How to prepare for Black Friday 2020 (and beyond)

26th October 2020 • 3 min read

Crikey, is it almost Black Friday again? How did that happen? This year has been a crazy ride for all of us thanks to COVID-19. But time is flying. Believe it or not, the Black Friday 2020 sale and holiday seasons are rapidly approaching. Shoppers have their bank cards at the ready for a frenzy of bargains and damn good deals. But how can you prepare your business to make the most of the upcoming retail boom?

If you think you’re too late for Black Friday 2020, you’re not too late for Christmas or 2021…

In all honesty, the most prepared businesses will have started preparing in the summer (or earlier). But don’t worry, the unpredictable and constantly unfolding events of this year make it totally understandable if you’re only just getting around to thinking about Black Friday 2020 now.

We’ve put together some top tips to help you maximise the benefits of Black Friday 2020. And, as sales for many retailers are down this year, the Black Friday sale period could leak out up until Christmas and into the New Year. So, even if you think you’re too late for actioning some of our suggestions for Black Friday, you’re not too late for Christmas or 2021.

How have shopping habits changed?

There is no doubt that shopping habits have changed dramatically over the years, and even more drastically this year. The poor British high street was already in decline pre-COVID, and the battering it’s taken with lockdown in 2020 is too much for some retailers to bear. 

Online shopping is here to stay people, so you need to make sure your business is optimised to flourish

With millions of us being confined to our homes for months, online sales skyrocketed and retail sales plummeted. Online platforms like Amazon, eBay and ASOS saw a huge increase in demand for their products, whilst high street stores were left out in the cold.

Recent research indicates that the effects of lockdown will permanently change consumer behaviour in the UK. And businesses that have survived need to embrace this change if they want to survive. Online shopping is here to stay people, so you need to make sure your business is optimised to flourish as an ecommerce platform.

Top tips for preparing for Black Friday 2020

1. Be prepared to scale

With online sales going through the roof during 2020, many retailers have seen a sharp increase in their revenue. However, others weren’t so ready to deal with increased online traffic and sales. Being able to scale is hugely important, not just for Black Friday or Christmas but for any time you might see a big increase in demand. Here’s how:

  • Invest in scalable technology
  • Upgrade to a flexible ecommerce platform
  • Increase your online security (like malware blockers, firewalls and security certificates)
  • Make sure your website is hosted on a secure and robust server 

2. Give your network a heads up

We’ve said it a hundred times, preparation is key. And that goes for your Black Friday campaign too. It’s going to be like feeding time in the shark tank, so make sure you have a reliable supply and delivery network in place. Taking time to agree a plan of action ahead of time with your network is extremely useful. 

It’s always good to build good relationships with your supplier and delivery teams, it pays dividends in the long run. And if you can create product bundles, great. If you can pre-pack everything before the big weekend, even better.

3. Ramp up the reviews

Reviews are one of the single most powerful tools you can use to boost your sales. Nowadays peer reviews are one of the most influential factors for customers. We’ve all done it when searching Amazon, you check for the 4+ star products. Remember that for your own products and embrace reviews on your website:

  • Encourage customer reviews by sending post-purchase comms with a review link
  • Make it clear and easy to add a review to your online products
  • Highlight top rated products on your homepage
  • Show customer reviews in a prominent position on your product pages

4. Personalise your comms

Everyone likes to feel special, and your customers are no different. Make an effort to segment your customer lists in advance and plan your comms to reach the right audience. Blanket discounts are fine, but even better is a targeted campaign that offers products of interest to relevant customers.

Start a week or so ahead of Black Friday and send out a couple of pre-sale emails to whet their appetite. A teaser for your upcoming deals will help build interest and excitement.

5. Capture that data

Not only is an event like Black Friday a great boost for sales, it can also be the perfect opportunity to build your database of customers and potential customers. Try offering an additional discount for signing up, or offer a discount alert service for customers to register for. 

The key here is to make it mutually beneficial, so your customers get something in return. And then value their details by only contacting them with relevant or useful information – don’t be a spammer business (no one likes a spammer!).

6. Master the motivation

Anything you can do to help motivate customers to buy your products will help increase your sales. It will depend on the products and deals you’re offering, but some of the most effective ways to motivate a sale include:

  • Countdown timers (both on your site and in email comms)
  • Dynamic pricing to show the latest discounted price 
  • Add customer reviews to any abandoned basket emails you send out
  • Recommendations can work a treat (e.g. highlight best sellers or trending products)
  • Incentivise with a tiered discount system – the more they spend the more they save. 

We hope you find these tips useful. And just a reminder that these tips also work year round for ecommerce, so if you can action them for Black Friday 2020 then aim for Christmas or a New Year sale – or Black Friday 2021.


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