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How to Prepare for Black Friday in E-Commerce

Our top tips on how you can prepare your ecommerce store for Black Friday

How to Prepare for Black Friday in E-Commerce

What is Black Friday?

Black Friday is traditionally the day after Thanksgiving in the United States where shoppers go out in hordes, or rather online in 2022, hunting for the best discounts on anything and everything.

It was originally believed to mean that after a year of making a loss (being in the red) retailers would earn a profit (went into the black) on the day after Thanksgiving but this is just a myth.

The term was coined in the 1950s by police in Philadelphia to describe the chaos that ensued the day after Thanksgiving with shoppers flooding into the city ahead of the Army Vs Navy American football game on the Saturday.

The term was changed to “Big Friday” in the 1960s, but it didn’t stick and then in the 1980s it was reverted to Black Friday.

With the advent of the internet and e-commerce, however, things changed and a new shopping holiday the Monday after Thanksgiving helpfully called Cyber Monday was created targeted at online sales.

Whilst Cyber Monday is still used as a marketing term, it doesn’t quite have as much distinction in 2022 with nearly half of all shoppers making purchases on their mobile phones.

How to Prepare your E-Commerce Store for Black Friday

Black Friday falls on Friday 25th November this year – exactly one month before Christmas – so your online store is almost guaranteed to have an influx of traffic of shoppers looking for bargains and Christmas gifts.

We’ve written a handy guide of things you can do to prepare to make your Black Friday a profitable day!

Choose Code Vs Sale Section

Do you want to do a Black Friday sale on all items on your website or just a select few? The answer to this question will help you determine whether you choose to go for a discount code or add a sale section on your website.

With a discount code, it’s easy to ensure that all items across your website are eligible for Black Friday discounts though you may need to think about whether you want to include items that are already discounted.

The advantage of a standalone Black Friday Sale page is that you can choose to only offer a blanket discount on the products you select. For example, if you have a certain type of dress that you’re overstocked on, you’ll be able to automatically discount it by 40% like all other products on the page.

Optimise your Website

Regardless of whether you choose a code or a standalone Black Friday Sale page, you need to optimise your website so people knows the sale is on.

We’d recommend having a banner on your homepage with your discount code & a link to all products, or a link to your Black Friday Sale section.

If you’re not a designer, you can easily create a simple Black Friday Sale banner on Canva.

Build Hype on Social Media

Of course, social media is one of the most important free tools in your kit and you could do a countdown to when the sale starts with the discount code and the date it starts, or a teaser of some of the products you’re including.

You can also engage with your customers by asking what they plan on buying on Black Friday because engagement often helps with loyalty.

Early Access for Existing Customers

If you’re using email marketing (which you should be), a great thing to do which rewards loyalty is to send a marketing email a week early with a discount code or early link to your Black Friday sale.

A small gesture like this can go a long way with making customers feel special and will hopefully lead to some early sales!

Write Christmas Blog Content

If you have a blog on your website, you should create some content on the best purchases this Christmas season.

It could be a gift guide, a guide to the hottest partywear this season or even a personal piece introducing your employees and interviewing them about their previous Black Friday purchases.

Start your Sale Early (and Finish Late)

Over the last few years, Black Friday has started getting longer and doesn’t just last on Black Friday or even the weekend.

It’s now swallowed Cyber Monday and typically lasts two weeks or even longer as it can sometimes fall before payday for many consumers.

There are no hard and fast rules as to how long a Black Friday Sale should last but we’d recommend keeping your sale going no longer than mid December because remember… there’s January sales to come!

Black Friday is a great time of year for consumers and e-commerce businesses as it marks the start of the Christmas season and is the time people really start to get in the Christmas spirit.

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