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How to Prepare your Shopify Store for Black Friday 2023

Written by
Mike Fryers
October 16, 2023

It’s that time of the year again, folks. Time to start talking about the festive sales: Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

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In 2021, more than 6 billion dollars of sales went through Shopify over the Black Friday / Cyber Monday weekend… and that figure is generally growing year on year. Trust us – you don’t want to miss out on this.

Black Friday comes around on 24 November. That’s less than three months from now. As anybody with any experience of website development or ecommerce setup knows, three months can disappear very quickly indeed. So that’s why now is the time to be thinking about those Black Friday sales. This is the biggest sales event of the year – you need to make sure you’re ready for it!

So, what can you do to prepare for this exactly? How can you make the most of Shopify’s platform for this year’s Black Friday / Cyber Monday sales?

Let us talk you through it.

5 Ways to Prepare Your Shopify Store for Black Friday

Inspira is not a marketing firm – we build bespoke websites, and beautiful ecommerce stores tailored to the very specific needs of your business. But in our experience, there is an awful lot you can do to prepare your ecommerce store for the sales period ahead. 

We are already getting plenty of enquiries from ecommerce businesses, who want help getting their online platforms ready for the sales extravaganza.

So in case you were wondering when the best time to start preparing is: it’s right now. Here are five ways that we recommend you begin preparing for Black Friday and Cyber Monday, while we still have several months to go.

1. Sales structure

The first thing to think about, of course, is structuring your sale prices. What discounts are you offering? And for what period of time? Will you use discount codes or automated discounts? Will you simply slash prices or offer multibuy offers? Planning all of this and calculating your updated profit margins takes time – and you should not underestimate the work involved!

Right now, with a few months to go until Black Friday, is the perfect time to begin work on this first and most fundamental planning step.

2. Email marketing

During the countdown to Black Friday and Cyber Monday, you should be targeting your audience with well-timed and carefully constructed email marketing campaigns. Don’t just repeat yourself – nobody wants to have their inbox clogged up with spam! Rather, for best effect, each one of these successive emails should move the conversation forward a step and offer unique value for those reading it. Here’s an example of how the conversation might develop:

  • First email: “Join our mailing list, and be first to hear about our Black Friday sale.”
  • Second email: “Use this coupon for an additional 10% off Black Friday sales.”
  • Third email: “Sign up today for 24-hour early access to our sales.”

A good email marketing strategy should feel organic, not automated, and every message you send needs to add some extra value. But planning all that takes time, which is a very good reason to get started on it now!

3. On-site messaging

How are customers going to be directed into your sales once they’re on-site? What wording are you going to use for returning customers, compared to those who arrived through a link in a marketing email? Will your sales take over the home page, or do you prefer to point customers to the seasonal discounts section through pop-ups and on-page ads?

Designing your on-site messaging to accompany a sale can often take longer than expected, as these materials may require you to consider both artwork and functionality. You definitely don’t want to be leaving this job to the last minute.

4. Automating the switchover

Have you given some thought to how your sales will begin and end? With all these new on-site messages, artwork and banners, as well as the implementation of a unique and time-sensitive pricing structure, you certainly wouldn’t want to be making all these changes to your store manually.

We would generally look to set up an automated switchover and turnoff using the Launchpad app, which is available to Shopify Plus users. However, there are plenty of other solutions available to those not on Plus too – get in touch with us today and we would love to talk you through your various options.

5. Follow-up emails

So, we have already discussed your main email marketing campaign, to get shoppers in front of your sales. But there are lots of other clever uses for automated emails around the sales period. For example, what about sending visitors a friendly nudge about their abandoned carts? 

You can even continue these emails after the sales have officially ended. If a customer failed to make a purchase in time, how about sending a follow-up email that invites them to complete the transaction, still at a reduced price, by using a special code?

Other clever uses for post-visit emails might include inviting shoppers to leave reviews, or even offering them money-off coupons in return for signing up to your mailing list – or introducing their friends. There’s huge potential here for turning one-time buyers into repeat customers, so you definitely don’t want to sleep on the follow-up emails.

More Black Friday Ecommerce Tips

There is plenty more you can be doing to prepare for Black Friday and Cyber Monday, besides just these five pointers above. We would love to hear from you – and our experts will be glad to talk you through some of the other strategies you might want to implement. 

But here, in no particular order, we want to finish by sharing some more assorted tips for getting the most out of Shopify during the coming seasonal sales.

  • Make it as easy as possible to buy from you. Test your website’s user journey, ideally by getting other people not familiar with your site to try it out for themselves. Can you reduce the number of clicks it takes to get from the homepage to the checkout? You need this process to be fast and effortless.
  • Demonstrate trustworthiness. Remember, lots of people are shopping online during the sales period. Not everyone who lands on your site will already know your brand. So make sure any reviews or guarantees you have are visible front and centre, and remove the element of doubt for any spontaneous Black Friday / Cyber Monday shoppers who come your way.
  • Be ready. Check your inventory, ensure you have plenty of stock, and see that all your fulfilment, customer support and returns apparatus are streamlined and ready. You don’t want to be dealing with any surprises or distractions when the time comes – you need to be able to focus purely on sales.
  • Revisit your address book. Have you lost touch with older customers over the years? Now might be the time to check in on them! Make your address book work for you during the run-up to the sales. For example, you could send out festive greetings to some of your older customers, complete with discount codes or offers of early access to this year’s sales.
  • Learn from what works, and what doesn’t. This one is easy to forget when we’re lost in the moment. However – it’s worth remembering that Black Friday will come again next year. And the year after that. So try to remember to keep records of what worked for you this year, save your visitor and sales stats, and this information can then become part of your strategy for ensuring consistent year-on-year growth.

Any questions? With less than three months to go until the ecommerce event of the year, let’s talk about your Black Friday strategy today.

Thanks for reading, we’re Inspira Digital.

We launched the 123rd store on Shopify, today we are one of the most experienced Shopify Experts in the world, delivering industry-leading Shopify services for fast-growing ambitious brands. We have helped build 100s of successful stores and have delivered 1000s of individual projects for Shopify and Shopify Plus clients globally.

Clients that work with us know we work passionately, to make sense of your commerce business, so if you want to talk to a team of experts about how best to take advantage of the Shopify platform, then let's talk.

Inspira Digital — High volume commerce handled beautifully.

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