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Preparing Your Ecommerce Store for Black Friday 2024

By February 23, 2024March 27th, 2024No Comments

Boost your sales in the 2024 Black Friday event with careful planning and testing now. In this article I’ll walk you through what you should be doing now, to maximise the ROI of your Black Friday marketing strategy.

Before we dive into how to use this event to increase traffic and boost sales, let’s look at the dates that make up Black Friday weekend.

Black Friday Key Dates 2024

Online shoppers are becoming seasoned Black Friday sale shoppers. Your customers will start thinking about Black Friday weekend discounts early on in November, which may cause them to hold back on purchases until Black Friday kicks off. And then, they’ll be looking for bargains until the end of the month.

Here are the Black Friday sale dates you need to put on your promotional calendar:

November 29: Black Friday
November 30: Small Business Saturday
December 2: Cyber Monday

Need help with Black Friday prep?

Should you Take Part in Black Friday Sales?

What started as a post-Thanksgiving sale day in the United States, has grown into the biggest sale event of the year in many countries, including Australia and New Zealand.

According to NAB (National Australia Bank) Australian consumers didn’t hold back this year, spending nearly $9b across the Black Friday weekend (InfoChoice). That’s 22% more than they did during the Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales events of 2022. Data from e-commerce firm Shopify also showed that point-of-sale sales made by its merchants in Australia during this year’s Black Friday sales grew 27% from a year ago (Reuters).

But a boost to revenue is not the only reason to take part in Black Friday weekend. Strategic marketing and advertising throughout November can have a ripple effect on your ecommerce business.

  • Increased visibility online
  • More traffic to your website
  • A growing email list to nurture and promote your products to throughout the year

It’s true, Black Friday sales present a clear opportunity for ecommerce businesses. But there is a downside. Consumers expect heavy discounting at this time of year. And discounts affect your bottom line. By implementing a strategy of Planning and Testing before the big sale event, you’ll have valuable data that you can use to make smarter decisions when it comes to Black Friday promotions.

The metric you’re testing for is called your Marketing Return on Investment.

What is Marketing ROI?

Marketing ROI is the practice of attributing profit and revenue growth to the impact of marketing initiatives (Marketing Revolution). Put simply, it’s a way to measure the degree to which your marketing campaigns contribute to revenue growth.

Marketing ROI is a measurement you should use for all of your marketing campaigns. But it’s particularly important when you’re applying big discounts to your products, like you may choose to do over Black Friday weekend.

How to calculate Marketing ROI

Marketing ROI can be calculated in a number of ways. The simplest being;

(Sales Growth – Marketing Cost) / Marketing Cost = Marketing ROI

However, it’s possible to gather much more accurate data if you use this formula instead;

(Sales Growth – Organic Sales Growth – Marketing Cost) / Marketing Cost = Marketing ROI)

Preparing for Black Friday

Evaluating performance is one of the most important parts of a marketing campaign. If you don’t know whether your marketing efforts are improving your bottom line, you can’t judge the success of a campaign and you won’t know how to tweak it to improve results. That’s why we recommend running test campaigns prior to the November sale period. You should be testing offers, sales and landing pages, email copy, social media copy and channels, funnels and lead generation strategies. Doing this now will help you to know which products, discounts and promotions are going to make the biggest impact on your bottom line in November. It will also help you to know how far you can go with discounts and special offers like ‘two-for-one’ or ‘free shipping’.

Throughout your testing be vigilant in considering important metrics like the ones below, whilst also asking yourself this simple question; what would a 1% improvement in just one of these areas mean for the profitability of my Black Friday weekend promotions?

  • Customer acquisition costs
  • Conversion rate
  • AOV (average order value)
  • LTV (lifetime value)

Plan for a Surge in Traffic

Along with testing, you’re going to want to start planning for the Black Friday surge in traffic that your marketing and advertising initiatives generate. Now is also a good time to look at your sales and customer service processes generally.

