How to Prepare for Black Friday & Cyber Monday
eCommerce Website Tips for your Best Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday Ever
You already know it’s a big deal. Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday sales are practically expected of any business, and users are ready to shop. Forbes found that last year 58 million people shopped online, 51 million shopped only in stores, and 65 million consumers shopped both. Whether you’re eCommerce only or have a Brick-and-Mortar store, consider the necessary preparations.
As a weekend that can make or break your year, preparing can really help your business thrive. We compiled our checklist of 11 questions and to-do’s for your team to help you prepare for Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
1. Have a Goal In Mind
Is it to sell a lot? Build out your brand? Thinking about what you want to do during this sale will help you align every part of your strategy. When you’re working with a goal in mind, all the decisions you make will be helping you achieve that goal.
2. Decide on your discount
Be prepared ahead of time with your discount. Is it a percentage off the entire shop? Buy one get one? Do users need a code? Think about your shopper and how much work they want to do to get the discount. Should it be automatically applied? Should the discount increase the more they spend? Keep these things in mind as you decide on a discount.
3. Make sure your discount is doable in your store
Is what you’re hoping to do complex? Make sure that whatever discount you are hoping to achieve can be done before planning it all out. Some more complex discounts can include Buy-One-Get-Ones, more percentage off the more you spend, and giveaways at spending thresholds. Check with your eCommerce engine before planning one out.
4. Decide how long your discount will run
Are you starting on Thanksgiving evening? Friday morning? Will it go through Cyber Monday? Thinking about all of your options is important to know ahead of time so you can both prepare and let your team know so they can let customers know accurate information.
5. Create assets (social, masthead, email) for the sale
Sharing about your sale is really important to let people know and getting them excited. People are most likely anticipating a sale from you, so sharing via social is important. If you’re not active on social media, then we’d recommend at least creating a masthead update for your sale - that’s the big image at the top of your site - so as soon as people land on your homepage they’re aware of the sale.
6. Create a gift guide
Go the extra mile and create a gift guide for your users. Creating a gift guide can be fun and really be informative to your customers. This can be all your own products or even a few from your favorite shops. We’d recommend sending this out a week or so prior to the sale and keep putting it to use even after Black Friday / Cyber Monday.
7. Turn on your abandoned cart emails
We’ve talked about this - we’ve given you the reasons why you should turn on abandoned cart emails and even shared our favorite sequence. Turning on your abandoned carts can be a great way to bring people back to your store and make that purchase. When you get people to make
8. Add live chat
If you’ve got a dedicated customer service employee, then a live chat can be a great way to create a more efficient process and reduce the number of phone calls your team takes. Creating a smoother process can help both you and the customers have a better experience. We discussed the ins and outs of chat bots on our most recent blog to help you decide if it's right for your team.
9. Add FAQ
On the contrary to a live chat, if you have an extremely busy team that has little time for staying at a computer, creating a Frequently Asked Questions page on your site that answers questions about returns, your holiday hours, and product questions.
10. Consider Retargeting Ads
Since this shopping time lasts for a few days, running retargeting ads for people who were on your site can be an effective way to bring people back to your site. Retargeting can be a great way for your business to bring people back and keep your store top of mind for users as they're doing their cyber weekend shopping.
11. Prepare for In-Store Traffic
If you’ve got a brick and mortar store, think about the increased foot traffic, decor, and how you can best make use of the space. Are you having a different sale then online? Do you need to print signs? Be prepared for in-store traffic and even make it a fun event - make some coffee, bring in some cookies, and get people in the holiday spirit.
Don’t Want to Participate? That’s Okay Too!
Large businesses like REI take a stance and actually oppose the holiday, while others stay closed to let their team enjoy their holiday away from the business. Either way, it's okay if you choose to stay closed, just let people know that you won't be open or having a sale! Putting a sign on your door, posting on social media, and updating your website can let users know you won't be partaking respectfully.
Preparing and planning is the key to a successful sale weekend. We put together this checklist to help you think ahead and be ready to take on the weekend with as few hiccups and the most optimization possible. Taking the time early on to make plans, test, and prepare can increase your efficiency and overall revenue, and who doesn't want that?
Need an eCommerce Black Friday Strategy?
Let our team sit down with you to work on a successful strategy that’s custom to your business. Fill out our contact form below and see how we can help your business grow.