To prepare a WordPress website for Black Friday, you have to consider several aspects. But don’t get worried: this article will help you elaborate on the strategies and make the Black Friday period profitable for your business.
Black Friday is a worldwide phenomenon that gives businesses possibilities to attract more customers. During this period, the social media budget increases by 30%. The sellers also try to grow the audience: launch ad campaigns, collect leads, set up retargeting, and change texts and visuals.
A successful Black Friday sale launch can cause high stress for many online store owners.
They must deal with massive traffic influx, plan a marketing strategy, and prepare social media and websites for sales.
Analytics working for the World Economic Forum say that online spending rose with the start of the pandemic but has since fallen.
Table of Contents
Planning Stage: General Tips
The Black Friday marketing strategy rests on three whales: pricing policy, social media presence, and technical aspects of the site. Let’s focus on the planning stage to develop your Black Friday campaign and prepare a WordPress website for Black Friday.
First things first, you need to evaluate last year’s results. You can’t go further without this analysis. Black Friday is not a unique event; you have data to rely on. How to prepare a WordPress website for Black Friday? It is crucial to analyze two data groups:
- general statistics and practices of other companies to understand market conditions and get insights;
- historical data on your business: you will find what works specifically for you.
- general statistics for your country: peak purchasing activity, average check, number of items per transaction, etc.;
- niche statistics: what goods do people buy and how;
- business and marketing agency cases: for inspiration, exciting ideas, and adapting existing solutions.
After you gather the necessary information, you can make data-driven decisions and elaborate pricing strategies.
Keep in mind that customers love real discounts on Black Friday, as well as simple and understandable terms and conditions. Try not to be extra with language and rules.
For eCommerce, there are several popular Black Friday pricing strategies:
- Classic discounts. Yet, don’t make the discount too big; otherwise, customers will think you’re selling something cheap.
- Buy one item and get a discount on a second one — a good offer for sets of goods or last season goods pre-sale.
- Buy one item and get the second one for free. This option is suitable if you still have a stale product or need to launch a new product quickly.
How and what to sell
Since the options are different for two types of businesses — online stores and service companies — consider them separately.
What to sell as an online store:
- All goods with the same discount. This option is not suitable for all companies. Everything depends on the products sold, the pricing features, and the benefits that the entrepreneur wants to achieve through the promotion.
- Discounts on all goods up to -90%. The deal on various items may vary, but at least one of them should cost 90% less than usual. Be sure to put the sign “-” (minus) on the banners to attract special attention.
- Gift Certificate. Gift Certificates themselves are a profitable selling tool. They serve as an idea for a gift and attract new audiences. In addition, about 20% of them are not used, which implies net profit for the online store.
- Sets of goods. A nice idea for increasing the average check size and getting rid of not the most expensive goods. The main thing is that the goods in it logically complement each other.
- Discount when buying from a certain price. It motivates the buyers to spend more to get a bigger deal.
What to sell as a service company:
- Discount on the service in the future if paying today. Set a time limit for the customer to use the service.
- Discount coupon. Ordering a service during Black Friday, the client receives an additional benefit — a discount on a future order.
- Additional Gift Service. In this case, the bonus is the main attention-grabbing item of the order. It motivates the customer to buy another, not the most popular service. At the same time, the gift should have maximum value for customers and require a minimum cost from the company.
Whom to sell
Black Friday’s peculiarity is an overheated audience and an incredible number of promotional offers. Don’t try to attract new customers during this period because it leads to outrageous advertising spending and minimal income. Give all your attention to loyal customers, subscribers, and regular visitors.
Increasing average check
Don’t forget to develop a strategy for increasing your average check. Black Friday is a crazy time when people are ready to spend more than usual, and stores can play their cards right. There are two ways to increase the average check in the online store: increase the number of items in the bill (cross-sell) or increase the value of goods (upsell) by adding extra services or accessories.
Social media strategy to-do list
- Announce discounts for customers who are already exploring the market.
The sooner you start informing about the upcoming sales, the less likely you will miss part of your audience to competitors.
Plan the main questions on Black Friday, post an announcement on the site and social media, promote future discounts — attract as many people as possible, and heat their interest.
- Start email marketing
Email marketing is a tool for informing, selling, and returning customers. Start planning, creating, and scheduling the emails you will send during the Black Friday and Cyber Monday sale.
Here are a couple of ideas for emails:
- Black Friday sale announcement: tell about discounts in advance, inform about the start date;
- sale launch: a letter an hour before or immediately after the sale starts;
- last reminder before the deal’s end;
- exclusive sale for subscribers — tease the rest of the audience through social media, website, and other channels; show that being a subscriber is profitable;
- give a spoiler about upcoming promotions: a discount, an exclusive product, or free shipping.
- Partner with someone
Find in your niche the sites that talk about offers on Black Friday, gift guides, and the best products of the week selections. Contact them and tell them about your goods and future discounts. It will provide additional coverage and help to increase interest for the mentioned groups of goods.
