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How To Prepare Your Ecommerce Store For Black Friday

Estimated reading time: 7 minutes

Black Friday is a shopping event that has swept the nation in recent years. From TVs to laptops, clothing to pre-emptive Christmas gifts, Black Friday has shoppers in a frenzy due to the amazing discounts that can be found. 

As one of the biggest days in the ecommerce calendar, there’s a lot of thought and planning that goes into Black Friday from a retailer’s perspective. If you own an ecommerce business, you’ll know better than anyone the importance of having a watertight strategy. But aside from the deals, you’re going to pull out of the bag for your customers, your website also requires attention, since it will be bearing the brunt of what’s to come. 

Whether you’ve had technical issues in previous years, want to increase your sales or need a guiding hand through the entire process as a new ecommerce business, here are some of the top aspects to consider to ensure a successful Black Friday event. 

Black Friday Statistics UK

  • The average person spends £346 on Black Friday – Statista
  • Black Friday 2020 is thought to have brought in £6 billion worth of sales, with figures rising steadily each year – Finder 
  • Black Friday related shopping peaks between 5 pm and 8 pm – Black Friday Global 
  • A 2019 survey found that Black Friday sales surpassed pre-Christmas and Boxing Day sales – Statista 

Start Behind The Scenes

black friday uk

Black Friday preparation is split into two main strands, which are the website itself and everything that happens behind the scenes as a company. Your visitors will be seeing the website, but it’s you and your team that will be deep in the likes of orders, customer queries, warehouse space issues and everything else ecommerce life has to throw at you. 

Some points to figure out include the likes of: 

  • How much stock you’ll need
  • Which lines will be on sale, therefore, require website prominence 
  • Ensuring enough hands will be on deck
  • Purchasing additional warehouse space if needed
  • Email marketing
  • Social media marketing
  • Figure out product shipping
  • Consider suspending any time-consuming services (such as gift wrapping) 

So now is the time to get all your ducks in a row by making sure your company as a whole is prepared as can be. After all, problems behind the scenes can soon spill into becoming websites issues, such as if your stock levels aren’t accurate, or if your supplier hasn’t come through.

Check Your Website’s Technical Capabilities

404: not found… 504: bad gateway… sound familiar? We hope not, because every time such an error is presented to your customers a sale is not happening. Worse still, they probably won’t come back if your competitor’s website is having no such issues. 

Website servers notoriously run into difficulty during peak times such as Black Friday, because they have a surge of traffic that may be significantly higher than they are used to handling. Extra bandwidth may need to be purchased, especially if your website has experienced similar problems before. Website downtime during Black Friday is extremely frustrating for customers and retailers alike because it’s essentially the same as a retail store shutting its doors on the biggest shopping day of the year. 

Remember that Black Friday was originally an American holiday and now it’s spread globally, meaning your customers could be coming from anywhere. If you don’t currently ship outside of the UK but want to maximise Black Friday sales by expanding your customer base, you’ll need your website to be able to accommodate this. Things to look out for (apart from extra bandwidth) are security certificates, accepting global payment methods, the ability to switch between different currencies etc.

International ecommerce websites should also consider using a content delivery network, which will reproduce your website across different servers across the world to speed up the load time. 

Another trick that UK-specific ecommerce companies can try is to stagger deals across the day or Black Friday weekend in general. Check your website analytics and stats from previous Black Friday’s to ensure you’ll be prepared for the peak hours. 

While you’re there, your website should be given a once over before hordes of bargain-hunting shoppers descend on it. Aspects such as slow load times, irrelevant pop-ups, broken links etc really need taking care of without delay. 

Sort Your SEO

black friday

Hopefully, a large chunk of your Black Friday web traffic is going to originate from your brilliantly executed digital marketing campaigns. But don’t forget the humble search engine user either who may be looking for the exact products and services your ecommerce store sells.

SEO is an ongoing process regardless because if your content becomes stale or irrelevant, it will soon slip out of the rankings. Events such as Black Friday are extra special because quite simply there’s a lot of revenue to be made for your business if you play your cards right. SEO will make your website as relevant and valuable to users as possible.

As well as your general website copy and metadata, Black Friday is also an excellent opportunity to write SEO friendly blog posts or try some video marketing, again with SEO used throughout the video titles and descriptions plus any external linking. Leave no stone unturned in the SEO stakes and you will definitely be rewarded for your efforts, especially versus doing (to paraphrase Ned Flanders) nothing at all. 

Create Google Shopping Listings

In a previous post, we discussed using Google Shopping to grow your ecommerce business. Surprise surprise, as one of the biggest ecommerce events of the year, Black Friday is no exception!

There’s plenty of reasons why Google Shopping attracts attention, though the main one is that not only does Google Shopping have its own dedicated tab on the Google homepage, but the results are incredibly enticing.

Users can toggle between prices, colours, dimensions and much more to find what they are looking for. If your products are listed on Google Shopping and have been optimised correctly, there’s a good chance they’ll get discovered. 

Ecommerce Web Design & Marketing UK

Want to make this Black Friday your best ever yet? If so, you’re in the right place! Here at Imaginaire, we offer digital marketing services with a particular specialism for all things ecommerce. We help our clients succeed online through ecommerce web design services as well as a whole host of Black Friday focused marketing techniques. 

Our clients include a vast range of companies, including those within the ecommerce industry. As well as designing websites, we’ve even designed packaging for our clients as well as social media campaigns, while creating monthly content marketing. So, as a company that’s familiar with all aspects of the ecommerce process, we can use our vast experience to supercharge your efforts this Black Friday. 

Simply book your free consultation and we’ll get to work on devising a strategy tailored to your business. Or, drop us an email or call us on 0115 971 8908 to find out more about our work through the engineering, construction, jewellery, retail and luxury e-commerce sectors.

You can even get a free website review from our specialists. Just head over to our free website review page and we’ll take a look!

Rachael is a content executive with Imaginaire. With hands-on experience with all things marketing, she has the knowledge and know-how to explain and advise almost any topic you can think of!

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