Black Friday is an extremely important weekend for e-commerce websites, with an average 30% of annual sales being made on this weekend alone. Last year businesses in the UK made 1.23bn online over the Black Friday weekend.
Black Friday marks the start of the Christmas sales season, so preparing your site for Black Friday will also stand it in good stead for the oncoming Christmas rush.
This year, Black Friday falls on 29th November 2019.
We will show you how to run an effective Black Friday promotion and how to prepare your website so it is able to cope with the increase in traffic.
Decide on promotion
What do you want to offer your customers?
Will you be offering a discount just on certain items or on every item you have available?
Are you going to offer free shipping over the Black Friday weekend?
You will also need to think about how long you are going to be running the promotion for? Some online businesses offer extended sales, this can help reduce the sudden influx of orders and give you a more manageable stream of sales over a longer period.
Before you embark on any marketing, you will need to ask yourself “what are your goals for over Black Friday weekend?”
It may be that you want to drive sales on your most popular products, or it may be just to increase awareness of your business.
Once you have decided on your goal, you can then set your marketing campaigns accordingly.
Some effective strategies to use are:
Send out personalised emails to specific target customers, featuring a particular product(s) that may appeal to that audience.
Engage with your customers on social media by telling them about your upcoming Black Friday offers and promotions.
Promote your Black Friday offers on your website home page. You may also want to produce a separate landing page promoting your Black Friday offers. You can use this as the landing page for any off-site Black Friday campaigns.
You may wish to consider promoting your Black Friday offer via a paid advertising campaign, such as Facebook or Google Ads. Here you can target your audience so that only those most likely to be interested in your products/services will see the advert. You can also tailor your adverts to drive the viewers to a specific landing page on your website, such as the purchasing page for the item you were promoting or a general Black Friday landing page.
You will likely want to have a remarketing strategy in place to encourage previous visitors to complete an action on your page.
You can send out reminder emails to visitors who placed an item in the checkout but then left without completing the purchase.
Prepare for sales
There is no point running an amazing Black Friday deal if you cant deliver what you have promised your customers.
Ensure you are well prepared by;
– Check your stock inventory and monitor it thoroughly to ensure you don’t run out.
– Ensure you offer realistic delivery times on your items, it is better to overestimate these rather than to disappoint your customers with a late delivery.
– Do you have enough staff to handle the increase in orders? It may be that you need to hire some extra staff over the Black Friday weekend, to help ensure orders are dispatched on time. Also if you have too few, overworked staff then it is more likely that mistakes can be made, such as incorrect items sent out, which can be more costly to your business in the long run, when having to deal with unhappy customers and customer returns.
Remember, that you will likely gain brand new customers over the Black Friday weekend, it is important that you give out the best impression of your business that you can, as these new customers may well become lifelong customers if they are impressed by your goods and services.
Prepare your Website
Before launching your Black Friday promotion, you need to make sure your website is running smoothly and you are well prepared for an increase in sales.
Research has shown that over the Black Friday weekend, your website can expect a 50% increase in traffic compared to a normal 4 day period. So you will need to make sure your website can handle that increase without causing issues to your site. For this, you may need to conduct a load test on your website. If you are unsure how to do this, then speak to your hosting provider and they should be able to conduct one for you.
Look at what campaigns you are running for Black Friday and where you can expect the increase in traffic to come from. Maybe you are running a Facebook Ad campaign, or an email marketing campaign, whatever campaign you are running, ensure that the process will run as smoothly as possible at each step.
Did you know that if your website takes any longer than 3 seconds to load then you are losing out on customers?
Prevent this from happening by ensuring your website loading speed is optimal.
You can use a page performance monitor, such as this one from Google, which shows you how fast your site is loading as well as offering suggestions on how you can improve it.
Some typical factors that slow down your site loading speed are:
– Images/videos that aren’t optimised ie large file size
– Poor server performance and location
– Excessive plug-ins
– Too many adverts
If your site speed is particularly low then it will not handle an increase in web traffic, so you will need to look at how you can optimise its loading speed, certainly for over the Black Friday weekend. Maybe you can disable some unnecessary plug-ins, remove some adverts or look at changing what images/videos you are using on your website.
With the increase in traffic and (hopefully) increase in purchases made through your website over Black Friday weekend, it is a good idea to double-check that your site’s security systems are working correctly.
The last thing you want to have to deal with is customers data getting into the hands of cybercriminals!
Go beyond Black Friday
Once Black Friday weekend is over, the next biggest online shopping season begins, Christmas!
So continue to use all these strategies, in order to promote, market and prepare your website for the busiest online shopping season of the year!
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