Nov 17, 2016

Black Friday Checklist

written by Richard Lindsay

Black Friday marks the day the shopping season starts, and it’s a great opportunity for ecommerce companies to attract more customers, and create brand awareness. However, in order to ensure that the 24 hours runs smoothly, you will need to make a strategic plan and organise things accordingly.

Plan and organise your sales

It’s important that you don’t leave the planning of your sales to the last minute, because you’ll be scrambling around in a panic. Look at all your products and organise and plan your sales ahead of time, so you have a clear structure and have a plan to refer back to. You can simply create an Excel spreadsheet and outline your planned sales, and select any specific products you want to run a holiday sale on, and schedule their start dates and sale prices.

Let your customers know in advance

Customers are always looking for the best deals, and they anticipate the shopping season much earlier than you might expect. According to NFR research, 40% of customers begin their holiday shopping before Halloween. So, it’s important that you tell your customers about eCommerce offers well in advance, and make sure that customers looking for particular products find your website. Tell your customers about discounts, policies and any other relevant information, and when it gets closer to the date, send another email about upcoming products and special sales.

Plan your marketing campaign

For a successful black Friday, you’re going to need a winning marketing campaign to drive customers to your website. According to some report findings, email marketing has the highest conversion rate out of all online marketing. So, it’s clear email should play an important role in your marketing. Take your time to create emails highlighting special offers according to your customers’ interests. Also, prepare more promotional landing pages so more consumers can find your site, as well as researching keywords and top converted search terms relevant to Black Friday. In addition, make sure you retarget old customers who have purchased products from your store previously, and you’ll also be able to reach those who have forgotten about your site.

Ensure your website can handle a surge in traffic
Are you ready for a surge in traffic? This is one of the biggest concerns for marketers around the time of peak shopping seasons, because their websites could potentially crash. This usually only occurs if your website receives an enormous amount of traffic, but it’s still wise to make sure your website’s hosting can handle a sharp increase in traffic. Online tools such as Blitz and loadimpact, allow you to test server load capacity. If you want to save load times, consider compressing and resizing images, and make sure product pages are fully optimised. Also, if you utilize a Contact Delivery Network (CDN), contact your provider and make sure they have planned for the traffic increase.

Manage your customer service
It’s important to make sure your customer service is as efficient as it can be. The holiday season is potentially when your customers will be asking the most questions. Integrating a live chat is a great way to ensure that all your customers questions are addressed quickly. Also, make sure you have efficient response times, so you could include a few canned responses. Finally, make sure your customers have an enjoyable shopping experience by offering easy and hassle-free returns.
Black Friday could make or break a retailer’s peak period. But with the right planning in place, you can sail through the peak and start thinking about boxing day deals.