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9 Reasons your not ready for Black Friday

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Last year we wrote a post Top 7 things to check before launching your Shopify store. We wanted to do a follow up post this year to help Shopify merchants be better prepared for Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
With Nov 28th right around the corner many merchants are wondering if their shop is ready
for the frenzy. Black Friday followed by Cyber Monday is one of the busiest online shopping
days of the year.

We have put together our top 5 reasons many merchants won’t be ready this year.

  1. Promotional Banners and Ads

    If a picture is worth a 1000 words, a good sales or promotional banner is worth a 1000 sales (well sort of). Hire a designer and create targeted relevant engaging promotional banners around your Black Friday sale. Most Shopify themes include an image slider which shows on the front page. Upload and link your banner image to a landing page for that sale.

  2. Better Tracking with Google Analytics

    Metrics are everything, and knowing how your customers are interacting with your site is imperative to your Shopify store’s success. Shopify wrote a great guide on how to achieve this Can I setup Google Analytics Goal Funnels. By tracking conversions and engagements you can be better prepared for next year, and have a better strategy.

  3. Leverage Google AdWords

    If your not already advertising on Google AdWords you should set that up today. AdWords brings in loads of traffic and not just any traffic. These are targeted potential customers looking to buy your goods now. Setup an AdWords campaign around your Black Friday sale. For example is your having a 20% OFF all Shoes create an ad for this on the AdWords program to maximize traction.

  4. Offer a discount to share a product

    Offering a discount in exchange for a FaceBook or other social share of one of your products is a great way to get your sale out there. Let the customer have a discount in exchange for letting their friends and family know about it on Social Media sites. This is a great way to drum up leads as it is perpetual.

  5. SEO Optimizations

    Be sure your SEO is up to par weeks in advance. You want a competitive advantage in the search engines this Black Friday. Use an app like Metarific to ensure your SEO tags and content is correct and on target before the busy shopping season this year.

  6. Shipping and Fulfillment

    Beef up your shipping and fulfillment operations with Apps. With a slew of orders coming in the last thing you wan’t holding them up is shipping. No other time of the year do delivery times matter more. With shoppers pushing their orders through at the last moment, you will need to be on your toes with shipments, tracking, and even the dreaded occasional return.

    You can handle your shipping and fulfillment with apps. If you have not already done so have a look at the Shopify AppStore and see the available apps for handling shipping, and other logistical needs.

    We recommend OrderCup simply because it is one of the most feature rich products for Shipping available on the app store. We personally have had a strong relationship with OrderCup since it was founded and worked closely with their team to tightly integrate the product with Shopify. That aside OrderCup support has a phenomonal reputation for on-boarding users smoothly with no exception to time or skill level. For the price OrderCup provides everything you will need to survive this Black Friday and Cyber Monday as well.

  7. Customer Support

    While increased orders and traffic to your Shopify store can be a good thing, there are also a few pitfalls to the increase. You will wan’t to ensure you have a good customer support system in place like ZenDesk or AnswersEasy. This will help your customers find the answers they are looking for quickly. AnswersEasy is an in-house tool we created to solve the repetitive emails you answer every week. Whichever route you choose you will need some way to balance the influx of support requests and questions coming in over the holidays.

  8. Limited Time FREE Shipping

    Shoppers love free items and discounts. In the online shopping industry FREE shipping can give you the competitive advantage over your competitors when it comes to making the sale. People shop online for a number of reasons simplicity, avoiding lines, availability, but overall it boils down to “how much will it cost me?”. When a shopper is pondering if they should buy from you or drive across town and pickup the item themselves, there are a few things to consider.

    • How much more will the item cost if I buy it online?
    • How long will it take to get here?
    • How easy is it to just pick it up locally?
    • How much will shipping cost?

    Above are just some of the questions a potential shopper might consider when buying from your Shopify shop.

    Cost can be controlled with a Flat Rate or FREE shipping offer. Be sure to set a time limit on the offer to add value
    to the proposition and here is why.

    When you put a time limit on a discount it puts urgency around the action to obtain the discount. This psychologically
    puts a timer on your shopper to place their order ASAP. Everyone loves getting a deal, and online shoppers are
    no different than traditional brick and mortar shoppers. Shoppers are also three times more likely to add more items to their
    cart when it will not change the shipping cost due to your promotion.

  9. Email Marketing

    Take all your hard work from the steps above and create an email blast. Send it to your customers, and any other
    email lists you have of people who could be potential customers. Use a service like Mailchimp and get an email
    list created to start email marketing early.

    Also make sure to make your email marketing blast look nice, it is important to be clear and concise when sending out email marketing emails.

    Consider using a template which you can simply upload into your Mailchimp account. Here is a list of FREE email templates you can use.

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Tim Matheson

Tim is a software engineer and computer software consultant based in Newport Beach, CA. He has worked with hundreds of companies implementing custom software-as-a-solution business administration tools. Tim's specialty is streamlining process using software for small to large businesses. When he's not saving the internet from dismal failure he enjoys riding his bike along the beach, and the occasional cup of coffee.

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