The holidays are quickly approaching. The year 2022 is shaping up to be one of opportunity and change, whether you’re getting ready for the Christmas shopping season in general or for particular days like Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
Despite several difficulties this year, more individuals are shopping online than ever before since they are used to purchasing a greater variety of goods. At the same time, customers are thrilled to be able to once again shop at their neighborhood brick-and-mortar establishments.
It’s crucial to begin planning as soon as possible if you want to maximize this year’s largest shopping event. Black Friday and Cyber Monday are still huge opportunities for your business to conclude the year strong, however, that looks for you, despite the unusual business situation.
A Black Friday preparation checklist
Navigating BFCM and Christmas sales may feel especially difficult this year due to the unsteady economic environment, inventory problems, demand swings, and changing consumer behavior.
As such, we’ve put together our annual Black Friday/Cyber Monday toolkit, complete with materials tailored to the most pressing challenges and possibilities of the season. Making the most of this year’s holiday shopping season can be your goal if you use this Black Friday checklist to get started quickly, prevent last-minute fumbles, and implement your marketing plan.
Planning: Get a head start by getting ready for a longer season
1. Get ready for a longer selling season
Unsurprisingly, online shopping will rule this year’s busiest shopping weekend. In addition, there will be specials and promotions in the days and weeks preceding BFCM, as well as in-person shopping when local conditions permit.
Online sales are probably going to start early and continue past the BFCM weekend because there won’t be as many door-buster offers. In a Justuno poll on Christmas trends for 2021, 65% of US consumers said they will buy their holiday gifts before Thanksgiving. While Black Friday sales fell 31%, overall November 2021 sales increased 10% over the prior year.
In the US, 65% of consumers said they would buy their holiday gifts before BFCM.
Make sure you communicate your deals as early as possible—and, if it’s financially (and operationally) practical), extend them beyond BFCM—given that consumers are starting earlier and debating whether to buy locally or online.
2. Check and get ready for traffic spikes in your shop.
Efficiency is important, as you can see from our Black Friday checklist. This is especially true in regard to your website’s loading times, which can have a significant impact on your clients’ shopping experiences and ultimately your conversion rates. There is evidence that page load times have a direct impact on conversion rates, with as little as a 0.1-second improvement in page load times leading to a 10.1% increase in conversions.
Increases in online traffic might occasionally have a negative side effect in that they can bring down your website. However, if you run a Magento store, you’re in luck because we’ve spent a lot of work making sure that our servers can withstand significant increases in Black Friday traffic and sales.
With Magento’s online store speed report, you can also gauge the server load. We do performance tests for your homepage, most popular pages, and product pages. The results are combined to get an overall score. Additionally, you’ll learn how the pace of your store compares to that of similar companies.
For advice on organizing promotions, getting ready for more shopper inquiries, and managing greater order volumes, see our guide to seasonal sales.
3. Increase your focus on your best sales channels.
Since many companies are going online, now is the year to capitalize on multichannel selling. If you already sell through a variety of channels, decide which has been the most successful for your company and focus more on those over the Christmas season.
To help you reach customers on platforms like Instagram, Facebook, Google, TikTok, Pinterest, Snapchat, and more, Magento offers sales channels. Magento makes it simple to sync your products across many channels while keeping your administration in one place by default.
4. Go Global
It may sound simpler to say than to do. Six months ago, that might have been true, but now that Magento Markets is available, what used to require a big brand with a big budget and a lot of resources has been completely rethought.
With Magento Countries, you can easily grow your customer base and enter new markets with just a few clicks. You can create personalized shopping experiences with well-known domains, payment methods, and languages that will help your customers trust you and make more purchases from anywhere in the world.
Also, your Magento admin gives you access to everything you need to find, set up, and manage global marketplaces. This lets you expand your global Black Friday marketing efforts. To view and change all of your store’s settings in one place and get a quick look at its overall performance, click here. During these times, Magento data offers options, settings, and recommendations to direct your strategy and make selling internationally easier than ever.
