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Black Friday Ecommerce: How to prepare your store for the most important sales season of the year

by Jesús Maceira, September 15, 2022

The countdown has already begun, but you still have time to take all the actions for Black Friday.

According to recent data, at least in the United States, 30 percent of all retail sales occur between Black Friday and Christmas. This means that optimizing your e-commerce site for this shopping season—perhaps the most important of the year—is essential for success with your business.

If we consider that shoppers spent almost $20 billion during Black Friday and Cyber Monday in 2021, then without a doubt, the priority of brands is to optimize every detail of their e-commerce, with the aim of eliminating any friction that could impede the increase in sales. Especially in a year in which inflation has impacted consumer behavior in many countries.

Is your e-commerce ready for Black Friday? Do not worry, in this article we will tell you all the areas that you should consider, so that it is the best season for your business.

But first…

What is Black Friday?

Black Friday is a commercial phenomenon that emerged in the United States, and occurs on the Friday immediately after Thanksgiving. Unofficially, it marks the start of the Christmas gift shopping season.

Both online and physical retailers offer the best discounts on Black Friday, with most starting their sales around midnight on Thanksgiving.

At first, Black Friday was a one-day-store shopping phenomenon. But with the rise of e-commerce in 2005, online retailers also started offering sales on Cyber Monday. Like Black Friday, Cyber Monday takes place on the first Monday after Thanksgiving and is especially focused on online sales.

Currently, the Black Friday commercial phenomenon can be seen in all physical and online stores in almost any country in the world. In fact, marketing professionals not only deploy their strategies on traditional days, but have also been promoting the concept of Black Days, with which many brands offer their discounts up to 2 weeks in advance of the Black Friday weekend. Thus becoming the most important commercial season of the year.

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Black Friday ecommerce How to prepare my business?

As you may already know, Black Friday is the most important sales and marketing event for leading brands around the world. It is a great opportunity to take advantage of all the interest of consumers and take sales to the highest level.

Next, we share with you everything you should consider so that your e-commerce is ready for the coming season, take note.

1. Start planning early!

Time goes fast! Sure, you'll take a few weeks to recover from a hectic summer season, and suddenly Black Friday is on the horizon. That's why we wrote this article in the first place!

If you're an exceptional digital marketer, you know that digital marketing requires many different elements to be considered, and this takes time to do. When it comes to such important seasons and holidays, you want everything to work perfectly, so start planning well in advance.

Many shoppers start planning their Christmas shopping early, and as an e-commerce, you need to be there to help them meet their needs. Prepare your site in advance: define a strategy, plan advertising, decide what deals you will offer and make sure that your e-commerce offers an incredible shopping experience and that technically… Everything works well.

2. Test and optimize site speed

When you see people lining up in the morning to be the first to arrive at the store on Black Friday, you might get the impression that they are in a hurry. That same sense of urgency happens with users who make purchases online.

For many marketers and store owners, Black Friday and seasonal shopping is all about capitalizing on consumers' sense of urgency, and slow e-commerce is the enemy of excitement and that sense of urgency.

You can plan the best marketing strategy for Black Friday, with the best discounts and offers. But if your e-commerce is not ready to receive high volumes of traffic for several hours, you will not reach your goals and this will also negatively affect the image of your business.

This is why you should check your website speed now. So you have time to make the necessary changes. A quick way to do this is by running your website through Google Lighthouse or Google Page Speed Insights. These tools provide practical steps you can take to improve the speed of your e-commerce.

But, if you feel that this point can be very technical and you do not have all the necessary knowledge, you may have to evaluate the possibility of enabling an L1 Technical Support dedicated to your e-commerce, even if you only need it for the Black Friday and Christmas season.

Mobile Ecommerce Statista

3. Optimize for mobile-first shopping

In the United States alone, most consumers spend five to six hours on their phone each day, not including use of the device for work. If the experience of your mobile e-commerce is not up to what your customers demand, they will surely spend more time… in your competition's store.

