10 Last-Minute Ways to Prep Your E-Commerce Store for Black Friday

  • Strategy, Technology
  • November 18, 2021
  • by Will Lynch

It’s fast approaching: the day that retailers and e-commerce managers alike have had circled in the calendar for months. Make sure that your e-commerce store is optimized for the huge sales period ahead with our last-minute Black Friday Cyber Monday checklist.

1. Start collecting subscribers early 

Collecting email and SMS subscribers as early as possible will help you build up a list of potential customers all waiting in anticipation for your BFCM deals. Take advantage of quick wins to achieve this, such as telling customers exactly what they’ll get when they subscribe and simplifying the sign-up process. When collecting your subscribers make sure to segment your audience.

Not sure how best to go about segmentation? Klaviyo allows merchants to create dynamic segments based on customer behaviour and transactional data, to target promotions more precisely and achieve better results.

2. Get your site BFCM ready

Shopify Plus ensures that your campaigns and flash sales reach their full potential, with higher checkouts per minute, built-in bot protection, and more. And if that’s not enough, Launchpad (available exclusively on Shopify Plus) allows you to schedule changes in themes, product releases, and sales. So, when Black Friday comes around, you’re free to focus on other ways to make the most of this huge sales period.

3. Organize your upsells

Upsells, cross-sells and recommendations keep customers on your site for longer and make sure they’re seeing the right products. Data-driven recommendations can help improve your AOV and conversion rate, which - during BFCM - make a huge difference to your campaign and profit. 

For example, Nosto enables merchants to use geolocation and browsing history to craft content that’ll appeal to that individual. Discover more ways to maximize your sales potential with this BFCM e-commerce tipsheet.

4. Reviews and UGC

Reviews, social proof and UGC act as trust signals and are a must-have for any brand during the BFCM sales, as they encourage more conversions. We’ve found that Yotpo is a fantastic platform for this, allowing brands to combine customer photos, videos and reviews with customizable display options to engage their audiences.

Couple all this with a well-executed sales strategy and you’re on the right track to a successful BFCM. 

5. Backup your store

Changing prices, adding new products, and amending the theme design are all commonplace with a well-thought-out BFCM campaign. However, reverting all those changes post-BFCM can be troublesome and potentially cause harm to sales and customer trust. 

Unless you have a backup solution in place, Rewind offers a complete solution for Shopify that installs in one click. Use their clever calculator to see how much your store could lose if it went down. 

 

6. Prep your email marketing

Getting a pre-BFCM email flow in place will help you drum up FOMO among your subscribers. Segmenting your audience based on VIP and Non-VIP is a sure-fire way to ensure that your most loyal customers have a chance to take advantage of your sales before the general public. 

For more email marketing tactics, check out DotDigital’s top 10 BFCM quick wins.

7. Customer support

Impulse buying is part of BFCM, so offering top-quality customer service across all channels can help encourage those close-to-churn browsers into customers. Gorgias is our go-to for customer service, with options to set up rules to automatically trigger tickets based on customer inquiries or to create macros (pre-made responses) to respond quickly to common questions.

Customer support will also help you solve any issues around delivery, returns and refunds post-BFCM, which is a key part of being able to turn those one-time customers into lifelong brand advocates. Make sure that your customer support is top quality, with these 11 tips.

8. BNPL

Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) options can help increase conversions, reduce cart abandonment and put more money back into your business. When combined with BFCM, pay later options offer a recipe for success… but which to choose? Find the best BNPL option for your brand, here. 

9. Bundles & offers

BFCM doesn't have to just equal a flat discount across the site. Running discounts through bundles helps to improve your AOV, offers the customer a better experience and helps with inventory tracking. Explore options for selling bundles on Shopify, here. 

10. Design (UX) - there’s still time! 

While design and amends to the UX may seem like a long-term project, there’s still time to make tweaks in order to optimize your BFCM. Some quick wins would be to include a countdown clock, as well as clearly displaying out-of-stock items and encouraging users to sign up for a reminder when the product is restocked.

Remember, your customers are going to be navigating your site quickly to find the best deals, so give them a helping hand by following the hierarchy of e-commerce UX needs to ensure it’s on point. For example, on PDPs, display essential info including ‘Buy now / Out of stock’, product quantities, prices, discounts and savings close to each other. 

Conclusion

With BFCM sales accounting for a huge proportion of sales over the holiday period, taking these simple steps to maximize revenue is something your bank account will thank you for. Let’s have a quick recap.

The first step is to build anticipation amongst your audience, whether through email marketing (remember to segment), a countdown clock, or social media. Ensure both your site and your customer service team are up to the influx of traffic and sales and don’t forget to optimize the UX.

Automate what you can to save time, manpower, money and worry, and backup your site to prevent heartache and lost sales after the big event. Use a personalization platform such as Nosto to ensure customers see relevant products, with plenty of reviews and UGC to increase trust and your AOV. 

Finally, don’t forget about bundles - combining certain products together makes sense for both your customers and your bottom line. Need some help or advice to get your website ready for BFCM? Get in touch.


Authors

Will Lynch

Will joined We Make Websites in October 2021. He has a wide range of experience in e-commerce across marketing, partnerships and brand-side.


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