How to prepare your e-Commerce for Black Friday: 10 essential tips

Black Friday and e-Commerce go hand in hand. It’s important to prepare for an influx of excited online Black Friday shoppers. Our main tip: start early. Run through this checklist to make sure your brand is prepared to offer the best online purchase experience for your customers. These 10 hands-on tips will get you there. Make 2021 your best Black Friday yet!

1. Get your website up to speed

High conversion rates and low bounce rates: that’s the ideal situation for Black Friday. Your website speed has a big impact on that. 47% of consumers expect websites to load in two seconds or less. And 40% will abandon a page that takes three or more seconds. For every second of loading time on your website, conversions drop by 12%. Make your web pages fast on all devices, for example with this tool. This way, you will prevent losing potential consumers to competitors. 

Due to the digital shift, the user experience became extremely important. Customers want a seamless experience online, retailers must be very aware of this shift and step up their game. Make sure your website is up to speed and works perfectly, so customers can make an easy purchase. 

2. Review your product pages

Another optimization that goes jointly with your website speed is to review your product pages. Make sure all product photos, availability and descriptions are up to date. The less customers have to ask about your products because everything is clear to them, the better. This will help reduce returns – which you obviously want to avoid. Have the option for customers to sign up to be notified when an item is back in stock. This will enlarge your mailing list and grow your audience, so you’ll fill two needs with one deed!

3. Add Live Video Shopping to your online store

Make it as easy as possible for customers to complete a purchase on your website. If they have any questions about deals you’re offering or product stocking, they want an instant answer – especially when there’s a time limit like with Black Friday.

That’s where Live Video Shopping comes in. This popular trend is the closest thing to being able to physically connect with your customers. Live Video Shopping offers the ability to show your audience the products you would like to sell and advise them about it in real-time. As a presenter, you can interact with customers who are watching your live stream and they can directly make a purchase with a click of a button. This way, consumers are receiving a far more engaging experience than using a traditional self-service e-commerce platform and just filling a virtual shopping cart. 

According to our Retail Research paper, 48% of consumers stated that it’s extremely convenient for them to be able to ask questions about the products in real-time with Live Video Shopping. Make sure to implement this solution (or any other Live video solution, like Live Broadcasting) if you haven’t already done so, and make it visible on your website before Black Friday!

4. Cross-sell and upsell wherever you can

With these well-known marketing tactics, you’ll be able to increase your revenue by 10-30% on average. And that comes in handy during Black Friday. If a customer enters your website and finds products they’re interested in, refer them to something that will naturally fit together. You may want to create distinct Black Friday and Cyber Monday pages with related products for customers. This can consolidate your efforts.

5. Retargeting is key

People that have visited your website before, are more likely to do it again. Black Friday is the perfect opportunity to re-engage with past customers and make them want to buy from your website again. Retargeting itself is easy: implement a pixel on specific webpages, in the shopping cart or checkout page. This method is extremely cost effective, and because you’re targeting people that have seen your website in the past, the likelihood of them making a purchase is higher. 

6. Refresh your email campaigns

One study has found that email marketing generates around $42 for every dollar spent, which is why email marketing is one of the most effective marketing strategies for e-Commerce businesses. In fact, 59% of marketers say their most significant source of ROI (return of interest) is email marketing. This is how you make a start:

  • Use pop-ups and CTA buttons all over your website for people to easily subscribe to your newsletter.
  • If customers don’t have an account yet and use the guest checkout, ask them for their email address. That’s how they will receive the order confirmation and you can also use this information to update your mailing list. But: always communicate. Make it clear that you’re offering a newsletter subscription.
  • Segment your customer base. The way to do this is to follow their behavior on your website. 
  • Play with different elements to create an unforgettable email like GIFs, countdown timers, shopping within the mail, videos and interactive carousels. 
  • Spend time analyzing your customer’s behavior before you set up the actual email – so you know what they’re interested in.
  • Send exclusive email invites to your live streaming sessions where you can offer extra discount codes for live video shopping!

7. Involve industry influencers

With people being more stuck at home than ever, the power of influencer marketing has risen to new heights. 49% of consumers depend on influencer recommendations, and 40% purchases something after seeing it on influencers. This marketing tool has big potential: people are automatically drawn to social media figures now. Investing in influencers can help you build brand affinity with a group of highly engaged and like-minded people. This can make your brand accelerate and really ramp up your sales during Black Friday. Influencers can save the day, but pay attention to the following:

  • Define your own online audience first, identify your target customer
  • Stay true to your brand, pick someone that’s align with your company values
  • Keep track of the relationships you’re building and see how they convert in actual leads

8. Use social media

Make your content recognizable across all social media channels. Before buying, people prefer to check the reliability of the brand and their products through photos, ratings, etcetera. To increase your conversion rate around Black Friday sales, it’s key that you’re integrating social proof into your brand. It allows you to show your brands’ voice, display user-generated content, and upgrade your social network. How can you establish this? 

  • Engage with your audience
  • Post frequently
  • Include the relevant Black Friday / Cyber Monday hashtags
  • Try paid advertising to really increase your sales

9. Prepare your inventory

Be ready. The last thing you want as a retailer is to under-stock your best-selling item or to over-stock your least profitable one. Look into your analytics regarding your sales over the past six months, by category and style. See where exactly customers are spending money and invest in those products. This will help you only stock the products people really want to buy and it will also prevent you from ordering things that are already out of stock. 

10. Upgrade your return policy

The easier your return policy is for your customers, the easier it will be for your staff. Since you can expect a peak of orders and therefore returns, ‘ease’ is the name of the game. Once you have a clear and transparent return policy, this will give your customers more confidence in your business. A lot of Black Friday purchases are impulsive, and this is exactly why it gives reassurance to online shoppers if your return policy is flexible and easy to understand.

If you want to see these steps and even more handy tips visually, download our free infographic below:

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