5 easy Steps to Prepare your eCommerce Store for Black Friday 2015

With the air outside getting cooler and christmas ornaments beginning to appear on store shelves, the holidays are just around the corner. But before the month of November comes to a full close, many retailers are frantically preparing for the upcoming Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales.

Though most prominent in the United States, where the sale originates from, recent years have seen shoppers from the UK and other European countries also getting the chance to experience the ubiquitous door-crasher deals of Black Friday. Thought to have been introduced online in 2010 by Amazon, Black Friday is quickly being adopted by retailers all over the world.

This year, Black Friday in the UK is expected to be the biggest one yet, and is predicted to be Britain’s first £1 billion shopping day. Both online and brick and mortar retailers in the UK are planning special promotions to help consumers get a head start their holiday shopping. Although one of the original UK Black Friday leaders, ASDA, surprised everyone this year with their recent announcement that they will not be participating in the sale, many other retailers have preparations underway to delight shoppers with amazing deals. For example, Amazon has confirmed they have been preparing for months to ensure that their warehouse in Dunfermline is well prepared for Black Friday deals.

As an eCommerce retailer, Black Friday is a great opportunity to help consumers complete their holiday gift lists. So how can you prepare for this big day? We propose 5 simple steps to ensure a smooth Black Friday sale:

  1. Clearly plan your offerings

Be sure to set aside some time to carefully choose the products you offer, schedule release dates and set sales prices. This way, when the whirlwind of promotions and discounts starts, you can adapt your strategy according to your plans, rather than improvising at the last minute.

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  1. Add products online early

After selecting the product offering, make sure to add them to your online store in advance (if they are not yet part of your catalog) even if they will not be available before the end of November. This will ensure that there is enough time for search engines to index each product. It also establishes a regular sale price before the promotion goes into effect, so your customers will see the value of your awesome Black Friday deals.

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  1. Confirm that your website can handle more traffic

So your marketing campaign is flawless and have the best deals deals in town...However, with the increased traffic on your site from deal-hunting holiday shoppers, problems may start to appear. To deliver a great customer experience, be sure to check that your website infrastructure can withstand larger amounts of traffic. It’s also a good idea to verify that there won’t be any obstacles at the time of payment (this often leads to abandoned shopping carts) and that your customer service team is prepared with all the necessary tools to do their job. The less obstacles your customer will face in their shopping process, the better!

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  1. Make sure that you will have enough stock

Talk to your suppliers to make sure that you won’t run out stock. There’s nothing worse than running out of product ahead of schedule. Not meeting the demand of your customers could be a sure-fire way to send them directly to the website of your competition. It’s also a good idea to double check that your delivery services will be able to handle the constant stream of orders.

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  1. Price flagship products competitively

It’s important to be priced competitively in your flagship products. And if you promise to be the cheapest, verify that you really are. For today’s consumer, especially the online buyer, price is a major deciding factor when making purchases. In this day and age, it is therefore crucial to have tools for automatically monitoring the competition. By tracking the prices of your online competitors in real time, you can be sure that you will always have a consistent market position.

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By thinking about these five simple things early on, you can minimize stress and maximize returns in the upcoming Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales!

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