Excited for Black Friday? You should be.
Black Friday sales hit a record-breaking $9 billion in 2020, up almost 22% on the previous year. Clearly, the opportunities for sellers are huge.
In fact, what started as a US sales day has now spread across the globe with countries like the UK pulling in $7.5 billion, $5.9 billion in Germany, and $4 billion in France in 2020 — despite the challenges of the pandemic.
With results like that on the cards, you’d be wise to position your store to capitalise on all the revenue opportunities Black Friday has to offer. (Trust us, your efforts will be worth it!)
In this post, we’ll share why it’s so important for sellers to put a solid plan in place for Black Friday. We’ll also reveal actionable tactics to help make sure your Black Friday works as part of a larger Q4 strategy, so that you can finish the year stronger than ever.
The scoop on Black Friday
- Why every seller should prepare to win on Black Friday
- How to level up your store for huge Black Friday wins
- Black Friday success is all in the prep work
Black Friday can be your store’s golden ticket to ecommerce success. Seize the opportunity with a little help from SellersFunding.
Why every seller should prepare to win on Black Friday
If you’ve been in the ecomm game for long, you already know that when Q4 rolls around, people go into full-on shopping mode. And that’s great news for your ecommerce brand…at least, if you’re ready.
Problem is, with such a reliable increase in sales every year, many online retailers get tempted into coasting right through the holiday. And with everything else on your plate at year-end, you’d be forgiven for thinking all you have to do is buy a little extra inventory and let the Black Friday rush work its magic.
But the biggest winners are the brands who know the “magic” is in the prep work.
Let’s explore the reasons why getting your store primed for Black Friday is critical for success:
- Win over long-term shoppers with super smooth delivery 🚚: When you invest the time in improving your store for Black Friday, you also work out any kinks in your products and operations. By testing and optimising your supply chain in advance, you’ll wow shoppers with your flawless products, on-time delivery, and excellent service — and keep coming back for more.
- Boost your store’s profitability: A Black-Friday ready store means fewer mistakes and more moolah. Instead of stressing over costly errors like stockouts, you can dedicate your time to important revenue-generating tasks like marketing to help bring in the big bucks. The knock-on effects will be huge — from having more cash to test new products, to having the freedom to expand into new territories.
- Use Black Friday to grow your product portfolio: Since traffic and conversion rates are so high on Black Friday (and Q4 overall), you have the ultimate ‘throw spaghetti at the wall and see what sticks’ opportunity. Now is your chance to test new products without increasing your risk. And who knows? You might even find your next best-seller.
Black Friday is a certified money-maker for ecommerce brands. Get your store ready to win with fair and flexible funding.
How to level up your store for huge Black Friday wins
With Black Friday around the corner, it’s action time. But what steps should you take to position your store a cut above the rest? We got you covered.
Follow these steps for an epic Black Friday:
Create a realistic budget
It may not be the sexiest task, but the first stop on our Black Friday optimisation journey is to get a clear picture of your Black Friday expenses.
Work out what you’ll need to spend in each cost center of your business in order to make Black Friday a success. Then tally up the expenses, along with your existing financial commitments, to get a total budget for Q4.
Next, subtract your total obligations from your available profits and savings to see how much of the bill you can take care of internally. The amount left over is how much you’ll need to cover with working capital or external funding.
For example, your budget calculations could look like this:
- Primary stock: £17,000
- Additional inventory: £4,000
- Extra warehouse space: £1,000
- Packaging supplies: £700
- Extra customer service assistance: £2,000
- Website server upgrade: £400
- Existing expenses: £23,000
Total expenses: £48,100
Available profits from cash flow: £15,000
Available savings: £18,000
Shortfall to cover with external funding: £15,100
Cover the gaps with ecommerce funding
Now that you’ve got a clear idea of how much cash you need in order to get through Q4 headache-free, it’s time to find an ecommerce funding partner that can bridge any financial gaps.
A working capital solution is a good shout because it offers a pool of cash you can pull from as needed to fuel your Black Friday success. However, it’s important to keep in mind that not all funding providers have the same terms for working capital lines of credit.
