Wednesday, August 18, 2021
Written by:
Digital Boutique

Your essential Black Friday checklist

3 minutes

MORGAN HIPP

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Black Friday. The most chaotic day in the ecommerce calendar – and the most opportunity-filled. In 2018, the fashion and luxury items sector reported a 437% rise in sales on this single day. With stakes so high, it’s crucial to prepare your site for the peak. Here’s our guide to the essentials.

Freeze your code

For maximum confidence, implement a code freeze in the weeks running up to Black Friday. When you want your site at its best, it can be tempting to push out a last-minute new feature. But no amount of checks will tell you exactly how that feature will work in the wild and there’s a chance it could break your site altogether. We’ve seen it happen and it’s not worth the risk.

Pay close attention to your checkout

Your checkout is the most complex part of your site. It’s also the most critical, as its performance dictates the number of conversions you can process. Not to mention that the hype around Black Friday makes consumers even more impatient than normal – small frustrations can lead a formerly enthusiastic shopper to abandon their basket and look for deals elsewhere. 

Automated testing is a great way to ensure every aspect of your checkout is flawless. Don’t forget to test your discount codes too.

Test everything on mobile

Eager Black Friday shoppers start bargain hunting as soon as they wake up – which means they’re usually on a mobile device. Argos reported that in the early hours of Black Friday 2020, 92% of traffic originated on mobile devices. Make sure these visitors get the best possible experience by testing every element of your site on mobile.

Ask your customers

As the people using your site most regularly, your customers are the ones most likely to notice a problem. Some will report their negative experience. Study your customer service and LiveChat logs in the run-up to Black Friday to make sure any critical issues are identified and resolved.

Get your marketing on point

How do you capture your audience’s attention on a day when a single email provider can report fielding around 5.8 billion emails? It’s tough but possible. Targeted content, specific keywords and a clean customer database will all help you land your promotional messages with the right people.

Optimise the end-to-end customer experience

Black Friday isn’t just about making sales; it’s about building lifelong customer relationships. That means being prepared for the peak and delivering the same high standards as you do every other day of the year. If your hard-won Black Friday audience receives poor customer service, delayed delivery or poor quality products, they’re unlikely to return. That’s hugely damaging to your store’s growth when you consider that the cost of acquiring more customers can be 5x that of nurturing relationships with the ones you already have.

With a flawless, customer-centred experience, targeted promotion and personalised follow-ups, you'll feel the benefits of your Black Friday sale long into your company’s future.

Watch your shopping feeds closely

As sales increase, so will your out-of-stock items. Check on your Google and Instagram shopping feeds throughout Black Friday to make sure you aren’t wasting your ad spend on items that have become unavailable. 

Create authentic urgency

Many consumers experience choice paralysis on Black Friday. Live stock levels and displays of how many people are viewing each product create a sense of urgency that cuts through. But stay transparent – your goal should be to nudge not manipulate. The former may earn you a loyal customer, while the latter will lose you their business for life.

Run specialist load tests

Load testing is the only way to know how your site will behave under high concurrency. Just be sure to hire an ecommerce specialist – standard tests are ineffective when faced with the network of complex, interconnected processes that make up a retail site. Ideally, start planning your testing schedule three months ahead of the big day– that way you’ll have time to design and run accurate tests and resolve any issues.

Need support for your Black Friday preparations?

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