Purchasing goods online has become a common practice around the world. In 2020 2.05 billion global buyers purchased goods and services online, up from 1,32 in 2014 (55% increase). And even Black Friday has been trending toward an online shopping day rather than an offline event in brick and mortar shops. That shift will only continue this year as well. So now, Black Friday and Сyper Monday are both major online events for buyers and stores. This is especially relevant for the last 1,5 years of Covid-19 isolation when Black Friday moved to the online format. And there are low chances the mad rush of in-person shopping will return soon. Shoppers can relax, sit back and make purchases from their couch instead of standing in lines in offline stores.
But these days are really challenging for web stores. Merchants commonly face the situation when there are so many digital shoppers on Black Friday that the website can’t cope and goes down. Getting prepared for the event involves a lot of expense - marketing, google ad, traffic - but a poor web background can undo all the efforts. So, what is the way out and how to prepare appropriately for Black Friday?
Black Friday 2021 tips and trick
Here are some life hacks from the eCommerce expertAnna Khazhenska.
- Allocate extra money in the budget not only for marketing, delivery, call-center support but as well for web development and maintenance. You may need to implement some optimizations, upgrades on hosting to keep website performance during traffic peaks. If you’re expecting large numbers of visitors, optimization is crucial.
- Run load-testing under expected peak conditions on the eve. For example, if we load 3 times more traffic than usual, the workload must be 3,5-4 times more. Obviously, forecasting and planning for the exact number of shoppers is difficult, but previous year’s statistics and plans will help you.
- Announce Black Friday 1-3 days earlier and finish it 1-3 days later. It allows you to stretch sales in time and quantity. In addition, if you see that the website/servers capacity is not enough, you will have time to add it (a good developers team will definitely assist you).
- Don’t forget about mobile users. 79% of smartphone users have made a purchase online using their mobile device in the last 6 months. Now, with more than half of all internet traffic shopping from a mobile device, it is extremely important to make sure your website is primed for mobile viewing. By the way, a lot of retailers offer bonuses in case of application download.
- Bundles are the best solution on Black Friday. Usually, after choosing 1 item, shoppers don’t want to waste time and compare prices of the related product. On top of that, buyers don’t want to pay twice for shipping. So, you can offer the item without a discount or make it more expensive.
- Explore user experience in color, size of prints, placement of buttons to make it as user-friendly as possible.
- Notify of possible delivery delays and orders processing.
- Draw your buyers’ attention to popular online payment methods.
- Create urgency wisely. For instance, a countdown timer - nowadays people are really pressed for time, so I may recommend using specific words such as “Sale is coming” or “Pretty soon”, “Coming soon”.
- Don’t forget about the subscribe for updates form. It increases the database of potential clients. But don’t make the common mistake - don’t send messages and emails at once, right after getting the form. It irritates the clients. It’s better to save this info to send it later when discounts start. Offering a special discount for subscribers still encourages visitors to fill the form.
- Work with reviews. More than 40% of customers read reviews, so be patient and work with them beforehand. Reply intelligently to negative ones and create trigger chains to collect new positive ones. And as for Black Friday, you expect more visitors allocate resources to respond to reviews immediately.
Useful Black Friday Stats
The Week Before Black Friday
- Online sales peaked on Thursday
- Mobile traffic peaked at 20:00 and desktop traffic peaked at 16:00
- Mobile accounted for 70% of online traffic
- 57% of online sales came from mobile
- Online traffic peaked at 20:00
- 7 out of 10 online sessions were on mobile
- Add-to-cart rates peaked at 21:00
- Total cart abandonment was 76.63%
- Online sales peaked at 21:00
- Online sales volume was 9.0bn
- Mobile online sales was 24% higher than desktop sales
- Cyber Monday accounted for 7.37% of all online traffic from 20th November to 4th December. Black Friday was 9.33%.
- Total Cart Abandonment was 80.25%
- 54% of all online sales came from mobile
- 21:00 was the peak for online sales
- Cyber Monday sales volume hit 10.8B
Black Friday salemarathon will start early and last for a long time, according to Lambert, as it happened last year when stores offered appealing deals throughout the entire month of November. So don’t delay, check if your online store is technically prepared for the Black Friday race, make load and stress tests of your web store, review marketing plan, stocks, logistics etc., and get to the game earlier to win the competition.