Black Friday and Cyber Monday are events firmly marked in the calendars of many eCommerce store owners. Managing, running and performing effectively during this busy time requires a lot of time, patience and commitment. 

Each year, more and more shoppers worldwide are willing to part with their cash when the right offer arises – so this period is about ensuring everything your business does it optimized, efficient and working as well as it possibly can. 

As we draw nearer to Black Friday, it’s time to start getting prepared. According to the National Retail Federation, last year, more people than ever opted to skip the in-store madness (and occasional violence!) and did their Black Friday shopping online rather than in-store.

“Consumers are opting out of the physical hustle and bustle and moving more toward what’s easier: shopping on a couch.”

Linda Bustos, Workarea.

Taking advantage of the increased demand

For eCommerce businesses and digital marketers, the online Black Friday sales will involve a lot of impulsive and last moment shopping. To take advantage of all this extra demand, your online store and the data you are sending to sales channels like Google Shopping or Facebook Ads needs to be of the best quality to convert the inquiries into sales. 

We’ve divided the following guide into two parts. The first looks at how to ensure your eCommerce is ready to roll when the Black Friday traffic starts to arrive. The second looks at a few tips for retailers to optimize their omnichannel strategy so they are driving high-quality traffic towards purchases. 

Let’s dive in! 

Auditing and updating your online store 

Preparing for the onset of the Black Friday season well in advance makes sense. For eCommerce businesses, this shouldn’t just be a mad dash to get everything ready in time though.

Use the build-up as a chance to audit your site. Look back at previous years to establish your highest performers and largest profit margin products that can be pushed via product ads. Update with new products and consider implementing new content throughout key customer touchpoints (product pages, blog content, email outreach). Also, see what`s the best webdesign agency Paris and other business hubs can offer, and consider upgrading your website with some latest webdesign features. 

Consider your promotions, banners, landing pages and social media appearance. If you have established a loyal customer base, they will be expecting an updated site with a different look when it comes to Black Friday and Cyber Monday so don’t disappoint. 

Monitor your product inventory

In order to stay relevant, eCommerce businesses need to stock up inventories with the latest products that people are showing interest for. It is also very important that you carefully assess the inventory stock and make sure your supply can satisfy the demand. 

It hardly needs to be said, but running out of stock during the middle of Black Friday sales would be pretty detrimental for business. Therefore, use the approaching weeks to check stock levels and restock wherever it is needed.

Prepare for a surge in traffic

You’ve seen the stats I mentioned above. Millions of shoppers are searching the internet high and low to find the best deals during Black Friday and the following days. 

If you are operating effective paid and organic strategies to drive traffic to your store, your online store needs to be ready to face the sudden surge in traffic.  

Therefore, you should ensure your store is using a decent and reliable web hosting service that offers maximum uptime and ensures good speed and security even during sudden surges of heavy traffic.

Optimize for m-commerce

For Black Friday last year, smartphones and tablets made up 40% of all sales and 54.3 % of all site visits (graphic below) (source). 

This is a trend that is only increasing, so what this means for eCommerce businesses is that your store has to be optimized for mobile. For a Black Friday browser who isn’t patient and is browsing hundreds of sites, yours should be easily navigable and fast to load each product page.

Start by improving navigation, loading speed and offering one-click purchases on your online store. Making sure your products are easy to find and your site doesn’t frustrate visitors with long waiting times or counter-intuitive sitemap is the best way to keep these buyers purchasing on your site from their mobiles. 

Driving Black Friday traffic to your site

We’ve had a look at some of the elements for eCommerce businesses to consider when it comes to ensuring a high-performing, fully stocked online store for Black Friday and beyond.

Now I’ve pulled out four elements to focus on when it comes to effectively driving content to your website’s product pages from across the internet. This might be through online marketplaces (Amazon, Fruugo), your email marketing campaigns, price comparison sites (PriceGrabber, Shopping.com), search engines (Google or Bing ads) or social media channels (Facebook, Instagram) – the choice is up to you. 

