Black Friday eCommerce 2020: 7 Ways for Merchants to Prepare

Black Friday eCommerce 2020: 7 Ways for Merchants to Prepare

With this Black Friday merging with the COVID-19 crisis, it means merchants will need to view this year's holiday shopping season with a new lens. eCommerce sales in 2020 have already jumped higher than expected. For example, from April to May US eCommerce was 7% higher than during the 2019 holiday season put together. As storefronts and eCommerce change roles, it's important for merchants to have a solid Black Friday eCommerce strategy and digital central hub. 

How to Prepare for Black Friday eCommerce

If you haven’t already started planning for November 27th, now is the time. Whether you need to recover lost revenue or simply beat last year's Black Friday numbers, there are several ways to ensure your site is prepared and marketed properly. 

1. Site Performance

Don’t be left out in the rain on Black Friday because your site can’t handle the traffic. Identify issues well before holiday hits with your partner in order to scale and improve the performance of the site. Slow performance has been proven to negatively impact conversion. Work on improving it leading up to Black Friday, but make sure you do a code freeze in October to ensure stability before the peak hits.

2. UX and UI Optimization

Optimizing your UX and UI is one of the most important things to do pre-Black Friday. It’s also one of the easiest if you have the right team or partner to help you. From improving site navigation or simplifying the checkout experience, these little changes can make big revenue differences. For example, a UX Site Audit can bring forth numerous ways to increase conversions, improve customer engagement, reduce usability errors, and optimize your user flows. The easier you can make your visitors' site experience the longer they will stay and shop on your site!

3. SEO and Marketing

This year it's all about building awareness early on to those ideal prospects and loyal past customers. With so much uncertainty around this year's holiday season, it's best to look at past data and invest early in your best-performing channels.  This is the easiest way to get started building awareness to keeping your brand top of mind when Black Friday and Cyber Monday hit. For example, SEO optimization can have a significant impact on Black Friday. Check out our free SEO Audit to learn how and where to get started. Also, make sure you have all your promotions laid out beforehand so you aren’t scrambling last minute. This includes social, email, retargeting, abandoned cart, Black Friday vs Cyber Monday differences, etc.

Start a conversation about your Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2020 goals.

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4. Support

You can’t get to where you want to go without a good team in place, so make sure yours is ready during the holiday. Connect with service, technology, logistics, and payment partners to ensure they are available around the clock should you need them. 

5. Integrations

Make sure that all your 3rd party integrations are up to the challenge of handling the amount of traffic you anticipate your site to get. This means the stock is in real-time with accurate readings and that prices are seamlessly updated based on the day or inventory ordered.

6. Data and Analytics Tracking

Having a real-time dashboard to monitor things like traffic, revenue, AOV and more is so important for B2C eCommerce during this time. Tagging and tracking campaigns in order to measure ROI and remarket afterward are two ways to use this data, but there are also so many more opportunities this information will open for your brand. Google Analytics can provide some of this information, but consider Geckoboard which is more extensive and FREE!

7. Site Security

Forecasts pre-pandemic suggested an increase in data breaches during 2020. Now with COVID-19 and the upcoming holiday 2020 season merging, we could see heightened security threats to eCommerce merchants. Make sure you have tool(s) in place to detect all major breaches (Magecart attacks, supply-chain attacks, skimming, and form-jacking) in real-time.

Update: Over the weekend of September 11th, the largest Magecart attack ever recorded took place. Hackers took to almost 2000 online stores that were on Magento 1. With Magecart attacks being the biggest threat to cyber commerce in 2020 it's imperative to understand how to protect against Magecart, especially for those still utilizing Magento 1.

About Echidna

Echidna is a full-service B2B and B2C eCommerce agency. We remain committed to our clients during these unpredictable times and forward-looking to our new normal. Our goal continues to be to deliver top-notch quality on a predictable schedule and at an affordable rate that our clients recognize the real value in. Modern commerce systems must delight customers, empower employees, automate operations, and deliver strategic advantage and convenience to the people who use them. We strive to deliver that innovation for our clients. And we do!

If you are looking for a partner to help you navigate eCommerce, contact us to start a conversation. We work with many top B2B and B2C merchants, advising them on digital strategy, technology, and operations.

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