While some customers still pay online from a desktop computer and use their mobile device to browse, according to Shopify on Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2021, mobile transactions accounted for 71% of all sales, compared with 29% on desktop computers. Furthermore, it is estimated that by 2025, 42% of all retail sales in the United States will be from mobile devices.

You can increase your chance of success in mobile purchases by improving website navigation and speed. Offering a better shopping experience, especially for users who prefer to do it from the palm of their hand.

4. Review and improve product pages

Sales don't happen by accident. Even if you're offering an incredible discount, shoppers still go through a complicated decision process before committing to buy.

Every interaction potential customers have with your brand influences their purchase decision. If there are parts of your e-commerce that are not up to par, then the user will question the decision to buy.

One of the key assets in e-commerce for Black Friday is the product page. A traditional friction with e-commerce is that people cannot touch the products they want with their hands and see them with their own eyes. Therefore, the purchase decision depends closely on the page of your product.

Do not spend effort to place irrelevant information on the product page. Instead, focus on the benefits and use them to tell a story. You can add high-quality media and give people all the information they need to make a purchase decision.

If you want to test your product pages and identify possible errors in the user experience and visual interface, you can rely on Valido, a tool that helps verify that everything is going smoothly in your ecommerce.

5. Improve the navigation of your ecommerce

Improving features such as product search, category search, or filtering will help customers navigate your e-commerce quickly to find Christmas gifts. According to Red Signal, 70% of shoppers will leave an online store due to poor site search errors and poor user experience.

A tool like Valido can help you:

  • Identify errors in e-commerce navigation: to help you understand the opportunities for improvement in the user experience.
  • Test the visual interface of the store: especially on the product pages and the checkout, trying to help you optimize the purchase process.
  • Monitor: configuring quick tests that help you keep your e-commerce always optimal for times of greatest demand.

By checking all these elements, you can speed up the browsing and conversion experience. Simplifying the user's shopping experience.

6. Simplify the checkout process and review the rate of abandoned carts

A poor user experience breeds frustration. And these types of emotions generate abandoned carts. That is why we always say that frustration is the enemy of shopping. Pay attention to the abandoned cart rate of your e-commerce. Can you imagine if you could convert at least half of those people? For sure, your sales would rise significantly.

People often leave items in their cart for a reason. Maybe they're using it as a wish list, they were frustrated by the payment, or they just weren't sold on the offer. Or, maybe they intended to buy and just forgot.

Simplifying the purchase process at checkout is a critical action if you want to improve sales. To drive impulse buying on Black Friday, try to lower the barriers to purchase from the product page to checkout. For example, one-click checkout allows customers to purchase items with a single action, which can be much better than clicking too many times before paying.

If you have the email address of potential customers, you have the opportunity to improve the rate of abandoned carts. For example, automating a message that reminds the customer that the products they selected are still waiting to be purchased. Remember to prepare a kind message in which you can also offer help to make the purchase.

7. Test and offer various payment methods

Reviewing and improving the checkout process also involves payment methods. In addition to flowing easily, the payment method or methods that you offer in your e-commerce must communicate an essential message: security. Nobody will buy from an online store if they feel that this step is not safe.

On the other hand, the more payment options you offer, the more likely you are to attract a larger audience. The easier you make it for people to pay, the more likely it is to increase business sales.

Did you know that 12% of online shoppers canceled their last purchase because they couldn't pay how they wanted?

Currently, there are a large number of options that you can integrate into your e-commerce as payment methods, the important thing is that your platform is flexible enough to integrate with all the payment methods that customers prefer the most.

Now is your turn!

Ready or not, Black Friday is coming up. And as we have already said, it is the most important commercial season of the year, crucial for all e-commerce of different sizes and industries. So it pays to start preparing early.

Review each key aspect to improve. Looking to eliminate any errors or friction that prevents your customers from having a great online shopping experience.

Remember that e-commerce during Black Friday is much more than a good offer or discount. Try to offer your potential customers as much value as possible. With great reach, engaging content, personalized offers, and a nifty sales funnel, you'll have a great opportunity to maximize your sales this season.

If your e-commerce platform is not yet ready for Black Friday - Cyber Monday and you need specialized help to optimize or monitor, contact us today here.

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