Here’s a checklist of planning to-do’s to dive into over the next month:

  • Assess your store’s Core Web Vitals
  • Identify your top sales channels
  • Monitor your competition
  • Evaluate your inventory
  • Optimise fulfilment processes
  • Review the way you track data
  • Test your site for traffic surges
  • Determine your Black Friday weekend shipping strategy
  • Review customer service performance

Black Friday Countdown

The tasks in our Black Friday Countdown Checklist will ensure your online store is primed for Black Friday sales.

In The Months Leading Up To 2024 Black Friday

List building throughout the year and especially in the months leading up to November is critical. What can you do to entice potential customers to join your email list and warm them up NOW? This is a good time to invest in paid ad strategies to get fresh audiences to sign up to your email list, coupled with a nice discount or value add if they purchase. Or work with your suppliers (if you’re a retailer) to offer monthly giveaways where they need to enter their email address to win. You can offer VIP access for new releases to get people excited to join your newsletter list.

2 Months and Counting

During September you’ll work on strategies for building a nicely warmed audience of ideal customers to target with your Black Friday promotions. Consider both social media and email marketing strategies. And don’t forget to nurture the customers you already have on your email list!

Paid Ads can be highly effective for building your list and bringing in sales during Black Friday Week. If ads aren’t your area of speciality, now’s the time to reach out to our Paid Ads Specialists for help.

Along with finalising the details of your promotions including what products you’ll be focusing on and what incentives you’ll be offering consumers to shop with you, it’s time to work on your marketing collateral; images, videos, copy. Video Content creation should also be high on your priority list (or ask us to help you with this).

1 Month Before

Over the year, you have been keeping a track of all the offers you have done and now you are pulling the lever on the best performing deal and making that your Black Friday discount. Now, you need to get that over to your creative team and build an email strategy, paid ads, social media roll out.

At this point you might be feeling the pinch of people holding out for Black Friday deals. This is the perfect time to launch new products/ranges to keep people interested and purchasing. Pro Tip: Do not put these new products/ranges on sale during Black Friday.

2 Weeks Out

Paid Ads will remain the focus in the two weeks leading up to Black Friday. We recommend ramping up your budget for general campaigns and continuing with ads that offer incentives in return for an email address. If your campaigns are performing well you can start to scale and add in some additional touchpoints like SMS marketing.

Now’s also a great time to lay a runway for your Black Friday sale on Social Media. It’s time to build excitement!

1 Week To Go

If your paid ads strategy has done its work you should have a good amount of people to retarget with your Black Friday ads. You’re also going to want to make sure your Black Friday Week ads are scheduled to ensure they are approved in time for the relevant sale days.

Black Friday

Stay dialled into what’s working and what isn’t. Be prepared to change your messaging and your offer if you need to. And don’t forget customer service. Don’t leave consumers waiting for answers to the questions they’re sending you. Your competitors aren’t only your direct competitors. Everyone selling online has the ability to turn your potential customer into their customer. If you snooze, you’ll lose!

After Black Friday

Your Black Friday Week Strategy should include details of how long you’ll promote Black Friday deals for and whether you’ll be promoting different deals for Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday. Once again, stay watch the data so you know what’s working and what isn’t and tweak where required.

Post Black Friday

  • Conduct a review of what worked and what didn’t using the data you’ve collected following your promotional campaign.
  • Deliver on your promises to your customers.
  • Nurture your expanded list of future customers and consider offering them an incentive to buy from you in the weeks following Black Friday.

Real Results to Motivate You to Plan Early for Black Friday Success

We love a good stat here at Keetrax and even better if they showcase the success our clients have with their campaigns. Here’s some real results our client’s experienced during their recent Black Friday campaigns to inspire your Black Friday planning.

Need Help Preparing for Black Friday?

I’ve given you a comprehensive list of planning and testing to do this month to prepare for Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday. As an ecommerce business owner you likely already know that it’s the work that you put in on the back-end of your business that lays the groundwork for the results. And our help doesn’t stop here. Our team are Black Friday Campaign specialists! Contact us for help with Paid Ads, Social Media Marketing and a marketing strategy and plan for your business.

Yes, I need help!

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