Black Friday is approaching. This year, it will take place on 25th of November. Considering the current level of inflation, many predict it will be an important sales event. Shoppers will be keener to look for discounted products. Nevertheless, Black Friday is perceived as one of the best-selling days of the year, and thus a huge opportunity for retailers. However, this event also has its downsides. 

Let’s look into what shop owners need to consider for the success of their Black Friday sales.

Why Black Friday is so important? 

“In 2020 the German Retail Association (HDE) observed an 18% increase in sales compared to the previous year, bringing the total to 3.7 billion euros. Moreover, in 2018 a survey conducted on awareness of Black Friday and Cyber Monday in Germany, showed that 94 % of respondents are familiar with Black Friday campaign. This indicates that most online retailers, regardless of their size, will experience an increase in traffic and potential revenue.

Let’s look at other countries’ stats for these events. 
UK sales exploded during Black Friday and Cyber Monday compared to the eight weeks preceding these events. Sales jumped over 300% in most retail categories. 

Graph showing the percentage change in retail sales during Black Friday and Cyber Monday in the UK in 2020 per product category. Source: Statista
Source: Statista

In Italy, a 2021 survey revealed that the biggest group of Italian respondents (30%) had planned on spending between 251-500 Euros on Black Friday alone.

What do you need to consider to make it successful? 

Proper pricing is key

One of the most crucial points is your pricing strategy. A successful strategy is to use “dynamic pricing” to calculate prices based on competition and market trends automatically. Using certain algorithms, specialized software collects competitor prices for similar items and proposes optimal prices based on different parameters such as click numbers, taxes, shopper profiles, etc.
Besides pricing, you may also use other incentives to convert your shoppers. Think about packages and limited offers such as “buy item A and receive Item B for free” or “buy two get one free”.  Moreover, timing is crucial -you should decide which products to promote and communicate as soon as possible. Lastly, it is helpful to have at least one “super deal”, which will draw attention to your webstore. 

Stress test your website

In case your webstore received too many hits in a short period of time, your site’s performance will be affected which can potentially lead to a system crash. There is nothing more frustrating for shoppers than the slow response of a website. Amazon evaluated the impact of page speed on the conversion rate and found out: Just 100 milliseconds less loading time leads to 1% more conversions!”
Therefore, test your system in advance! You can do it easily using tools like GTmetrix or PageSpeed Insights.

Know your customers 

Make sure you know your customers. Start by evaluating sales for the last couple of months to understand who your target audience is. Conduct tests with a small group of shoppers and evaluate their purchase and checkout journey. Analyze and use these results to improve your site’s user experience. Moreover, if you already have regular customers, do not forget to reach out to them in advance and announce your offers by email .

Reduce returns

While you are preparing for the spike in sales, you might also want to be ready for the inevitable surge in returns. Returns aggressively impact your profit margin, gutting conversion rate and ultimately threatening your business. How you deal with it can differentiate your brand and create a competitive advantage.
So what can you do to reduce returns?
Let’s look into the main reasons driving returns.
According to Shopifyconsumer preference-based returns (e.g., size, fit, style, etc.) tend to drive around 72% of all returns in fashion product categories. “Non-preference-based” reasons (e.g., defective) and “not as described” account for 10% in total.”
As you can see, size is a huge pain point for fashion e-commerce. It is crucial that you have everything it takes to ease the size selection process for shoppers. A size recommender, or a comprehensive size chart can do wonders when it comes to reducing return rates and increasing conversions in your clothing shop. Sizefox offers both options completely free of charge.  With a mere 20-minutes set up, it’s worth giving it a try. Try Sizefox now

After Black Friday

What can you do after Black Friday? There are several things, starting from customer surveys right after the event and using this information to turn your seasonal shoppers into loyal customers. This information combined with data you will collect from your shop system will help you understand how you can further improve your business for the years to come.