5. Prepare backup strategies
Being ready entails regularly asking hard questions and getting ready for the worst. Do you have adequate backups set up in case something goes wrong? What occurs if the shipping business you use gets too busy? Or what happens if your inventory doesn’t arrive when it should? How rapidly is it possible to change your product plan?
We don’t want to make people worry for no reason, but it’s important to be ready for hard times. And since shipping companies have already told people and there is a lot of proof that shipping delays have happened during the epidemic, it is important to plan for them.
Consider the worst-case scenarios that could happen to your company, and wherever you can, develop backup plans. Fixing problems during the busiest shopping weekend of the year is a lot more stressful than taking care of the preparations ahead of time.
6. Help customers directly using Magento POS
In-store sales beat online sales for the first time in 2021, which was a big turning point in the history of traditional retail. But it’s still tough to foretell how much people will prefer to purchase in stores this holiday season.
Will consumers continue to do most of their purchasing online? Will the repressed desire to make in-store purchases lead to higher-than-ever foot traffic? The answer is probably a mix of the two, so you should be prepared to serve your clients wherever they decide to shop.
With Magento POS, brands that were born and raised online can bring their services to physical locations and talk to customers in person. Customers want to shop in whichever combination of brick-and-mortar and digital channels are most convenient for them; therefore, businesses should accommodate this desire by providing options like “buy online, pick up in-store” (BOPIS) and making store inventory visible online. Retailers who meet that expectation will benefit during the busiest shopping season.
7. Take early inventory judgments
If you need vendors to find or make the products you want to sell during BFCM, you should make your choices and place your orders as early as possible. Since the epidemic began, Suppliers have been working above their capacity, so they require a lot of time to prepare your products.
There are many ways to figure out which products to order and which ones you’ll want to reorder from BFCM when it comes to predicting demand. If you use Magento, Magento Reports is a good place to start. You may observe which products tend to do well during the BFCM season by viewing the Sales by Product report and narrowing the time range to include only the days of the previous year’s BFCM.
You can determine which of your goods are performing the best and worst by using ABC analysis. Products that earn an A grade are the ones that bring in the bulk of your money (at least 80%), while products that earn a C grade are essentially worthless (at most, they bring in 5% of your revenue). By advertising high-quality products and offering small discounts during Black Friday, you can boost sales and get rid of old stock at the same time, making the most of the shopping season.
This year, you might be able to improve how you manage your stock by using Magento’s features and other apps for sales forecasting and management. A quick and efficient option to get money to purchase inventory in advance of high sales seasons is through Magento Capital.
8. Plan your delivery strategy early for the hectic season
Shipping is a strategic tool that can have an impact on your organization as a whole and is not just a necessary evil. During big sales times like Black Friday and Cyber Monday, it’s a good idea to look at your shipping plan again.
Giving customers as many delivery options as possible isn’t always the best way to ship. For your e-commerce logistics, it’s important to find the right balance between choices that are doable, reasonable, and meet customer needs. By using the right delivery strategy, you can improve customer satisfaction, get more people to add items to their carts, and raise the average order value (AOV).
It’s important to consider how you’ll be charging clients for shipping because it can have a major impact on your sales and profits. Customers expect shipping to be both free and fast, and ideally both at the same time.
Fast is a nebulous concept. It depends on elements like your geographic region and the expectations of your customers. Fast could mean overnight, two-day, or same-day shipping.
Free delivery never really is “free,” since it shifts the shipping expense to the customer. But if done properly, covering this expense might raise your AOV and entice customers to make larger purchases. Free shipping is not required on all orders; instead, it can be used as a promotional tactic during busy times like Black Friday and Cyber Monday (BFCM) or as an incentive for customers to make larger purchases.
BOPIS, which stands for “buy online, pick up in store,” and local delivery are two good ways for stores to get goods to local customers. Merchants can avoid shipping delays by using their store or warehouse as a pickup point or by having their employees deliver locally. These shipping options are convenient for both shoppers and business owners because of their low costs, and they allow the shopping season to continue even after the deadlines set by most shipping companies for the winter holidays.
