Thanks to the pandemic and shoppers’ reluctance to shop in person, Black Friday sales are no longer limited to one day — or to brick and mortar stores. With that said, your eCommerce site needs to be ready to scale for traffic on Black Friday and Cyber Monday!
When is Black Friday in 2021?
Black Friday is coming up fast and will be held on Friday, November 26 to be precise which is the day after Thanksgiving. You will probably be stuffed full of turkey and not running out the door, but the sales are on! What do you do? Right. You pull out your phone or flip open your laptop. Let the shopping begin!
The day after Thanksgiving has always been the official start of the holiday shopping season. Most stores began their Christmas sales, and people stood in line for hours waiting for the doors to open. Lately, a lot of the Black Friday deals have appeared online, and sometimes way before Black Friday. Why is it called Black Friday? Well, on that day stores normally do their highest sales of the year! So, accounting-wise they go from red (loss) to black (profit).
“On Black Friday (2020) online sales hit $9 billion, up 22% from last year, according to Adobe Analytics, which measures 80 of the top 100 U.S. e-commerce sites. The gain was near the low end of Adobe’s forecast, which had projected growth of between 20% and 42% from 2019.” (1)
How November Became MOREvember
Black Friday is no longer a one-day event — it’s a state of mind. Black Friday has turned into Black November. There’s now Cyber Monday, Giving Tuesday, and Small Business Saturday to wrap up the weekend. November is an awesome pre-celebration before December even begins. There’s even “Movember” for those of you who can grow a mustache and raise money for charity. How awesome is that? Get into the Thanksgiving spirit early and sport a ‘stash!
Perfect Black Friday Tips for Your Best November Ever
Ensure your web hosting and checkout process are set up for success.
The last thing you want to have happen during a big sale are timeout issues or payment processing errors, both could lead to lost sales and lost customer trust. (No one likes checkout abandonment.) So to avoid that, we highly encourage merchants to get set up with VPS hosting that automatically scales server resources to your traffic demand. There are plenty of options out there, but we personally recommend Kinsta for that.
“I highly encourage merchants to get set up with VPS hosting that automatically scales server resources to your traffic demand.” James Rowland (2)Click to Tweet
Keep your website layout, design, and shopping process simple.
Don’t complicate your website or your checkout process on Black Friday. Shiny object syndrome and wrestling with plugins and features users don’t want or need is a distraction and a potential point of failure. Not only do you want to reduce friction while shopping (no one likes cart abandonment), but also you want to avoid checkout abandonment on Black Friday.
Convenience is one of your website’s most important assets. Keep those assets simple! Access, Search, Evaluation, Transaction, and post Sale functions should all be convenient and intuitive. If your shop doesn’t offer a convenient process, people will leave. We live in a highly-specialized world. Specialization creates complexity. Convenience reduces it. Information and functions that are not needed should just be removed.
“There is a vast switch in the shopping methods during Black Friday practice. Moreover, the findings show that only 1/3 of consumers participate in in-store Black Friday sales, and the rest are shifting to online sales. Finally, purchasing patterns, as well as future consumer intentions, are presented … Smartphones increasingly accounted for a portion of online sales up 25.3% at $3.6 billion.” (3)
Move your offers closer to the customer and not the customer to the offers.
Focus on your customers instead of your products this Black Friday. Offline shopping is almost always a social event, but that social aspect is often missing in online shopping. Social commerce creates added value by activating customers’ user-generated content and networking them with one another.
Turning your customers into active participants makes your shop, in effect, a person and no longer an anonymous entity. Your customers are available to other customers as an advisor and recommender. Social commerce means the customer not only gets inspiration for a product through advertising and the opinion and advice of other customers but also the direct option to buy on your site.
Social commerce is an $89.4 billion market right now. It’s projected to grow to $604.5 billion in the next seven years. If you’re a business with products to sell, this info probably makes you feel like that dollar-sign-eyes-green-tongue emoji. (4)
Recover abandoned carts and checkouts to manage your risk.
Managing your risk during the final stages of the shopping process is vital — especially on Black Friday. Most online shops have a 95% bounce rate at either the cart or the checkout stage. That’s huge. Imagine that happening at your local Walmart? One of the main culprits is payment. Want a better checkout process? The more payment methods your store accepts reduce checkout abandonment.
