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Blog Fast White Cat

6 guidelines – how to prepare your online store for Black Friday?

Karolina Obszynska Jan 17. 2021
Black Friday is one of the leading shopping days of the year, both for customers, who are
awaiting discounts and promotions in their favourite stores, and for sellers, who are counting
on rising sales indexes. However, for every store owner, Black Friday, even Black Week, is
quite a stressful time. Standing behind the preparation of the Black Friday pricing policy, its
implementation and communication is a whole team of people – from the IT crew and
customer service to marketing specialists, not to mention those people who are responsible
for controlling inventory and shipping logistics, considering that there are many more
products to dispatch at this time. How to prepare your store for Black Friday to manage the
increased traffic and number of orders?
To make your life easier and to increase sales, we have prepared a few guidelines which will
help you plan your activity for the upcoming shopping feast.
3,2,1… START! Preparations for Black Friday are now in play.
How did Black Friday come about?
Almost everyone has heard of Black Friday, but not everyone knows the genesis of this day.
There are a few theories regarding its origin. The term Black Friday was first used in 1951
and it related to... mass sick leave. Black Friday was the Friday after Thanksgiving, a time
when workers took sick leave to have a long weekend. Clever, right? ;) Also, the term Black
Friday was associated with a significant drip in the price of gold on the stock market, which
happened on a Friday in 1869. The third theory for the origin of the name, more closely
linked to shopping, refers to the phrase used by police officers in Philadelphia at the
beginning of the 60s - Black Friday then related to the gridlocked streets around shopping
centres and markets, which was associated with the intensified work of law enforcement.
Only in the 80s did sellers begin using the term Black Friday in context of the shopping
season. Traders claimed that they are in the red throughout the year – debt was noted in
accounting books using red ink. Only nearing the end of the year, thanks to the upcoming
Christmas season and the gifts which are purchased for that occasion, did profits start
appearing – which was noted using black ink.
How to prepare eCommerce for Black Friday?
#1. Begin with an analysis

At the very beginning, you have to evaluate your starting position. Check last year's data –
how much did the sales and traffic increase on your site during Black Friday? You can
consider these results as your minimum, the level to start off from this year.

When analysing the results of the last Black Friday, also take note of the mistakes which
were made then. Was your platform working correctly, did customers have problems with
payment or delivery, or maybe one of the product categories was not as popular as others?
This information is very important because you can draw some very valuable lessons from
each mistake, avoiding blunders this year.
When should you perform the analysis?
Today! The faster you learn what needs improvement, the more efficiently you will introduce
the changes and prepare your platform for Black Friday.

#2. Choose the right sales channels

Good eCommerce is not only a website, it includes also other sales channels which perfectly
complement your online store. You should consider where your customers are and offer your
products there. If you are selling through your online store, on marketplaces, in a traditional
store, on Facebook or Instagram, then analyse whether all these channels bring you
conversion. For Black Friday focus on those channels which convert to the highest profits.
Also try to make sure to offer customers the same discount in all the locations your products
appear. The customer may feel cheated if a product will be discounted by 20% in your online
store and, e.g., in Amazon they can find the product for 50% less. Also check whether the
products you are selling are well presented in all the communication channels – whether
they have attractive, eye-catching photos, whether the descriptions are precise enough. All
this has an influence on sales!

#3. Test the sales process
For customers to shop in your store on Black Friday, your sales process must be flawless.
Make sure that there are no obstacles on the customer purchase path which may make
them reverse course. Check:
1. Whether the page of the shopping cart is visible for users, whether everything is
intuitive and works?
2. Whether you are not hiding any additional costs in the prices displayed on the site,
e.g., duty?
3. Whether the delivery options and payment forms which you offer are well suited to
your customers?
4. Whether you use automatic email messages to inform your customers about their
order status?

#4. Think about threats and errors

Even if you prepare perfectly for Black Friday, problems may appear in your online store.
This is why it is worth thinking about any potential threats ahead of time and prepare the
right solutions.
● Imagine that during peak traffic in your store the website slows down, the product
photos do not come up, the subpages take a few minutes to load, and even that the
store stops working altogether. People lose their interest in shopping with you, and
you quickly try to activate the platform again, which is not an easy task. It is best to
prepare for this now, securing your infrastructure well.
We have written more on this subject in the article Ruch to nie wszystko! Jaką rolę
odgrywa retargeting i dobra infrastruktura w sklepie internetowym? [Traffic is not aal!
What role does retargeting and a good infrastructure play in an online store?]
● In a situation when you are selling your products via a few channels simultaneously,
there may appear problems associated with inventory shortages. It is possible that a
product which you just sold, e.g., on Allegro, whereby it is no longer available in your
stockroom, is still appearing as available in your online store. A solution in such a
case is the linking of inventory with your website, thanks to which the products will
update automatically.
● Make sure whether the suppliers you use keep to timelines. Additionally, in order to
improve your customers' shopping experience, include information during checkout
about estimated delivery times. This will protect you from possible dissatisfaction of
some customers and from return of goods.
The above mentioned obstacles do not have to appear in your store of course, although it is
worth keeping them in mind and safeguarding yourself from these problems.

#5. Introduce additional shifts

During Black Week very important is ensuring the appropriate service to your customers,
preferably 24/7. Thereby, enter additional shifts among your employees. Arrange their work
in such a manner so that every customer, even those who shop outside of office hours,
remain serviced. For security, also introduce additional shifts in other departments,
particularly among programmers. If something goes wrong, changes will be implemented
quickly and efficiently, bugs fixed, and your store will not disappear during the greatest
shopping peak of the year.
When should you introduce the additional shifts?
Preferably from the Thursday preceding Black Friday, until Tuesday following Cyber
Monday. Inform your team about the additional working hours as quickly as possible so as to
arrange an appropriate schedule, remunerating them for it.

#6. Prepare promotional campaigns in advance

Taking advantage of Magento, you will plan the appearance of your website and introduce
discounts for Black Friday much earlier, setting the publication for a given day and time.
Having a formed strategy and the possibility of automatically introducing the majority of
discounts, you can stay focused on other responsibilities. Your team is left only to control
whether any bugs appear when the page is updated.
When should you introduce the promotional campaigns?
Once the promotional banners for the site are ready and the discount strategy prepared.
Black Friday is an eCommerce festival which will make your sales bars spike. Take our
guidelines into consideration and begin your preparations for Black Friday now.
Fingers crossed for good results!

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