How to prepare your website for Black Friday

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I'm here to share my knowledge and experience about all things branding, websites, streamlining and business. I'm a firm believer that sharing wisdom will help us both to navigate this amazing entrepreneurial journey.

Hi, I'm Orsi

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Black Friday is one of the biggest promotional periods of the year, hence why we have to make sure that our website is working properly and providing a seamless user experience to satisfy our customers. No matter if you started early on or you only jump into it a couple of weeks before, if you can implement the following tips, you’ll not just nail these tasks like a pro, but you’ll feel more confident. And as you know, a confident business owner is a magnet for opportunities & sales 🙂

STRATEGY

As I like to do with all of my processes, I start with strategy first. The below Black Friday questions and tips are going to help you think strategically and plan out the best ways to get your sales in front of customers. Spend a couple of hours and go through them one by one. Trust me, it will help you reduce the anxiety you feel about this time of the year.

1. REVIEW YOUR SITE & GOALS

The first and probably most important is to look at your goals. Having realistic goals and expectations can be crucial when it comes to going into a hard sales season. Be honest about them and set yourself goals that are achievable – especially if you are just a few weeks away from Black Friday. Having a clear expectation of what you can accomplish can reduce the anxiety and the judgmental feeling you might have towards yourself.

If this year was already chaos and life threw a lot of curve balls in your way then maybe you can lower your expectations a bit and instead of wanting to reach the next 6 figures you’d be good enough with increasing your subscriber’s list. (Don’t forget, the holiday season is coming as well and January is another great month to offer new deals – so nothing is lost yet.)

2. PLAN OUT SALES

What is your offer, which product or service would be the best to offer this season? Are you going to offer any discounts, bundles, or gifts? What could work the best for your budget + what would your target audience look for & appreciate?

Make sure you’re in alignment with your goals – so if you want to plan it, have a realistic expectation of what is achievable.

3. CREATE A MARKETING CAMPAIGN

How are you going to promote your products/services? What is the quickest, easiest you can do that would generate the biggest return on investment? What is the lower-hanging fruit you can shoot for?
Is it ads? If so – how much money can you spend on them?
Is it an email sequence you send out to your subscribers?
Look at what works best for your business and what is that your audience responds well to.

4. TRACK THE COMPETITION

Tracking competition is not about looking at what they do and copying them. It’s about being open to what is happening around you, what trends are working on the market, and how people respond to them, and nevertheless, it can spark your imagination and generate new ideas this year or for the next launch/sale you will have.

So, if you feel like you’re already behind in the Black Friday race, this is definitely a fun thing that you can do to keep track of activities and save them for the future. Don’t forget to look outside of the box and see what other industries are playing with.

Pro tip: If you’re feeling very low this season you might want to skip this step as it might make you feel even worse. Don’t make yourself do things that make you feel worse.

5. GENERATE BUZZ

People love some mystery and excitement. Look at your target audience, what are they interested in? If you have previous data you can mine, try to look at common patterns – what worked before, what they reacted to. Add a countdown or a special offer that would go away quickly. Make them look forward to the revelation.

Also, this is a good time to increase your social media presence – even if it is not with a huge sale. Trust me, your ideal clients will appreciate a free offer more than not seeing you at all. Plus, it’s a great way to stay on top of mind.

laptop and notepad

WEBSITE PREPARATION

Once you have the strategy figured out you can move on to preparing your website for Black Friday. Some might seem like a crazy idea, or something you would definitely not be able to do it in such a short amount of time. Don’t forget, there is always help out there. Like my Done-in-a-day package that will help you get a strategic solution in just 1 day.

1. ASSESS YOUR WEB HOSTING

This is not the first thing you might have had in mind, but it is super important to have the right hosting in place. Why? Because proper hosting means a 24/7 support as well – most probably over chat – whom you can reach out to if anything comes up. Not saying that it would – but the devil never sleeps.

