Black Friday and Cyber Monday are many retailers' biggest online sales days. Black Friday sales in 2021 saw transactions tip at the scales at $8.9 billion. While that was a slight dip, it's a new year, and buyers are back in force.
If you're preparing your business for Black Friday, it's time to spruce up your website and prepare new marketing plans for the season. Buyer habits are changing, and more take advantage of early deals to do their shopping on Thanksgiving.
Your website and marketing efforts will need some updates. Here are some quick tips to get you started:
1. Check Your Website Performance
When Black Friday or Cyber Monday comes around, millions of people will be looking to buy the latest products at a discounted price. It's no surprise that your website will get a lot of traffic, but if it can't handle that extra load, a lot of that potential lead may go to waste.
Many websites handle stable or slowly increasing visitor loads. Because of that, the Black Friday surge can catch us by surprise. Please don't risk high server loads crashing your website; test its performance beforehand.
A tool like Loadview Testing can help you simulate increasing traffic that's relatively complex – just like how an actual heavy visitor load will behave. The Cloud-based tool can let you verify the topping point for your website and allow you the time to prepare beforehand.
If you haven't already, consider moving your website to a better web hosting plan that's more agile, like Cloud or VPS. These plans let you quickly increase server resources to cope with any load.
2. Make Sure Security is Top Notch
An increasing number of people are concerned about fraud when shopping online. Address their concerns by reviewing your website's security. The best way to ensure that your customers feel safe shopping at your store is by making sure that your website security is top-notch.
While you can do this comprehensively with a top-down security audit, other, more straightforward efforts can also be practical. Some examples include;
- Ensuring your payments are PCI DSS compliant
- Upgrading your SSL certificate to EV or OV
- Updating all your web apps and plugins
- Getting a better shopping cart
3. Do a Custom Site Design
Your site's design extends your brand and can make or break a customer's first impression of your company. A well-designed website shows that you care about your customers and makes them feel at home while they shop.
For those who want to amaze new and existing customers, create a stunning new design, especially for Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Let the jaw-dropping design showcase how much your brand loves its customers.
You don't even always need to create expensive new designs. Sometimes, even a few strategically-placed graphics can wow the crowd. If you don't have the budget, a wallet-friendly DIY graphic tool like Canva can go a long way.
4. Launch Early Bird Deals
Earlier, we mentioned that many people also do pre-Black Friday shopping over Thanksgiving. Don't miss out on that crowd, and start preparing your deals early. Treat Thanksgiving as the appetizer to your Black Friday sales boom.
There are several kinds of early bird deals you can consider. For example:
Advance Discount Codes
Advance discount codes are what they sound like: discounts available before Black Friday hits. You can make these codes available for everyone or a select few – it's entirely up to you! However, going mass-market is often your best bet for a large sale like Black Friday or Cyber Monday.
Exclusive deals also offer an advantage over other shoppers by giving you access to certain products or services at a lower price than everyone else. For example, some retailers will only sell their top-selling items at these exclusive prices during Small Business Saturday or Cyber Monday weekend sales. If customers want them at the best price possible, they must wait until then.
Members-only Black Friday Preview Sales
Teasing and tantalizing are a large part of the Black Friday excitement. A members-only Black Friday can limit your exposure, but throwing in a caveat like getting a Facebook post in exchange can be a good deal. It helps spread the early word and create some extra hype.
5. Repurpose Product Descriptions
Aside from the special deals, you must ensure that your product descriptions are relevant to the Black Friday or Cyber Monday seasons. Remember that people shop not just for themselves but also as gifts for the holidays.
The key to getting noticed on this crowded day is to create a compelling description that will make buyers want your product first. The best thing is that you can modify existing content to relate to the holiday. It can also help drive traffic and get people to buy more than they would otherwise.
Some quick tips:
- Be specific about what makes your product better/different
- Showcase the benefits of buying your product over competitors
- Use personalized language and images
- Include social proof
- Ensure your product descriptions are keyword-rich
Tweaking product descriptions can be the perfect way to suggest exciting ways that your products are great for them or someone else.
Remember to ensure all pages have relevant, readable content that provides value to visitors who land on them from search engines like Google or Bing, even if they're looking for something specific like “Black Friday Deals” or “Cyber Monday Discounts.”
6. Refresh Your Marketing Campaigns
One of the most critical parts of preparing for Black Friday or Cyber Monday is developing a clear marketing plan. Don't assume that what was influential in the past will remain so. Shopping trends change, and you may lose out on a significant market segment if you don't address the right audience on the correct platforms.
Make full use of all available channels to get the message that you've got the best deals. Here are some channels you can consider:
Use Email Marketing
Email marketing is one of the most effective strategies for reaching your customers. Email marketing can remind them about your Black Friday sales, coupons, or promotions. Don't forget to include a call-to-action to encourage them to visit your website and make a purchase!
Advertise or Create Social Media Content
Social media ads offer an easy way to reach your customers on platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. If you have a limited budget, consider using Facebook's Lookalike Audiences feature to target similar users as those who have already purchased from you before.
This tactic will help ensure that your ad reaches only people who are more likely to convert into paying customers.
Work With Influencers
Influencer marketing campaign is another great way to reach more potential customers without spending too much on advertising. Influencers have large followings on social media networks like Instagram and Snapchat, where they post photos, videos, and other content about their favorite products or brands.
The key to influencer marketing is finding the right one that's a good fit for your brand. Don't worry if you don't know how to get started. Websites like Brybe can help anyone connect with all kinds of influencers.
7. Get Organized
You don't want to be scrambling around trying to figure out where everything is when orders start coming in — especially if these orders come at unexpected times (which they often do). Ensure everything is clearly labeled so employees can find it quickly when needed.
Project management tools like Asana can help you create detailed plans, timelines, and to-do lists. They also help you monitor work progress even if you're a small outfit with a handful of employees.
What are Black Friday and Cyber Monday?
What is Black Friday?
Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving, which means it's the first big shopping day of the holiday season. The name came about because some previously considered it an unlucky day for retailers. They would lose money on sales tax holidays and other promotions leading up to this day.
Nowadays, most retailers happily offer huge product discounts throughout their stores or online to draw in larger crowds. Online retailers can better deal with this since technology makes the business much more scalable.
The date for Black Friday and Cyber Monday vary slightly during each year. This year's Black Friday will be on Friday, 25 November. Cyber Monday 2022 will happen the following Monday, 28 November.
With these tips in hand, the rest is simply a matter of logistics. Make sure you have enough inventory on hand – You don't want to run out of products when most people are shopping! If you don't have enough stock, reorder now so it will arrive before Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
Schedule extra staff for these days to ensure that even if shipping delays happen, it isn't through any fault on your part. Getting a bad Black Friday or Cyber Monday rep can quickly kill a business. Customers have long memories!