Jun 28, 2024

Black Friday and Cyber Monday remain a few months away, but it's never good to think in advance for the biggest holiday shopping week of the year. Adobe Analytics reports that Black Friday online sales surged almost 7.5% last year up to $9.8 billion. And this year looks to be the same.

It's an ideal time to begin creating buzz about your product and upcoming deals. Then, once Black Friday is here, your business will be at the top of mind when your customers seek out the most lucrative discounts.

Planning ahead also helps ensure you've got enough time to evaluate the site's functionality, employ additional help if needed, and get the inventory you need ready. More on that in a bit.

First, let's examine some of the more specific reasons why planning ahead is such good advice.

What are the reasons to plan ahead in advance for Black Friday and Cyber Monday?

When it comes to the calendar for retail, Black Friday and Cyber Monday are the biggest annual events. These dedicated shopping days are eagerly anticipated, with shoppers waiting throughout the year to splurge for the best deals.

For store owners, beginning your planning early isn't only intelligent, but it's also essential. Here's why:

Earn more

Making a start on your plans can allow you maximize the benefits of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. The two days of shopping can have an enormous impact on your annual sales. So with a solid plan, you're better equipped to manage the surge in traffic and turn visitors into buyers.

You'll be way ahead of your rivals

The competition during sales events can be tough. It is important to plan ahead and create unique promotional ideas and an effective Black Friday marketing campaign to ensure a smooth customer experience that is distinctive. Plus, it gives you the time to study how your competitors' have performed before and figure out how to succeed even more.

It will take time to create your website

If you're Black Friday marketing strategies are successful, then you can expect a traffic spike on your site on Black Friday. Ahead of time, you can optimize your website's speed and efficiency.

three men reviewing a tablet in a warehouse

You can get your inventory on order

Inspiring customers to buy your goods during Black Friday is all well and good. However, if you run out of an item that is popular during the sale and you are unable to sell it, you risk losing out by a substantial amount. Planning early helps you better predict demand, manage the inventory and work with your suppliers so that you're stocked up in order to keep up with the demand.

Think about how you can plan the marketing strategies you are planning to use

Excellent Black Friday time to implement marketing strategies. Start early to create engaging email campaigns and social media strategies and paid ads that attract and convert customers. Also, it gives you the opportunity to segment your audience and customize your message that will result in better conversion rates across your broader Black Friday marketing.

customer service rep talking into an earpiece

Customer support is waiting for you

Customers with more customers means more questions and issues that could arise. The earlier you plan, the better possibility to prepare your team of support personnel, set up automated responses to common inquiries as well as ensure that you have a customer service system in place for the increased volume.

The ability to generate buzz

If you plan ahead, you'll have more time to build excitement among your clients. Teasers Black Friday campaigns, early access or sneak preview deals as well as countdowns may bring a sense of urgency, keeping your shop top of mind on the day of the big event.

There is a way to resolve issues

In addition, planning ahead lets you test and improve your strategy. Test your landing page A/B, promotional emails, and checkout procedures can give you insights that help you optimize for maximum results.

It is clear that planning ahead is a good idea. But what can you accomplish?

We've put together some things to keep in mind when planning for Black Friday and some Black Friday marketing strategies to help you get ahead of the curve:

1. Define your goals for Black Friday and Cyber Monday

Giving discounts is a standard practice However, think about what you're trying to achieve.

BOGO extension in action on a cart page

No matter what type of sales you select, by establishing clear goals it is possible to create concrete and measurable actions to meet these. It also provides you with more than just gross sales to gauge success.

2. Find out what products will be on sale

The fact that you're holding an offer doesn't mean everythinghas to be part of the deal. There's lots of competition among visitors, and even though it's strange to offer discounts on the most sought-after items in your inventory using these well-known traffic-generating factors, it may set you apart and make people notice other items in your stock.

It is also important to profit from the latest trends. Find out trends that gained traction over the past year. In 2023, for instance, the public's attention focusing on items such as clothes as well as shoes, in accordance with YouGov. The top category of actual purchases was toys and electronics.