2. BUILD YOUR E-COMMERCE STORE

You think I am crazy, right? I mean who is going to deal with a new online store just weeks before Black Friday? Well, if you got your goals and expectations right this shouldn’t be a big deal. Unless you happen to have a lot of free time you can do it by yourself – but I kind of have the feeling that this is not the way you’d want to go.

The other option is to reach out to a web designer who can help you. There are plenty of options even for a mini-site that can be done quickly.

If you already worked with a designer before, that’s even better. Send a quick message and set up a call where you can explain your plans for this season. The advantage of working with your former web designer is that you already know each other, you trust her and I am sure she would love to connect with you again and help you out.

3. FOCUS ON SAFE SHOPPING

No matter if you are a service or product based business focusing on safety is a must – at any time of the year. It only takes one bad experience for a business to crash, so we all need to take care of it. If you are on wordpress look up in google what are the latest plugins to keep your site safe, and you can also reach out to your hosting provider to ask, what you can do to keep your and your client’s data protected.

 4.EDIT YOUR RETURN POLICY

This is not something we like to do, I mean thinking about returns and refunds, but it’s better to have a clear policy ready before the s… hits the fan, then feeling overwhelmed and lost when someone wants to get his/her money back.

girl drinking tea in front of laptop

KEEP YOUR COOL

1. PREPARE AN EMERGENCY PLAN

I know this sounds scary. It’s not like we are going into war, but you never know when will something happen to you, your business or your website. When those times come you can get very frustrated, anxious and might not be able to think clearly. Especially if times are like during covid, you might get suddenly sick, or have to take some days off due to family related topics.
Having an emergency plan is not just recommended during Black Friday, but throughout your entire year. The emergency plan will give you the security and confidence that no matter what happens you know what to do. You know what is the best for you and your business. This includes email templates prepared up front – that you can send out to customer, letting them know about your absence and handling their expectations up-front.
It also includes an emergency backup plan which is good for those cases when you need to take a longer time off. Like who will take care of your business while your gone? Is there someone who can cover for you? What will happen with those clients who booked you, purchased already and are looking for your feedback?

2. PREP FOR CUSTOMER SERVICE

This is one of the most important parts of doing any sales / promotional period in your business because no matter what, people will reach out to you, hopefully, to thank you for the greatest product/service they got, or to ask questions. The best way to prepare is to collect questions up-front and have your answers ready. Especially if you have a VA or you are concerned whether your assistant would give the same quality service to your client as you would. Preparing possible questions and answers will make it a lot easier for you to react to inquiries.
Bonus point if you can create 4-5 different email templates as well with your tone of voice, the way you would approach a complaint or an angry customer (we are all human and it can be hard to stay nice when someone is yelling at us over the phone or via email – having a premade script will make sure you keep your calm and react like a pro.)

3. TEST YOUR SITE

Probably the most important steps ever is to test you site! Always before you put out any promotion, new blog post or just update something on it. The best if you set up a day every month to have a rendezvous with your site and do a health check (checking the links, buttons, whether your service/product can be bought, etc).
Especially during Black Friday, people are less patient towards sites that are not working fine – and it also harms your reputation.
Bonus tip: If you have someone you trust go through your site and click buttons, look at the overall user experience.

4. ANALYZE THE RESULTS

This step is the easiest to forget, because you are just done with a huge sale period, you are tired and probably overwhelmed. No matter whether you were rocking at your sales or you are disappointed, analyzing your data is the most valuable step you can do right after the sale ends.

You can do the following:

  • Look at your sales numbers
  • Check traffic in google analytics
  • Check which offer performed the best
  • Record which promotion / ad worked and which didn’t
  • Write down all the lessons learnt

I know that this seems a crazy lot to do, but trust me, if you focus just a little bit on each one of them – maybe set 2 hours each day to go through 1-2 points – you will have great success. I would love to hear how it went for you, or if you have any additional ideas that could help others thrive, let us know in the comments below.

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