black friday

It’s nearly here! How ready are you for Black Friday?

It’s the name for the day after Thanksgiving in the US, always marked on the fourth Thursday in November. And since the early 1950s, Black Friday has launched America’s Christmas shopping season – it’s become pretty big over here, too.

What is it exactly?

It’s thought the name Black Friday originates in Philadelphia, and describes the heavy traffic that would clog up the streets after Thanksgiving. (Many would apparently call in to work ‘sick’ to make a head start on their Christmas shopping!)

Since 2005, Black Friday has regularly been the busiest shopping day of the year stateside. In 2019, UK shoppers spent an estimated £1.23bn during this weekend.

This year, Black Friday is on November 29, with Cyber Monday, originally created to boost online sales hot on its heels on December 2. While Cyber Monday was initially all about lifestyle products, and Black Friday focused on tech gadgets, that’s no longer really true, as both days merge into Black Friday weekend.

What exactly do I need to do?

If you sell anything online, Black Friday is a great chance to see sales soar. And it’s not too late to get your ecommerce business ready. Here’s what you need to do:

  • Test server load capacity to be sure your website can handle the spike in traffic – use a tool like com
  • Ensure you can handle the extra demand by using online forecasting tools to predict sales, and have enough supplies ahead of the big weekend – work with your suppliers too, so that you don’t run out of stock
  • Have contingency plans in case anything goes wrong – what are the worst-case scenarios and how will you handle them?
  • Excite your customers with advance emails about what you will be doing, and tease sneak previews via social media
  • Devise an ‘abandoned cart’ email so customers who’ve added to their virtual shopping trolley but left before checking out can be lured back
  • Think mobile first – your site should be responsive and mobile-friendly, so check the experience on mobile from a customer’s point of view
  • Focus on the one irresistible sale product your customers won’t want to miss, rather than promoting everything at once – you could also consider daily deals or a product bundle of offers
  • Make sure your website is visually attractive with offers clearly and imaginatively displayed
  • Plan you ads – some keywords you may want to bid on could become more expensive at this time of year – but shoppers will also be more responsive, too
  • Give existing or past customers or those on a subscriber list earlier access to sales as a reward; equally let people know when a particular deal is about to end
  • User testing will give you a clearer idea of the experience of your website from a consumer point of view

Black Friday is a great opportunity, but it’s soon over, so don’t miss out. Talk to us about how we could help you maximise 2019’s seasonal shopping campaign.