- Create an atmosphere of anticipation
Attract your customers by email, provide discounts on social networks — start inciting curiosity. A couple of tips and ideas on how to promote discounts in the online store:
- Don’t reveal attractive offers right away. Withstand the intrigue and invite subscribers on social media to guess what surprise awaits them on this day. Of course, you will need to invent something more interesting than a regular discount.
- Use original advertising visuals. The main Black Friday pain is the template solutions.
E-mail marketing tips for Black Friday campaigns
Of course, you should announce your Black Friday sales via your e-mail campaign. But it’s quite tricky, and this activity needs to be very well-considered because users are overloaded with e-mails on sales days. So, here’s a small checklist to help you:
- send e-mails before the craze starts;
- make them stand out using your signature elements and visuals;
- consider using flash sales: for example, particular brands or product types get -70% within the next hour;
- test the subject lines to be really catchy and appealing;
- make products which are on sale be just a click away, and also give clients a chance to “touch” them: at least photos of the most attractive goods and deals would be a good idea;
- find a way to reward your loyal customers: offer extra perks to those who already bought a lot during the year; free deliveries, discounts for next purchases, and other incentives might help you to gain a true brand advocate or at least a regular and loyal customer;
- consider using more or less personalized promo codes in your e-mails;
- and don’t forget about the design to win the customers’ hearts (which looks attractive on any device).
The next step is to check whether your website is ready to deal with the Black Friday traffic influx and critical load. The primary aspects you have to check are the website’s security, hosting, speed, responsiveness, secure payment gateways, and disaster recovery plan (backup).
Let’s get to the bottom of each of them.
You can check our complete security of WordPress website guide.
Yet, let’s recall the simplest measures you can take right away to protect the website from scammers and hacker attacks.
Change your login
Do you still have it as “admin”? Login is the first thing bots check, looking for safety holes. Log in to the admin panel and create a new administrative account with another name. Then log out of the management system, log in again, and delete the old admin account.
No one wants to remember 20 different passwords, but it is vital to ensure the website’s security. Use uppercase, lowercase, punctuation, etc., or apply complex password generators.
Outdated scripts cause a huge number of vulnerabilities. Update your WordPress version to the latest one; having lost a minute, you will save hours in the future.
Be cautious about themes and plugins
Many sites offer you to download already ready-made themes. Some of them have unpleasant hidden “surprises.” Use only trusted sites, such as WordPress.org, to download themes.
Also, be aware of the plugins you install because some of them open the door to hackers. Download plugins only from trusted websites and pay attention to all warnings that appear. Also, remember to update plugins.
SFTP is not FTP
All uploads to your site must be via SFTP if your provider allows you to do so. If not, go to a more secure hosting provider. SFTP is an encrypted connection, so hackers won’t be able to intercept it.
Change the prefix of the database tables
This step is only for new installations and experienced users. Removing the default WordPress prefix will significantly complicate the hacker’s path. Open the wp-config.php file, find a $table_prefix line and change the prefix. Also, do it in the database with the help of a simple SQL query.
Protect directories from viewing
To prevent hackers from viewing folders on your server by typing their full path, protect them with .htaccess, or place an empty index.html file in the directory.
Use an SSL certificate
To prevent hackers from viewing folders on your server when typing their full path, protect them with .htaccess, or place an empty index.html file in the directory.
⚡Read also: How to Add SSL and HTTPS on WordPress Website?
Mobile traffic is the future. In 2016, Google reported that mobile-friendly sites would be ranked higher. Moreover, sites that have only a desktop version will take the lower positions in search results. Therefore, those who continue to use a non-adapted risk losing most of the traffic. Also, the statistics show that 54.8% of the website traffic worldwide was mobile. Considering that it will increase dramatically, it is required to make sure your website is mobile-friendly before Black Friday starts.
The easiest option to make the WordPress website responsive is to choose a different adapted theme for it. Another option is a plugin that optimizes the site for mobile devices, but there is a small problem here — your site will most likely begin to load a little longer than before. Therefore, installing the plugin is a good solution, but only in the short term.
Time is money: Forbes says that mobile websites’ load time influences customers’ experience and sales. For 70% of users, the page loading speed affects the decision to buy.
What are the consequences of increasing the site download time by only one second? For Amazon, this could result in a loss of $1.6 billion a year.
Of course, if your site is not as large as Amazon, you will lose a smaller profit. But this is not a one-time loss, but regular, throughout the entire site operation.
Overall, site download speed is a competitive advantage. You can optimize the site in several ways. We described them in our guide too.
Secure payment gateways
Secure payment gateways are a must for a successful Black Friday launch. WooCommerce payment gateways are widely used because they serve most countries and process payments safely. To make your business look more professional, choose the direct gateways, e.g., PayPal, Stripe, Authorize.net CIM, Braintree.
Disaster recovery plan (backup)
Not all cyberattacks will damage you, but even one successful (sorry for painting it black) will ruin your life. Make regular backups of your site! I mean, seriously. The full backup is just a copy of all the files, media, and database. In case of problems, you can quickly restore the website.
Why is backup essential?
