Black Friday is a day of big opportunities and one of the busiest times of the year. The term’s history dates back to the 1950s. But its use in the traditional sense started in the 1970s. From that time on, Black Friday marks the start of big holiday sales and the beginning of the Christmas shopping season. Big box stores are crowded with people eager to buy presents and please themselves with good bargains.
In 2021, the highest interest in Black Friday shopping was seen in the US (21.2% of the global share), the country where this event originates from. Big and small business owners that operate within the USA (and not only) have a great chance to make use of rising demand and multiply the Black Friday deal cases.
One of the most important things that can help you stand out in this hectic season (and the one that, surprisingly, not everyone pays attention to) is a convenient eCommerce website that works smoothly.
Why Black Friday Day Is a Special Day
Here are a couple of stats associated with Black Friday that explain why this day requires special preparation.
- 60% of consumers prefer online shopping because they want to avoid crowds in brick-and-mortar stores.
Local businesses need to consider this fact and go digital. Among the top three factors that influence client buying decisions are free shipping (49%), early sales and promotions (36%), and easy-to-use website or app (21%). As you see, more than half of Black Friday buyers are likely to turn into ecommerce clients. Moreover, your website’s convenience and performance will determine if they buy from you or your competitors.
- In 2020, Black Friday’s total spending reached a record $9 million.
Black Friday shopping is acquiring cultural connotations. Shopping on this day turns into a tradition. People enjoy hunting Black Friday sales and making interesting holiday purchases. Meantime, the average small business owner focuses on hunting prospective clients. Their joint effort results in impressive numbers that can bring advantage nearly to all online retailers.
- In the same year, the average spending per shopper reached $997.79.
Surely, Black Friday ideas for small businesses may differ from tips for large enterprises. And these numbers do not directly translate into your Black Friday profit margins. But you get the chance to uncover the opportunities online retailers make use of (on an average day, the spent per shopper is around $335).
- 42% of Black Friday shopping is done via smartphones.
You have to prepare your online store for the increasing Black Friday traffic. What’s more, you should make sure that your solution is optimized for mobile. Phones travel with their owners everywhere, and shoppers prefer to use their smartphones to quickly close shopping deals.
Imagine, with so many potential clients and transactions, there are tons of things that can go wrong. Still, with a few preparations, you can make the website work for you, and not against you.
Just follow these few tips before launching your campaign, and you will be getting that all-important edge over your competitors in no time. Meantime, if you are looking for tips to improve your eCommerce website as a whole, check out this article instead.
Tip 1. A fast eCommerce website is a website that sells.
Do not rush into thinking out your Facebook Black Friday ad. Make sure that your online store sells first. It’s no rocket science: the longer a page takes to load, the higher the chance is that visitors will leave. Especially on the “small business” Black Friday day. If clients are browsing from a smartphone, they expect even better performance. Google reports that if a page takes more than 3 seconds to load, 53% of visitors from mobile leave. Furthermore, over 46% of shoppers say they never return to a slow website.
Do not worry though, as this is a blessing in disguise. If you make your eCommerce website just a tad bit faster than your competitors, your chance of attracting (and maintaining) customers rises dramatically.
Speed testing is your friend.
Start with doing a speed test. There are many speed test tools that you can use, however, we recommend Google’s PageSpeed. It analyzes the speed of your site and even gives you tips on how you can improve it. Quite convenient, isn’t it?
Also, make sure that your checkout process runs smoothly. With such stiff competition, time will be of the essence. If your Black Friday clients can check out quickly and without any problems – they are sure to come back.
Magento 2 can do magic.
Keep in mind that speed also greatly depends on the platform that was used to develop your website. Many popular eCommerce platforms, surprisingly, have quite limited capabilities in this regard.
This, however, cannot be said about Magento 2 – one of the most popular and widely used eCommerce platforms in the world. The latest version has been released not so long ago and it can (literally) do magic for your page load speed. It scored an impressive 98/100 on a recent performance optimization test. With results like this, just imagine what Magento development can do for your business.
Magento powers nearly 250 000 of all active ecommerce websites worldwide, which stands for 1.2% of the Internet as a whole. Even if you have already chosen another eCommerce platform, it’s never too late to switch and take full advantage of Magento 2 benefits. And Forbytes, which specializes in ecommerce software development, can help you out.
Tip 2. Make sure that everything works well on your website.
Can my website handle lots of Black Friday traffic? Are the URLs leading where they are supposed to? Do they work?
If the answer to any of those questions is “No” – you will run into a risk of losing clients. Therefore, check (and double-check) everything before you launch your Black Friday campaign, and you won’t have any problems. Remember that Black Friday marketing will be ineffective if users are dissatisfied with your website quality.
No stress with a high-traffic test.
Black Friday promotions attract more people than usual. Stress test your site to check how it will behave under high traffic. No need to do it every day, of course. Still, a test or two before launching your Black Friday campaign can be a game-changer. Stress tests can simulate the growing number of concurrent users visiting your website to give you a better understanding of whether it can handle the heavy load. LoadRunner, JMeter, Taurus, and Locus are among the big and small business tools for load testing. Use them to check the website’s performance.
You want to have lots of Black Friday visitors on your eCommerce website, right? And if you did your marketing campaign properly, you will. What you don’t want is the website being crashed or unresponsive at busy times. So, prepare in advance – stress test your website.
