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9 ways to get prepared for Black Friday

9 ways to get prepared for Black Friday

As an online retailer, you’ve likely spent the last few weeks thinking about the upcoming Christmas shopping season, which of course kicks off each year with Black Friday sales. On average Black Friday sees site traffic 20-25% higher than other normal days, and sales figures over 70% higher!

With this increase in traffic, you’ll want to make sure you take the time getting prepared for Black Friday before the big day arrives. Luckily, we’ve put together a list of things you should be doing now to get ready for your best Black Friday ever!

1. Choose which products you’ll offer in the sale

It’s a good idea to start thinking now about which products you will include in your sale. That way, you can tailor the rest of the preparation below around your actual sale.

Some retailers will choose to discount their entire stock at a small discount, while others may choose to feature only certain products at a larger discount. Another way you can offer discounts is to choose a different product or service to offer at a discount for each day of Black Friday weekend (and Cyber Monday).

2. Sort out your discount codes

Now that you have decided which products you are going to offer, you’ll want to finalise what sort of discount or deal you’ll be offering your customers. As mentioned, there are several ways you can entice your customers to shop with you on Black Friday, from site-wide discounts to discounts on certain products.

In most cases, you can accomplish these offers with various types of discount codes.

Preview of EKM discount manager

With EKM you can create these in advance and schedule them to turn on and off on whichever dates you choose.

While creating your discount codes, you’ll want to keep these questions in mind:

  • Will this discount be site-wide, available only on selected items, or triggered based on the overall cart value
  • Will the discount be a percentage off? Or a fixed monetary discount?
  • Does the customer need to input the code, or will it apply automatically at checkout?
  • Can this discount be combined with other offers?
  • What dates do I want this code to be active?
  • What code do I want to use to represent the discount?

If you’re an EKM customer, you can speak to your account manager for help or take a look at our support guide for a refresher on how to add and edit discount codes for your EKM shop.

Whichever method you choose, ensure that you set your discounts up in advance and test them before the sale date to ensure that they are running properly.

3. Do a stock take and order additional inventory

Whichever products you’ve chosen to offer your biggest discounts on will likely see a massive uptick in sales on Black Friday. In order to avoid overselling, make sure you have more stock of these items ready and waiting to fulfil those orders. If you are a business who doesn’t keep stock in your own space, speak to your supplier and ensure there will be enough stock available to fulfil an increased order volume.

If your stock may encounter delays in fulfilment, ensure you communicate this to your customers before they order. You want to make sure you are meeting customer expectations (and exceeding them if possible!) to ensure that each and every customer that comes through your “doors” on Black Friday has a pleasant experience and returns to your shop again in the future.

In general, you may want to do a complete stock take prior to the big day, especially if you’re offering a site-wide discount. Be honest, you’ve been putting it off anyway! Now is the perfect excuse.

Why not download our Black Friday Guide for Small Businesses for more tips on how to make this Black Friday your best yet!

4. Make sure your website is in peak condition

More traffic to your site means you’ll have more eyes on your business than ever before. Make sure your website is in tip-top condition before Black Friday by checking that these things are all in order:

  • Ensure that your website displays correctly on a range of devices, including tablets, mobile phones and laptops/desktops
  • Remember to check how your website displays on different browsers too
  • Check that your contact details are up to date and easily found (including phone number and email address)
  • Update your delivery and returns policies
  • Make sure your product descriptions are accurate and descriptive
  • Run a speed test to ensure all of your images have been optimised and that your online shop loads quickly for your customers
  • Read over your “About Us” page and ensure that it doesn’t contain any errors or grammatical mistakes
  • Check any automated emails you have set up (Order Placed Emails, Abandoned Cart Emails, Back In Stock Emails) to ensure they read well and suit the narrative voice of your brand

5. Call in reinforcements

Black Friday will be a particularly busy period for your business, so you’ll want to ensure that you have the manpower to handle it. If you have a team of employees that help you, you may want to double up over Black Friday weekend, whether they are there to help with customer support or picking and packing items for shipping. If you’re a smaller operation, consider asking friends or family to hop on board for a few days.

Photo of customer support agent smiling on the phone

Remember that you want to create a positive experience for your customers, so you’ll want extra hands available to help you provide the best possible customer experience throughout a busy time.

Our amazing team of customer support agents, ecommerce advisors, and account managers will be available to help if you need any assistance on Black Friday. To get in touch, you can call 0333 004 0333 or access the live chat feature from within your EKM account.

6. Draft an email marketing campaign

Email marketing is, perhaps, one of the most crucial parts of your Black Friday plan. You should already be building up your list of email marketing contacts throughout the year, but if you haven’t, we recommend you get started now!

The most common way to do this is through a pop up on your website’s homepage. Many shop owners will have an incentive for customers to sign up, like a welcome discount that is only available via email. Close to Black Friday you can even change the incentive by advertising early access to your sale or exclusive discounts only available for newsletter subscribers.

Once you have a list of contacts, you’ll want to create a series of emails for the weeks leading up to Black Friday. The most crucial period for email marketing is going to be in the week directly before your sale. Your subscribers will expect to receive a few more emails than normal during this amount of time, so don’t be afraid to add an additional email to your existing plans. As long as the email contains amazing deals, they will be excited to receive any email with “Black Friday Sale” in the subject.

Why not download our Black Friday Guide for Small Businesses for more tips on how to maximise your email marketing efforts for Black Friday.

7. Make a social media plan

Social media should be a large part of your Black Friday plan. You’ll want to plan a series of posts in the weeks leading up to Black Friday that advertise your upcoming sales.

You’ll want to let your customers know what dates your sale will be active (Will you only have deals on Black Friday? Will you offer discounts all weekend and through Cyber Monday?), what type of products will be discounted and potentially what sort of discount you’ll be offering. You can either choose to advertise the exact details of the sale (30% off all New Arrivals) or build mystery through vague but powerful language (Our biggest discounts EVER on our best selling products).

While the posts in the lead up to Black Friday are important, don’t forget that you will want to plan your most powerful advertising during the sale. You may even choose to do some paid social media advertising to ensure that you’re getting a maximum amount of eyes on your posts. If you need help setting this up, you can speak to EKM’s team of Facebook Ad Specialists.

In order to simplify the process, you may want to use a social media scheduling tool (like Buffer, Later or Hootsuite) to help plan and publish your posts across your various social media platforms.

8. Update your social media pages

Consider changing your cover photos and bios on your business social media pages in the weeks or days before Black Friday. It’s always a good idea to keep these updated with new images or information to match the season/upcoming holidays, and Black Friday is no exception.

Example Twitter Black Friday Banner

EKM’s Black Friday Guide for Small Businesses contains a free asset pack that includes templates to create banners and posts for your Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn accounts.

9. Watch the sales roll in!

With all of this planning and preparation, your Black Friday is sure to be a raging success!

Start your preparations today with EKM’s free Black Friday Guide for Small Businesses. Visit ekm.com/blackfriday for your copy and you’ll also receive a free pack of assets for your social media channels.
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