20 Tips for Boosting Your Black Friday Sales
Whether you have an online store, a brick-and-mortar shop, or both, Black Friday and Cyber Monday are the most exciting time of the year for you. It’s the time to pull out all stops, offer the most outrageous discounts, spend money on marketing campaigns, and do whatever else you can to attract customers to your store. Shoppers like to spend on these two days, and you want as many of them as possible to shop at your store.
So does every other store-owner, though. That’s why you want to do an extra step or two – or twenty? – and make sure that you’ve made the most of the year’s biggest sales event. If that’s your goal, you’re in the right place. In this article, we’ll share some of the best tips for boosting your Black Friday sales.
The tips we’ll cover include:
When you have an online store, there’s no such thing as a suitable time for your website to be down. Still, the days leading to and following Black Friday and Cyber Monday are the worst time possible for a website to be down. Because you’ll be working hard to get more visitors to your website than usual, this is also the time when website problems are more likely to come up.
To address the issue, you first want to make sure that you’ve done the necessary website maintenance in time. Your next step would be to get a great performance-testing tool and check how your website behaves in different situations. Pay special attention to spike testing to see how your website handles sudden spikes of traffic, and load testing to see how the website performs with the number of visitors you expect to have.
The thing about websites is that the work on them is never done. It’s not just the regular maintenance – there’s always something to improve on a website. You could always be doing something to provide your users with a better experience.
In the weeks leading up to Black Friday, you should perform a user experience audit of your website. Some areas you want to pay special attention to include:
Checkout process – smoothing out the checkout process can help you reduce shopping cart abandonment.
Website content – any content that doesn’t have a clear purpose should be a candidate for removal.
If you plan to do a bigger change such as switching to a different search tool on your website, make sure you have ample time to evaluate it before Black Friday.
Your online store should be readily available for visitors on all sorts of devices. Focusing solely on desktop or mobile is a strategy that leaves out a substantial chunk of potential visitors. If you plan to pursue it, you better know exactly what you’re doing.
Usually, however, you’ll want to have your website ready to accept visitors from any type of device. This means that you should, at the very least, ensure that your website loads quickly and correctly on mobile devices.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday are talked about every year by the media, big stores, and the consumers themselves. That makes your job easier, but it doesn’t give you an excuse to avoid contributing to the hype. People will be excited about the upcoming shopping season. You want to get them excited to spend money at your store during it.
A couple of things you should consider doing include:
Plan your content strategy and execute it early.
Prepare event-appropriate content, such as gift guides.
Use the full power of your mailing list.
Work with a couple of influencers if your budget allows it.
Use countdown timers on your website.
You can mix and match and add your ideas, as long as you continue sending the message that your store is an awesome place to shop during the upcoming event.
The weeks leading to Black Friday might not be the perfect time to start thinking about changing your WordPress store’s theme. That close to the event’s kickoff, you want to make only the changes you’ll have time to test. Changing a website theme is a more serious process that will require more testing.
You can, however, make sure that you have appropriate visuals on your website. Adding a little festive flavor to your store won’t hurt a bit. You won’t have to make a structural change more complicated than, for example, changing a layout or two.
A lot of effort goes into preparing a store for Black Friday. It would be a shame not to give your customers a couple of more days to enjoy all the great deals you’ve prepared for them. No reason not to start the whole event a bit earlier, right? Yes and no, actually.
Starting earlier can be a fantastic way to boost pre-event sales, but only if you do it right. If you make a mistake and let loose all of your deals to all the customers during the entire month of November, the whole thing loses its air of exclusivity.
So instead of going all out during November, start on the Monday before Black Friday. Offer only select deals, and don’t offer them to all of your customers. Maybe only offer it to the most loyal ones.
Some people like to get their holiday shopping done early. Others like to be exactly on time and join in on the Black Friday and Cyber Monday madness. Too often, however, something might interfere with plans, leaving people empty-handed with the shopping event over. In that case, stores that extend their deals for an extra couple of days can be a life-saver.
Why not be the place where people can make last-minute purchases? At the very least, you can extend your Black Friday offers an additional day or two, or even a whole week. Remember to decide on this strategy and prepare the appropriate content to communicate it to shoppers timely.
Black Friday is a fantastic opportunity to show your most loyal customers that you appreciate them. You might consider starting a campaign specifically targeting them, using email marketing to let them know that you have some special deals in store for Black Friday.
What types of deals? You can let them order early as we mentioned in the previous tip. You can also allow them to refer friends and earn gift cards or discounts. You might also offer them free shipping.
The weeks leading up to Black Friday will be filled with publishing your best content. So while your content game is at its peak, you should also consider using your best pieces and the attention they bring to you to boost your sales.
Shoppable content can come in many different forms. You can create visuals that let people explore products by clicking on certain parts of a video or image. You can also use social networks such as Instagram for their built-in shoppable content capabilities.
With shoppable content, you’re using something that attracts traffic and can be shared, and you’re pairing it with a shopping process that ideally has fewer steps than the regular process. Slap a nice Black Friday discount on top, and you’ve done everything there is to boost sales.
One of the major benefits of having access to so many communication channels is that you can use them to reach various segments of your customers with content specifically made for them. Your newsletter audience doesn’t have to be the same as your Instagram or YouTube audience. They can have different tastes and diverse needs – it doesn’t matter, as long as you can cater to them.
