Black Friday is a busy time of year for any retailer. It doesn’t matter if you’re actively taking part in the promotional holiday with a sales event or if you have a simple site discount for a few days during the weekend, you will need to plan in advance.
There is a risk of a number of issues you need to face head-on. From downtime to broken links, you need to work with your team members and agencies to make sure your promotions run smoothly.
Here are five of the biggest tasks you should tick off to minimise any risk of outages, downtime and issues during the Black Friday weekend.
1. Avoid site downtime with an experienced Magento agency
In 2019, site downtime should not be an issue. Security and technology has improved since the days of frequent Black Friday downtime.
In order to minimise the risk of any outages during the busiest trading period of the year, you need an experienced Magento agency who can upgrade your site to the most up to date version and review your site for security risks.
You need a Magento agency who is Magento 2 Certified and has a significant number of their developers with Magento 2 certifications (for Magento 2 Certified Professional Developer, Magento 2 Certified Associate Developer etc.)
An easy place to start is the Magento solution partner network, where each agency will have a dedicated partner page with accreditations, badges and more.
2. Plan and prepare your PPC efforts in advance
PPC and digital advertising is a common strategy for many retailers to maximise sales and drive traffic during the Black Friday weekend. However, an increase in promotions and offers can put a strain on the most well-organised campaigns.
You should work with your PPC agency to prepare a checklist for your PPC campaigns to make sure that during the BFCM period, you don’t experience any issues with broken links, incorrect redirects, wrong tracking codes and more.
You will most likely see the majority of your ecommerce sales in Q4. Opportunities are everywhere during this period for retailers, but only if you have a smart and well-prepared strategy for your digital advertising and PPC.
Read our PPC checklist for the Black Friday period with insight into how to plan for strategy and research, design and creative, copy and targeting, and shopping feeds.
3. Optimise all of your email automations and transactional emails
It is easy to leave your email automations and transactional emails running all year around without much optimisation or tweaking. Once they’re set up, you can (for the most part) spend time and energy into other marketing strategies.
However, whilst this is a common mistake for retailers regardless of the time of year, it is even more crucial that you review these ahead of Black Friday.
Make sure any automations with conflicting offers and promotions are paused. These automations may include cart abandonment or repeat purchase emails with exciting offers to bring customers back to your store. However, these may conflict with your Black Friday offers and can confuse or even anger customers if they don’t work.
4. Clarify your delivery and returns policies
Will your delivery and returns policies change slightly during the peak trading period? If you expect delays in deliveries and refunds, it is best to make this as clear as possible for retailers to avoid any confusion.
Update your policy pages in the run up to Black Friday so that you don’t disappoint any of your customers who may expect their delivery for a certain date (and if you know you won’t be able to meet this expectation).
Your customers are understanding. If you’re open and honest, they will likely be completely happy to wait a little longer for their order or refund.
However, you do want to find a balance in your messaging. You don’t want to ruin your conversion rates by putting a barrier to their purchase in the first place.
5. Set up all tracking and analytics to monitor issues
It’s difficult for retailers to monitor their store during the weekend of Black Friday when most of their staff won’t be in the office and their agencies may or may not be on-hand to help with support.
The easiest way to handle this is to make sure all of your downtime tracking is setup properly. Again, you may need an experienced Magento agency to help with this.
This way, in the unlikely event that your site experiences downtime or if any issues are preventing checkout, you and your agencies will be alerted.
It is crucial that these alerts are up and running in advance of Black Friday so make sure these are working before you head into your busiest promotional time of the year.
Reduce the stress of Black Friday
Black Friday can be exciting. It can be thrilling to see all of those extra sales come in and see your figures go up. Reduce stress by planning and preparing for the potential challenges in advance.
If you need any help with your site support ahead of Black Friday or your PPC campaign management, get in touch with our team.