Make Sure You're E-Commerce Store Is Ready For Black Friday & Cyber Monday

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Everyone with an eCommerce store knows the effect that Black Friday & Cyber Monday have on people, so we want to help you, as a store owner, to capitalise on it.

We'll go through some of the best practices you can use to help you cash in on the frenzy.

It's the biggest weekend of the year for many retailers around the world so as Black Friday & Cyber Monday approach, it's important to plan your strategy and get your ducks in row. As with almost everything, preparation is paramount.

In this article, we're going to make a few assumptions about your current situation:

  • You already have a good eCommerce site. If you haven't, then that's the first thing you need to address.
  • The platform you use is capable of handling higher levels of traffic.
  • You are comfortable making changes to your store and you have some basic development skills at your disposal.

Consider Creating Timed Strategies

An eMarketer study showed that users are most likely to shop before 9am which is vital information. This shows us that they're visiting store before work in order to try and find a bargain. You can play on this emotion by adding a sense of urgency to the situation by:

  • Showing a limited number of products left in stock.
  • Adding a countdown timer to show the end of the sale.
  • Highlighting the time of the last sale using eye-catching iconography or typography.

Utilise Multiple Sales Channels

If you're not using them already, consider utilising eBay and Amazon as sales channels for your products. Naturally, the traffic to these sites will see a huge spike over Black Friday & Cyber Monday, so making your products available there is a great way to broaden your market.

Most large platforms have integrations with these platforms, but our platform of choice, Shopify, makes the whole process completely painless.

Make Sales Via Social: Facebook & Instagram

If you're not doing it already, you should definitely get started soon. There's a plethora of reasons to sell on Facebook, which we won't go into because frankly there's too many.

For Instagram, we always recommend FourSixty but Showcase is another great choice for Shopify merchants too. In essence, they allow you to add a shoppable Instagram feed to your store allowing you to easily edit their appearance through a super friendly admin panel. Prices start from $50 per month for FourSixty and slightly less for Showcase, but it won't take many sales before they begin to pay for themselves.

Create Custom Banners & Imagery

It sounds obvious but you need to make sure that customers appreciate that the products are only on sale for the weekend (even if they aren't). You should look to create eye catching banner/s for the homepage and collection pages of your store. As always, make sure the standard of design is up to scratch and suits your websites design aesthetic, because the last thing you need is poorly designed banners that undervalue your brand, making it look cheap or unprofessional.

Another useful app, for those Shopify merchants reading this, is Hextom's Shipping Bar. This FREE and easy to configure plug and play app allows merchants to add a customisable notification bar to their website.

Offer Free Shipping

If you don't already, then why not? Just because you offer free shipping, that doesn't mean that it has to be unconditional! It's understandable that offering free shipping affects your bottom line, so simply make shipping free on orders over a certain amount. The amount will depend on your average product value, but as long you're in profit on each sale there are usually ways to amortise cost and absorb in your margins when you achieve larger average cart values.

Doing this also serves as a great way to upsell other products too. Let's use a t-shirt shop as an example. If all t-shirts are roughly £20 and you offer free shipping for orders of £30 and over, users will be encouraged to buy a second t-shirt in order to get free shipping.

Send An Email Out To Your Mailing List

Depending on your market, you'll get the highest conversion with users who have already made a purchase from your store. It's certainly worth creating a Black Friday / Cyber Monday specific email campaign and getting them out to your mailing list at the right time. We often see multiple campaigns sent out during the entire Black Friday weekend, making sure customers don't get distracted by competitors.

Highlight A Product's Original Price

This might sound like an obvious one, but make sure that when you offer a discount, the user knows they're actually getting one! You need to show the comparative price for this to sink in, there's no benefit to changing the price of a product if the customer doesn't know how much they will save.

Create A Specific Landing Page

Generally used for SEO purposes this is one of those times when creating a specific landing page full of offers and deals will work wonders on your conversion rate. This way you can target customers specifically searching for Black Friday deals and serve users with more bespoke, relevant content.

Ensure Your Infrastructure Is Robust

With a platform like Shopify, you don't need to worry yourself about the dreaded 'will too many concurrent users crash my site'. Those not utilising hosted solutions need to ensure that the servers and infrastructure in place can handle higher levels of traffic and the pressures and impact this will have on their websites. You don't want to spend good money on driving traffic to your website if your users experience a slow-loading website or a complete time-out. Keep in mind, as always, that every second of load-time counts, particularly when you're trying to capitalise on the users haste. Every second that cart page takes to load is another opportunity for them to reconsider completing the purchase.

For more general information on eCommerce best practices, take a look at this recent article: 5 Simple Ways To Improve Conversion Rates.