How to prepare your online shop for Black Friday

Preparing your online shop for Black Friday

Published in Seasonal Marketing

Black Friday has quickly established itself as one of the UK’s busiest shopping days, especially for online shopping. Last year, Black Friday was the first time online sales in the UK exceeded £1 billion in a single day, with over £3.3 billion spent online from Black Friday through to Cyber Monday.

With all these potential customers browsing online for a great deal, we’ve got some easy to follow advice about how to prepare your online shop so you can take full advantage of the Black Friday rush.

How to run a Black Friday promotion

Marketplaces like Amazon and eBay will be running their own Black Friday promotions which means you’re likely to see an increase in traffic to your listings even without discounts. However, with some planning and preparation it can be pretty simple to run a Black Friday sale for your own online shop.

Black Friday 2016 is on 25 November, so it’s time to start thinking about which products you’re going to include in your Black Friday sales, and ordering stock.  Depending on what stock you have, and what you want to clear out before Christmas there are a few different kind of sales you could run.

  • Include a few of your best selling items as well as some of your old stock or slow sellers at a really low price. This way there are some items that will draw in customers, but it also helps you clear out old stock, which will be useful in the run up to Christams when you want to be able to maximise the amount of best selling products you have on offer. 
  • Alternatively, you can offer a simple discount across all your products, or offer free shipping to encourage shoppers to buy.

When you’re deciding which products to discount and by how much, remember to work out your new profit margins, you don’t want to end up making a huge loss on all your sales.

It’s also essential that you promote your sale. Send out an email to your customers, including a specific time frame, and talk about it on your social media channels in the lead up to and during Black Friday. Most importantly, make sure you promote your sale on the homepage of your website.  

Find out more about running a sale or promotion in the run up to Christmas here.  

Preparing for a successful Black Friday

Slashing your prices isn’t enough to guarantee a successful Black Friday sale. As well as promoting your sale so that customers know about it, you also need to prepare yourself to handle an increase in orders and provide great customer service.

Make sure your website is mobile friendly

Every year the number of people shopping on their smartphones and tablets is increasing dramatically, so one of the most important things you need to do before Black Friday is to make sure your online shop is mobile friendly. Find out more about making your online shop mobile friendly here.

Extend your sale

As a smaller online shop it’s unlikely that you’ll have so many visitors to your website that it crashes, but it still might be worth extending your sales over the Black Friday weekend into the next week. Not only does it give shoppers more time to grab a bargain, but it’ll also stop you being overwhelmed by a large number of orders in a short time.

Extend your fulfillment times

Be realistic about how many orders you’re able to package and ship in a short space of time, especially if you’re selling on a marketplace. If you’re anticipating a high number of orders it might be worth extending your dispatch times by a day or two. It’s always better to overestimate your dispatch times and impress your customer when their order arrives early, rather than disappoint them with delays.

Don’t oversell

When you’re selling across multiple ecommerce platforms and offering big discounts then it’s more important than ever that you keep an eye on your stock levels. If you don’t have a stock control system that can accurately measure levels across platforms then it might be worth having a separate stock of each product for each platform, so there’s no way you can oversell and disappoint customers. If one platforms sells a certain product really well you can always reassign your stock.

Take advantage of Black Friday buyers

It’s the perfect opportunity to attract new customers and impress them with your products and your delivery, so hopefully they’ll be back again. You’ll also be able to add new customers to your mailing list to tempt them back to your shop in the run up to Christmas.

Find out more about how you can be preparing your online shop for the festive season with our timeline for a successful ecommerce Christmas.


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About the author

Verity is a journalist and content producer at Zenstores.

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