Do you have products that fit into those areas? These could be great to include in your sale or your Black Friday marketing strategy.

countdown timer underneath a grid of products

3. Offer special product bundles

You could also offer special packages that are unique to your sales. For instance, you could create packages for movie nights, for instance, or a gift basket for spa treatments. This is something special that will encourage more customers to buy.

example of a product bundle created with

4. Offer free shipping and returns

Shipping free, when clients spend a certain amount, could also serve as a wonderful incentive. This strategy encourages customers to place orders at higher prices and helps reduce cart abandonment that can be high as customers discover an unexpected charge for shipping when they check out.

Free returns may increase the value of your purchase and give online buyers the peace of mind to purchase with the knowledge that they will be able to easily return items in the event that they are unhappy with the purchase.

It is possible to promote your offer of free shipping with a banner that appears at the top of your page (which is an option which we'll explore in depth at a later date). Also, you could send out promotional emails indicating the customers will get free shipping when they pay an amount.

notice about amount required to earn free shipping

5. Examine your inventory as well as order fulfillment processes

Also Do you have the capacity to fulfill big orders and ship large quantities, and will you be capable of fulfilling orders at the speed your clients are used to? This requires some planning at the back making it a priority to plan ahead and help you avoid the stress of last-minute panic.

Based on the overall company requirements, it might be good to start writing job descriptions that you can send out to potential employees on vacation.

Do you have relationships with third-party manufacturers and suppliers? If yes, you should consider how long it's going to take to have your product or materials shipped to you.

creating a shipping label with  Shipping

6. Make a note of you Black Friday marketing budget

Planning your Black Friday marketing budget is key for maximizing the ROI (ROI) as well as ensuring that you reap the maximum benefit the sales season.

Smaller businesses will have a smaller typical marketing budgets to prepare for Black Friday can vary widely according to the size of the company, the industry you're in and the overall ambitions. As a general guidelines, small-sized businesses could invest anywhere between 5-10% of their annual revenue on marketing. It's an average expenditure of around $2,000 - $3,000 for a small business.

If you are establishing your budget consider allocating funds across various ways to increase impact and participation. Spending it all in one location isn't the best idea. For instance, social media advertising specifically on platforms like Facebook as well as Instagram is extremely efficient and could yield substantial profits on a relatively modest investment.

It's a low-cost element to a successful Black Friday marketing strategy as it can provide the highest ROI at an average of $36 for every dollar that is spent, as per Litmus.

7. Early-access deals are available for former customers.

Rewarding your loyal customers with an early-access deal is an effective way to show appreciation and generate excitement about your Black Friday sale. It can help your existing customers feel valued and help you drive the sales early and also manage inventory better.

You can act on this plan in a number of methods. For instance, you could opt to send out exclusive early-access invitations to your previous customers via an email. The message should highlight the benefits of this early access to your products, for instance the first chance to get access to limited inventory items, or discount offers that will not be accessible to the general public.

settings for page notifications

8. Be aware of the amount of traffic your website is likely to receive (and plan for it)

If there are a few things we can bet on, it's that people are going to shop on the internet these days. It's also safe to assume that a lot of them are online shopping and there'll be plenty of people. If you do nothing else, preparing for this increase in traffic could save you a lot of headaches later.

Communicate with your host now to ensure you understand the limits of your resources. If, for instance, you're not able to cope with an influx in traffic, then it's time to move towards a more cloud-friendly plan that has higher thresholds for resources or allowances. Some hosts will even allocate additional resources during periods of heavy traffic.

9. Automate your checkout procedure

Your checkout process may very well be your business's most important customer touchpoint So make sure that it's up topoint. If your website is slow or your checkout pages are too confusing, your customers may end up ditching their carts. Do not let this happen. The deals you offer are too great to miss.

example of a one-page checkout
text about giving buyer more payment options

It may sound like a few aspects, but you'd be surprised. They could be what's between carts that have been discarded as well as completed sales!