When you’ve decided on your Christmas shipping plan, you should let your customers know about it. Post the information on your FAQ or shipping policy page, in emails, and on other marketing platforms. As soon as a customer has finished their purchase, let them know how fast the shipment will be so they can plan for it. Remember to be open and honest about any circumstances that can cause shipment delays for your clients’ items, including carrier delays.
9. Measure your conversion rate and increase it
Just 1% more e-commerce conversions could result in considerable sales growth for your company. Find out what the norm is for a company similar to yours to start. Be aware of how you rank in relation to your geography, GMV, and industry verticals (apparel and accessories, home and garden, health and beauty, and more).
Use the calculator for e-commerce conversion rates to:
Compare your brand to others in your sector and size to see how you stack up.
Learn how to increase your e-commerce conversion rate with these practical ideas.
Find areas for improvement in your brand’s conversion strategy by identifying its weaknesses.
10. Plan your forthcoming sales.
Instead of throwing a last-minute sale on Black Friday, take a look at everything you sell and prepare beforehand. Look at your margins and inventory to find the right discounts, and learn how to set up different discounts on Magento.
A simple way to see all of your expected sales is to make a “planned sales map” in Excel or Google Sheets. You can use the pre-built Google Sheets template provided here to plan your sales for the upcoming year. If you wish to utilize a desktop spreadsheet program like Excel, simply select File > Make a copy or File > Download.
Pick which items will be discounted for the holidays, and set the dates and pricing for the sales to begin. If you have a plan in place now, you won’t have to frantically make decisions the night before a big Christmas sale. In the Mageverticals Store When you’re ready to start your sales, use shared discount links to make it easier for customers to use their offer codes and increase the number of sales you make. You can get assistance for making sales scheduling simple.
When you’re ready to start your sales, use shared discount links to make it easier for customers to use their offer codes and increase the number of sales you make. Find out more about the many discount configurations available in Magento.
Finally, tease your clients with emails about planned events, share sneak previews of impending bargains on social media, and start picking their interests. The earlier you start creating excitement, the more momentum you’ll have when you ultimately announce the sale on Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
11. Improve procedures for order and fulfillment
It may be more difficult to rapidly process and deliver orders to clients if a large number of sales occur in a short amount of time. The following are some methods for streamlining your fulfillment processes for BFCM:
Get your fulfillment area in order.
Whether you’re operating out of a dedicated warehouse or a spare room in your own home, it’s important to have plenty of stock on hand and easy access to your most popular items in order to speed up the picking and packing process.
Over the BFCM time, you’ll probably have an increase in orders, so it would be worthwhile to recruit friends or hire more personnel to assist you to fill and deliver orders to clients more swiftly.
Your fulfillment team and local delivery employees can help you avoid mistakes and ultimately save you time by communicating frequently. Use your admin’s orders Timeline to communicate internal instructions to staff utilize about orders, clients, and fulfillment.
Organize and prioritize your orders.
Prioritize your orders beforehand, and arrange them according to a common requirement to speed up processing. Typical methods of grouping and organizing orders include:
1. Customers come first.
Orders should be put in order of importance to the customer, and the most important orders should be done first so you can thank your most loyal customers. Your most valuable clients can be located via order tags.
2. Shipping specifications.
Sort orders by how quickly they need to be shipped so that customers who paid extra for faster shipping get their items first. By organizing by delivery mode, you can also group and ship all the items that need to be delivered locally or by a certain shipping company at once.
3. Product class.
Picking and packing requirements vary depending on the product. Orders should be categorized by product category to facilitate efficient picking and packing. Pro tip: Put the weight and size of your products in your shop’s admin so you can choose the best packaging and shipping options when it’s time to ship.
Understand the whole order process, from entering the order to delivering it, to make your fulfillment process more efficient. By looking at order analytics, you may be able to find problems in the way you handle fulfillment, shipping, and returns. You can then double-click on important areas to make changes.
