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How eCommerce Businesses can Prepare for Black Friday 2022

October 27, 2022

We’re now officially on the run up to Black Friday, which means that, by now, most ecommerce businesses will likely be busy preparing an effective strategy for the big day. Arguably, this year it’s more important than ever to plan ahead, with overall Black Friday and Cyber Monday spending in the UK predicted to decrease by nearly a billion pounds (from £4.8 billion in 2021, to just £3.95 billion in 2022). This means that every retailer will need to work even harder to get the attention of Black Friday and Cyber Monday shoppers in 2022, with less spending money to go around due to the current cost of living crisis. 

Whether you’ve just started sorting your products and marketing strategy ready for Black Friday, or you’re well on your way but need some final pointers to avoid any last-minute stress, delays, or missed sales opportunities, we have a number of useful tips that can help you get your team ready for this busy day, as well as for the following Cyber Monday. 

Read our complete guide below and find out how you can organise your ecommerce business ready for the Black Friday and Cyber Monday rush, and find out why it’s more important than ever that businesses use this day to their advantage this year.

When is Black Friday 2022?

This year, Black Friday lands on Friday, November 25, the day after the American Thanksgiving celebrations, and, as usual, lasts through the weekend until Cyber Monday. And, with Halloween and Thanksgiving out of the way by the time this busy shopping day rolls around, shoppers are likely to have diverted their focus to buying Christmas presents and will be busy hunting for the best deals, so it’s important to keep this in mind and prepare as much in advance as possible. 

Some large ecommerce businesses, such as Amazon, now launch their Black Friday deals around a month beforehand, giving customers a longer time to hunt for their favourite offers. Many online retailers also launch marketing campaigns a few weeks in advance to create a buzz around their products ahead of the day itself.

Why is Black Friday important for eCommerce businesses?

Although Black Friday falls during what is already the busiest season for ecommerce businesses, this year, the fierce level of competition is expected to present even more challenges. Not only have more people resorted to online shopping since the pandemic, leading to more consumer demand, but with the rise in the cost of living, as well as the additional challenge of declining consumer confidence levels this year, online shoppers are also predicted to be more determined than ever to find the best prices. 

With this context surrounding Black Friday 2022, rather than buying whatever is on offer, we expect consumers to be looking for only quality products at the most affordable rates that serve a meaningful purpose. 

eCommerce & Black Friday UK Statistics

As expected, recent statistics have brought to light some important eCommerce trends for 2022 in the UK. And, as we near the end of the year, many of these trends are expected to continue into 2023, so implementing them now is crucial if you want to benefit from a sales uplift during Black Friday weekend and beyond. 

Whether it’s organising stock ahead of the day, or planning a purposeful marketing campaign, the statistics below reflect the current popularity of the ecommerce market, reflecting just how important it is for online retailers to have a well thought out Black Friday strategy.

  • Consumer eCommerce accounts for over a quarter of the UK retail market - According to this UK ecommerce report on the official website of the International Trade Administration, consumer ecommerce now makes up 30% of the entire UK retail industry. Although this might not seem like much, to put this into figures, yearly revenue from ecommerce in the UK now totals over £105 billion, which is up by 20% since 2020.  
  • The UK eCommerce market is said to have almost 60 million users - A figure outlined by the recent Statista ecommerce report, which also states that the UK is home to the most advanced ecommerce market in Europe, with only a small proportion of the population now expected to only buy their items offline.
  • Before the pandemic, sales from ecommerce made up just over 19% of total UK sales - A statistic cited in this Cybercrew report, the positive impact the pandemic has had on online sales is clear, and is still anticipated to rise. With the rate of increase much slower prior to 2020, even though this life changing event had many downsides, one positive is that it has led to a bright future for ecommerce businesses.

Now that we’ve established the UK ecommerce market is still very much alive and kicking in the UK in 2022, below, we have shared some Black Friday statistics for 2022, and how these may influence your marketing strategy this year:

  • Traditionally, data shows that shoppers tend to buy household appliances, gaming consoles. etc - According to this Black Friday report from Finder, popular products also include fashion goods, furniture, electronics, toys, and video games. Therefore, it’s important to consider how well suited your product is to Black Friday, or whether to follow 'Shop Small' or other alternative trends with your marketing efforts this year. If none of the products listed suit your business, you might consider pivoting your strategy to suit your product offering for the best results.
  • Men are predicted to spend £205 on average this Black Friday, while women will be spending around £174 - That’s according to the same Finder report, which shows that men are more likely to spend more than women this year. As a result, you could consider segmenting your email lists or marketing campaigns (if appropriate) by men and women, while personalising the products you push to their tastes, buying history (again using data from your business) and anticipated spending budgets.
  • 76% of UK consumers will stop shopping up to a month before Black Friday - as mentioned on this Esendex report, as consumers hold off on spending ahead of the big day, you might notice a drop in sales in the run-up period. With this in mind, stay calm and in contact with your loyal customers ahead of the weekend and monitor how your website and marketing performs. Using data from platforms such as StoreFeeder, your website platform (e.g. Shopify, Magento), marketplaces and Google Analytics, you can make decisions in real-time on things like pricing, marketing, stock, delivery options and more to continue to fine-tune your strategy during a potentially quiet run-up to the big event.
  • A total of £2.24bn is expected to be spent online this Black Friday - This Statista report shines a light on just how popular online shopping has become on Black Friday, significantly overtaking in-store shopping, where spending is only expected to be around £1.15bn this year. With so much competition, when sales start to increase on your website, it’s important to prepare in advance, with the appropriate sale items and their listings at the ready.  

