Black Friday marks the critical part of the year for online businesses. So that you can prepare as effectively as possible in the weeks leading up to it, our technology partner xentral gives you the most important tips for a successful peak season in this blog article. Use the opportunities provided by Black Friday in ecommerce and maximise your sales.
Bargain hunters love Black Friday, but it mainly means hard work for online merchants. With the right preparation you can treat your customers to special offers, discounts and promotional gifts whilst creating a huge increase in sales for your business.
Key facts on Black Friday in ecommerce
- What is Black Friday? Black Friday is a sales day which originated in the USA and is used by retailers to herald the start of the Christmas shopping season. For about ten years now, we have also had Cyber Monday – online trade’s answer to Black Friday. “Black Friday Cyber Monday” (BFCM) describes the entire shopping weekend.
- When is Black Friday? The biggest shopping event of the year takes place the day after Thanksgiving. As Thanksgiving always falls on a Thursday, many Americans use the Friday as a bridging day for an extended family weekend and to start their Christmas shopping.
- When is Black Friday 2021? This year, Black Friday is on 26 November.
- Where does the name Black Friday come from? There are various theories about the origins of the name. Our favourite one: the shopping day is called Black Friday because it rewards well-prepared merchants with black figures.
- Why is Black Friday important for your ecommerce? Black Friday has now become the most lucrative day for merchants in the USA. It has also become increasingly popular with German shoppers over the last few years.
You can read more about the origins of Black Friday in the recently published Shopware blog about the peak season.
Black Friday sales for merchants: is it worth taking part?
Black Friday sales in ecommerce speak for themselves: in 2019, German merchants made EUR 3.1 billion in sales on BFCM – 22 percent more than in the previous year. The German Retail Federation had predicted sales of EUR 3.7 billion for 2020 .
7 Black Friday tips for more sales from your online shop
The sales day at the end of November is an opportunity not to be missed. The following tips will help you get the best out of the peak season for your business:
1. Start planning as early as possible
Die-hard bargain hunters start looking for offers weeks before Black Friday. So plan which promotions you want to offer your customers and how you are going to advertise them as early as you can.
Ideally, you should prepare landing pages, newsletters, ads and other promotions in September so that they are ready to go by the end of October at the latest. Don’t forget to make visitors to your online shop aware of your planned promotions with pop-ups or banners.
2. Prepare your shop and processes
One thing above all needs to work on Black Friday: your online shop. Users react badly to long waiting times, especially if they fear they are going to miss a bargain.
xentral insight: You can use tools such as www.scale.sc to detect weak spots in your shop’s performance and make sure that your website is ready to accommodate the Black Friday onslaught. You also need to have a developer available for Black Friday who can quickly resolve any issues.
As well as your website, the backend needs to be ready too. All items need to be released and meta descriptions and keywords need to match. A sufficiently large stock and additional manpower in logistics and fulfilment will ensure that your customers receive their items quickly.
3. Talk about your promotions
As well as email marketing and landing pages, you should also use Google Ads to make people aware of your Black Friday offers. Use countdowns to leverage FOMO. Retargeting will help you persuade undecided shoppers to click the “buy” button. Are you taking part in Amazon Black Friday? You can carry out targeted Black Friday promotions there too.
Whether on Amazon, Google or other platforms: since advertising costs increase in the Black Friday phase, you should allocate a large enough budget for the peak season.
⚠️ Note: For some product groups, the term “Black Friday” is protected and may not be used in adverts. In the electrical and electronics sector, the German Federal Court has revoked trademark protection. If you want to safeguard yourself against a warning letter, give your creativity free rein in the search for paraphrases or use safe terms like “Black Week”.
4. Don’t overload your customers
It is not only online merchants who experience exceptional circumstances on Black Friday. BFCM is also a challenge for your customers: every online ad and newsletter is all about bargains, discounts and promotions.
Stand out from the crowd by focussing on one easy-to-understand ecommerce promotions rather than lots of complicated deals. Work with simple messages and clear visuals. Your customers will thank you for it.
5. Use the power of data
What use is the best Black Friday promotion, if it does not reach your target audience? To avoid this happening, you can use sales data from your channels to identify suitable products for discount promotions.
Also look at your competitors and use them as inspiration. Take note of which offers and prices they are planning and how frequently they send out newsletters. Incidentally, here are the products that Germans particularly like buying on Black Friday :
- Electronics (34.7%)
- Fashion and accessories (15.7%)
- Gaming (13.7%)
- Furniture and household goods (6.4%)
- Food (3.2%)
- Cosmetics and toiletries (3.1%)
- Toys (3.0%)
- Travel (3.0 %)
- Sport and outdoor (2.4%)
- DSL and mobile phones (2.1%)
6. Think one step ahead
Don’t forget that Cyber Monday is just around the corner after Black Friday and that the weekend marks the start of Christmas trade. You can generate additional sales with various offers throughout the BFCM weekend. Why? According to mydealz, interest in Black Friday offers has grown significantly over the last few years .
7. Use the right ecommerce tools
Peak times such as Black Friday boost your sales – but only if your processes back this up. Luckily, smart tools are available which make automating your operations easy and mean peak killers do not stand a chance.
One of the most important tools in ecommerce is a smart ERP system such as xentral. It helps you reduce chaos, link your business units and manage your data from a central location and from every device. This means you retain an overview at all times and gain valuable time which you can invest in important phases such as BFCM.
Checklist for a successful Black Friday in ecommerce:
- Plan your marketing campaigns early. Less is more: focus on selected, strong campaigns.
- Prepare your online shop for the onslaught of visitors. Analyse your shop performance and make sure that a developer is available on Black Friday.
- Get your warehouse and logistics ready for peak season. Ensure you have sufficiently large stocks, inform your suppliers and deploy additional working students on BFCM.
- Use all the data available to you. Which items are selling well? Which trends should you take note of? Which channels do your customers use and what is the best way to reach them?
- Watch your competitors. Use Google Alerts or subscribe to newsletters for inspiration and to stay in the loop about promotions and prices.
- Invest in online advertising. Be visible on all channels and use mailings, landing pages, pop-ups and Google Ads for clear messages.
- Stay on the ball. Black Friday is followed by Cyber Monday on 29 November 2021 – use this additional sales opportunity by planning your promotions so they last beyond Black Friday.
We wish you every success in your preparations and on Black Friday.
If you are still looking for the right ERP to maximise your sales with transparency and automation, you can now try xentral free of charge.