Tips to prepare for Black Friday

By Warren Cowan, CEO of Greenlight and OneHydra and Andre Brown, CEO, ATTRAQT

Black Friday, essentially a US phenomenon that takes place the Friday after Thanksgiving, has gradually been adopted in the UK in recent years but with recent shifts in customer behaviour, retailers need to prepare ahead of time.

The dynamics changed in 2014, with heavy media focus leading up to the event. British shoppers spent £810m online last year – Currys and John Lewis saw their traffic triple and according to ATTRAQT, the visual merchandising company, they saw a 107 per cent increase from 2013 and the number of transactions was 630 per cent more than normal. So what will Black Friday 2015 look like?

Opinion is divided. By all accounts there won’t be a standard industry-wide approach this year; some retailers found it very profitable and have already started preparing for it while others regret discounting so readily while. John Lewis boss Andy Street told the BBC that “We’ve got to ask if it’s right to concentrate trade so much in that one period… I don’t think we can put the genie back in the bottle but do we need to stoke that fire anymore? I personally hope not.”

However, with Black Friday rapidly becoming the biggest shopping day in the calendar, many retailers may feel they need to take part if they don’t want their competitors to get all the business. If you are planning to participate in Black Friday this year (Friday 27th November), we have put together some tips to help ensure you are ready:

Preparation is everything – start preparations NOW

  • Consider what infrastructure changes you will need to deal with the increase in site traffic
  • Get your deals out there early and include plenty of content to maximise SEO
  • Consider agile tactics to discounting/offers – how you can vary and personalise these
  • Be the best placed to keep and convert Black Friday shoppers – ensure your site offers the best price and is the easiest to use
  • Focus on how to improve site conversion rates – e.g. site search, product recommendation technology, 1-click payment
  • Provide an excellent WISMO (Where is my order) service
  • Review and test contingency plans
  • Watch the site (and your competitors) and stay agile

Warren Cowan, CEO of Greenlight and OneHydra and ATTRAQT’s CEO, Andre Brown, will be discussing these strategies in more detail and sharing learnings from 2014 on Tuesday 14th July.

You can view the agenda and register here.

Please kindly note that this event is only open to people in retail and ecommerce roles, not vendors.