If you're a retailer or merchant looking to use Black Friday to boost this year's pre-Christmas sales, now's the time to stay tuned. There's a lot to prepare for and Black Friday 2021 is fast approaching!
We want to help you identify potential pitfalls early, attract visitors to you and maximise your sales opportunities this year. To do so, here are 13 points you can pay special attention to. Are you ready?
When is Black Friday 2021?
Since Black Friday is a trend that comes from the United States and has been taken up by many European countries, it is worth taking a look at a US calendar. Black Friday is always the day after Thanksgiving and thus the fourth Friday in November. So in 2021, the Black Friday-Cyber Monday weekend starts on Friday 26 November and marks the beginning of the Christmas shopping season. If you're wondering when you should start preparing, the answer is: right now. You only have a few weeks left to get your online shop in shape.
You are already too late and can only do the last minute tricks? Then we have the right BFCM checklist here!
What should you prepare for the Black Friday Sale?
We have compiled a list of 13 points for you so that you don't forget anything this year. If you are a Shopify merchant, you don't have to worry about the most important things: You don't have to move Shopify to a new version, you don't have to install any updates and the cloud system will cushion the expected traffic peaks for you. Time to worry about the other things:
1. Make sure that storage, processing and support are ready.
Imagine your sales and marketing strategies going so well that your sales explode. If you're unprepared, it can lead to empty warehouses, delivery bottlenecks and angry customers. So make sure your back-office processes are up to scratch. You need the necessary infrastructure to process all sales in a timely manner. Make sure your processes in warehousing, order processing, customer support and returns are robust enough to handle all orders.
If you can already anticipate running out of some products, install a back-in-stock app now. Now Back in Stock, for example, is suitable for this. Surfers who are interested in a sold-out product can use it to leave their contact details and will be notified as soon as the desired product is back in stock. This is how you make the most of the situation and improve the customer experience!
2. Analyse and improve your shop's user journey
The best way to find out how visitors move around your website, what they click on, where they get stuck or why they leave the page without making a purchase is to look over their shoulder. There are certain softwares and apps that record visitors and create heatmaps of your website. This gives you a lot of valuable data and allows you to make changes in preparation for Black Friday to ensure that the user journey is fluid until the purchase is completed. Apps such as Lucky Orange Heatmap & Replays, Saviour - Heatmaps & Replay or Replay Site Recorder & Surveys help with this.
3. Prepare landing pages, images and other creative elements.
Ready to get creative? Start preparing your sales campaigns and get them out there with eye-catching banners, enticing images or attention-grabbing gifs. Of course, we could just tell you to "stand out from the crowd"! But you should already be aware of that. The competition is immense, especially on Black Friday weekend. So what to do to stand out? Depending on your target group, it might be worth adapting your advertising images to hypes and current trends. Turn your ad into a meme, photoshop your products into the squid-game setting or pick up on a viral TikTok trend and make your own video featuring your products. Be anything but boring!
If you only want to offer certain products or categories on the weekend, it can be worthwhile to create an additional landing page to convert customers in the funnel more quickly.
You should already start building up your email distribution lists and acquire new followers on Facebook and Instagram in order to play these "warm" contacts with retargeting ads on Black Friday.
Need help customising your Shopify or Shopify Plus store? The Latori team is happy to help! Contact us today without obligation!
4. Optimise the average order value
If prospects are willing to spend money and shop in your shop on the sales weekend anyway, you should use this commitment to boost the average order value. We have already described how you can do this in an additional blog post: 7 tips to increase the average order value.
5. Plan your sales and discounts
Plan your Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales in detail and ask yourself some important questions for this: Do you want to use the whole weekend for discounting? Will the offers change over the course of the weekend? Do you want to promote certain products at certain times? Do you need separate countdowns for these products? Do you have an offer to start the sale and draw as many people into the shop as possible?
Don't forget the power of up-sell and cross-sell. A customer has bought a scarf? Maybe he also wants the gloves with the same pattern! You can find numerous apps for this as well.
By the way: If you have something special planned and the Shopify App Store does not satisfy you, we can help! The Latori team programs your individual Shopify App!
6. Create a wish list
Set up a wish list in your online shop in the run-up to the Black Friday-Cyber Monday weekend. This way, customers can save products for later if they're not ready to buy yet. They can also share the list with friends and family on social channels - free marketing and maybe even more customers!
7. Set up abandonment emails and use discount codes.
If you don't have an email automation for abandoned carts yet, now is a good time to set one up. Shopify already offers this option in your backend, by the way, but service providers like Klaviyo also make it possible. If a prospective customer has placed products in his shopping cart but aborts the purchase process in the meantime, he will have an email in his inbox a short time later with his forgotten products in the shopping cart. If you mean particularly well with him, you can attach a discount code in this email. However, this should remain a BFCM measure, otherwise word of the extra discount will spread quickly and future buyers will take advantage of this good nature.
Please be aware that you need the buyer's consent for such follow-up emails. It is best to talk to a data protection expert you trust.
8. Be quick about it! Convey a sense of urgency!
Create a sense of urgency around your sale in your ad copy and on your website. Limited stock or an imminent end to the sale will help make your visitors more likely to click on the 'add to cart' call-to-action. Try including a countdown timer on your product page that shows how many minutes shoppers have left to qualify for next-day delivery. Remember that Black Friday purchases are often impulse purchases. A little persuasion helps to get these items into the basket and to the checkout.
Also, a countdown showing how many products have already been sold can increase the urge to want to check out faster.
9. Build customer trust
Yes, Black Friday purchases are impulsive. However, most online shoppers have a healthy scepticism and want to be able to trust a seller. Adding customer reviews to your website helps reassure potential customers that you are a reputable brand. So take care of getting new reviews for your website now at the latest.