Here are some of the things to look for in a funding partner:
- Do they provide credit that can scale with your business? (For example, at SellersFunding, we offer flexible credit limits that adjust as your store scales).
- Does your partner have experience and knowledge in the ecommerce space, including its opportunities and challenges?
- Can they help get you from application to funding quickly?
- Do they offer fair rates, fees, and qualification requirements?
- Do they provide resources to help you succeed in business? Or are they just looking to lend you money and send you on your way?
Mine your social media for Black Friday marketing ideas
There’s no tool other out there that can match the reach and power of social media, which is great news for your Black Friday showdown. But social media isn’t just for marketing your products.
With a more strategic approach, you can lay a concrete foundation for your Black Friday event through social-media-powered research and planning.
Let’s zoom in on some of the tactics you can apply:
- Use social media as a scouting tool for popular products: If there’s a product going viral, you can bet social media will be on to it. Scour your social media channels to find your next winning Black Friday product. 🕵️
- Start the Black Friday convo asap: Get involved in conversations with your followers and customers to uncover golden nuggets on what they want to see on Black Friday, what they’re most excited for, and how your store can exceed their expectations.
- Drop the deets on your Black Friday deals: Shoppers like to know what offers and promotions will be running on the big day. Share a few of your top deals so your audience will know your store is worth their precious time during the busiest shopping day of the year.
- Post content that’ll help shoppers make the right decisions: For example, if you run a toy store you could launch a campaign highlighting the hottest toys to come out that year, segmented by age group.
- Snoop on your competitors: Gather promotional ideas from other stores to help benchmark and inspire your own great initiatives and campaigns. Ask yourself:
- What did our competitors do well last year? (For example, winning bundles, exclusive deals, or flash sales.)
- What promotions did shoppers love from stores unrelated to your niches?
- How many promotions would you need to run in order to hit or exceed the competition?
💡Inside Scoop: The sooner you can start dropping Black Friday seeds, the better. Some stores start their Q4 product scouting as early as June and promos in September. You’ll have more time to build shoppers’ anticipation and optimise campaigns for better results.
Keep your supply chain slicker than a fresh haircut
There’s no way to sugarcoat it. Your supply chain can make or break your Black Friday results.
Put the effort in to ensure every stage of your supply is working at its best level so you can deliver an unforgettable experience to customers. To get your supply chain ready, check in on your store’s current status with these simple questions:
- When do we need to order products for on-time delivery?
- Have we booked enough production space?
- Have all products completed quality control checks?
Freight forwarders / suppliers
- Do we have a quick way to pay suppliers and vendors?
- What is the minimum commitment required? What savings can we get by buying items or services in bulk (e.g. freight space)?
- Do our vendors have updated details on our company to avoid delays in production, at ports, or in customs?
3PL / Warehouse
- Can our 3PL handle our order volume and returns while making the shopping experience painless for customers?
- Is our stock spread out over our key territories to ensure faster shipping?
- How is our 3PL / warehouse’s accuracy rate? Do we have guaranteed shipping times?
- Do we have custom content ready to go for Black Friday?
- Have we made a dedicated website section or landing page for our top deals?
- Are we communicating our key delivery information in multiple areas (e.g. banners, FAQs, and product pages)?
- Are we encouraging shoppers to set up an account and save their payment details to speed up the process?
- Are we helping and encouraging shoppers to create wish lists so they can get to their desired goods faster on Black Friday?
- Do we have one-click upsells, cross-sells, and checkout in place?
Black Friday success is all in the prep work
Black Friday offers a fantastic opportunity for ambitious brands to unlock new growth levels in their store, amaze shoppers, and make a load of cash in the process.
But Q4 preparation isn’t for the faint-hearted.
It’s going to take research, strategy, and a strong financial plan to make your Black Friday a success.
Trust the process and know that the same hard work and determination that has gotten you this far, will be more than enough to see you through Black Friday and beyond.
So don’t wait. Jump into your Black Friday to-do list and soon you’ll have explosive sales and a growing customer base to show for it.
Ready to go all in on Black Friday? Find out how SellersFunding can help.
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