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How to prep your Ecommerce site for Black Friday & Cyber Monday

Black Friday and Cyber Monday is one of THE opportunities of the year for ecommerce stores to hit the big time. Consumers are increasingly turning online for Black Friday deals, rather than battling crowds in retail stores, presenting you with prime opportunity to smash your sales targets.

But WARNING: if you don’t prep for the Black Friday e-rush, you could be looking at a car crash of a Black Friday with nightmares such as your site crashing, users not being able to pay, angry customers and ultimately visitors happily taking their purchase power elsewhere for the year‘s biggest spending spree.

So what should be on your Black Friday/Cyber Monday To-Do list? We have put together a prep list for that can help you ensure your marketing and website are ready for a killer day of selling.


You need to advertise your sale well ahead of time so that your audience are aware of the not-to-be-missed deals you are offering on Black Friday. If you’re an early bird that leaves themselves plenty of time to ace the Black Friday Marketing, you should approach it as you would any other marketing campaign > plan how you will utilise appropriate tools to formulate and execute an effective marketing strategy.
A few ideas…

Kit out your website

Ahead of Black Friday, kit out your homepage with a special Black Friday header banner that SHOUTS sale. This is a key way of capturing visitors attention leading up to your sale and leaving in their minds that you have a sale coming up.


Make your offering unmissable

Why not offer an incentive to encourage people through to buying with you. Gestures such as a free gift, gift wrapping, free delivery or a coupon are simple but effective. You can even use this incentive to extend your brand by keeping it tight to your company’s identity. Example, if you are a designer luggage company, there may be an incentive of being entered into a lucky draw for a all-inclusive Eurostar city break.

Also highlight the limited nature of the sale so that visitors know the product offer won’t be available long, so they feel compelled to make a purchase. “Get it before it’s gone” and phrases highlighting time restraint can assist in creating a slight sense of urgency to buy.

Get friendly with email marketing

The power of email marketing should not be ignored. It is a chance for you to land a promotion directly into the mailbox of those who have expressed interest in being contacted by you. Ahead of sale you should have a branded email that presents the brand strongly and communicates your Black Friday deals in an impactful way. Then on the day itself send a followup email with offer details and engaging call to actions direct to the deals.

Top Tip > use compelling call to actions to encourage email readers to visit your site.


Social media marketing

Advertise to the entirety of your network and beyond by posting across your social channels. Ensure you advertise the deals ahead of Black Friday to prepare your customers for the awesome offers to come. Remember you can also target your ideal buyers by paying to reach your ideal demographic through a bit of paid advertising.

Top tip > tailor your post for each channel type and use relevant hashtags



You don’t need telling that your website is central to your Black Friday and Cyber Monday ecommerce success. With your marketing assisting in sending over high levels of traffic to your website, you need to make sure it is up to the job. A few top tips on the technicals to consider in the lead up to Black Friday…


Review your Hosting

With all your marketing activity going on to drive more attention to the site, it is crucial that the site is working well for every user that lands on it. It is exciting that your marketing strategy may result in unprecedented peaks of traffic on your site. Therefore it is crucial to do all you can to ensure all visitors find a LIVE site that functions well.

Black Friday is a prime example of a time when you hope for significantly higher traffic levels. It is always best to discuss potential for surges of visitor numbers predicted with your serve provider so that they can advise on any necessary prep. They’ll help you answer key questions such as: Can your hosting plan handle larger surges of traffic? Do you need to upgrade your hosting type to cope with more traffic during the rush?


Prioritise Security

Customers need to feel reassured that they are purchasing from a genuine store in a secure environment. Online shoppers want to know that the payment information they are sharing is safe and protected. A great way to prove your store’s security is through having an SSL certificate implemented so that your URL receives a secure status demonstrated by a padlock.
We recommend ALL commerce sites to have an SSL certificate implemented. As not only does this encourage Google to rank your site, but the green padlock icon and “https” in URLs is widely recognised and looked for by online shoppers.

Read more about SSL Certificates here

Another way to ease your customers’ minds about security is to display customer testimonials and reviews. Showcasing some nice reviews spreads the words of positivity to potential customers and helps boost your trustworthy image.
These trust-building measures that can make a world of difference, especially on those big shopping days.


Clearly display your Returns Policy

It is inevitable that some customers will want to return their purchases, so it is important that the returns process is hassle-free. This starts off with ensuring the Returns Policy is easy to locate on your site so that customers do not feel that you are hiding information from them. We typically house it clearly in the footer so that visitors can find it easily and there are not layers of website hiding it.

Also it is important that your returns policy is easy to understand. There is no point having it easy to find and then visitors getting frustrated and confused at it being unclear or confusing . Avoid “the fine print” approach; clearly state what they need to know…shipping costs, deadlines, and return policies.

Did you know? The return rate for online purchases is more than three times as high as items purchased in-store


Fine-Tune Optimisation

You want every potential customer to engage with a great user-experience no matter what device they are accessing your ecommerce store on. The last thing you need is to limit your potential customer network by having a glitchy confusing journey via phone, so make sure all aspects of your site are optimised and offer the best possible web experience.

Key points to look out for when reviewing your site’s responsiveness are the product display, load time and menu functionality. Of course your product presentation and purchase journey are key to your sales, so ensure products are listed in a smart neat fashion, gallery images display well and prominently on product inner pages, and all necessary info such as variables and pricing is clear to lead to conversion with strong Call to action buttons.


Boost Your SEO

We’re sure you’ve all heard of SEO, as optimising your site to be read and ranked by search engines is an important part of most companies digital strategy. You want the best possible chance for your potential customers to come across your site, so establishing good SEO in anticipation of seasonal sales is definitely a task for your to-do list.

It is key to remember that organic SEO take time, so the sooner you optimize, the better.

Where to start?! Take a read of our basic 4 steps to SEO success here


Simplify Your Navigation

Failing to have a simple navigation, can cause lack of engagement and therefore loss of sales. A complex menu structure with too many layers can confuse so that visitors are disengaged, so make your site easy to navigate. Streamlining navigation menus engages a user and helps them find what they are after, whilst clear call to actions direct users along a journey and funnels them towards purchasing.


Shorten Load Times

In today’s world, you can’t afford to have a slow site as potential customers will become instantly disengaged and move onto a quicker site.
A few top tips for improving your site’s load time are

  • ensuring you have good hosting company
  • remove old plugins
  • Using light media (not weighty files)
  • test your site’s speed


Be Available

It is inevitable that your customers may have questions whilst shopping, and in frenzied times of Black Friday sales they will want their queries answered in good time. Here is where customer service chimes in…do you have an individual or team prepped to be readily available for customers pressing concerns? It is important that you do so that customers have a positive customer service experience that they remember.

You could enable a live chat functionality on your website if you have a team readily available for answering queries, or perhaps have a customer service email readily available for them to contact you you don’t want the real-time pressure. Remember… whatever communication avenues you present, it is crucial to back them up with a customer service team!


Implement and review analytics

A sale is a great time to collect data on website audience, where traffic comes from, and consumers behaviour on your site, so don’t let it go to waste!

Use Google Analytics or another analytics tool to gather data and take time to review it. This data can give you important insights into how your customers are reaching your site and how they are behaving on it. From this intel you can make informed decisions about improvements for your site so that your next Sale can be even more of a hit!


DID YOU KNOW? Black Friday is also a great time to top up your tech and software? At Foundry Digital we LOVE Adobe and Black Friday is usually a great time to snap up a deal


Hopefully this guide will help you carry out the necessary prep on your ecommerce website so that Black Friday is a real success for your business!



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