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How to Have the Best Black Friday…EVER!

As the biggest shopping day of the year, Black Friday is a huge opportunity for retailers of all sizes. It can also be a challenge, however, to attract customers when you’re competing with so many other sellers. And once you’ve gotten your customers’ attention, it’s often equally challenging to take full advantage of the potential sales at your fingertips.

Since Black Friday can have such an impact on your bottom line for the year, though, it’s essential that you get as much out of it as you can, and fortunately there are several steps you can take to ensure you do just that.

Planning and Automation

It’s never too early in the year to start planning for Black Friday, and really, some of the things you can do to make your Black Friday go more smoothly are good practices to keep in place all year long. These include adding automation to things like email and social media so that you don’t have to invest a bunch of time and energy in answering customers’ questions and creating engagement online.

When it comes to email, it’s a good idea to make a list of answers to common questions you receive so that you can simply copy and paste them in response to customer emails. You can also add a FAQ page to your website and make sure your customers can easily access it whether they’re on your home page, browsing your products, or in the middle of checking out.

You may even want to set up an out-of-office message on your personal and business emails letting customers and friends know that you’ll be focusing on Black Friday sales for a few days and including contact information on the best way to reach you. Directing all inquiries to one place like this will make it easier for you to keep track of your incoming messages and prevent you from missing something because you forgot to check one or another of your email accounts.

Scheduling your social media posts is another huge time-saver, and there are even tools you can use to automate your monitoring of social media engagement so you can more easily track your mentions and respond to customer comments and questions.

A Smooth Shopping and Checkout Process

Another essential element to capturing as many Black Friday sales as possible is ensuring a smooth shopping and checkout process for your customers. That begins with making your Black Friday deals and featured products easy to find, and you can do this by adding a special tab to your website’s navigation bar or by setting a popup with a link directly to your Black Friday sales to appear as soon as someone visits your site.

Once your customers have found what they want, it’s important to limit cart abandonment as much as possible, and you can do that in part by making sure there are no surprises during checkout. That includes preparing customers for what tax and shipping charges to expect that can add to their total bill, and it also means making it as easy as possible for them to pay. This is best achieved by accepting all forms of payment, including the option to pay with PayPal.

Follow-up Coupons and Emails

If customers do leave your site with items in their cart, don’t give up on them. You can use a popup to try and capture their email address if you don’t already have it by offering something like a coupon for their next purchase, and then take advantage of that by sending out an email with a coupon code or other special offer.

Especially if a customer is comparison shopping and trying to find the best deal on a particular product, this can help get them to buy from you. Another option to consider, particularly if you can’t match the price of a competitor on the specific item you’re selling, is to offer extra services as part of the sale price. These could include anything from free shipping to free setup and installation, and the convenience factor they provide to the customer can often help offset any extra cost of purchasing the product from you rather than another seller.

Even if you don’t make a sale to a particular customer on Black Friday, don’t give up. This is a great opportunity to add to your list, and since the holiday shopping season is just beginning, sending additional coupon codes and incentives over the next few weeks is a great way to get customers back to your site to make additional purchases.