunity to advertise and make visitors aware of the great products you have to offer. Both on your site and using external marketing where budget allows.

Ecommerce StoreBanners

Many sites have banners on their homepage as they quickly entice people to specific categories, offers or seasonal products. In turn making consumers stay on the site longer and ideally purchase more products.
The banners need to be eye-catching throughout the year, and even more so during the run-up to Black Friday, it is recommended that you alter these banners to show some of the fantastic deals and offers you have on. Grab the visitor’s attention and don’t let them miss out. With Black Friday only coming once a year, splash out a little on the design and make sure to do something special.

Promote

Christmas is fast approaching, but first, let’s get Black Friday out of the way! Having all the deals in your store and on your website is great but no one is going to see them if you don’t spread the word, are they? You can use the traditional methods of telling visitors face to face but for many new eCommerce stores that do not have a bricks and mortar store, it is time to get more creative. So, this part of the article discusses a few ways that you can promote your store for Black Friday.

Social Media

Some people might see social media as not being the highest revenue driver but it is worth using to encourage visits to your site over Holiday season. A lot of social media platforms are free, so make sure you have the relevant platforms created for your business. Platforms such as Facebook and Instagram are great for pushing high-demand products, and illustrating how good looking your brands are. One of the newest social media platforms, Snapchat is brilliant for advertising your Black Friday deals as long as you have got a large following. In 2014 click-through rates were up 36% on Black Friday compared to the click-through ads earlier in the week.

Blog

Blogs are a great well to convert readers and followers into shoppers. If you are going to write a blog for Black Friday then you need to do it as early as possible. If your business has a budget to spend then it is good to put some money behind your blogs and make sure you share them on your social media channels. By sharing them around more people are going to see the blog and hopefully, more people will check out your store for Black Friday. You could also consider a multi-day campaign, with Black Friday being the start to the Holiday season you could then carry on your trend of blogs for the different seasons with different deals. Another great content based way to get your Black Friday deals out to the world is creating an attractive infographic or PDF. Creating an Infographic would be great for Black Friday because you could use stats from previous years and publish it all over your social media platforms allowing viewers to see something short but snappy. PDF’s allow you to provide more content, PDF’s could be a great way to advertise your deals as you could use a whole page for each product that you are selling for Black Friday and provide lots of persuasive text about your product.

Email Marketing

Email marketing is a great way to raise brand awareness and should be used all year round as keeping in contact with your existing customers and building relationships helps to strengthen the brand. If you have an online newsletter then it is a good idea to create one around Black Friday and encourage your visitors to sign up for it, the best way to do this is having a Call-to-Action on your website that links to a sign-up page, or even create an email campaign to be delivered to their inbox with specific offers throughout the run up to Black Friday and even throughout the day.

Overall, Black Friday provides a great platform to jump-start your Christmas shopping campaigns with a little help of some exciting offers and discounts. It is important not to discount your brand too heavily, however, we recommend that you put the extra budget into promoting your Black Friday incentives. We are able to provide assistance on all of the above ideas to grow your Black Friday profits and if you want any more quick tips do let us know.