If you’re a retailer, you’ll be more than familiar with the concept of “Black Friday” by now. The term comes from the Friday after the U.S. holiday of Thanksgiving, when retailers would actually go back “into the black”, out of the “red” and start making a profit for the year. There is a collective rush amongst the public as everyone started thinking about their Christmas shopping, and this Friday has long been known as the busiest shopping day of the year. As the day grew in popularity year-on-year, retailers have grown savvy as to how to make the most profit on this blockbuster shopping day, to the point where the whole weekend is now saturated with retailers offering special promotions encouraging consumers to spend. If you’re in eCommerce, you’ll be more than familiar with Black Friday, but also the Monday succeeding it, known as “Cyber Monday”. This day has become a popular day for online retailers to launch serious deals on their stock that encourage their customers to purchase from them. Most deals are spread across the whole weekend, with some retailers extending discounts up to a week or fortnight in length in order to make the most of this key Christmas shopping period. With just under a week to go, this year’s Black Friday takes place on the 24th November, with Cyber Monday being held on the 27th November. If you’re a retailer with a website you cannot afford to miss out on a slice of this profit-making pie, so we’ve pulled together some of our top tips for making the most of your Black Friday and Cyber Monday weekend…

Get Out There
You won’t get anywhere if no one knows about the fantastic money-saving deals you’re promoting! With a week to go, you should have enough time to organise some emails to go out across the Black Friday/Cyber Monday weekend. They don’t need to cover a lot of information, as long as they get across savings your customers can make and they look professional. Sometimes all it takes is a colourful body of the email with your deal (eg. 20% off everything until EOD Monday!) and a call to action underneath, although examples of products in the body of the email would be preferable. Set selective dates on which to send the emails out – i.e. the beginning of the weekend or promotion to get consumers’ attention, mid-way through the weekend to remind them of the offers, and one on your last day or on Cyber Monday letting them know they only have so long left to take advantage of the offers.

Get Social
Use your social media channels to full effect around this time of year. This is the ideal way to reach hundreds of thousands of people by a single, well-constructed post! Instagram, Facebook and Twitter are the main three to focus on that will enable you to communicate with your audience and reach the loyal brand following you have (hopefully!) built up. Where else can you reach so many people that are likely to buy from you, for free? Spend time promoting the discounts and sharing creative images that showcase your product in the best possible way in order to get the most engagement. Just be careful not to spam your followers! A couple of posts per day should be more than enough on each to suffice, but it’s whatever works for your brand that is best.

Go Mobile
We all know that mobile shopping figures have been increasing year-on-year, but a study by App Annie has revealed that this year’s Black Friday event will increase mobile shopping to amounts that have never been seen before in the U.S. Whilst this may not be accurate for all countries, this is a big indicator that mobile shopping will be hugely popular this year for your site. Having a mobile-optimised version of your site is essential in order to maximise your sales and increase profits in general. If your site has a mobile version or even an app, now is the time to iron out any last minute kinks and ensure the process is smooth-running and simple in order to increase your conversion. App Annie reckons that Americans are poised to spend 45 million hours this year in shopping apps on Android phones alone during next week’s promotions, commenting, “With holiday promotion periods starting earlier and consumers continuing to shift to mobile as their primary channel, retailers would be remiss not to capitalize on the high-intent shopping period combined with the personal, direct and ‘always-on’ channel that mobile phones provide.” Ensuring all the images on your mobile site are compressed will also aid in speeding up page load times as larger images slow down websites and can lead to abandoned baskets, frustrated users and people leaving before they even had a chance to view your offers!

Get Data
Use the data you have to your advantage this shopping season. Use analytics data in order to discover opportunities to improve your processes and the way your site works. This will allow you to learn about your audience and the visitors that your site attracts. Having insights into the people that are visiting your site and how they use it can be invaluable as you can look into what they want and need from a site. On this topic, Magento comments, “Merchants should have specific retention strategies in place for customers they acquire during the early holiday season. This will give you the benefit of a Black Friday bump in top-line revenue and combat lesser ROI and skewed CLV. Use data to transform your business approach to win the holiday season and the repeat purchases that follow.”

Go to Checkout
One of the most important things about your website is your checkout. You need to ensure your check out is a smooth-running process so that your abandoned cart rate doesn’t increase and your customers can checkout stress-free. There are many opportunities within your checkout to also encourage upselling such as advertising complementary products before a user checks out, or suggesting add-on items for a product in order to increase your UPT and ATV. Eradicate any unnecessary steps and ensure it’s easy for consumers to purchase as this will also encourage them to re-purchase in the future and they will remember your site for its simple process.

We hope you have a successful Black Friday and Cyber Monday! If you need help or advice with improving your site, get in touch with us today!