8 Tips on How to Prepare for Black Friday 2022
Written by Team 365 finance
Black Friday is one of the biggest shopping days of the year. While originally an American tradition, Black Friday deals can now be found in stores worldwide, with particular interest being shown in the UK: around £8.57 billion was spent in the UK on Black Friday 2019, and £7.95 billion was spent in 2020.
2020 was also notable as it was the first year that UK consumers spent more on Black Friday deals online that they did in-store. While COVID-19 was a huge factor in the move online, it’s important to acknowledge the wider shifts in consumer behaviour towards eCommerce. As customers are keen to find the best deals and often plan ahead of time to do so, eCommerce businesses face steep competition to impress shoppers.
In this article, we’ll consider all the Black Friday opportunities available to UK eCommerce businesses, and provide advice to help you make the most of them. Read on to discover our 8 top tips on how to prepare for Black Friday.
8 Tips on How to Prepare for Black Friday
1. Offer Real Value
It’s vital that your Black Friday deals create genuine savings for your customers, as offering real value on Black Friday will increase customer satisfaction. Doing so can even improve your brand reputation: since shoppers and media organisations like Which? research (and report on) prices ahead of time, your great Black Friday prices will likely be shared on social media or industry-specific websites.
Finally, offering real value helps beat competitors. Since customers sometimes prioritise a good deal over brand loyalty on Black Friday, having the best sales price within your industry helps ensure you retain your market share.
2. Build a Comprehensive Marketing Plan
Effective marketing is crucial to ensuring the success of any sale or special offer you might be holding, as you need to make customers aware of the savings you offer. Good marketing is doubly important for Black Friday sales: your competitors will also try to cash in on the event by offering lower prices, and your marketing will be the only way to cut through the noise.
Here are a few top tips on how to prepare for Black Friday by creating an effective marketing plan:
- Create social media posts in bulk and schedule for them to be posted during peak browsing times.
- Engage your existing customers with more targeted messaging (e.g. use customer data to identify what products they might be interested in, then send emails advertising those products)
- Using paid advertising to increase your visibility.
- Use website analytics to identify users with abandoned carts after Black Friday, then reach out to them with targeted messaging.
3. Optimise Your Website
As an eCommerce business, your success hinges on the effectiveness of your eCommerce platform. You’ll want to make sure you’re offering a streamlined experience, free of bugs or slow loading times. Your eCommerce website should also have a strong focus on useability — product pages should be easy to understand, and the online checkout should be simple to navigate through.
To take advantage of Black Friday opportunities, you’ll need to make additional preparations to ensure your website can handle the increased traffic. Having hundreds or even thousands of new customers browsing and making purchases using your platform can create an enormous strain on the system.
Prepare your website for sudden traffic spikes so it won’t crash during peak times, and make an effort to improve your website load speed so users have a seamless purchasing experience.
4. Automate Your Inventory Management
Inventory management will play a large role in your Black Friday eCommerce strategy, both this year and the next. By having a digital solution for inventory management, you’ll be able to get a real-time view of stock levels, and your system will reorder any items that you’ve sold out of during the sales rush.
An automated inventory management system also provides you with in-depth information on the rate of sales and profit margins for individual products. Using this information, you can adjust your marketing and sales strategies to take advantage of the Black Friday opportunities in 2023 as well.
5. Order from Your Manufacturers Early
Even though the world is recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic, global supply chains are still suffering from significant disruption. As such, it’s best not to leave any Black Friday stock orders until the last minute. As well as obtaining stock before the day itself, you’ll want to leave time to check the quality of your purchases and set up any necessary warehousing or delivery infrastructure.
6. Make Sure You Deliver on Time
While it might seem like obvious advice, ensuring on-time delivery is essential during your Black Friday sales. Any delay in shipping can drastically lower your customer satisfaction, which is particularly important during Black Friday, as you’ll likely be receiving an influx of new customers and making a good first impression helps retain their loyalty long-term.
If you’re looking to guarantee consistently timely deliveries, you may want to outsource the problem entirely: third-party logistics providers can be fantastic for lowering your delivery times. Alternatively, hiring extra employees can help avoid creating a shipping backlog, but make sure you factor them into your business plan. If you don’t need the extra staff permanently, make sure to advertise the positions as temporary or seasonal.
7. Offer Speedy Returns
Since most companies will significantly reduce the prices of their products during Black Friday, the event lends itself to “over-buying” — consumers will likely buy multiple sizes or colours of a product to check which is their favourite, then return any surplus. As such, your business will want to focus on creating an efficient infrastructure for both deliveries and returns.
It’s also important to make the returns process user-friendly. By making it easy to return items, you can create a positive brand experience for customers. Doing so means that even though they’ll be refunded in this instance (thus decreasing your overall revenue) they may return in future to purchase from your company.
8. Try to Lower Your Carbon Footprint
All businesses should take strides to decrease their carbon footprint, not only to ensure their business is environmentally friendly, but to cater to the increasing number of eco-conscious consumers. By changing to recyclable packaging, or auditing your energy bills to reduce electricity usage, you can market your business as an ethical choice for forward-thinking customers.
When to Launch Your Black Friday eCommerce Strategy
If you’re looking to make the most of your Black Friday opportunities, timing is vital. By preparing as early as possible, your business can maximise its profits for the event. Additionally, it means you’ll be able to begin your sale period early: many businesses offer reduced prices on the week leading up to Black Friday, then a further reduction on the date itself. Early preparation means you could potentially enjoy a whole week of increased revenue.
It’s difficult to suggest priorities for businesses, as every company will have unique needs on the run-up to Black Friday. That said, marketing is likely to be the best first step in your Black Friday eCommerce strategy, as having a robust marketing plan in place well before the event means you can publicise your sale to the widest possible audience.
Get Funding Fast with 365 finance
While researching the best way to take advantage of Black Friday opportunities, you may begin to worry about the cost. Business developments like an improved delivery infrastructure and a comprehensive marketing plan can be expensive, particularly if you’re operating an SME that lacks significant resources.
Luckily, 365 finance is here to help. We can provide a merchant cash advance of up to £400,000 without the lengthy approval processes of traditional finance options like bank loans. Our advances work as a form of revenue-based finance, meaning they are low risk and have highly manageable repayment terms.
Rev&U cash advances are perfect for SMEs looking to immediately invest in their growth and take advantage of upcoming sales opportunities, such as Black Friday. We have no stipulations on what the finance is to be spent on, so you have full freedom to invest in whichever department of your business needs improvement.
At 365 finance, we can offer revenue-based funding of £10,000 to £400,000 in capital, so your business can thrive all year round. Apply for funding today without affecting your credit score. Or speak to our team to find out how we can help your business. To find out more, head to our website.