Including trusted payment methods such as PayPal and major credit cards also adds to the sense of security. A well-written "About Us" page (which, by the way, experience shows are often clicked!) provide the finishing touches in terms of trust.
If you sell products that require explanation, you should also prepare an FAQ page or add questions (and answers) to your existing FAQ page that have often been asked by customers recently.
10. Sell bundles that are only available at BFCM.
Provisional bundles of different products are a great way to highlight items you want your customers to focus on when they are looking for a bargain. Such bundles are also suitable for combining store-bought items with top sellers, as many people shop for gifts on Black Friday and are willing to buy the bundle of top product and rather uninteresting item - the gift recipient might like it anyway, after all.
You can create temporary collections for such bundles or special BFCM products.
Reading tip: We helped our client Shape Republic to improve sales with bundles and a new shop. Read the case study here.
11. Optimise the check-out
The path to your check-out is most important for the profit of your business. You have worked hard to attract customers, but if they leave your website without making a purchase, all your efforts have been in vain. The success of your e-commerce shop depends primarily on how many sales are made, not on how many users visit your shop.
If you manage to increase the completion rate at the checkout by even five or ten percent, you can significantly increase the overall sales of your shop. Make your check-out as simple as possible.
12. Get involved in a good cause!
Are you tired of the constant discount battles and would rather make a statement or pursue a good cause? You're not alone in this, but you're still in the minority. Only a few companies go this route.
You can use the traffic boost, for example, to have a tree planted for every item purchased or to donate a certain amount to a charity. They can also create an additional shop by selling only a handful of products and then donate half of the profits to an organisation.
Latori customer Asphaltgold also went a similar route for Black Friday 2020. In their Shopify shop, they only sold a T-shirt that was meant to raise awareness for togetherness on this planet with an anti-racism statement. 100 per cent of the proceeds were donated to the Foundation for International Weeks Against Racism.
"We made a conscious decision not to encourage shopping on Black Friday 2020, but to encourage reflection," the company explained their campaign.
13. Track your performance
If you've followed our advice in this article and our tips for maximising average order value, you should be well on your way to a great Black Friday weekend. However, it's important to track your metrics via Google Analytics and the stats from your shop and any other channels you use, such as Facebook or Instagram. This is the only way you can understand how your performance was, what went well and what you can improve next year.
Reading tip: Here you will find our 13 tips for Christmas in e-commerce.
Online traders beware - warnings are imminent!
1. Trademark infringements
Online retailers have increasingly fallen into the Black Friday trap in recent years. While their customers save with super deals, Black Friday can be expensive for many retailers. In particular, due to trademark infringements, warnings can threaten.
The term "Black Friday" has been fiercely contested for years, as it is protected by trademark law. More precisely, the trademark belongs to the Austrian Black Friday GmbH, which has been taking action against trademark infringements for some time. Only those who have received the appropriate license from the trademark owner are allowed to advertise with the term. Due to this trademark registration, numerous cancellation requests have been filed in recent years.
However, in February 2020, the Federal Patent Court enforced a partial cancellation. As a result, the trademark was cancelled for all advertising and marketing services as well as trade services in connection with electrical and electronic products. For the latter in particular, there were already many online activities well before the Austrian company filed its trademark application. Despite this partial cancellation, online retailers should still check before their marketing activities whether there might be a threat of trademark infringement. If you want to play it safe, you can simply get creative with your Black Friday offer. Black Friday now comes in all sorts of colors, as Media Markt's "Red Friday" proves. Other online retailers use terms such as "Black Season" and "Black November".
2. European Price Indication Regulation
In addition to trademark infringement, online retailers should also take note of the Price Indication Ordinance, which has been in force since May 28, 2022. This states that every online store must clearly mark on discounted products which price was the lowest in the last 30 days. This is intended to offer European consumers more transparency and ensure protection against fake discounts.
You haven't found a solution to comply with this new obligation yet? Our developers in the Latori team have programmed a Shopify app specifically for this purpose, which you can download from the Shopify App Store!
DOWNLOAD LATORI BEST PRICE INDICATOR NOW
We hope that our Black Friday tips will help you to significantly increase traffic, leads and sales on these promotional days. Whether it's Black Friday, Cyber Monday, or the entire Black Week, use this year-end sales booster to get your Black Friday sales out there! If this is your first Black Friday, treat it as a learning experience for now. Stay motivated and ambitious, set realistic goals and remember not to lose the joy of it.
You need support for the BFCM preparation of your online store? Whether design, app programming or the construction of suitable landing pages - we are there for you. Contact us today without obligation.
Black Friday Tips Frequently Asked Questions
When does Black Friday start?
Black Friday 2022 takes place on November 25 and usually starts at 0 o'clock. However, the so-called Black Week or Cyber Week already starts on Monday, November 21, 2022. The big shopping event ends every year on Cyber Monday, which this year falls on November 28.
Until when goes Black Friday?
The shopping day Black Friday takes place this year on November 25 and the discount promotions usually run the entire day. However, some companies participate in the whole Black Week and thus offer their discounts from Monday, November 21, until Cyber Monday, November 28.
When is Black Friday in Germany?
Black Friday Germany takes place on November 21, 2022. However, some companies start their Black Friday sales the night before or even participate in the full Black Week, which starts on Monday, November 21, and doesn't end until Cyber Monday (11/28-22). If you are competing with international stores, you should pay attention to the different time zones.
How do I prepare my online store for my Black Friday promotions?
Meanwhile, countless stores participate in Black Friday or Black Week, which is why the competition is correspondingly large. In order to keep up, you should prepare your online store well for your Black Friday promotions. In this article, we have compiled a Black Friday guide with 13 tips for you, with which you will definitely succeed.