How to plan for Black Friday and Why you should start now

Although Cyber Monday and Black Friday are still months away it is a good idea to plan ahead for the biggest shopping weekend. Adobe Analytics reports Black Friday online sales jumped almost 22% to $9 billion last year, and it looks like this year will be no different.

So you are ready to generate buzz about your products and upcoming sales deals so that you can be remembered by customers who are searching for the best sales. You should also allow yourself plenty of time to test the site, hire additional staff if necessary, and prepare your inventory.

These are some tips to help you prepare for the big weekend.

1. What are your goals for Cyber Monday and Black Friday?

While discounts are common, it’s important to think about your specific goals.

Do you want to get rid of some inventory? You might consider running Buy one, Get one (BOGO), sales. You can get free shipping or gifts if you spend a certain amount. This will encourage shoppers to buy more.

Are you looking for a higher average order price than the holiday season last year? There are a few strategies that you can use to increase your revenue without finding one more customer.

How about reconnecting to existing or past customers ? Email marketing, social media marketing and remarketing advertisements are all effective.

You can set clear goals and develop actionable steps to achieve them. You can also use this method to determine success beyond gross revenue.

2. What sales types will you offer?

Not all products that are on sale should be included in the promotion. You have a lot to choose from, so even though it may seem counterintuitive, highlighting these traffic-drivers might set you apart and make people want to see the rest of your inventory.

Also, you want to take advantage of the latest trends. You should also research what has been popular in the past year. In-home workout products saw a spike in 2020 (by mid-2020 Peloton revenue increased by 66%), loungewear and board games, as well as bakeware. Are there any products you could offer that fall within these categories? These products could be great to include in your sales.

You might also offer bundles exclusive to your sales. For example, you might make a movie-night package or a spa giftbox. This is a unique way to encourage people to purchase.

3. What amount of traffic do you anticipate?

There are some things you can be sure of, like that people will shop online on these days. It is also possible to predict that these people will shop online, and that there will be lots of them. Make sure to plan accordingly.

Make sure your store is ready for any potential traffic spikes. You should ensure that all information is up-to date , has been backed up and is optimized for speed. It is also a good idea to run speed tests. You can identify potential problems in your store before you open it so you can avoid loading problems and issues at checkout.

Make sure to check with your host right away to determine your resource limit. You might consider switching to a cloud-based plan that has higher allowances and resource thresholds if you are not able to handle an influx of traffic. During high traffic times, some hosts will even provide additional resources.

4. Are your checkout processes simple and efficient?

The checkout process is likely to be your most important customer contact point. Make sure it’s . Customers could abandon their shopping carts if your website is slow or the checkout page is too complex. This should not happen. These deals are too great to miss.

One-page checkout allows customers to add products and complete orders all from one page. Be sure to delete unnecessary fields – the more, the better.

To keep customers on your site, choose WooCommerce payments instead of redirecting them to third-party sites. Returned customers can store their payment information so that they don’t need to search for it every time. You can even accept Apple Pay which makes the checkout process fast and simple.

Although these may seem like minor details, you’d be amazed at how important they are. These details can make the difference between abandoned carts and finished sales.

5. Is your site secure?

While you may be already taking precautions to make your site safe and secure during heavy traffic times, it is worth being extra cautious. You should pay attention to the following security basics: automatic backupsprotection and downtime monitoringspam prevention. Your host will provide great support.

These features are included in the Jetpack Security Package.

Strong passwords are a must and you should always keep WordPress updated, as well as your themes and plugins. These are the things you don’t want to leave behind.

6. Does your site load quickly?

Conversion rates are negatively affected by slow load times. A one-second delay in page loading can cause eCommerce sites that are pulling in $100k per day to lose $2.5million annually. Good news! The good news? Improving your website’s speed doesn’t have to be difficult or time-consuming.

These are some steps you can take to speed your WooCommerce store.

These tips will increase your website’s speed. This is not just for promotions and large sales, but any time. Your Black Friday and Cyber Monday advertising and marketing campaigns have been hard work. Give yourself every chance to win. It’s worth putting in a little extra effort ahead of time.

7. Are you ready to start your order fulfillment and inventory processes?

Also, will you be able fulfill large orders and ship large quantities? And, can you satisfy customers at the speed they expect? This requires preparation on the back end. Being prepared early will help you avoid last-minute panic.

Start by synchronizing your store inventory with your warehouse or retail store. WooCommerce has a number of extensions to make this possible, including Square or Scanventory.

It may be a good idea to create job descriptions to send to holiday hiring candidates, depending on your business needs.

Are you able to work with third-party manufacturers and suppliers? Consider how long it will take for your product/materials to be shipped.

Consider WooCommerce Shipping or WooCommerce tax to improve efficiency. These extensions allow you to automate everything, from label printing to tax calculation.

8. Are you able to execute your marketing strategies?

It’s early, sure, but you don’t want your holiday season to be chaotic. You can schedule sales ahead of time so they don’t start.

To automatically trigger when someone abandons their cart , set up abandoned shopping cart emails . Get help with designing paid ads. In the days that lead up to your sale, write email content and set up emails to send.

It’s also a great time to add tracking codes to your website. You can add Google Remarketing tagsFacebook Pixel and Snap Pixel to your site. This will allow you to make the most of traffic and sales after Black Friday.

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are about urgency. People get excited looking for great deals and getting them before everyone else. People will often wait until their favorite sites launch the latest deals to get the best deals, or camp out in stores. This can be used to your advantage by creating scarcity through countdown times or limited quantities. You can use urgency to increase sales. It might be a great strategy for boosting sales during busy shopping seasons. Learn more about creating urgency for your eCommerce marketing.

9. Are you able to provide customer service?

Your team should be informed, regardless of whether it is their first or seventeenth season. Are you going to stick with your exchange and return policies, or will you change them? What about your turnaround times?

Your customer service representatives should be kept informed about the details of your sales and promotions. They will be able to respond to customers’ questions via live chat, phone calls and emails. Your sales will go live much more smoothly if you have your policies in place earlier.

Plan ahead and make things simple

If the Black Friday sales numbers in 2020 are any indication, we expect big numbers for all eCommerce retailers across the nation. November 26th will arrive faster than you might think. Make sure you are prepared. This will lead to happier customers and more sales. It will also make the holiday season easier for your business.