Check the links.
Another thing that you should keep in mind during Black Friday is your URLs. If the “Cart” button instead leads your clients to a catalog – they will assume (correctly) that your website is broken. To avoid this, simply run a few tests, and go through a checkout process a couple of times. This will be enough to ensure that you make a good impression on your clients.
Remember: tech issues and bugs may be one of the reasons for shopping cart abandonment, the notion that takes prospective clients away. There are many tools that you can use for stress testing (like Load Impact) and link checking (like BrokenLinkCheck). Just pick what suits you the most and test away.
Tip 3. An eCommerce website that looks good on mobile leads to more transactions.
Mobile internet traffic has officially surpassed desktop traffic all the way back in 2016. Nowadays, more and more users visit your store via smartphones and tablets. For example, Yelp reached 31 million unique mobile visitors in the first quarter of 2021.
What’s more, 64% of respondents state that they choose to do online shopping via their mobile phones. This means that offering exclusive deals on mobile conveniently and easily puts you at a great advantage. Especially in a time of great deals and increased competition such as Black Friday.
Spend more to earn more.
This is one of the most powerful small business Black Friday ideas. You should invest in a fast and user-friendly mobile version of your ecommerce website. If you already have a mobile version – spend a considerable amount of time testing and improving it. There are many tools that can help you make your website as mobile-friendly as possible. Also, do not forget to make sure that your website’s UI/UX design is optimized for both web and mobile.
Besides improving user experience and bringing more holiday deals, a well-optimized mobile version does other things too. It increases the average time spent on your pages, makes load speed a lot faster, and, even more importantly, improves your SEO. This leads us to the Black Friday Tip 4.
Tip 4. Invest in SEO to be the first who shows up in the search.
Let’s face it – even if you have the most user-friendly and well-optimized website, nobody is going to buy from you if they can’t find you. And how can they find you? Using Google or any other search engine, of course.
68% of all online experiences start with looking for information in a search engine. This is why everyone is fighting for those top spots on the search page. However, only those who spent lots of time and resources on SEO (search engine optimization) reach success. There are some tips that may help you win this competition.
Some fancy SEO terms.
Many things can rank up your website and draw new customers to it: extensive keyword research and optimization, properly formed URLs, and compelling content that answers user queries. And this is just the tip of the iceberg.
First of all, use an analytics tool to test your SEO. Thankfully, there are tons of them online, so you can pick whichever is best for you. Most of them will give you a solid idea of where you’re at and how to get better. If you are a local business, optimizing your website is a good idea as well. For instance, by integrating local keywords into your content, you increase the chances that Google will show you prior to other searches in the same location. This, in turn, increases the possibility of profitable Black Friday deals. But how to know what keywords will work? In fact, there is something more important you can do — let’s see what it is.
Have someone else do the work for you.
The best way to quickly optimize your ecommerce website is to find an SEO specialist. There are tons of people who dedicate their entire careers to SEO (that’s why they are called specialists). Hiring an expert will drastically improve your chances of drawing more customers to your store. And the best thing is – you don’t necessarily have to hire a dedicated employee for your company to earn VIP customers in the future. There are many freelance experts or even entire agencies that you can refer to for such things.
Tip 5. Protect and secure your customer data.
Finally, if your eCommerce store collects any sort of sensitive data (email address, password, credit card information, etc.) – it must be secured. The analysis of the latest ecommerce trends shows the change in privacy preferences among clients. They are now more concerned about data security than ever before (at 79%). Security systems protect your and your client’s data and prove you to be a trustworthy business.
Black Friday for a small business is not only the time of opportunities. It’s a busy season for hackers as well. With so many transactions being completed every minute, it becomes a lot easier to steal someone’s personal information. What can be done to sleep soundly?
HTTPS is the way to go.
The best way to go about this is by setting up HTTPS on your website, also known as Secure Socket Layers (SSL). This will protect your Black Friday clients by automatically encrypting any data transferred from or to your server.
HTTPS is easy to set and adds trust to a website. You can use this handy guide to help you set everything up in no time.
Bonus tip: think long-term
Always keep the future in mind. Unless you are planning to change the direction of your business, you will have other Black Friday campaigns on your way. So, gather all the data about this year’s campaign, analyze, and save it. Then, use what you have learned next year — your own experience is the best teacher.
If you have a large-scale ecommerce business and cannot gather and manage data manually, consider integrating big data tools into your system. Big data will help you build marketing campaigns based on the analysis of your client’s behavior, interests, and needs. Also, it will make data management effortless and instant.
And the last Black Friday small business tip. Promote your best and massive discounts via social media posts. It increases the chances that users will get interested in your product and accept the special deals offered by you.
Creating a successful Black Friday campaign in today’s market is challenging. Getting an edge over others is even harder. However, if you follow the best Black Friday ideas, gaining an advantage will only be difficult for your competitors. Also, you need to keep improving even after Black Friday passes. The “small business” Cyber Monday is a day that comes after Black Friday and gives a start to the sale season. Cyber Monday deals also can help you earn loyal customers. This is why you need to grow to keep your holiday shoppers engaged.
Always keep in mind what you have learned, and your business will blossom not only during the holiday season. If you need further assistance, do not hesitate to contact us — we are happy to help.