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How to Prepare for Black Friday 2024 - Shopify Black Friday Guide

Last updated: January 3, 2024

Black Friday and Cyber Monday- the busiest weekend in the ecommerce calendar is right around the corner. With a heavy shift in buyer behaviour since the days of covid, customers are shopping online more than ever before, making Black Friday 2024 one of the most anticipated ones yet. As buyer behaviours shift, so do their expectations. Customers want to find the right products easily, be able to browse quickly on any device, and have trust and confidence in merchants when buying.

The importance of preparing your online store for cyber weekend cannot be understated as it provides a fantastic opportunity to acquire new customers and generate huge amounts of revenue to end the year strongly. In this Black Friday guide, Charle goes through everything you need to know to make the most of the biggest weekend in the ecommerce calendar.
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Let your customers know you're doing Black Friday

A simple tip that sometimes goes underappreciated is letting users know that your online store will be participating in Black Friday/Cyber Monday. Especially if you haven’t offered Black Friday deals in the past, it allows customers to prepare themselves to visit and buy from your website, and if wishlists are integrated through apps such as Swym, it encourages customers to curate a basket of their favourite products in the weeks coming up to the event so that alerts can be sent when products are discounted. It is also recommended to try to get customers to sign up for deals in the run-up in November, without giving away too much information on what those deals will be until they go live.

Use social media to build anticipation for Black Friday

When used correctly, social media can be a powerful tool to create an emotional connection with your customer base on the run up to Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Posts can include positive testimonials to build trust and encourage demand, or inspiring imagery to captivate an audience, create hype and promote user sharing content to others. Be sure to post regularly, leverage trends and hashtags to increase exposure of your posts in the weeks prior to the event.

Focus on Email Marketing

In a similar manner to social media, email marketing can also be a powerful tool to give out information and create anticipation for Black Friday and Cyber Monday. These emails can be sent out in a structured order, starting with an initial announcement email of the promotional event, followed later by product-focused emails to keep sale items on the top of the customer’s mind.

It is also highly recommended to create an abandoned cart email series. This can be done using an email service provider such as Klaviyo, or individual cart abandonment follow up emails can be done through the Shopify store.

If you don’t have an abandoned cart email series, now’s a good time to set one up. These can be utilised as part of your email marketing strategy, utilising an email service provider such as Klaviyo. If you don’t have an ESP, you can still send a single follow up cart abandonment email via your Shopify store. During Black Friday, average cart abandonment rate is very high at 69.8%; a large portion of visitors on your store may only get part way through purchasing a product but never finalise their order and so a lot of potential sales might be lost. To combat this, a series of emails can be sent out to encourage customers to come back to your store via saved basket reminders, free shipping, or other discount codes.

Improve Site Speed

Bounce rate is a very valuable metric when it comes to high traffic events such as Black Friday. Every second that a page has to load, the worse a website’s bounce rate gets. These users are then more likely to move to and purchase from competitor’s websites which are faster. A study has found that even a two second decrease in web speed can boost conversion rate by 66%, highlighting the importance of this metric. If your site is slow, Shopify has a detailed guide on how Shopify Plus stores can improve their site performance and speed to prepare for the increased traffic flows generated by Black Friday.

Optimise your store for mobile-first viewing

Black Friday ecommerce trend reports from Bloomreach found that 71% of UK shoppers did their cyber-weekend shopping from mobile shopping using mobile, with more than 7.5 million searches in the UK on Black Friday day alone. With how trends have been shifting, these figures are predicted to be even larger than this in 2024. It therefore makes sense to optimise your Shopify store for an optimised mobile buying experience, with improved site navigation, website speed and one-click purchase functionality for these users.

Boost SEO of your website

It’s no surprise that the volume of Google searches for products and deals skyrocket during the Black Friday and Cyber Monday period. Websites which are optimised for search engine visibility and are positioned higher for targeted search terms are the ones which reap the benefits of this increased amount of traffic. To prepare for cyber weekend, it is suggested to research niche event product keywords and terms and choose a select few to target. Some key terms might be seasonal and bring in larger volumes of users during different periods of the year. Once keywords are identified, they can be targeted in your online store by including them in comprehensive product descriptions, page titles, meta descriptions and so on to give your website a better chance of ranking higher. Latent Semantic Indexing keywords should also be considered. These are keywords which are closely related to your product. For example, a merchant selling jackets can be improved by also including terms such as revisable, winter, warm, padded, puffer and so on throughout the website’s content.

Customer trust

During the cyber weekend, many users will visit new websites that they’ve never purchased from before in an attempt to find the best bargains. Often if a consumer is new to a website, they will seek information to verify whether the store is trustworthy, the quality of the products are up to standard and customer service is adequate. It is therefore paramount to include social proofing in your website. Platforms such as Yotpo offer features such as reviews & ratings, as well as user generated content which can increase customer confidence in making their first purchase. In addition to this, having content which shows return policies, contact details and company history can help improve trust further.

Promote post-Black Friday loyalty

After newly acquired customers make their first purchase, loyalty programs can be used for retention and to create lifetime value to encourage repeat purchases in the future. Platforms such as Loyalty Lion can be installed for Shopify stores to entice long term loyalty and increased revenue by awarding customer points that can be redeemed for rewards at your store. The brand has integrations with email service providers such as Klaviyo to enhance customer emails with personalised loyalty information such as point totals and product recommendations to encourage customers to come back in the weeks and months after Black Friday and Cyber Monday to purchase again.

So there you have it. Hopefully this Black Friday guide has helped you prepare your online store for the busiest and most competitive ecommerce event of the year. From implementing on-site and backend optimisations, leveraging specialised marketing methods, and encouraging customer trust and impulsivity. There are tips and tricks to give any store a competitive advantage for 2024's hot cyber weekend.
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