Flow is an e-commerce automation tool for Magento Plus users that makes it easier to run your business and all of your apps. With Flow, you can automate fulfillment tasks like managing inventory and reordering, keeping track of returns, keeping an eye on special orders, and giving your support staff the tools they need to handle any problems that may come up.
12. Create a compelling BFCM offer.
To draw people into their stores, many retailers would run a “jaw-dropping” bargain on a well-liked product. There’s a chance that shoppers will buy more things on their way to the register once they’re there to get the big discount. On occasion, this item is sold at a loss in the hopes that customers will purchase more items to make up for the discounted price of the main attraction.
What kind of “can’t miss” deal will get customers into your shop? If you’re sending an email to your subscribers, you might want to highlight the one sale item you think is the most interesting instead of telling them about all of your Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals at once.
Everybody’s email is overrun with promotional texts during BFCM. Finding strategies to stand out in the midst of all this noise is essential.
Once a customer is on your site, you can use different methods to try to get them to place an order and increase the size of that order. Examine the following three ways that Magento apps can be useful:
• Discounts, promotions, and time-limited deals.
We have what it takes to motivate Christmas customers to make a purchase right now. We have countdown timers to create a feeling of urgency and conversion-boosting features to sweeten the deal.
• Cross-sells and upsells of products.
With smart product recommendations based on what customers currently have in their shopping carts, you can increase sales even more.
• More successful checkouts.
Unattended carts represent a missed opportunity. Customers sometimes need a little push to come back and finish their purchases, either because they got sidetracked or couldn’t decide what they wanted.
13. Produce banners and hero graphics to promote holiday sales
With stunning graphics and imagery, what better way to advertise your holiday sales? You don’t need to be a graphic designer to complete tasks, whether you want to employ banner ads to advertise your holiday specials or alter your homepage’s header or hero picture for Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
If you don’t have any experience with graphic design, you can utilize a template from CreativeMarket, use online programs like Taler or Canva, or engage a Magento Expert to make your graphics.
To make setting up and customizing your online store simpler and faster for Magento merchants, we’ve updated our theme editor. The theme editor has been improved, resulting in a more fluid, understandable editing workflow and quicker loading times.
Why not try conducting sponsored Black Friday marketing efforts once you’ve generated visual assets? Find out how Magento Capital provides marketing capital to help businesses develop their brands.
14. Retargeting previous visitors and clients
Use the Facebook pixel that you’ve already installed on your store if you have one. By advertising to those who have already shown interest in your store, you might attract new customers who otherwise might have forgotten about you.
Customers who have made purchases from your store can also be retargeted. Clients you’ve already sold to should be especially responsive to your current Black Friday Cyber Monday promotions because they are typically easier to reach and sell to than entirely new customers.
Get the Facebook channel for your Magento store to put up a Facebook pixel.
15. Begin early with your email marketing efforts
Last year’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday (BFCM) witnessed the highest conversion rates for Magento’s email marketing campaigns ever.
Email marketing strategies should be prepared by all business owners in order to entice clients to return to their websites during the holiday shopping season. Magento Email is integrated into the broader Magento Marketing dashboard, making it simple to oversee all of your marketing initiatives in one spot. The real deal? Emails and campaigns may be planned ahead of time with Magento Email, giving you back valuable hours.
Plan, write, and schedule emails well in advance of the start of Black Friday deals. Following are some pointers for a successful BFCM email marketing campaign:
• Create excitement and anticipation for your forthcoming sale.
In order to reach out to customers who visited your store but didn’t make a purchase, You don’t have to be a graphic designer to do things like use banner ads to promote holiday sales or change the header or hero picture on your homepage for Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
• Customize your email marketing strategies.
Customers receive a barrage of emails from various brands during BFCM. It’s critical that people identify your brand and open the theme editor that has been improved, making it easier to understand how to make changes and faster to load. or country is straightforward with Magento Email. This can increase engaging signs like open and click rates as well as conversions and engagement.
• Send hints and teasers in "warm-up" emails.
