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    6 Black Friday Ecommerce Tips for Brands

    November 8, 2022
    8 minute read
    6 Black Friday Ecommerce Tips for Brands

    Black Friday is one of the busiest shopping days of the year globally. Last year alone, around seven in 10 consumer brands participated in Black Friday ecommerce sales events in the U.K. (according to Statista); 13% of global Black Friday searches came from Germany (also per Statista); and 115 million Americans shopped during Black Friday (according to Zippia).

    Even though Black Friday is one of the biggest shopping days across the globe, it can be daunting for any brand. But if you’re well prepared, you can take advantage of this opportunity to boost sales and reach new customers.

    Here are six tips that will help your brand make the most of the Black Friday ecommerce shopping holiday.

    1. Prepare Early for Black Friday Ecommerce Sales

    Your customers are researching Black Friday ecommerce sales earlier and earlier every year. In 2021, about a quarter of consumers in the U.S. and Canada had already started looking for Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals in October, according to Statista. That means the brands that are ready sooner can take advantage of customers who are trying to get a head start on their holiday shopping.

    Here are a few steps you can take now to start preparing for Black Friday:

    • Identify your most popular products;
    • Decide if you’re going to release holiday-specific products;
    • Contact influencers and collaborators about partnering for Black Friday marketing campaigns;
    • Look for additional personnel if you need more people to manage the increase in sales; and
    • Assess your margins and determine what Black Friday deals you can offer customers.

    If you’re still unsure where to start, tools like Salsify’s “Ultimate Ecommerce Holiday Toolkit” are available to help you create a checklist, analyze your sales trend reports, and develop a solid strategy to prepare for Black Friday.

    2. Make Sure You Have the Necessary Inventory

    According to Statista, the U.K. had £3.4 billion in offline sales revenue on Black Friday in 2020 — and the U.S. expected online Black Friday spending to hit $10.4 billion in 2021. Meanwhile, an internal study done by Black Friday Global found that sales on Black Friday increased by an average of 663% globally compared to an ordinary shopping day.

    This increase in sales is great, but only if you have the inventory to meet the demand. If you run out of products, you can lose customers.

    To avoid this issue, consult with your suppliers and place your orders early. Keep in mind, other businesses will also be ramping up their orders to their suppliers. Ordering early will ensure you get your products in time for Black Friday without needing to worry about delays or complications.

    3. Plan Your Marketing Strategy

    You market your brand and products every day, and you know how important it is to get your name out there. Black Friday is more than an ordinary day, however, and you’ll have to compete with every other brand’s advertisements and deals.

    A good way to stand out is to focus on user-generated content (UGC). A Stackla survey found that consumers are 2.4x more likely to say UGC is authentic compared to brand-created content. Airbnb leverages this strategy by reposting users’ stays on its Instagram page.

    example of user-generated content for a successful black friday ecommerce holiday per Airbnb's instagram, showing a cozy jungle cottage

    Image Source: Airbnb Instagram

    Ask satisfied customers for tags in posts and shoutouts. You can even offer incentives like reposts on the company account, a small freebie, or a discount. This way, each satisfied customer becomes an authentic billboard that promotes your business for Black Friday.

    Email marketing is also a great way to promote your brand and increase your sales leads. Offer up an early list of Black Friday deals in exchange for people signing up for your mailing list. This will help you gauge interest in your brand and increase your sales network.

    Finally, don’t forget to repurpose your content across the digital shelf to reflect your Black Friday deals. This includes updating product description pages and old images.

    4. Prepare Your Website

    First and foremost, make sure your servers can handle the increased traffic. According to the Bluecore study referenced above, 2021 Black Friday site traffic was 110% higher, on average, than a typical day. If your website crashes, your customers are going to go somewhere else.

    Along with your servers, other aspects of your website’s user experience should also be ironed out. Some things to include or finetune to build an excellent holiday shopping experience are:

    • High-quality product photos;
    • Comprehensive product listings;
    • Relevant customer reviews and social proof;
    • Working links, buttons, and redirects; and
    • Accurate and up-to-date inbound links from third-party marketplaces.

    5. Assess Your Shipping and Delivery Systems

    Evaluate your shipping and delivery systems to ensure they can handle the increased demand. If shoppers are paying for your products, but then have a bad experience with your shipping and delivery tracking, they likely won’t become repeat customers.

    Another thing to consider (if you haven’t already) is offering additional shipping options. For example, free shipping is highly desired by customers. According to a Shippo report, 33% of consumers only purchase online when free shipping is offered.

    You can encourage customers to buy more by limiting free shipping to those who reach a certain purchase minimum. Doing this will attract customers, increase your sales, and minimize your shipping costs.

    6. Prepare for Returns

    Finally, you need to prepare your customer service team. A ZigZag Global study found that there was a 129% year-over-year (YoY) increase in Black Friday return volumes from 2019 to 2021.

    If you don’t have a solid customer service strategy in place, every return could cost you a lot of time, money, and, of course, customers.

    Having a good return policy in place may even help to attract customers. The same Shippo report linked above found that 67% of shoppers check a merchant’s return policy before making a purchase, and 92% will buy from a brand again if it’s easy to make a return.

    No Need to Fear Black Friday When You Prepare Early

    Black Friday can be a positive or negative experience for both you and your customers. Consider the tips provided above to help ensure your brand’s Black Friday ecommerce machine runs more smoothly than ever.

    Ready to optimize your holiday ecommerce strategy? Check out Salsify’s “Ultimate Ecommerce Holiday Toolkit” to learn how to drive sales with engaging product content.


    Written by: Ashley R. Cummings

    Ashley R. Cummings (she/her) is a freelance writer specializing in ecommerce software as a service (SaaS). Her words appear across the web in places like Insider, LinkedIn, ShopifyPlus, and Hashtagpaid.

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