Getting nervous about this year’s Black Friday? We understand the stress! However, we’ve put together a top guide to refer to when planning this year’s approach. Perhaps you’re looking to boost your social media presence or maybe you’re looking for some inspiration while planning.
In this guide we’ll go through all of your Black Friday and Shopify based questions. Then, we’ll discuss ways to optimize your approach this year (and maybe in years to follow as well). So, if you’re looking to boost your Black Friday sales through Shopify, you’re in the right place!
Replo Reviews: Boosting Black Friday Shopify Sales
- What is Shopify?
- When should I start planning for Black Friday?
- How to optimize for Black Friday 2022
- Why is Shopify a good option for your needs?
What Is Shopify?
Shopify is an eCommerce platform that lets retailers build and customize their online store to sell online, with mobile applications, at brick and mortar locations, and even social media marketplaces. Many retailers choose Shopify because they:
- Offer Global Support - Shopify has merchants spanning more than 175 countries
- Empower Creative Expression - Their product allows for extensibility, flexibility, and expression
- Are Built To Scale - Shopify is built to scale no matter your current technical maturity, growth, size, complexity, or location
It is also a hosted, cloud-based software platform so that means it can be accessed from any connected and compatible device. They handle the software updates and any other maintenance that is needed so retailers can focus on selling and connecting with their customers.
What Is Black Friday?
Black Friday is the Friday after Thanksgiving and a big marker of the beginning of the holiday shopping season. Retailers often run big sales with largely discounted prices. Many extend these sales into Cyber Monday, which follows a few days after the big Black Friday rush.
And, as online shopping continues to dominate the retail industry, even more retailers and businesses further extend those sales for an entire week. This allows more shoppers to benefit from those discounted prices, without cramming it all into a small window of time. Shoppers can then shop at their leisure and it may also serve to lighten the load for retailers as well to get products shipped out with a bit more lead time.
Overall, Black Friday has become synonymous with the holiday shopping season. It marks a time for retailers to boost their social media presence, clarify their offerings as a brand, and of course, sell products at discounted prices.
When Should I Start Preparing For Black Friday?
It may never be too early to start planning your marketing strategy for Black Friday! While it seems early to consider marketing plans months ahead, there is a lot to streamline. You’ll want to plan out how you’re going to reach your customers on social media along with how you want to tier your discounts and offerings.
Some retailers even begin offering discounts as early as October to kick off the shopping season. It may sound early, but it could also work for you, depending on your plan of attack. However, the common approach is to start offering Black Friday sales in early to mid November to get customers interested.
According to blackfriday.com, there are some trends to consider for Black Friday 2022 including:
- Rise in in-store shopping following a slump due to the pandemic
- Reduction in supply chain issues, but some growing pains to still consider
- Continuation of early sales, called the “Black Friday Creep” as early as October
- Impact on prices due to inflation
- Growth in resale and trade-in programs
- Pay later programs for shoppers
- Membership deals for shoppers to access earlier shopping hours and better deals
These are just a few of the considerations to keep in mind this Black Friday as a retailer or shopper. While there are certainly other trends to keep in mind, these may serve as either tactics to employ for sellers as they plan their approach this season.
How To Optimize Your Shopify Black Friday Store
Optimization is key ahead of any busy shopping season! We have some top points to consider when optimizing your shopify store ahead of this year’s Black Friday.
1. Start Your Paid Campaigns Early
Every retailer would love to have a robust and easy campaign go off without a hitch, but the timing of any paid campaign truly matters. You may want to consider getting a jump on your offerings earlier than your competitors. This is not to say you should offer Black Friday deals in May. However, you may want to consider rolling out some offerings or doing “early bird” deals ahead of the big November roll out.
Perhaps consider sending out email offerings in late October or early November to get customers interested in your upcoming deals and products.
2. Have Your Sales And Discounts Planned In Advance
Instead of working around the clock in the weeks before Black Friday, you may want to get an earlier start in planning your sales and discounts. This means getting your team together in late summer or early fall to discuss how your numbers look and what you can offer to customers. We all like the idea of 50% off, but if it cuts into your profit margins too much, it may not be the wisest decision then!
Go through your books, look at past trends, and even think about the products you want to push ahead of the holiday season. If you have a new product coming in, think about the pricing structure and how many units you’re looking to sell. It may seem daunting to go through this much planning, but an early start never hurts anyone!
Plus, your customer will only benefit from you taking the time to think about your approach.
3. Create Anticipation In Social Media Platforms
Social Media is the new shopping frontier! With more shoppers finding brands through Instagram and even Facebook, it’s a no-brainer that social media is the way to capture your customers’ attention. You’ll want to consider a few options such as:
- A countdown to Black Friday where you offer limited sales for customers.
- Gift guides to highlight specific products or even show off smaller priced items you’re looking to push. This gives them attention that the more expensive products often overshadow.
- Email with clever copy and incentives such as subscriber discounts.
- Giveaways for customers who interact with your social posts.
4. Give Customers A Plethora Of Ways To Get In Contact With You
The idea of email is wonderful when trying to reach out to your customers, but what if they’re looking to get in contact with you? You may want to consider implementing tools such as:
- Web Chat - You can add this on your website or app to communicate with customers if they have questions. There are even options to add in automated answers if there are similar, frequently asked questions. Some retailers even utilize representatives trained for customer service.
- Social Media - This provides a nice way to interact with your customers on a more personal level. You can send messages quickly and monitor complaints here as well. Basically, this is your quick response option to reach customers unlike ever before.
- Phone Number - You can automate this entire process so that your customer can call for solutions, but be directed to specific menus based on their questions. Then, you can also add in an option to talk to a dedicated customer service representative to further explain anything else.
