Falling at the halfway point between Halloween and Christmas, Black Friday is the real start of the holiday season. An American tradition that has been exported to many countries, Black Friday has been adopted in France because of its growing impact. As it takes place a month before Christmas, it is a great occasion to clear your stock, take the pulse of the major sales trends, and promote special offers to get your brand (re)discovered. This year, the big day takes place on Friday 29 November. This means you still have a few days left to get organised, so it’s best to make sure everything is ready on time. Let’s go through your optimal checklist together.
Organise your sales
The aim is to find out which offers you are going to promote on Black Friday. This can be as simple as an Excel spreadsheet with a list of the top-selling products, or any products you have a major surplus in. For each line, you can note down:
- The description, with the relevant keywords to make searches easier.
- The original price of each product.
- Your Black Friday selling price for each product.
- How to promote each product (commercial levers, channels of communication and promotion, etc.).
- The time you’re going to be starting this sale.
Your file could link to software that is able to push certain offers depending on how sales go. By automating your promotion plan with a team of experts, you can save time and focus on other sales levers.
Create a plan B in case of emergencies
Accidents and unpleasant surprises are a fact of life. While you can’t always avoid them, you can set up contingency plans to act quickly if needed. For example:
- Your merchant site goes down, what is your plan B? Who will be mobilised to deal with it urgently? Do you have a backup available that can be activated in minutes?
- Your dropshippers do not have enough stock, how do you respond to your customers? What do your terms and conditions of sale say? Do you refund customers? Do you give customers credit for future purchases?
- Your sales prices do not match those shown. If they are higher, you’ll soon hear about it. If they’re lower, you risk losing a lot of money. What steps have you implemented to monitor price compliance?
- Your promotions aren’t working… you’ve got free shipping which doesn’t end up being free, additional services that don’t work, sales coupons which can’t be activated, etc. What is your plan for fixing this?
- Your customer service team is overwhelmed, do you have a single channel of communication? Can you use social networks to make communicating easier? Who is in charge of the customer service team? Who can be mobilised if needed?
You can’t be prepared for everything, but if you are prepared, it considerably reduces the risk of a catastrophe happening!
Check, test and audit your digital tools
Black Friday is like the 100-metre race in athletics. To get to the top, you have to train hard. In your case, it will be your digital tools that are put to the test. Take the time to check, optimise and replace them if necessary. Check the following:
- Page loading speed (desktop and mobile): you can use online performance measurement tools.
- Responsive design: test on different screen sizes and browsers – and not just the latest versions.
- Broken links: so you can avoid that annoying error 404 page that will lose you credibility and customers.
- Conversion pixels and other tracking tools: to make sure everything works well and that your analyses and KPIs are consistent.
- Forms are working properly: from confirmation messages to proper request reception, this is one important stage you don’t want to neglect.
- Automation scenarios: so you don’t end up with last year’s scenarios with old content, offers and information.
Prepare your content
To save time, you should prepare posts, competitions and all your content in advance. Since you already know what you’re going to sell at a bargain price, you need to know how you’re going to go about putting on the pressure (email marketing, social posts, blog posts, etc.). Don’t forget to designate people who will be responsible for moderating, running and creating buzz on your platforms.
Last but not least, your editorial calendar must be up to date. It will stand you in good stead if you know – hour by hour – exactly when your content will be posted and uploaded. On the other hand, if you work with influencers or affiliates, you need to send your content and kits early to give them time to get organised.
Black Friday is not just a rehearsal for Christmas. It is an independent business event that can have a significant impact on your sales and growth. Neglecting it is running the risk of getting overtaken by your competitors. But with our checklist, everything should turn out fine!