Black Friday 2022: How to prepare your ecommerce store and attract sales

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Preparing your ecommerce store for Black Friday is not-to-be-missed as online consumers begin Christmas shopping earlier than ever.

What is Black Friday?

Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving when retailers offer huge discounts to shoppers. Initially started in the US, Black Friday is a popular and much-anticipated sale day worldwide in the run-up to Christmas.

Research by Finder in 2021 reported that the countries with the most interest in Black Friday sales are as follows:

1. The US (21.2%)

2. Germany (12.9%)

3. Brazil (11%)

4. The UK (10.3%)

5. Spain (6.3%)

This data was based on the volume of online searches for Black Friday.

When is Black Friday?

This year, Black Friday will be on 25 November 2022, followed by Cyber Monday on 28 November. The entire week following Black Friday typically includes many deals during "Black Week."

Why is Black Friday so popular?

Black Friday falls in what is known as the Golden Quarter. This is the last quarter of the year between October and December when retailers experience their highest sales as shoppers get ready for gift-giving. These mega sale days include:

  • Black Friday
  • Cyber Monday
  • Boxing Day
  • Some big retailers create their own sale days. American outlet, Target, launched their Deal Days in October 2019 and has held them since. Amazon hosts their Prime Early Access Sale in October meanwhile Best Buy has flash sale days in the same month.

    Shoppers online and offline wait eagerly for the Golden Quarter to bag the best discounts of the year.

    7 ways to prepare your ecommerce for Black Friday

    To make the most of the high volume of online shoppers during Black Friday, use these top tips:

    1. Offer competitive discounts

    2. Advertise early

    3. Optimise for smartphone shoppers

    4. Black Friday website graphics

    5. Show the best deals on your home page

    6. Get ready for high traffic

    7. Send an email invitation to your sales

    Let's get stuck into the details.

    1. Offer competitive discounts

    To stand a chance of winning customers in the Black Friday crowd of retailers, you need to offer impressive discounts.

    According to global data from Finder, 2021, the average Black Friday discount online is 34%. Compared to in-store discounts that average 37%.

    Finder also found that 58% of Americans would be enticed to purchase over Black Friday weekend, but only if it's a good deal.

    Only 13% responded that a discount of 25% or less would persuade them to part with their cash. One in five Americans were only interested in half-price sale tags.

    2. Advertise early

    Black Friday sales usually start earlier than the official Friday after Thanksgiving. Many retailers start slashing prices as early as October, before Halloween. Two weeks before Black Friday is when the deals really heat up.

    Advertising early, but not too early, will catch the large herd of organised Christmas shoppers.

    An article by The Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA), 2022, reports that 44% of Brits intend to have their Christmas shopping finished before Black Friday.

    Last year, the National Retail Federation (NRF) found that 46% of Americans made a head start on their shopping earlier than normal. On average, consumers finished nearly a third of their shopping by early November.

    3. Optimise for smartphone shoppers

    Mobile shopping, or m-commerce, is only going up as more people have access to smartphones.

    In 2021, an impressive 71% of online purchases made on Shopify during Black Friday were from smartphones. Purchases from desktops were only 29%.

    This is an increase from 2020 when 67% of customers placed orders from their iPhones and Android devices.

    With these statistics, not having a mobile-friendly ecommerce store will likely mark the death of your business.

    4. Black Friday website graphics

    Don't underestimate the power of excellent website design. A study by Stanford University in 2002 found that 75% of consumers judged the credibility of a business by its website.

    That might have been at the turn of the millennium but it still rings true today. In 2016, Forrester reported that for every $1 a business invested in website user experience, there was a return of $100.

    With this information, here are some visual tips:

  • Don't skimp on updating your seasonal website design
  • Create attractive hero images (large header banner)
  • Add Black Friday pop-up ads
  • Design a Black Friday website skin
  • Use red to immediately indicate a sale
  • Use black so consumers quickly identify Black Friday
  • Consider movement in your graphics such as video
  • Remember not to over-crowd your website with too many elements
  • Insight from 3M suggests that humans process visuals 60,000 times faster than text. Bottom line - make your visuals count. If you don't have website design skills, think about hiring a freelancer to polish your ecommerce store.

    5. Show the best deals on your home page

    Your home page needs to make an impact on visitors to your dropshipping website.

    Promoting your best deals will lure the shoppers to stay on your site and browse your Black Friday promotions.

    Use advertising such as "up to 50% off" to indicate how much your consumers can expect to save as well as highlight products you want to push for sales.

    Tips for your home page:

  • Include punchy, persuasive copywriting
  • Keep the text to a minimum and focus on visuals
  • Make it easy for visitors to click through to Black Friday deals
  • Split the deals into categories eg electricals, garden, toys
  • Use web typography that is easy to read
  • Create clear calls-to-action
  • Add a countdown before sales start
  • 6. Get ready for high traffic

    Website and landing pages that load at a snail's pace suffer high-bounce rates and low ranking in Google search results.

    Check your website speed by using the Google PageSpeed Insights tool to see if there are any improvements you need to make before Black Friday hits.

    With increased traffic over the Black Friday weekend, there's a lot at stake should your website buckle from the number of visitors and payments being made at once.

    Pet notified when your site crashes, becomes slow or has an error by using an uptime monitor. Free providers include:

  • Freshping
  • Better Uptime
  • Zabbix
  • Uptime Robot
  • 7. Send an email invitation to your sales

    We have mentioned before how email marketing is the number one most powerful tool to use for converting sales.

    According to the State of Marketing Trends Report, 2022, a large majority of marketers (77%) have seen an increase in customer engagement with their email campaigns over the last 12 months.

    What's more, global email marketing is forecast to be worth USD 11 billion by the end of 2023.

    The best strategies for email marketing are subscriber segmentation (78%), personalisation (72%), and email automation (71%), says research from HubSpot, 2021.

    Email ideas for Black Friday:

  • Send a personalised invitation to your Black Friday sale
  • Remind your customers leading up to the sale weekend
  • Send emails to highlight products with the best savings
  • Send automatic emails to prompt a purchase if they have abandoned their basket
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