5. Optimize Your Mobile Version Of Your Store Too
Shoppers are turning to mobile versions of your store, so it’s best to figure out why that is so appealing! For example, let’s say you have a customer who solely shops through Instagram. They scroll through to see brands they like and then visit the store through one of your links. You’ll want to make sure they can complete a purchase easily without having to turn to their laptop instead. This will reduce the drop off and ensure the transaction is completed.
Some retailers make sure to emphasize CTAs with clear and direct “buy now” or “add to cart” buttons. Others also add in options to pay with PayPal so that shoppers can pay easily without having to grab their credit card out. Many now have PayPal loaded into their phone anyway, so this just further simplifies the entire process.
6. Promote Your Black Friday Sale By Email
Email is a great way to get creative with your copy and images. You may want to start crafting this message quite early and also think about:
- Personalization - Should you tailor your message depending on the customer (new vs. returning)?
- Incentives - Are there incentives for signing up to your email list?
- Engagement - Is your copy engaging and drawing attention?
7. Include Trust Badges
Trust badges have become vital to maintaining legitimacy and support from your customer base. But what is a trust badge?
We can look at them as a badge or seal that you put on your website to create trust between you and the customer. This comes in the form of many options such as:
Free Shipping And Money-Back Guarantee - While you don’t have to offer free shipping, if you do you’ll want to add a badge like this to show off that offering. This will enforce transparency and perhaps even avoid an unnecessary drop off because something wasn’t up front from the beginning of the customer’s buying journey.
Safe Checkout - This means that your checkout process includes an SSL certificate, which stands for Secure Socket Layer. It protects your internet connection and prevents information from being stolen or transferred by another party.
Third-Party Endorsements - This takes a little bit of work and time to acquire but basically involves getting accreditation from something like the Better Business Bureau or Google as a trusted source. However, you may want to consider applying for these badges to instill trust in your brand.
8. Be Creative With Banners And Images
Let your creativity fly here! Consider boosting your banner and image offerings ahead of Black Friday to draw your customer in. If they feel that you’re not offering a ton of attention to such a big shopping moment, they may be more inclined to go elsewhere.
While you don’t have to inundate your site with endless bancheckothink that you put some thought into this time, because you did!
Perhaps consider drafting a few Black Friday specific banner and image options this year. You can infuse your brand style and feel into this for an extra special approach. There are even options to add animations to your Shopify pages. Check out our blog post for more!
9. Make The Checkout Process Easy And Customer Friendly
Checkout shouldn’t be complicated. No one wants to go through step after step just to realize that their payment isn’t accepted by your store. Get in front of any issues by putting together an FAQ section for customers to see what your checkout and shipping process is like. Also consider adding in a badge that explains what payments are accepted.
10. Track Your Performance And Conduct Website Analysis
This is going to be pivotal when considering how your branding and approach is working. You want to track to see where your customers are coming from and if they are completing their transaction or if they are dropping off before then. You can do this through Shopify or additionally, if you need assistance with this there are other options.
11. Make Navigating Your Store Easy
You should consider how your website looks, but also how your customer can navigate through it. This means that you may want to consider:
- Menu Options - There are different options when it comes to menus. You can always do a basic drop down menu to start, but a mega menu is also an option. This gives great variety and makes it easier for your customers to navigate through the site.
- Advanced Search Bar - This allows your customers to add in more than a keyword. They can add in additional words to search more specifically for what they are looking for.
- Sale Section - This is a great place to house your sale inventory or even Black Friday deals if you’re looking to call them out specifically.
- Responsive Design - This is a fancy way of saying that your site is ‘responsive’ and similar no matter the platform. Your customer can see the same design elements and features on mobile or desktop applications.
Overall, think about how your customer might use the site. Do you want them to scroll endlessly through product pages? Or, perhaps you want to put them in different categories based on price, type, or even functionality/design. Try scrolling through your site and navigate as a customer would. This may be a fun experiment to check out your site’s navigation and overall user experience.
12. Show Expected Delivery Dates On Your Product Pages
While shipping and supply chain in general may still be a bit slow this year. You can always get ahead of this by explaining your shipping process and displaying delivery dates. Some retailers add in sections such as: “if you order by X, you will receive your product by X.”
You may want to spend some time from now until Black Friday to brainstorm your shipping process and how you can relay that information to customers.
13. Be Clear About Your Return Policies
You can do this by adding in a badge about the length of time your offer for returns. This will show that you are committed to your policies, but also about transparency. No shopper likes to find their product, add it to the cart, add in their information – just to find out there isn’t a clear cut return policy!
Be specific here and call attention to your policies. You’ll make your customer’s life easier and save time answering those questions.
Why Choose Shopify For Your Black Friday Sale
Shopify is an incredibly robust tool to manage all of your eCommerce needs. Long gone are the days of messy templates and functions that lack intuitive design. Now you can run your store efficiently and know that there are platforms that can handle the rest!
You may want to consider getting your Shopify account ready ahead of the Black Friday shopping period. It’s simple to get started and there are even additional tools to consider adding to your storefront. We even put together a list of the 4 best tools to brainstorm and design your next Shopify Storefront.
However, you don’t have to take on this task alone – there are experts to help!
Want More Out of Your Shopify Experience? Check Out Replo!
At Replo, our goal is to enable complete and total customization of every page in your store down to the pixel, which means that our pages are extremely customizable. Our customizability is unique among Shopify page building products – some products allow you to create pages with custom content, but don’t allow full customization of that content.
But with our approach, every Replo page is fully customizable down to every last color and spacing. This means that you can create Shopify standard pages, store homepages, blog posts, and even product description pages (currently in beta, but please reach out to email@example.com for more on this!).
If you’re interested in the fastest way to modify, customize, and build on your Shopify store’s pages, check out our Demo On Getting Started.