Whether your BFCM offer is a discount, an exclusive product, free shipping, charitable donations, or a completely unique-to-you promotion, start teasing it to your subscribers early so they’re ready for the reveal. Sending privileged offers to specific consumer segments, such as your VIP clients, is part of this. Service providers are less likely to mark your email as spam if you send it early. Magento Email has a selection of pre-built holiday templates that you can select from to make it simple to create, alter, schedule, and send emails with just a few clicks.
• When your sale is over, thank your customers.
A follow-up email to thank your subscribers for their business and to keep them warm is always a lovely touch. Don’t over-communicate because customers will Friday emails about their orders in the days after BFCM, so keep that in mind. Aim to have a pre-programmed “thank you” email ready to go out five to seven days after BFCM has ended.
• Create emails for abandoned carts.
Be sure to inform customers who leave their carts empty before BFCM. On BFCM, this will occur more frequently, and an email that is automatically sent in response to a certain event will help to recover some of those lost conversions. Discover how to set this up.
Regarding the last statement, data from SaleCycle shows that on Black Friday 2021, the average percentage of cart abandonment was 79.88%. You’ll obviously want to make an effort to maintain that number as low as feasible. Setting up targeted abandoned cart emails is one of the most efficient methods to achieve this. In this method, you may utilize a persuasive email to entice customers who add items to their cart but leave your business to finish their purchases.
16. Buy now, pay later will increase conversion
It should be easy to make payments. By enabling Shop Pay, you can ensure that your store has the top converting checkout on the internet. By prefilling the details of clients using Shop Pay, shops have a 91% greater mobile conversion rate than standard checkouts. The usage of Shop Pays increases checkout conversion by 9%.
55.8% of customers have used a buy now, pay later option, an increase of nearly 50% in less than a year. Usage of BNPL has increased six times for Gen Z, twice for millennials, and three times for Gen X in the US between 2019 and 2021.
Give consumers additional purchasing power in the US by using Shop Pay Installments, a natural buy-now, pay-later Magento feature that doesn’t require redirects or overselling. This can raise your order value by up to 50%. Your clients can pay in four equal installments without incurring any additional costs or penalties for late payments or hidden fees, interest, or late fees. With Shop Pay Installments, you may increase first-time buyer repeat purchases by up to 23%, minimize sales refunds by up to 17%, and reduce cart abandonment by up to 28%.
17. Give devoted clients rewards
Between Black Friday and Cyber Monday is a great time to keep in touch with past clients and get them to come back.
Customer marketing lets you send emails to old customers and send them your best deals again. Send emails to your current customers using Magento Email to give them the chance to take advantage of sales before anybody else or to offer exclusive discounts for email subscribers only. Exclusive discounts also encourage customers to enter their email before possibly leaving your website.
The Magento App Store has loyalty apps that can be used to convert one-time buyers into recurring buyers.
18. Use chat to convert browsers into buyers
Whether your BFCM offer is a discount, an exclusive product, free shipping, donations to charity, or something else, start teasing it to your subscribers early so they’re ready for the big reveal. questions; in fact, Part of this is sending special offers to certain groups of customers, such as your VIP clients. ents that can make a customer loyal, like when they ask about a product or how it will be shipped or when they can’t get a discount code to work.
Now you are prepared for when those crucial occasions occur. In order to convert more browsers into customers, Magento Inbox gives you a simple method to communicate with customers wherever they are—on your mobile device, in your online store, or on social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram (coming soon). When a customer shops on your website, Inbox shows you what they’ve put in or taken out of their cart, which gives you important information about them.
We are aware of how hectic the holidays are. And you and your colleagues are only sometimes available for chat. Inbox collects emails from your customers when you can’t read them or are too busy to do so, so you can answer them when you have time. You can even add Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) to your chat window so that customers can quickly get the answers they need to feel safe about buying from you. Clients can independently Verify the progress of their orders after making a purchase. By doing this, Inbox can give you more time to devote to the discussions that result in conversions.
BFCM is just the start. The discussions you are having right now are about more than just making the first sale. It’s an opportunity to build a lasting relationship with customers that makes them return for the rest of the year.