10. Prevent shopping cart abandonment

Shopping cart abandonment is commonplace, with around 70% of all online shopping carts abandoned before making a purchase , according to Baymard Institute.

To avoid this from happening, make sure the checkout process is as smooth and straightforward as you can. A good way to start is by offering the option of a guest checkout. A lot of customers leave their shopping carts when required to establish an account, so you could skip this requirement and make a few more conversions in the process.

A different method of achieving success is to use cart abandonment email messages. If an individual subscriber abandons the items on their cart, you can send an additional email that reminds customers of the upcoming purchase. In most cases, including a modest discounted price or a free delivery offer within these emails will dramatically increase the likelihood of the conversion.

Elextensions abandoned cart recovery page

11. Revamp your product descriptions

Although it may appear insignificant however, updating your product descriptions can make an enormous difference in the way you attract customers and making them convert. Make sure to focus on the advantages rather than the attributes of your product. Discuss how each product could resolve a problem or make a difference in your customer's experience. Be sure to utilize clear, engaging language that speaks directly to your target audience.

It is also an opportunity to improve your SEO. Integrate keywords naturally into each product page's optimization. They will be easier to find. By including high-quality videos and images, you will also improve your description and improve your shopping user experience.

12. Review the security of your website.

Pro tip: Jetpack's Security package includes these features in one package.

Using strong passwords is also an ideal idea. And keep WordPress (and any plugins or themes you employ) updated. This is a step you shouldn't put off when the profit potential of an online store is at stake.

13. Make sure your site loads quickly

Inefficient loading times adversely affect the conversion rate, for all. In fact, an ecommerce website that is generating 100k dollars in sales every day could loss $2.5 million annually due to a one-second page delay.

There is good news There is good news, however. Improving your website speed doesn't have to be as difficult and lengthy like it appears initially.

Simply following a few important steps will increase the speed of your shop quickly:

All of the above will enhance the speed of your website and will benefit you when you're running massive promotional and sales however, but all every day. You've worked hard on your Black Friday and Cyber Monday marketing and advertising campaigns, so give yourself the best chance to win. A little work in advance will be well worth it.

14. Start an emailing list, if you're not already one.

creating a signup form with MailPoet

15. Include a chatbot on your website with live assistance

Implementing a chatbot that provides live support on your website can improve the customer experience and that's definitely something you need to consider implementing for Black Friday.

A chatbot can answer common questions and complete basic tasks, like checking your order status or providing the information about your product, all day long. This reduces workload for your support team, and it also guarantees customers get prompt assistance, even outside of business hours. When more complex issues arise The chatbot can effortlessly transfer the chat to an live support representative or to a ticketed customer support system.

Woo Bot in action

16. Make an SMS-based marketing campaign

To build more enthusiasm for sales Black Friday sales, you can also launch with a SMS-based campaign to promote your business. Be sure to keep your messages short and make sure you include a distinct call-to-action like a hyperlink to your latest sale or discount offer. However, don't go overboard as you do not want to end up being blocked by a person. Ensure you've gotten proper permission from subscribers in the first place. This is another strong motive to begin today.

example of an SMS marketing campaign

You can send out personalized and perfectly-timed messages to customers who are interested at crucial points in the sales funnel.

17. Use a countdown timer to give urgency to Black Friday deals

The addition of a countdown clock on your site for Black Friday can create a sense of urgency. Your messages urge customers to make a quick decision to take advantage of your current deals.

The visual signal is a way to inform shoppers that time is short and they have to act swiftly or else they'll miss their opportunity. This strategy taps into the fear of being missed out (FOMO) which can make it easier to purchase.

countdown timer listed under products

18. Create promotional banners on your site to get delivery for free or to get other discounts

Promo banners advertise special deals such as free shipping or special discount codes on your website. Usually, they're placed prominently on homepages or category pages and even on the shopping cart, to give maximum visibility.

It is common to modify the banners so that they say what you'd like. However, no matter the message be sure to communicate clearly the particulars of the promotion.

