Getting Your Online Store Ready for Black Friday 2020

Gayane Tamrazyan
Get your eCommerce store ready for Black Friday 2020

Black Friday is coming and eCommerce brand owners need to prepare their stores  in advance from the technical point of view (to sustain high loads), analytics and design. In this post we’ve collected tips and recommendations for e-tailers to help them be ready for the festive season. 

We’ve identified the top of Black Friday eCommerce activities to save your time and convert more with Black November 2020. 

How to craft your Black Friday monthly plan

Promoting your sales a month before, you’ll need to pace your promotions throughout the whole “Black Friday Month 2020”. Below are the key dates to include in your calendar:

  • Single’s Day (China’s biggest shopping day of the year): November 11, 2020;
  • Thanksgiving Day: November 26, 2020;
  • Black Friday: November 27, 2020;
  • Cyber Monday: November 30, 2020.

Common tips to prepare for Black November

  • Increase your eCommerce site sustainability;
  • Create a contingency plan for trouble;
  • Set your Black Friday marketing campaigns;
  • Launch more ad campaigns;
  • Focus on site performance;
  • Optimize your page for mobile view;
  • Leverage your site navigation;
  • Automate front and backend productivity;
  • Get your post-Black Friday loyalty done;
  • Take advantage of Amazon as an extra sales channel for holidays;

Let’s examine these activities in detail.

Securing your platform from Black Friday high loads

Tips to increase your CS-Cart/Multi-Vendor sustainability:

  • Make sure all functionality and features work properly and your server will be able to cope with the traffic spike. Scale up your hosting plan for these days.
  • Never change anything on Friday if you don’t have someone to monitor: no deployment, release, neither minor changes – if you want to keep your weekend safe, forget about making updates prior to the holidays.
  • Beforehand the Black Friday and the Christmas period, take some precautions against attack and fraud:
    • Don’t collect, save, or archive any data on your customers that you do not need. The less data is, the less is the chance that you can accidentally leak it!
    • Use encryption wherever possible. Enable secure connection to your site (SSL certificates are provided as part of our hosting solutions). Take care of internal communications that your system components have.
    • Update obsolete systems. Everyone knows that they should regularly update their system and security software, but many eCommerce retailers are still running out-of-date systems. Without software updates, hacking your systems is as easy as looking up a list of known vulnerabilities.
  • Is your store mobile-friendly, at least responsive? In the festive season, customers buy on the go. They won’t have time to reach your site from the desktop to make a purchase. Make sure your online store is available for its mobile users. Choose a mobile responsive theme to allow your storefront render correctly on mobiles, or apply the progressive web app technology (you can use our PWAjet to avoid developing a PWA store from scratch).

Solutions that will help you to increase webpage sustainability against high load: How Varnish 5+ can help to sustain traffic?

Varnish Cache is a web page application accelerator. It caches HTTP reverse proxy. An advantage of this accelerator consists of its opportunity to install in front of any server that speaks HTTP. It can be configured to cache the contents that’s why it perfectly suits content- (i.e. image-, video-, text-) heavy websites. Varnish Cache speeds up rendering your eCommerce site. The official developer says that it is capable of speeding up the page delivery with a factor of 300 – 1000x, depending on the architecture.

With Simtech Development Varnish, you get a ready-made add-on already configured for CS-Cart architecture. Acquiring this website accelerator plugin from us, you get all the regular add-on updates. Using the Varnish accelerator is highly recommended for Multi-Vendors and CS-Carts with large databases to increase the webpage loading. 

Building a remarketing Black Friday campaign 

Tips for email marketing:

  • Personalized emails have 29% higher open rates than emails without personalization. Use more personal greetings when mailing your audience!
  • Subject lines with percent-off discounts have an average conversion rate. Always include a percentage in the subject to increase the open rate!
  • If you ❤ an emoji, great news: emojis can increase your click-through-rate by as much as 28%. Don’t be afraid to be too familiar with your correspondents!
  • Emails with images have a 42% higher click-through rate (CTR) compared to text-only emails. A visualized offer works better!
  • Your content should bring a certain value to your reader. Suggest news, tips, ideas, good shots, and information that the reader would find useful!
  • An email call-to-action (CTA) is designed to get a prompt response from the person seeing it. Instead of best: “Buy now”, use more polite and less friction-provoking sentences like “View my cart”, “Return to my cart”.

Tips for storefront optimization:

  • Use all available channels: ads, emails, articles, social media, forums, coupon sites. Cooperate with influencers to attract even more visitors. Don’t forget to optimize your content for SEO!
  • Announce your most tempting offers in advance to warm up the audience and help them save money. Start the countdown one hour before launching the sale. Full width banner can help to make yourself seen!
  • Add features for a quick purchase: One-click purchase, Order again, Bought together, and another cross-sale functionality (like the offer ‘Buy X and get Y products at a special price!’).
  • Define the products that will take part in the sale: put the largest discounts on the top.
  • If you have a limited range of products that will have Balck Friday special prices, group them on a dedicated page and add it to the main navigation. Sell bundles.

Useful plugins to help with marketing campaigns:

  • Create thematic mailing lists and segment your audience for targeted personalized messages with Mailchimp Advanced.
  • Attract more attention to specific items on sale with appealing labels for products included in the Black Friday promo.

Special Offers for CS-Cart and Multi-Vendor startups:

Those who are only starting their business online can save with a bundle of selected add-ons for CS-Cart and Multi-Vendor

Closing

Before the festive season opens, make sure your store is protected, configured to load faster and have all the promotional UX/UI elements on the storefront. Measure everything with analytics. The Black Friday is the ultimate check of what your store is capable of and where you can do better! Don’t underestimate this high time: take advantage of our tips to face Black Friday head on.

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Black Friday 2020

Big Sale starts on Nov. 25