November is in full swing which means Black Friday, November 23rd to be specific, is just around the corner.  Black Friday is traditionally the busiest shopping day of the year because it kicks off the holiday season with a four-day shopping marathon starting the Thanksgiving evening and running through the following Monday.

This four-day shopping event is crucial for the economy because around 30 percent of annual retail sales occur between Black Friday and Christmas.  Black Friday has traditionally set the tone for the entire shopping season.

While a large portion of the sales will take place within the walls of brick and mortar stores, more and more are shifting online.  In fact, 2017 saw the first time online sales passed in-person retail sales.  Of online sales, 40% of those purchases were done from mobile phones which is a 29% increase over 2016.

The numbers don’t lie — and they make it clear why your business needs to be a part of this annual shopping event!

How to Prepare for Black Friday

black friday email marketingStart building the buzz around your deals and sales for Black Friday immediately!  There is still time, but keep in mind that customers are already scouting deals and planning on where they will be spending their money.

The typical holiday shopper is doing their research, so make sure they know about your deals, products, and events now so they can plan accordingly.  And while we are talking about Black Friday specifically today, make sure you tell them about ALL of the activities and shopping opportunities you’ll have available for the entire weekend.

Use email and social media campaigns to catch the attention of shoppers and build some excitement!  Get cracking on creating enticing emails and social media posts that create a buzz and are shareable.  Shoppers tend to share great finds, so make sure your messages convey all the great reasons they need to shop with you.  Make them fun and personal so they’ll stand out in the sea of emails shoppers will be getting from other businesses.

Before you send your emails, run them through an inbox deliverability tool or service.  This way you’ll be alerted to issues before they go out and you’ll have an opportunity to make adjustments to your emails.  Remember, if the emails don’t make it to the inbox, then consumers won’t know to shop with you on Black Friday.

Give your existing customers a little something special by offering exclusive opportunities to them.  Create special email campaigns just for them that offer extra special deals and bonuses for your most loyal customers.  Customers want to feel special and appreciated, so give it all you’ve got and show them some love!

Have customers you haven’t heard from in a while on your list?  This is a great opportunity to re-engage with those sleepers on your email list too!

While the offers are important, your website stability is something else you want to check now.  Thanksgiving evening is the wrong time to find out your website has hidden issues!   Take the time now to make sure everything on your website is working properly and that your checkout process is fast and glitch-free.  A website that can’t handle traffic or has a glitchy checkout process will miss out on sales when impatient consumers abandon their carts and move on to other websites.

And don’t forget to upsell!  This holiday shopping weekend is a great time to upsell during the checkout process or in your confirmation emails.  Create pairings that make sense and that will entice the consumer to spend a little bit more with you.

It’s almost go time, so what are you waiting for?  Get cracking on preparing your emails and social postings so you can get your customers excited and ready to shop with you on Black Friday!

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