A banner for instance announcing "Free Shipping on Orders Over $50" can reduce cart abandonment and boost the average value of an order. Make sure your banners stand out and are mobile-friendly, too.

Splash Popup landing page

19. Create Black Friday gift guides for different demographics

A unique way to prepare to prepare for Black Friday is to create gift guides that cater to specific demographics. These guides can help shoppers find the ideal gift as well as highlighting your products.

Segment your guides by groups like "gifts intended for them", "gifts for her" and even by interests like tech enthusiasts or cooks at home. This will help make shopping easier for your customers, as well as increasing the chances of multiple purchases.

After you have created them, you are able to make these guides available on your email marketing, website as well as on social media channels to attract a wide public and increase your Black Friday sales. These guides are actually a great free download and the option to opt-in via SMS and email also.

20. Put your money into UGC to take advantage of Black Friday promotions

User-generated content (UGC) could help your Black Friday promotions, too. One approach is to get your customers to share photos as well as reviews and other testimonials about your services on social platforms. Displaying this information on your website and Black Friday marketing materials builds confidence. It is true that people tend to buy products with genuine, positive feedback from other customers.

Yotpo review fetures

In the event that the bulk of your UGC is on social networks, you could include a feed on your homepage using the New Instagram News Block within The Jetpack plugin.

21. Plan a Black Friday social media campaign

The process of planning an Black Friday social media campaign is one of the best ways to maximize your reach and improve engagement prior to the day of sales. Any campaign you create should comprise:

  • Compelling graphics. Attractive visuals draw attention to social media. So, design graphics which highlight the value of your Black Friday deals. Utilize bright colours (if it suits your brand) as well as clear, concise text. Tools such as Canva as well as Adobe Express can aid you to create stunning visuals fast.
  • Prominent deals. Make sure your deals appear prominently in all your social media postings. Utilize high-quality pictures of your merchandise, as well with any discounts or special offers.

It is also possible to organize a contest on your social platforms. Encourage users to share your content with friends, share it on their social media, or make use of a hashtag for your contest or giveaway. This can create excitement around your brand and boost the sales of your business as a result. Give attractive prizes tied with your Black Friday deals to encourage the participation of your customers.

22. Verify that the social media tracking codes are in use

This will help you make more of the new traffic as well as sales after Black Friday has passed.

23. Prepare your customer service team

Whether it's the very first Black Friday season with you or their 17th season, you need to make sure everyone is on the up-to-date. Are you sticking to your regular terms of exchange and return or do you alter them? What will your turnaround time be? different?

Keep your customer service representatives updated on your promotional and sales will involve. This way, they're ready to handle live chat questions or phone calls as well as emails sent by customers or potential purchasers. Getting your policies in place early will inevitably lead to more seamless transactions once you go live with your sales.

customer service dashboard

24. Create Cyber Monday sales plans, too

A lot of your Cyber Monday sales could be reused Black Friday deals. You should however, have at least one distinctive promotion or offer for the Monday after the largest day of sales the year. The momentum will continue to build and gives customers another reason to return to your website. Think about offering special deals only available online, limited-time discounts, or special bundles that weren't available during Black Friday.

It is important to advertise Cyber Monday deals through targeted email campaigns and social media posts which can help remind people who might have missed out on Black Friday.

25. Gift cards can be used to help prevent the problem of inventory

Offering gift cards is an excellent way to reduce stock issues in the Christmas season. If stock is low, gift cards provide an excellent alternative, ensuring that customers still buy something even when the desired item is unavailable. This helps maintain sales volume and brings customers back to your store in the future, after having got the chance to replenish.

purchasing a gift card

Prep for the holiday shopping season by preparing an Black Friday marketing plan

If the last year's Black Friday sales figures are an indicator of how this year's will be, we are expecting big sales for ecommerce retailers across the nation.

Black Friday, and Cyber Monday is coming faster than you think, so make sure you're prepared. It will lead to increased sales, a happier customer and a less stressful time for your company during the holiday season.