Black Friday 2023 is creeping up on us – and eCommerce business owners need to start getting their online stores and offers ready to impress the millions of South Africans that plan on shopping on the day.
If you’re wondering how to prepare your online business and looking for some Black Friday tips, you’ve come to the right place. Let’s get into it.
Black Friday falls on the 24th of November this year. It’s always on the Friday following Thanksgiving Thursday in America.
The world’s favourite shopping holiday has been around since the 1980s but only became popular in South Africa in 2014. In 2021, 18.5 million South Africans planned to shop on Black Friday, that’s 47% of adults. This was their age breakdown:
And we know that Black Friday is only getting bigger in South Africa because FNB cardholders spent 15% more on Black Friday 2021 than they did on Black Friday in 2020. Imagine how much will be spent in 2023.
Don’t start planning for Black Friday in mid-November. By that stage, you should be halfway through a digital marketing campaign with all of the details of your sale ironed out. As the day gets closer, and on the day itself, you’re going to run into problems and need to be available to deal with them.
Planning well not only frees you up to handle whatever the holiday throws at you but will also help you minimise the problems that could potentially come your way.
If you follow the steps we’ve laid out in this article at least a month before the sale, you’re going to have your best Black Friday yet.
In the spirit of planning ahead, you should run diagnostics on your website months in advance. This is because changing providers, upgrading plans, building up SEO steam, and tweaking the overall user experience of your site can’t be done overnight.
You’ve only got a few seconds to capture a customer’s attention when they land on your website. If they can’t find the product they want to buy or, worse, can’t find a clear “Buy” button, you’ve lost them.
Remember, it shouldn’t take more than 3 clicks for a customer to find what they want and the “Buy” buttons should be clear and attention-grabbing.
Most online shoppers are going to be paying with a bank card which means they’ll need to trust your website enough to enter their card details on the checkout page. If your website is cluttered or looks poorly built, your Black Friday deals could come across as a scam rather than a bargain.
To prevent looking “scammy” you should check your website for typos, include reviews from other shoppers, and avoid overcrowding your product pages.
Lastly, set expectations about shipping and delivery. Be transparent at all steps of the purchase process about the cost of shipping, free shipping thresholds, and what products are able to be shipped or collected. Make sure the integration with your preferred courier company is set up correctly and running smoothly before Black Friday.
On Black Friday, everyone is going to have a good offer. To stand out, you need to make yours irresistible. Put some time into working out how much you can slash your prices down without putting your eCommerce business at risk. You need to cover your overhead costs including things like production, storage, packaging, and shipping.
Your offer should cover these costs while delivering major value for your customers. This means that your profit might be tiny but the lifetime value of the new customers you’ll reach with your offer will make it worth it.
Discounts are the most traditional kind of offer. But be wary of this option as Black Friday deals average at just under 50% off. If you can’t offer such huge discounts your offer might not stand out and you’ll have an unsuccessful Black Friday.
Increase the average order value from each customer by offering discounts when they buy products that are commonly bought together or a certain number of products. A well-known example of a bundle deal in South Africa is Clicks’ 3 for 2 deals.
Consider having different offers throughout the day which have specific time limits. If an offer expires in a couple of hours, your potential customer will feel compelled to buy quickly instead of shopping around for deals from your competitors.
We suggest you start with a base discount that’s realistic for your bottom line. Then add bundle deals to maximise the average order value, and then slap on a time limit to create urgency.
Supply chain and delivery problems are at an all-time high during the holiday season – especially on Black Friday. This is why you need to review your inventory well in advance so you know you can supply the demand that your irresistible offer is going to create.
You’re going to need a lot of stock – which requires a lot of cash. You can free up all that cash by taking advantage of inventory financing - get paid upfront for your fast-selling stock, you only pay for the stock when you actually sell it, so you won't be out of pocket.
RetailRockIT (part of the Geddes Capital Group) offers inventory finance to ensure that you never run out of stock again. If you have already bought stock, we will buy it from you so your inventory is turned into cash. This freed-up cash can be put towards growing and improving your eCommerce business for Black Friday and beyond.
Read about 5 ways you can improve cashflow in your business.
When you know what your offer is and you’ve got the inventory to back it up, it’s time to build a landing page specifically for Black Friday.
This page needs to hero your offer and guide your user to buy into it. If you’re launching this landing page before Black Friday, you can include a timer as well as a form to capture the email addresses of shoppers who want to be notified the minute your sale goes live.
Once you’ve built this landing page, put some time into testing it to avoid any crashes on the big day.