Creating channel-specific offers can help your sales by letting you pinpoint exactly what an audience on any channel wants in terms of Black Friday deals. A bonus is that hyper-targeting an audience like that can increase the shareability of your content, attracting even more potential customers who share the same taste.
The discounts you offer on Black Friday don’t have to be uniform. You don’t have to put all of your products or services at the same discount. You don’t have to keep the discount consistent on any sole product. You can offer a tiered pricing structure for some products.
Here’s how it would look like in practice. Say you have a product that regularly costs $100, and you want to create a tiered pricing structure. The three prices for that product would include:
The regular $100 price without any discount applied.
A price of $69 – an early-bird 31% discount that’s valid on the day preceding Black Friday.
A price of $79 – a regular 21% discount that’s valid Friday through Monday.
You can also create tiers based on how many products you have in stock or offer an extra discount to the first one hundred shoppers on Black Friday. Any criteria that can create that fear of missing out and give rise to the sense of urgency is good.
Throughout Black Friday, you can create deals that go on top of the existing deals you’re offering. Creating deals of the hour, when you’d offer a selection of products at an additional discount in a limited timeframe can work great for a couple of reasons.
The obvious benefit is that an extra discount might make people even more excited to spend money at your store, giving you more opportunities to cross- or up-sell. It can also spur word-of-mouth, a welcome added benefit. Most importantly, however, it will give customers a reason to check in with your website often during the shopping event.
Offering product bundles can help your store in a couple of ways. They can help you get rid of products you’ve overstocked. They can also be used to shine some light on a new product. With bundles, you can deliver even more value to your customers at a lower price.
The bottom line is that bundles help boost sales, whether you use them during Black Friday or throughout the year. Having some exclusive deals for bundles during the sales event is a clever idea if you consistently offer discounts for bundles. If bundles are not a part of your regular sales strategy, using them for Black Friday only increases the exclusivity factor.
Over the past couple of years, social networks have changed from places where people go to watch images and videos of puppies to places where serious commerce takes place. Still, much of it is facilitated by content, so you have to make sure that yours is up to the task and easily discoverable.
Trending events will often give birth to trending hashtags. If you plan to use social networks during Black Friday, finding the right hashtags to include in your posting can give your content a great boost. Social-media savvy entrepreneurs know and use this throughout the year. Black Friday is the perfect time to join their ranks.
Pop-ups are an incredibly versatile tool for all sorts of websites, including online stores. If you design them well, time them appropriately, and give them a purpose, there are few things you won’t be able to do using pop-ups.
To boost Black Friday sales, consider using popups for:
Greeting visitors with a message about all the awesome things you have in store for them.
Reminding them of the products they have in the cart to reduce cart abandonment.
Sweetening the deal if you notice them leaving without a purchase.
If you find another promising use for pop-ups, go for it. Just remember to test it out before Black Friday if you have the time.
People might visit your store knowing exactly what they’re looking for, but that doesn’t always have to be the case. They might come in search of something, doing the digital equivalent of window shopping. That’s perfectly fine – discovery can lead to commerce, and you can affect it in a way that boosts your sales.
Many tools you can use to boost discovery commerce are AI-powered and designed to present offers visitors are likely to appreciate and buy. Any kind of suggestion of products might work, too – your regular strategies for up- and cross-selling included.
Discounts might be the go-to lure to get shoppers to your store during Black Friday, but they’re not the only things you can offer. If there’s ever a time to experiment with the ways to give freebies to customers or give them something back, it’s Black Friday.
The offers you might consider include:
You can combine different offers any way you see fit. You can also apply them store-wide, or offer them for certain products, certain cart values, or any other condition you think up.
Shoppers are becoming more sophisticated by the day, with many of them doing plenty of research when making their purchase decisions. One of the ways you can take advantage of this trend is to send out signals that your store is trustworthy and a place where people want to shop.
You can use social proof for both. You might embed Yelp reviews on your website, show customer testimonials in pop-ups, or include user-created content in your content strategy. If you can demonstrate that people have shopped in your store and loved the experience – especially the Black Friday experience – it’s likely that you’ll see a boost in sales.
Loyal customers tend to be more valuable than one-off shoppers. You should be working all year round to turn more of your shoppers into loyal customers, but it wouldn’t hurt to boost the effort during Black Friday.
Whatever loyalty program you have, make sure to push it even more. You can use some of the offers you already have to boost new sign-ups, or you can create specific offers just for people who want to join. You can also offer increasing discounts for repeat purchases.
Once upon a time, when online shopping started to make its mark in the world and affect physical retail, companies spent a lot of effort trying to figure out whether people prefer shopping online or in-store. It turned out that people love the best of both worlds. You should do what you can to offer it to them during Black Friday.
There are many different ways you can integrate digital and physical shopping. You can offer in-store pickup for online purchases. You can offer online shopping while in the store – or at least, expand the range of contactless payment options in the store. The times when digital and physical were two separate ways to shop are behind us.
Let’s Wrap It Up!
Black Friday and Cyber Monday are the time of the year when stores see the most consumer activity, followed by a significant boost in sales. Still, you can’t expect customers to flood your store just because they’re in the mood to spend – you have to give them a reason to spend at your store.
There are plenty of things you could do to offer your customers a great holiday season shopping experience. Some of these methods are more resource and labor-intensive than others, but don’t worry – there’s always something for you to do to boost the Black Friday sales.