19. Offer timely and individualized assistance
Black Friday could be a busy time for customer service. One way to give a great experience that makes customers happy is to answer their questions quickly. Another way is to treat every customer with respect and courtesy.
You can be more consistent and helpful if you have a few standard words and answers ready. This doesn’t take much work upfront. Be especially prepared for these typical sources of annoyance:
- Order from a customer is misplaced or delayed
- An unhappy consumer returns a product
- A customer’s package or the item is delivered broken
It’s also a good idea to brush up on successful and sympathetic customer care techniques as well as what makes for truly wonderful customer service. It will be simpler to communicate with your employees or any additional help you’ve hired for the Christmas crunch if you have this information written down somewhere.
Customers will remember you next year if you do something memorable this year.
20. Provide simple and straightforward returns
Without advice on how to handle returns and exchanges, no Black Friday check list would be complete. Customers’ experiences now include heavy returns, both on Black Friday and generally. Most people expect returns to be easy and free, and they often won’t buy something if they can’t do that.
Make sure your store’s website clearly states your return policy and that it is fair to all customers. Since you’re demonstrating trust in your product and reducing any potential danger, it might just persuade buyers who aren’t sure whether to buy to do so. Some well-liked locations to advertise your return policy are:
- A page for Shipping and Returns
- FAQ page.
- Goods page
- Email notifications of orders
The months of December, January, and February are when you may anticipate getting the most Christmas returns. Learn how to handle returns in Magento so you can do it quickly and effectively while still giving customers the greatest experience possible. You might choose to temporarily change your return policy during the holiday season to give your customers more peace of mind.
An efficient return policy and procedure can actually help create better experiences, despite the fact that they may seem like a headache. Find out how smart return strategies are helping leading businesses boost conversion, increase the average order value (AOV), and build customer loyalty.
Performance: Monitor everything and speed up everything
21. Consider mobile first
Last year was the third year in a row that mobile purchases on BFCM in Magento stores were higher than desktop purchases. This pattern is likely to persist. This means that small business owners must prioritize thinking mobile.
How does using your store on a mobile device feel? Is it simple and intuitive to shop at your store? Does your website work on mobile devices? Test how your store appears on a mobile device even if you aren’t using Magento because all of its themes are responsive and mobile-friendly.
User testing turned seasonal buyers into year-round clients.
Why is it necessary for your interaction with holiday customers to continue beyond the season? Instead, make an effort to keep in touch with and grow your relationship with any new clients you attracted throughout Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
By being active on social media and sending transactional emails to subscribers, you can keep people interested in your business all year long. Retargeting could be the next best course of action if those seasonal one-time buyers chose not to join your email list or follow you on social media.
With retargeting pixels, you can turn one-time buyers into customers you can market to all year. With interesting ads, you can get people to come back to your site and learn more about your newest or most important products.
The time around BFCM and the holidays are a great opportunity for your company to reflect on its triumphs and failures for the past year. The knowledge you gain has value independent of whatever money you may make. This is why it’s important to keep detailed records and look at both successes and failures.
Take note of your decisions and the results as you adopt new ideas and techniques this year by taking notes (and screenshots). With the help of these records, you can set a benchmark for the upcoming holiday season and identify what is profitable for your company so you can do more of it.
During Black Friday and Cyber Monday, businesses might want to think about using more user-tracking tools to get more information.t in performance analysis and comparison. In the Magento backend, you’ll find your BFCM data story.
Here’s to a prosperous BFCM and holiday season.
The secret to a good holiday season is preparation, planning, and getting started earlier. You should be able to find most of the information you need about this year’s sales events and other preparations for Black Friday on this checklist. It should improve your chances of success during the Christmas season.
If you’re looking for Black Friday and Cyber Monday materials, like webinars, guides, and more, then you should definitely check to include a heavy hub page.
Experiencing Black Friday and Cyber Monday for the first time can be an eye-opening and educational experience. Maintain your drive and ambition, make sensible goals, and don’t forget to have fun.