Restoring your site after the hacking involves a lot of big changes (removing infected plugins and corrupted files) that will take a lot of time. The situation can become even sadder if you do not have your backup since hackers often infect backups of your site stored at the host.
Again, time is money, which means you lose revenue every minute while your site is unavailable. Moreover, you will spend time re-installing and configuring the website (most often from scratch) instead of spending time selling.
Address the backup plan we published in our blog and stay on the safe side.
Good hosting is another critical aspect of preparing a WordPress website for Black Friday. You should find the answers to the following questions:
- Can your hosting plan handle surges in traffic that may occur during Black Friday/Cyber Monday sales?
- Can it keep you safe from virtual vulnerabilities?
- If your site goes down, will you be compensated by an uptime guarantee?
So, when choosing a hosting provider, it is recommended to pay attention to the equipment used by the company. Make sure that they use time-tested server solutions.
Once you have decided on the hosting, calculate the amount of disk space, features, and apps you need and match your hosting capabilities.
Check the quality of technical support, feedback about the provider, and objectively assess whether the price and quality of the services provided correspond.
Your website’s work depends on the hosting’s quality.
Website Tips & Tricks
We talked a lot about the background website’s preparation, planning stage, and technical aspects. Yet, we have some ideas and tips for you to make your website more interactive and appealing for Black Friday.
No matter how enticing the ad is on third-party resources, the client makes a decision when visiting your site. You need to announce Black Friday and its basic conditions from the get-go. Therefore, first of all, prepare the header for the home page or landing with the following details:
- date and time of the event starts;
- the number of discounts offered;
- additional promotions and offers (if any).
And, of course, come up with an eye-catching design for the title image. Traditionally, for Black Friday, white, black, and red are used as the main colors. But there are no strict standards, and you can create using different combinations.
Also, you can use Scroll Navigation widgets from our JetElements pack and place them on the first scroll to catch the visitors’ attention.
Banner on the shop page or home page
The next step is to prepare special banners for the rest of the web pages. You can’t know where the visitor will start purchasing. The design rules are similar: relevant image, basic conditions, and start date. Our Banner Image widget comes to the rescue here.
Indicate on your banner that you will provide the customers with huge deals and free shipping on Black Friday. According to a Walker Sands study, 90% of buyers noted that free shipping was the main incentive to buy.
Content reveal and WOW-effect
When you add gamification elements on the page, you already involve users and motivate them to make the next step. JetElements plugin has a great Animated Box Widget to impress users when showing offers or whatever you need. Just use your fantasy and play with effects’ settings and images. You can use scratch, peel, reveal, and slide-out effects. Look at just a few examples of slide-out:
Pop-ups and CTA button
Pop-up is a robust marketing tool, especially if you approach it wisely. Configure the appealing pop-up with the JetPopup plugin, add a tempting offer, and place a CTA button to convert the customer. Apart from that, we provide Interactive Popup Library to gamify the hot deals and discounts, or you are welcome to create a pop-up from scratch.
Straightforward navigation is the condition that your visitor will not stack somewhere on the website without the possibility to purchase the necessary item. You can simplify the navigation significantly using the JetMenu plugin: set different menus per page, output items for sale in the mega menu, and access them right away.
Everyone loves discounts, especially on Black Friday. Use our Sale Badge widget to set clear and attractive sale prices for the products and display them on your WordPress website.
Reviews on the goods you sell are necessary because they increase the loyalty rate and make your business more solid. Our JetReviews plugin provides the full functionality to develop a classy review system for your website. Besides, you can further review them on the special dashboard to see the whole picture.
A countdown timer shows how much time the customer has before the sale begins or ends, how much time the special offer will be available, etc. It is a nice tool for creating anticipation and attracting attention. We have a clear and customizable Countdown Timer widget you can apply to increase demand on Black Friday.
Black Friday wishlists
Ok, Google, are wishlists important for online stores? And Google Customer Insights gives us an answer: 40% of shoppers surveyed think their shopping experience would be better if retailers offered a wishlist where they can save items they’re interested in. It’s an extremely useful instrument for customers to add products when the idea of buying them pops up in their minds. And then, when the right time comes, they can make a purchase.
Another idea here is to create pre-Black Friday warm-up offers, where goods can be added to a particular wishlist and then purchased when deals are on.
And in this case, Crocoblock got you covered as well: with the JetCompareWishlist plugin that offers excellent capabilities to create wishlists and compare things, and, of course, with JetEngine’s amazing Data Store functionality.
Offers based on previous purchases
Wishlists play an irreplaceable role in studying the clients’ priorities and behavior to grasp patterns and use them not only to improve the store assortment but also to create personalized offers for clients. Because as Google Customer Insights suggests to us again, 49% of online store clients are sure that their shopping experience would be much better if they receive deals and promotions based on their previous purchases (and, of course, wishlists).
You see, it’s quite a challenge to prepare a WordPress website for Black Friday. Yet, nothing is impossible: come up with a strategy, ensure the technical side, and implement some appealing tricks. Maybe, you used some ideas we stated above, or you have other tips. Please, don’t hesitate to share your recommendations to make our article a complete guide.