How retailers can prepare for Black Friday 2020

Black Friday 2020 is around the corner. Is your eCommerce store ready? Last year, 50% of Black Friday purchases in South Africa were online. This year, the COVID-19 pandemic means that Friday 27 November 2020 is set to see a significant spike in online purchases and standing out from the crowd will be key.

Ecommerce retailers will therefore need to find strategic ways to stand out from the competition, drive conversions, and create a sense of urgency. Payflex outlines 8 essential tips to ensure eCommerce retailers are prepared for one of the year’s biggest shopping events. 

  • Get personal 

In a 2019 survey by PWC, 85% of South Africans surveyed confirmed that they were intending to buy something or would consider it if there is a good enough deal. But with competition to be even tighter for Black Friday 2020, retailers need to go a step further by keeping it personal. Instead of adopting a one-size-fits-all approach, analyze previous data and target your customers based on their previous interests. Tailored offers will be sure to set you apart and help you cut through the noise. 

  • Look beyond 27 November

Don’t limit yourself to running a Black Friday special on the day itself. In a 2019 survey conducted by Geopoll on South African shoppers, 78% said they had shopped during early Black Friday sales. Similarly, both Game and Makro have said they will be running specials for the whole of November. So, instead of focussing only on 27 November, extend your campaign by a week or two, or even  for the entire month.  Consider offering special deals on specific products for a few days at a time.

  • Make sure your site can handle extra traffic

A website crash during peak Black Friday 2020 shopping times could cost you significantly. Geopoll survey  37% of the online shoppers reported that they did encounter issues while online shopping the Black Friday sales. Ensure your site is able to handle a spike in traffic.  We suggest conducting a stress test on your site to better understand your store’s speed, reliability and customer experience. 

  • Provide incentives to existing customers

Black Friday 2020 offers an ideal opportunity to thank your existing customers for their loyalty. Offer your subscribers perks like Black Friday deal sneak peaks (insight into some of the deals that will be available), extra discounts (take another 10% off because you’re a subscriber), or early bird shopping (Give subscribers an exclusive discount code to shop a few days before everyone else).

  • Make the shopping experience as frictionless as possible

Ensure the shopping experience is as seamless as possible. Your goal should be to get customers to convert  in as few clicks as possible. Online shoppers are most turned off by a poorly designed menu (41.2%), followed by search capabilities that are too basic (29.8%) and products that are buried behind too much branding (26.4%). Make sure users do not have too many hurdles to jump through in order to successfully check-out. 

  • Tap into the sense of FOMO 

South Africans are the third most discount obsessed shoppers in the world, according to Nielsen.  Create a sense of urgency to  push conversion rates higher. Add a countdown banner for when specific sales will end and clearly mark limited stock on your site. Indicators like ‘already in 4 other shopping carts’ or ‘valid for the next 5 minutes’ can encourage people to buy.

  • Is your site geared for SEO?

SEO plays a vital role in increasing brand awareness. Review your site’s SEO strategy and ensure you are using relevant, targeted keywords to drive traffic to your site. It is also worth ensuring you have strong key-word enabled content that will further boost visits to your site. 

  • Harness the power of social media

According to PWC, social media was the top source of deals information in 2019, with 48% of male and 52% of female shoppers researching their purchases via this avenue. The power of social media in driving sales and traffic therefore cannot be ignored. Craft targeted strategies to ensure your Black Friday 2020 deals and promotions reach as many people within your target audience as possible.