Black Friday is coming closer, and you’ve probably already started some preparations. For this event to pass smoothly and successfully, you’ll have to take care of certain aspects of your e-commerce website and build a solid Black Friday strategy.
The impact of Black Friday and the whole Cyber Week (from Thanksgiving to Cyber Monday) is tremendous. In 2022, this period brought businesses a total of $65 billion in online sales. Given that 2023 is marked by the increase in online spending compared to 2022 (it’s expected the US online sales will increase by 3 - 22%), don’t lose an opportunity to grab some of that pie during Black Friday.
In this post, we’ve collected 10 tips that will help you ensure you’re on the right track with Black Friday and the following holiday season. Check what you’ve already done and consider the steps you need to take.
10 e-commerce Black Friday tips
Let’s see what you can do to maximize your Black Friday profits.
1. Analyze previous campaigns
If you’re not running a freshly created store and it’s not your first holiday season, then you should start from reviewing last year’s results. Did you achieve the goals you set? What channels worked best for your Black Friday campaigns? What products performed best and worst?
When you find answers to these questions, you’ll better understand what realistic goals to put forward this year and what types of products to focus on when crafting your offers.
2. Plan beforehand and start early
Most e-commerces launch their Black Friday campaigns 3-4 prior to the date. The market in general is transforming the one-day event into a full month of promotional offers. You can go for this and plan different gifts and discounts week by week, culminating in the biggest offers on Black Friday / Cyber Monday.
❗ Regardless of how long you decide your campaigns to last, you should prepare early. Late September—early October will be your best choice: you’ll have enough time to analyze previous sales, customer behavior, and overall trends to design the irresistible offer.
3. Optimize website performance
Black Friday goes hand in hand with traffic spikes and unusual load on the servers. Make sure that your hosting is capable of handling significantly more visitors and test the load before launching your campaigns.
Check your site speed in general: the Core Web Vitals report in Google Search Console will give you an idea of how fast your content is loading. On top of that, use dedicated speed testing tools like GTmetrix that will visualize the process of page loading from different server locations.
If it takes more than 2 seconds to load the main above-the-fold part of the page (the largest contentful paint, LCP), chances are people will abandon your store.
Bonus tip: Image optimization is a big part of the speed improvement process. Make sure your site doesn’t contain heavy visual files.
4. Choose what to focus on in your Black Friday strategy
There are different ways to approach Black Friday, and to choose the most suitable one for your store, analyze your product catalog with regard to your current business goals. For example, you can go with sitewide discounts or highlight chosen bundles for the event. Or, you can launch new products during Black Friday. The list of possibilities is endless—choose what you think will work best with your audience.
If you haven’t launched any promotions yet, check out this list of sales promotions to explore the most popular options.
5. Prepare copy and design for the offer page and test it on different devices
Create a dedicated landing page with your Black Friday offers. You need this because it’s easier to run ads for such a page and capture leads from different sources. Plus, it’s more convenient for customers to explore your promotions on a single page and checkout from there.
Speaking of the content for this page, here are the major things to take care of:
- Clearly explain the benefits of your offer
- Craft a simple and attractive headline
- Use time-sensitive language to encourage fast purchasing decisions
- Consider using countdown timers
- Include CTAs that will allow shoppers to add products to the cart directly from the page
Besides that, plan how it will be highlighted on your other pages (homepage, chosen product pages, etc.). For instance, you can leverage the announcement bar or design a sitewide banner for this—in any case, make sure that your Black Friday page isn’t lost somewhere in your website structure and is easily accessible from everywhere where it makes sense.
Page builders like PageFly offer a variety of Black Friday templates to help you optimize your landing pages for conversions. These templates feature a number of components that will help you create urgency, drive sign-ups, and encourage more sales.
6. Prepare gift guides and get featured in gift-related articles
27% of Black Friday and 24% of Cyber Monday shoppers are mostly looking for gifts. To make their lives easier, you can create gift guides that include products grouped by certain criteria: age or gender of the recipient, types of items, etc.
Besides featuring gift ideas on your store, you can reach out to relevant e-commerce blogs to get your products listed on their gift guides for the season. This is a great way to earn additional exposure and backlinks.
The best way to feature free gifts on your Shopify store is using one of the gifting apps.
7. Adjust your upselling strategies to Black Friday deals
Upselling, cross-selling, and bundling should work great with Black Friday promotions, but don’t just copy the strategies you already have in place. For instance, if you mainly had post-purchase upsells triggered after the order is completed, with Black Friday, you can go heavier on pre-purchase offers shown on the Black Friday page, product page, or in the cart.
Check out our 10 upselling tips to get inspired.
Tailor your upsells and cross-sells to particular deals and don’t forget to customize the messaging. If you’re using a Shopify app for that like Candy Rack, you can easily change the wording of the upsell pop-up. Plus, you can modify the colors and button behavior or even contact the support team for custom pop-up design adjustments.
8. Audit checkout
Once you get shoppers’ attention with your Black Friday promotions, you’re halfway there. However, if there’s any friction in the checkout process, you might lose even the most interested customers.
To decrease the cart abandonment rate, test your checkout on different devices and try going to checkout from different pages. Spot any difficulties or redundancies that you might see along the way and use the insights to optimize your checkout.
If you want to make your checkout experience look special, learn what you can customize in the checkout.
9. Update your social media
Social media is a powerful tool for attracting more sales, especially when you offer something exciting. You can run part of your Black Friday promotions exclusively on social networks—for example, giveaways or other freebies.
When crafting a social media plan for the holiday season, consider the following:
- Schedule posts that build anticipation before and during the Black Friday event
- Leverage direct social selling
- Partner with influencers that have your target audience among the followers
10. Optimize inventory and fulfillment workflows
You should be prepared to handle more orders than usual and not cause customers any distress with delays, unexpected stockouts, or other issues. Here are some measures to take:
- Evaluate your supplier relationships and inventory management nuances beforehand
- Audit the fulfillment process and improve it if needed
- Forecast the product demand based on previous sales and shopping trends
- Hide out-of-stock items that you’re not going to restock for Black Friday
Enter the holiday season with confidence
Black Friday is, without a doubt, the biggest sales event that can help you maximize your conversions. Prepare for it and extend your campaigns for weeks or even a whole month. After you launch the promotions, continuously monitor their performance to adjust the strategy on the go and distract valuable insights for planning your further holiday campaigns.
If you’re running your store on Shopify, check out these Black Friday apps that will help you streamline the process of designing, launching, and analyzing your campaigns. Happy Black Friday selling!