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How to Prepare Your Small Online Business for Black Friday Sales

Cathie Ericson, Writer

Black Friday is just around the corner. For eCommerce sellers, the post-Thanksgiving shopping rush has become a chance to engage with customers who are excited to take advantage of seasonal promotions and deals to buy gifts for friends and loved ones (or even themselves).

While consumers used to exclusively flock to their favorite mall, many now enjoy the convenience of shopping online from their couch as they revel in the previous day of food, family, and fun. In fact, 2019 had record online Black Friday sales of $7.43 billion, an increase of 23.6% over 2017, according to Adobe Analytics.

Black Friday will look a little different with safety precautions and an economic downturn as the backdrop of this year’s holiday shopping season. And with some major retailers announcing in-store closures, online sales are likely to have their biggest year yet.

Here are three tips to prepare your online store for this peak shopping day.

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Prepare for the future of holiday selling

1. Plan your social media posts

You might remember the days when excited Black Friday shoppers would plot and map out their shopping strategy days in advance. Today, they’re more apt to browse around online and click over to an eCommerce website on a whim.

That’s why it’s crucial to cultivate an active Black Friday social media presence. To ensure you don’t miss out on your own holiday plans by continuously posting on your business social media channels, plan your campaign strategy in advance.

Use the days and weeks heading into Thanksgiving to tease your Black Friday promotions and create interest in your offerings, then schedule posts to run throughout the day. Use existing hashtags that are already capturing traffic, such as #BlackFriday, #BlackFridaySale, and #BlackFridayShopping, to be part of the conversation.

2. Reach out to existing customers

Get into the holiday spirit by giving gifts to your loyal customers. Black Friday is an ideal opportunity to thank them for being part of your journey with an exclusive surprise deal, such as an extra discount.

Other promotions for existing customers could include an offer on a purchase now and in the future, or a buy-one-get-one deal that makes them feel rewarded for their loyalty. You can also enlist the power of social sharing with an incentive for recommending you to their personal networks.

3. Convert bargain buyers to return customers

Yes, customers might have been enticed by a Black Friday sale, but savvy eCommerce retailers give them reasons to stay with relevant content.

Take advantage of their excitement and interest by capturing their contact information and adding them to your email list for future communications. Offer them a reward to opt in, such as a small discount off a future purchase that they can use once the holiday rush has subsided.

Then make your first communication something special related to your product or the season. For example, if you sell accessories, create a fun video showing how to incorporate your pieces into the latest fashion trends. If you sell wellness products, send them a light-hearted article on how to make the holiday season less stressful.

As you plan your strategies to engage customers heading into this holiday shopping season, aim to surprise and delight them to keep them coming back for more, long after Black Friday is over.

As more shoppers head online to find the perfect gift, sellers can capitalize on the rise of eCommerce by launching an online store. With a user-friendly eCommerce website, you can stay competitive this holiday season and grow your customer base. Square Online helps you quickly launch an eCommerce website with an intuitive online store builder and easy-to-use eCommerce tools. Showcase your items, set up Square for online payments, and you’re ready for this peak shopping period. Learn more about Square Online.

Cathie is a freelance writer who specializes in clear, actionable content on finance- and marketing-related topics to help owners of small-and-medium-sized businesses focus on their goals.