Prepare now, Succeed Later: Top Tips for Black Friday Wins

This blog has contributions from different specialists within the business, including our Optimisation Consultants, Quality Assured Team and Head of Product. They have shared their top tips for you to get the most out of Black Friday.

Black Friday is like the Olympics. The real work happens before it.

Like any big event, you need to be prepared for Black Friday going into it. And the better prepared you are, the better you are likely to perform. During this preparation time, you can get our all of your frustrations, test your hypotheses, experiment with different social proofing messages, understand what products your users are looking for, and more. We recommend that you should be starting this now, so you are ready to hit the ground running by the time Black Friday (typically the last Friday in November) comes around.

We have had some fantastic results with clients over the last few years and are always really excited to see what they can achieve. Last year, we handled 1 Billion sessions across all of our clients websites, ensuring their visitors had the most seamless experience.

Top Tips from our experts

With Black Friday comes endless possibilities of changes you can make to your website. Some of our experts from Webtrends Optimize who work with clients (both client facing and behind the scenes) have come together to present their best ideas to help you to prepare for this year’s Black Friday.

1. Use Multi Armed Bandits

Multi-Armed Bandits is an effective way to try and find the best possible variation in the shortest period of time. As Black Friday only lasts for one day of the year, you want to push traffic in the right direction as quickly as possible. The key benefit to Multi-Armed Bandit is time to value. Instead of running an experiment for 2 weeks, or to 100k users before finding value, you can start shifting traffic in favour of winning experiments as soon as there is data to support a skew

2. Test social proof messages at different points of the journey

Stock will likely be more limited on Black Friday, so it is important to test your social proofing messaging at different points of your users journey. Social Proofing is an effective part of your strategy, especially at a time like Black Friday, as it reinforces positive experiences other customers have had and can highlight a products popularity. Testing beforehand means you are prepared for all eventualities and are confident which messages are most effective.

3. Continuously test all elements

You should continuously AB test on elements like product descriptions, images, pricing and Calls to Action to identify what resonates best with your audience. This ensures you can refine your strategy accordingly based on your users’ experience and identify any friction points throughout their journey.

4. Test on Mobile

Mobile shopping is more popular than ever, so it is important to test your website's responsiveness on various mobile devices and browsers to ensure a seamless experience for mobile shoppers. A lot of users will be shopping on the go so you don’t want to lose any customers to competitors with better mobile experiences.

5. Test your urgency messaging

Make sure you are testing your urgency messages that will countdown to when the promotion starts or ends. This way, you know your customers will know the timeframe they have to utilise the promotion, and you can be confident that everything is working as it should.

6. Utilise badges

Badging can be helpful to sign post items certain things on your website. For example, items on sale, a special deal, limited stock, additional discounts, or anything else. Security badges can also be used as trust signals to boost your customer’s confidence.

7. Easy discovery of previous products

By keeping track of what your visitors have viewed even after they have left your site it means they can easily come back to the products they are interested in. The nature of Black Friday means that customers are most likely browsing other platforms and evaluating the best deals. You want to make sure your site is still user friendly and provides the best experience, even as your customers look elsewhere, so you are ready for when they come back to purchase.

8. Optimise your landing pages

Optimising your landing pages is an important step as this is likely the first things your customers will see after following a link in an email, advert or other digital location. It’s also a good idea to keep the SEO copy at the bottom of the page. Landing pages should also be a gateway to other products on the site, so you should make sure you have finetuned your product recommendations.

9. Stress test your checkout

Testing your checkout to see how well it works with lots of users ensures you will catch any bottlenecks. Reducing the steps to checkout generally will mean your customers have less barriers to completing their purchase. For example, allowing for guest checkout, so customers have less steps to follow before they complete their purchase and are more likely to convert. It is also important to allow for multiple payment options. ApplePay is particularly popular as the details are pre-stored on the phone so checking out takes no time at all.

10. Test your email sign ups

We recommend starting all of your Black Friday work now, including increasing your sign-ups. Having a way for customers to sign up to your email communications on your website ensure you have a group to target with discounts and to encourage purchases. You should test messages such as ‘Get First Access’ to increase your sign-ups and highlight to your customers that they can benefit from Black Friday deals.

Preparation is always key

Black Friday is a big day for many eCommerce sites and is a fantastic opportunity to increase conversions. By ensuring your users have a seamless experience when visiting your site, they are much more likely to convert and return to your site for future purchases. It’s not just about who has the lowest prices, it’s about creating a memorable shopping experience that stands out against your competitors. By following these tips and conducting thorough testing, eCommerce brands can increase their chances of a successful Black Friday shopping experience.