Black Friday and Cyber Monday have become renowned as the busiest shopping days of the year. For you, this means a whole ton of potential to attract new customers, re-engage existing customers, and see a dramatic spike in your revenue. But how successful you are in capitalizing on these mega shopping days will ultimately come down to how well you have prepared in advanced.


Here are our top tips for being ready to make the most of this ultimate shopping weekend…


1. Plan Your Promotions


For shoppers, Black Friday and Cyber Monday are all about getting the best deals, so now’s the time to think about what kinds of special offers and discounts you’re going to promote. This isn’t something that you want to just muddle together at the last minute as there’s a delicate balance between standing out and losing out.


Consumers are going to be bombarded with deals to shout about in the run up to this ultimate shopping weekend, so you do need to think big and get creative with your offers and promotions. Offering anything less than 20% off at this time of year, for example, just isn’t going to cut it. This forward-planning also means that you can get the word out there in advance and start building anticipation.


2. Prepare Your Inventory


Once you know which products you’re particularly promoting, or where your most tempting deals and discounts are going to be, you can use this to plan ahead when it comes to sales forecasting and inventory orders. The last thing you want is to run out of stock just as the momentum gets going! You can rest assured that your competitors will quickly swoop in to give your customers what they’re looking for if you can’t provide.


3. Prepare Your Staff


Your staff are an invaluable asset at this time of year, but they’re also going to be under a lot of extra pressure, so it’s equally important that you make sure everyone is ready for the rush and knows what’s expected of them. Crucially, you need to have the capacity and organization in place to guide shoppers to the products they want and move people through the purchase process as quickly as possible.


In order to plan for a smooth and lucrative Black Friday/Cyber Monday, you therefore need to take the time to make sure that everyone is clued up about your sales, offers and promotions, what’s going to happen, which processes to follow, and which roles to take on. You may also want to think about extra incentives and rewards to keep up team morale and motivation, and to manage stress levels.


4. Be Realistic


While it’s tempting to promise the world in order to drown out the competition, a successful Black Friday/Cyber Monday weekend relies on you being realistic about your capacity and what you can offer your customers. This is particularly important when it comes to order completion and delivery deadlines, otherwise you will quickly find yourself swamped with a backlog of orders and a steady stream of frustrated customers. Give them a great deal but also manage their expectations – if they’re getting a bargain and their order arrives when you said it would, they’ll be happy.


5. Be Ready Online


With so many people going online to bag the best deals, you also need to think about whether your e-commerce store is going to be able to handle the heat. The best thing to do is to load test your site so that you can be confident that it’s not going to crumble under the pressure of the extra traffic, meaning that you lose out on all of those juicy sales or conversions.


On Black Friday and Cyber Monday, more than ever, consumers are spoilt for choice and they won’t think twice about ditching your store and going somewhere else if it’s slow or clumsy. Take the time to check your site and checkout process and make sure that they’re fully optimized for speed and performance. You may also want to add extra payment options to make it as easy and slick as possible for shoppers to complete their purchases.


6. Keep In Touch


In the run up to these epic shopping days, one of the most valuable things you can do to get yourself noticed by the people that count is to engage with your target audience through social media and e-mail marketing. Use the tools you have to find out what they’re talking about and what kind of deals they’re looking for, and let them know where to come when the big days arrive. Facebook marketing campaigns can be a powerful way of targeting the right people and generating a buzz of anticipation, but just bear in mind that lots of other retailers will be doing the same thing so think about ways to make your ads extra engaging and shareable.


Use well-crafted e-mail marketing campaigns to communicate with your existing customer base and those who have signed up to stay connected with you. Again, your subscribers are going to be bombarded at this time of year so this is something that needs time and careful thought, well in advance. A unique and punchy headline is essential – get creative, grab people’s attention, and make it clear that you’ve got what they want. Make it intriguing and unmissable…


The Time Is Coming…


Getting the most out of Black Friday and Cyber Monday is about grabbing the attention of all those shoppers who are in the mood for a bargain and clamoring for the best deal, while also making sure that you’re ready for them when they come calling. If you take the time to plan and prepare in advance, you won’t get caught out and you’ll be able to reap all the benefits that this time of year has to offer!