Risk management is becoming increasingly important. Data protection and (data) security will continue to be decisive for your online shop. From a retailer’s point of view, coherent risk management is absolutely essential. Especially in the case of invoice or financing purchases. Who bears the risk for impending payment defaults? You do.
Your customers plan for Black Friday; your email marketing should, too.
Don’t limit your email marketing campaigns to Black Friday. Use the entire month for an extensive, multi-level campaign with offers, announcements, and reminders. November is an entire month of pre-Christmas shopping! Hey, Singles Day is 11.11. and we already talked about Movember.
People are getting excited and prepping for Christmas. Trees are going up! Don’t settle for one Cyber Monday mailing – make the campaign bigger! Establish a Cyber Week consisting of several sends in your newsletter strategy.
Email marketing doesn’t need to stand alone. Together with your online advertising, you have the perfect duo. Take advantage of that. Email marketing strengthens your display and social media ads through retargeting and increased brand visibility. Your online advertising supports your email marketing by growing your subscriber list and allowing you to set your email sends based on ad viewing trends.
“Those spending over $1,000 a month on digital ads increased their YoY budgets by an average of 11% in October, with the largest growth seen among the $10,000–$100,000 ad budget holders (18%).” (5)
Set delivery expectations for the Black Friday consumer.
Many people expect that the prevailing production bottlenecks and delivery problems due to COVID and global logistics will also impact Black Friday purchases. The main concerns relate to product availability and longer delivery times than usual. Despite the concerns, this is still the biggest bargain day of the year.
Customers don’t care about your inventory and storage management. They care about their order fulfillment. Ensure you’re able to deliver on the fulfillment expectations of your customers by connecting to trusted names like:
And don’t forget to ramp up those order confirmation emails. Perhaps this year one more is better than one less! A good order confirmation email signals trust and engagement with your customer. It says, “We got your order, and it’s soon on its way!”
When it comes to payment options on Black Friday, more is better.
The customer is ready to complete their purchase but your checkout doesn’t offer Stripe, PayPal, or Square. Your checkout solution doesn’t remember credit cards either. Will that customer get up from the couch and find a credit card to use? Maybe not. Read this:
“The National Retail Federation, a trade group, has forecast that holiday sales will increase at least 3.6% to about $755 billion, including at least 20% growth from online shopping to about $202 billion.” (6)
Do you want to miss out on any of that 200 billion dollars because you don’t offer your customer’s preferred payment option? We don’t think so. And don’t forget mobile shopping. Remember: mobile payment dulls the agony of spending like no other!
As more and more people switch to a digital wallet, financial data security becomes more important than ever. Offer as many trusted, secure, and known payment options as possible.
Test orders with all your available payment options and on every device.
Is your store fast enough? Is it secure? Your visitors will never take a lot of time out of their day to wait for your website to load, nor will they try to learn how to use or navigate your website. Don’t even ask what they’ll do if your site even feels insecure. Ok, what will they do? Right. They will leave.
You want to make sure your checkout process is working — and absolutely 200% before you have a big sale like Black Friday. You could use a dedicated WooCommerce checkout solution for complete peace of mind.
Get a Perfect Start to Black Friday
The bottom line (pun intended): make sure your website and the ordering process are ready for a lot of traffic on Black Friday! We know the frustration. We’ve been there, running around like crazy people trying to fix that stuff in the middle of a big sale. We don’t wish that on anyone. So good luck. And we hope you all make a ton of money this November!
“Perfect Checkout is one option for ensuring you don’t have things like payment plugin glitches or usability issues on your cart and checkout page. There are a number of hosted checkout solutions out there. And they can provide a number of benefits to your store. That said, ensuring 100% uptime and smooth functionality on all devices are the key features you should be looking for to ensure a successful Black Friday.” James Rowland (2)Click to Tweet
Keep All Your Fridays in the Black
Don’t complicate your checkout with plugins and features users don’t actually want. Offer rock-solid functionality using the most proven selling tools instead. Accept more customers and increase revenue with Perfect Checkout — the ultimate all-in-one checkout platform for eCommerce.