Each sales or marketing channel will have their own requirements for how the product feed (aka data feed) listings you provide should look – but there are some recommendations which ring true for almost all of them when it comes to Black Friday.

Create great-looking product images

When approaching this sales season, every one of your eCommerce competitors wants to stand out from the crowd and make sure their product is the one being clicked. Adding one-off promotions, unique branding, logos, banners colors and designs can be an effective and easy means of adding immediate value to your products by making them more eye-catching (see image below).

Image Credit: Instapage

From “free shipping” to “Extra 10% off,” Image Transformation tools let you quickly apply multiple changes to thousands of your product images in minutes. This will help your creative stay consistent, engaging and on-brand while still being unique for the approaching Black Friday season.

Regardless of whether this is for a Facebook retargeting campaign, your email newsletter or product landing pages, you can add these details ahead of time, through your product feed, and make effective edits in bulk. 

Check your Pricing

Are all your prices accurate and consistent between channel listings and landing pages? Many users get rejected on Google Shopping by quoting a higher price on their landing pages than that which is displayed in their ad so check that this isn’t the case for you. As well as checking the URLs themselves, keep an eye out for inaccurate pricing. Start with your bestsellers first – consider using filters from within Google analytics to search for miss-priced items valued at 0. 

During Black Friday and Cyber Monday, it is also recommended to include variations of your top-performing products – in order to gain a greater portion of the search impression share. 

Optimize your titles for search intent

Your product titles should outline the attributes in a clear way which is tailored to the specific product and its industry – placing the most important info at the start (furthest left).

If you are missing certain important keywords that your target audience is searching for, you won’t be listed in their search and will miss out on a potential purchase. 

For example, shoppers browsing for clothes will place importance on the brand and gender (see screenshot above). Did you know that 65% of a company’s business comes from existing customers? For shoppers who are loyal to certain brands which you stock, the brand of a product could be the deciding factor in whether or not they click through to your ad.

In the clothing (apparel) industry, the most important attributes are, from a consumer perspective, fairly obvious. Think about some of the features which you’d want to see when searching for a new item of clothing on Google Shopping, Amazon or eBay.

  • Template: Brand + Product Type + color
  • Example: Nike BRS + Running Track Jacket + white

That means you need to search the keywords which your audience is searching for and ensure your titles include them, in order to attract the right shoppers. 

The best means of finding relevant keywords is to use a Search Terms report in Google Ads. This will identify your audience queries and the most common searches which landed you conversions. You can then use these to leverage your product titles. 

Get your product descriptions ready for Black Friday action!

Once the product titles are looking great, it’s easy to forget that descriptions are just as important. For a discerning Black Friday shopper, the extra details you add in the descriptions can be the difference between making a sale or not.

What’s more, search engines will crawl your feed to determine if your listing is relevant for different search queries. The keywords you use in all your ad text play a vital role in determining that relevancy.

A detailed, interesting, humorous and well-written product description (example above) can draw in your visitors and convince them to convert into paying customers. Think about including some of the following factors in your product descriptions to ensure you are drawing the right traffic: 

  • Product Type (tent)
  • Size (3 man)
  • Material (metal, silk, plastic, etc.)
  • Brand (Eurohike)
  • Special/extra features (waterproof, enclosed groundsheet)

Product titles, images and descriptions that look good and have been created with your buyers in mind are without a doubt going to increase your overall clicks, traffic and conversions. Don’t believe me? A few simple improvements to the products listed on Google recently saw a 131% increase in conversion value and 61% more conversions overall (source).

Summing up

The key takeaway from this article should be that the weeks building up to Black Friday are the perfect time to assess and optimize every aspect of your eCommerce business. 

Not only will it pay off in the short term by attracting more traffic and ensuring they have the best possible experience when shopping on your store, but it pays off in the long run too. It can be overwhelming to manage all these elements at once, so select UX and feed marketing tools that can help monitor, automate and optimize your processes to save you time and money.

Author Bio

Ben Culpin is a content marketer for WakeupData, a data feed management company driven by its mission to help empower eCommerce businesses. He specializes in creating valuable, actionable content which will save online merchants time and money.

Posted by Outside Contributor

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