Black Friday is just around the corner (yes, even though we are 2 months out), so it’s more important than ever that you get your webstore in tip-top shape for the event. The day will creep up on you if you aren't prepared, and you really don’t want to miss out on all the potential sales you could make, just because you haven’t prepared early enough, do you?
We’ve already told you why it’s vital to inform your customers early about your Black Friday deals. Now, get ready to completely optimize your Black Friday experience with our easy-to-follow 10-step guide.
This period is perfect to increase your sales, your customer base, and to start off the Holiday shopping season. And the key to doing so lies in early preparation: because Black Friday sales and hype actually starts long before the actual day.
In fact, brands in the UK that began their Black Friday promotions in September, tripled their conversion rates compared to those that did so in November.
There are also reports that many Black Friday sales begin as early as October.
So, let’s get into our 10 essential steps to prepare your e-commerce store early for Black Friday, shall we?
Step 1: Set and define clear goals for the event
Before you dive into any further preparations, it's crucial to define your Black Friday goals.
What are you hoping to achieve? Whether it's increasing sales, acquiring new customers, or promoting specific products, having clear objectives will help to guide your entire strategy.
Once these have been established, you can move on to step 2.
Step 2: Analyze your past Black Friday performance
Now it’s time to take a close look at your past Black Friday sales data.
Doing so will help you identify trends, best-selling products, and customer behavior occurring during this period. Use this information to better inform your strategy for the upcoming Black Friday.
Step 3: Stock up and plan your inventory
Based on your analysis, determine which products are likely to be in high demand. Ensure you have enough inventory on hand to meet this increased demand.
Also, take a look into current trends of what your customers are purchasing. Consider offering exclusive Black Friday deals on popular items to entice customers to your store.
Step 4: Optimize your website’s performance
A slow-loading website is frustrating at the best of times, but during Black Friday sales, it can lead to very irate customers and abandoned carts.
Make sure you test your website's performance well before Black Friday, and optimize it for speed. Make sure your site can handle increased traffic and is mobile-responsive, as many shoppers purchase from their mobile devices.
Step 5: Streamline and enhance the customer experience
The user experience is crucial for converting visitors into customers. Review and update your website's design, navigation, and product pages. Ensure that your site is user-friendly, and customers can easily find what they're looking for.
The search function is especially important during Black Friday. Clerk’s AI-powered Search allows your customers to find exactly what they’re looking for and is just one way you can ensure a smooth customer experience on your webstore.
Step 6: Create engaging content and plan your marketing.
Content marketing plays a significant role in Black Friday promotions. Start creating compelling content early, including blog posts, product descriptions, and email campaigns. Highlight your Black Friday deals and their value to customers.
By doing so, you can create a comprehensive marketing strategy that includes your email marketing, social media, paid advertising, and SEO. Early coordination of these elements will help to maximize your reach and impact.
Step 7: Segment and target your Email List
You’ve sorted out your marketing strategy, so it’s now time to segment your email list. Send targeted messages to different customer groups based on customer preferences, past purchase history, and engagement levels. Personalized emails are much more likely to convert.
In fact, our Audience product can help you segment your audience so you can truly tailor your marketing efforts towards the right customer segments, leading not only to higher conversion rates, but also means you have a higher return on your advertising spend.
Step 8: Ramp up the hype with teasers and exclusive offers
As mentioned above, it’s vital to generate excitement by teasing your Black Friday deals well in advance. Use social media, email newsletters, and your website to share sneak peeks and countdowns and create a sense of urgency to encourage early interest in the promotions.
You should also consider offering exclusive Black Friday discounts to your loyal customers or email subscribers. Rewarding your existing customer base can lead to repeat business and positive word-of-mouth referrals. This is your most profitable customer base after all.
Related: How you can treat Black Friday like Amazon
Step 9: Optimize your webstore for all screens: including mobile phones
People shop across all devices and screens, so ensure your website is mobile-friendly, and your checkout process is seamless on all mobile devices. This is especially important if your customer base is Millennials or Gen Z, as 69% of Millennials and 72% of Gen Z prefer shopping via their phone than on a laptop.
Not only that, but 42% of Gen Z consumers say mobile formatting is the biggest frustration they have with retail websites.
Step 10: Monitor and adjust on the day
Once the day arrives, it’s vital to closely monitor your website's performance and sales data. Be prepared to make real-time adjustments to address any issues that may arise during Black Friday.
You can also gather this information to inform your plan for next year. And, why not use this guide again then as well!
Preparing your e-commerce store early for Black Friday is honestly the key to a successful and profitable holiday season. It’s such a high-pressure time for business owners, so taking some of these tips on board will help to ease the process and lead to higher conversion rates.
By setting clear goals, analyzing your past performance, optimizing your website, and creating engaging content, you'll be well-positioned to make the most of this shopping extravaganza, and provide a seamless shopping experience for your customers.
So make sure you start early, stay organized, and watch your webstore thrive on Black Friday and into the Holiday season.
Related: Get the most out of your Black Friday promotions.