Like Halloween, basketball and massive portion sizes, Black Friday is one of those American traditions that has lodged itself firmly in the British consciousness. Every November, bargain-hungry shoppers take to the high street and their favourite online stores in search of great deals.
Needless to say, Black Friday offers ample opportunity for e-commerce merchants to boost revenue, attract new customers and make a tidy profit. But you need to be proactive if you’re to capitalise on this surge of potential custom.
What is Black Friday?
The Black Friday tradition began in the US in the 1960s and was originally intended to promote sales between Thanksgiving and Christmas. The term “Black Friday” was used by police at the time to describe the surge of vehicle and foot traffic around retail areas in the post-Thanksgiving shopping blitz.
After the dawn of e-commerce, Black Friday became an opportunity for brick and mortar retailers to hold their own against their digital counterparts. However, it wasn’t long before online retailers joined the party. Hence, Black Friday is often usually accompanied by Cyber Monday, a day in which shoppers can load up on great online deals in the run-up to Christmas.
The tradition carried over to the UK in 2010 when e-commerce giant Amazon introduced Black Friday deals that proved so popular that they crashed the servers.
When is Black Friday in the UK in 2021?
Black Friday usually takes place on the last Friday of November, so in 2021 it falls on 26 November. This should give merchants time to plan their strategy and lay the foundations for success. But don’t make the mistake of resting on your laurels. You need to start planning right now if you want to make a big impression on your target market on Black Friday.
Here are some tips to make the most of this holiday shopathon.
Establish clear goals
What do you want to achieve with your Black Friday sale? What product lines do you want to offer at promotional prices? What upselling opportunities are there in bundling items together? Are you looking for an opportunity to engage new customers, or bring lapsed customers back into the fold?
Establishing clear goals will inform your strategy, and prevent wasteful spending that could diminish your margins.
Start prospecting early
Of course, as eager as shoppers are to get the best deals, you can’t expect legions of bargain hunters to drift to you organically. Use this time to invest in PPC campaigns, retargeting ads and email prospecting campaigns to encourage a flow of traffic to your store in the lead-up to the big day.
Make sure your website is ready
Check with your hosting service that resource limits won’t create frustrations for customers. Run some speed tests and make sure your website is optimised for speed. Long page loads mean high bounce rates and abandoned carts.
Of course, as well as ensuring that your website is ready, you’ll need to make sure you have enough stock on your promotional items.
Eliminate barriers to sales
As they search the internet for bargains, many shoppers will come to your store for the first time. So it’s incumbent upon you to make a great first impression. Not only does your website need to look great and offer the products they want, it also needs to be easy to navigate with intuitive UX. You need to put your security credentials front and centre, so shoppers have complete peace of mind. Your website needs to be accessible from a range of mobile devices. And it needs to enable shoppers to pay in a way that is fast and convenient for them, such as using their e-wallets instead of inputting their card details.
It’s important you address these issues to avoid building barriers to sales that could lessen the impact of your Black Friday promotions.
We Can Help
If you’re interested in finding out more about maximising your trade on Black Friday, then get in touch with our financial experts. Discover how GoCardless can help you with ad hoc payments or recurring payments.