It might feel like everywhere you turn at the moment, someone somewhere is talking about Black Friday sales. And that’s for a good reason. As an online retailer, you don’t want to ignore the hype.

To put it in perspective, if you compare a normal trading day to last year’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday, there was a huge increase in traffic. In 2016, traffic on Black Friday increased by 220% with Cyber Monday increasing to 155%. And what about revenue? Well, this saw an impressive increase of up to 240% and 380% on the Friday and Monday. Those stats cannot be ignored, online retailers need to get involved!

So, what can you do to make sure your business is prepared? Well, I’m about to tell you…

If you had to pick, go with Cyber Monday

Not all e-commerce stores have an unlimited marketing budget, I get that. In fact, dealing with very interesting but niche businesses daily, marketing can often feel like a burden and a secondary thought after the website.

But, if you’re able to invest in promoting your products and your store, and can only pick one, I’d recommend focusing on Cyber Monday. Of course, I’d recommend both if you can afford marketing for the whole weekend. But, as we’ve seen, revenue is a fair bit higher on the Monday compared to Friday. Why? No one really knows yet. Black Friday has been around longer, with the initial hype and focus on brick and mortar. That mentality it seems, hasn’t changed for some bargain hunters.

Cyber Monday also feels like a ‘last chance to buy’ opportunity. And when you have a limited amount of time to get your hands on a bargain, the first place you go is online.

Whatever the reason, you have a higher chance in a return on investment if you focus on Cyber Monday.

Check your stock

If you’ve been advertising a reduced price on a product for Black Friday or Cyber Monday to your customers, then you better make sure you’ve got plenty of stock. You don’t want your advertising to go to waste and not bring in that extra revenue you hoped for. Making sure your products are in stock will increase your sales and leave your customers satisfied.

However, if something does go wrong with the ordering of stock, or you’ve seen overwhelming sales on your products, then you need to communicate that with your customers. There are few things you can consider in making sure your customers are kept in the loop.

Firstly, indicate on the product page when an item is becoming low in stock. Asos are great at doing this. Whenever I see a ‘low in stock’ indicator on a product I really want, it often gives me that push to add to basket and pay quickly so I don’t lose out.

Secondly, just be honest. If the item has sold out, then make it clear on the product page. There’s nothing worse than going through checkout, happy with your purchase, only to see an email pop up in your inbox that the item has sold out. Not cool. And I can be certain your customers won’t be thrilled by this either.

out of stock

Share the love!

And by this I’m talking social media. Don’t keep all those juicy discounts to yourself. With the lead up to the big weekend, you should be advertising your promotions on your social media channels. Warm them up with your offers and make sure you stand out from your competitors. Twitter can, and often does, create a huge buzz on trending events, so make sure you use the correct hashtags in your campaigns!

It doesn’t just have to be about the product either. You could be offering free delivery or promoting an offer or discount, exclusive only to your followers on social.

Don’t forget to send an email campaign as well! I’d recommend a few days before and then the day before, to nudge those forgetful shoppers.

Make sure everything is running smoothly

As I’ve mentioned briefly before in a previous article, it’s important to check and test your site before the rush begins. With the expectant surge in traffic, you don’t want there to be any down time on your site. So, remember to test your system; preferably a few days or a couple of weeks in advance, so you have time to fix any kind of problem that occurs.

Are you ready yet?

Regardless if you’re choosing to take part in one day or the whole weekend, make sure that you’re prepared for what’s to come. That sounds like a daunting message, but if you follow these tips you really will reap the benefits. This handy article also gives some advice on how you can prep for the Black Friday and Cyber Monday rush.

For more practical tips and advice on Black Friday and the upcoming holiday season, follow our Facebook and Twitter page.