With November 2023 quickly approaching, it’s time to optimise your Black Friday ecommerce strategy – whether that means preparing your checkout process for the online rush or organising your event sales and offers, there’s a lot that retailers can do to make the most of Black Friday sales.
Increasing the quality of your brand presence tailored to customer behaviour prediction is the key to creating returning visitors, and boosting revenue, no matter the occasion. We take a look at some last minute fixes and tips to increase sales and improve performance during Black Friday.
For help building a high-converting Black Friday strategy, download our free 2023 Black Friday Strategy & Stats Report: Unlocking Black Friday Success.
Website Speed Testing
Each Black Friday seems to be busier than the one before, and retailers need to be sure they can handle the volumes of traffic from Black Friday shoppers.
Slower sites can deter shoppers through poor usability, while a site going down during a large sales event can be a disaster in terms of lost sales. Your site may contain a number of website animation effects that slow your site speed down at key points of the customer journey, for example.
By performing a load test, you can see if your website can withstand large surges in traffic.
Or test your website speed and user experience here 👈
There are lots of free tools which can simulate traffic spikes, so you can see how your site responds and make changes in time.
Optimise Your Checkout
Any unnecessary friction during the ecommerce checkout process can seriously damage sales during busy periods, so it’s important to identify and fix problems and areas for improvement.
Just a small piece of microcopy to explain tricky form fields or guide users through checkout can make a difference.
If you already have campaigns running, it will take up to an hour to set up another campaign for your Black Friday and/or Cyber Monday promotion. You should set this up a few days before the big event and run it through the Black Friday weekend.
Shoppers can often decide to buy based on the online delivery options available. Some will be looking to have items delivered quickly, others as cheaply as possible.
If you already provide a good array of options, or can add a sufficient delivery service in time for Black Friday sales, then this can give you an edge over the competition.
Returns policies are also often reviewed by shoppers before they decide to buy. Even though etail businesses should focus heavily on how to reduce returns, according to multiple ecommerce resources, over 60% of consumers read returns policies before buying, and most say the cost of returns can prevent them from buying at all.
Easy ecommerce returns policies encourage customers to make a purchase in the first place. It also helps to make policies clear and easy to find.
If you’ve attracted new customers during Black Friday, then it makes sense to target them again in the run up to Christmas online sales.
This is when attention to customer service management for customer retention should occur – if they were impressed enough to buy from you once, then you can target them using marketing tactics, such as customer retention emails, for repeat purchases.
Attract Repeat Visits
The sales period around Black Friday currently lasts for at least a week, taking in the build up to Black Friday itself, and the weekend before Cyber Monday.
By mixing it up and having different offers and products, you can provide customers with plenty of reasons to make multiple visits and tease them with offers worth returning for.
Gift Vouchers, Gift Cards and E-Vouchers
For retailers that don’t want to offer discounts or promo codes, gift cards with selected purchases are an excellent alternative. They provide an incentive to buy in the first place, and also give people a reason to come back and buy again, perhaps before Christmas.
Cart Abandonment Emails
Extra traffic around busy sales periods means more online businesses face high levels of cart abandonment as they shop around for the best deals.
This can be an opportunity to obtain permission to market to shoppers, and to recover abandoned sales while customers are in purchase mode. Find out more about abandoned cart email best practices here from our ecommerce experts.
Create Urgency In Sales
Sales like this are time-limited, and some products are likely to sell out during Black Friday.
This is the perfect situation in which to use urgency tactics to inform shoppers about stock levels or how long they have left to take advantage of sale offers.
By using ecommerce countdown timers in emails and on-site messages, it’s been found that online stores were able to increase clicks and conversions by a significant amount thanks to this concept.
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Brad Ward is the SEO & Content Manager at SaleCycle. Brad is a former magazine journalist with over 8 years experience in digital, including SEO, social media and copywriting. Brad has written thousands of articles for a range of different sectors including online gambling, travel, education, sports and ecommerce.