How to Prepare Your eCommerce Store for Black Friday in 2020
eCommerce Website Preparations for Black Friday and Cyber Monday
2020 has been a difficult year. In some businesses, that means more sales -- others it means less or different types of products are selling. With one of the biggest sales weekends of the year coming up, you’ll have to prepare your business like never before. But what will it entail? Will it be a higher spend? Lower spend? We really can’t know for sure, but with the current trend of increased eCommerce shopping, we are assuming there will be a huge shift from in-store shopping to online that will have effects for years to come.
As we look ahead at the coming months, it’s important to consider a few things. We’ll walk through the changes this year and how your eCommerce website can move ahead with confidence.
First, check out our Cyber Weekend eBook. We put together a guide with specific ways to prep your eCommerce store and get ready for Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
Adjust for 2020 Reality
Take a look at your sales performance reports so far this year and consider what will be different than usual this year. Be ready to adjust what you focus on, and what type of inventory is best to stock for this year. Are some things selling better than others? Is there product you really need to move and should discount further?
Also, consider adjusting your marketing approach in general. Because of this year’s events, people are more prone to take offense than usual - so be sure to consider your website and email tone and be sure that everything is going to be received as well as you intend. Consider sending drafts of emails and promotions to a friend or two. Take a fresh look at your catalog and be sure there’s nothing that is going to bring negative publicity to your business.
Consider the Entire “Holiday” Season
At efelle, we usually think of the digital marketing Christmas season as being between September 15 and January 15. Of course, more sales happen on December 15 than in September, but if you look at the Christmas season as more than just a few days of sales, you’ll be able to smooth out any rough spots in your campaigns. This usually means:
- No large changes to website design or functionality during that 4 month period.
- All inventory and marketing planned by mid to end of September.
- Consider bringing on temporary help during a portion of the 4-month window to help process orders and answer any customer questions.
Black Friday Can Help with President’s Day
Most business owners are focused on the Christmas Season but not on the other holidays of the year. That makes sense because most stores do 70% of their business during the winter holiday season.
But did you know you can use all of that business in December to help drive sales other times of the year? By enrolling clients in email lists and loyalty programs, you can help encourage a customer who buys in December to come back again in February to buy something else. Consider offering loyalty program participants a promotion at other times of the year. While we recommend avoiding design changes, right now is the time to add an email system like Klaviyo, pop-ups with JustUno, or another payment method like Amazon Pay.
If you’re interested in any of these additions, let us know!
Make a Plan Now
Most consumers that see an email sent on December 26th advertising an “After Christmas Sale” as something that was conceived and sent that morning. In fact, most successful eCommerce businesses plan out their marketing and sales campaigns months in advance.
As a small business owner, you can do this too. Create a calendar now with which emails will go out when and what sales will be running when. Think of your email list as a Summer Camp: you’ll want to plan out a well-balanced mix of activities. At camp, those activities would be swimming, hiking, arts and crafts, and dodgeball. On your store, it might be a sale on cameras, an email with a customer success story, and a later email promoting free promotional gifts added to all orders over a certain amount.
You can write the subject lines and dates on the calendar and then start planning the actual email and what actually will be on sale. There’s no reason an email for an After-Christmas sale can’t be written in August.
That said, if circumstances change, be ready to adjust your plan. If a sale you ran in early October yielded 15% fewer sales than expected, take what you learned from that effort and adjust your Black Friday sales accordingly.
This year is strange, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t buckle down and get ready to rock this holiday season and give it all you’ve got.
Interested in Optimizing Your eCommerce Store?
Learn more by downloading our eCommerce Cyber Weekend Guide here, or fill out the form below and you'll be put in touch with one of our experience Digital Strategists to help you figure out the custom ways to help your store.