Black Friday is still a relatively new thing for us UK shoppers. It’s newer still for the eCommerce sector. Five years ago, Black Friday was only for the physical stores, with Cyber Monday kicking in as a unique discount day for online merchants. As this period of sales becomes more well known, the line between Grey Thursday, Black Friday and Cyber Monday has become increasingly blurred; with many stores now promoting each day through both bricks and mortar stores, and their websites.

This does not necessarily mean that online retailers are missing out on their day for sales - quite the opposite in fact. Avid Black Friday customers will start planning their purchases now, as we enter the month of November. Some will have started earlier still, with older age groups starting their Christmas shopping in September, so it’s key to get the message out now to make sure your name is in the mix with your customers’ plans for the holiday period. Personalisation specialists, Nosto have put together a holiday sales guide for it’s customers. Here are a few things to think about in the coming days as you prepare:

Prepare your store:

Black Friday and Cyber Monday sees a huge surge in online traffic. We spent $3.35 billion online during last year’s Black Friday. While the added revenue is celebrated for online retailers, the added traffic can cause strain on your eCommerce site. Start speaking to your support team now about the Black Friday weekend and discuss your load capacity on your site. You might also want to look at additional support hours if your sale starts at 6am but your support package doesn’t kick in until 9.

Emailing:

Personalise your email campaigns in the next few weeks leading up to the start of the Black Friday Weekend to really stand out.

Let people know what sort of deals you’re going to be offering, and tailor the deals around what your customers want. For example, 71% of online shoppers surveyed prefer a percentage discount deal, where ‘free gift’ offers are much less popular.

Plan your deals:

With that in mind, you need to plan what your sale is going to be. You can tie this in with your emailing campaign by offering teasers of your Black Friday sales, and building suspense. Think about having a main deal you can feature in your ads and publications to bring people in. It’s likely your customers will pick up more of your deals whilst they are on your site too.

Make your Shipping Free:

We all know someone who will happily spend triple figures online, only to hesitate at the checkout because there’s a delivery charge. Remove any chance of extra friction at checkout and make your shipping free.

Follow up your abandoned Carts:

The number of abandoned carts increases over this weekend; usually because people are shopping around to get the best deals. Minimise this by following up on abandoned carts, and enabling your customers to come back to the products they added easily to reduce friction at the point of checkout.

If you haven’t already, check out The eCommerce Holiday Handbook by Nosto. Their book has advice for sellers starting from prepping for the Christmas sales right through to customer retention in the New Year.