Black Friday eCommerce Strategy Tips

One of the largest retailer events of the year, Black Friday and Cyber Monday present the perfect opportunity for many ecommerce businesses to market their best stock and deals, and, if successful, gather a heightened amount of consumer interest in their business and products.

These popular shopping days give small to medium-sized online retailers the chance to experiment with the best ways for their business to get the word out about their products, observing which attracts the most interest. Therefore, taking advantage of this opportunity by ensuring that you have all the items you plan to put on sale organised and ready to go, your marketing perfected down to a T, and much more, can take your business to the next level.

  1. Organise your email marketing list

If you’re planning on marketing your offers in advance, ensuring you have a comprehensive and up to date email marketing list is a crucial step that can lead to many more successful conversions. Over time, customers might change email addresses and forget to update this on your database, or use one email address, such as their work email, more frequently than the one they used to sign up. Particularly if you haven’t engaged with customers through email for a while, sending out a re-opt-in campaign, then removing the customers who don’t sign up again has a number of advantages. Proving that quantity doesn’t always override quality, refreshing your subscribers will allow you to more readily identify customers who engage with your emails.

Once you’ve organised your email list and the fact they have just signed up again is still fresh in your customers’ minds, use this to your advantage and send out promotional offers soon after. However, before doing this, refresh your memory with the products your customers have shown the most interest in before and focus on sending out offers on these items or consider discount codes. And make sure your deals are worth it this year. With so much competition, if you can, consider offering discounts and delivery incentives that will stand out against your competitors. 

  1. Send out abandoned basket emails

Another way you can make the most of your mailing lists, is to automate your campaigns so that should a customer abandon their basket during the checkout process, it will remind them that they still have items in their cart. This can help to encourage or speed up purchases. 

As with most black fridays, the number of abandoned carts on your website is likely to be higher than normal, with one of the main reasons being that customers are likely to be comparing prices and deals between you and your competitors - so a quick email reminder will help to keep your business and products in their mind.

  1. Prioritise sale items in your warehouse

Although planning a well-thought out marketing campaign is important, this will go to waste if you don’t have your stock organised to cater to the items you plan to put on sale for Black Friday. Therefore, ensuring that your warehouse is organised to prioritise these products so you’re ready for when orders start flocking in, can save your business time, stress and money. 

One way to avoid any mishaps on the day is to invest in a reliable warehouse management system, or inventory software. This can be a complete game-changer for your business, reducing costs by providing real-time data, minimising the risk of supply chain issues and more. 

  1. Review your internal processes 

When it comes to steady, day-to-day operations, it can sometimes be difficult to identify if there are anything about your internal processes that might need changing. Instead, issues can become more prominent during busier periods, such as during Black Friday, or Cyber Monday, where tasks might need to be performed at a faster pace to meet the increased demand. However, by this point, it might be too late to solve and could end up causing disruption. Remember, delayed dispatch and delivery can lead to increased returns as it gives customers longer to consider canceling or to explore alternative options in-between placing the order and receiving it.

To prevent this from happening, take the time to review your internal processes ahead of busy periods, which can be done by listing tasks and considering how long each one takes to complete. This can significantly increase productivity and efficiency by encouraging you to think about day-to-day duties in more detail and consider whether these could be broken down into more manageable tasks, or if they could even be automated. In particular, if things have always been done in a particular way, even if they’re going well, there’s no harm in changing them. You might even find that these new ways work better compared to how you’ve done them previously.

  1. Organise listings across marketplaces

Preparing product listings of all the items you’re going to sell on the big day for your own website is one thing, but if you’re selling products across a number of marketplaces, such as Amazon, Etsy, Ebay etc., you’ll also need to make sure that each product listing on these sites is prepared and ready to go. This includes making sure the title for each is accurate, informative and up to date, the product has the correct accompanying image(s), an engaging description, competitive sale prices and other relevant details, such as product sizing and specifications. Although this might sound overwhelming, using a software such as StoreFeeder that integrates product listings between marketplaces and your website in one place can make this process easy. Ultimately, it allows you to maximise the benefits that come with selling across online marketplaces, without the extra admin involved. 

However, if you’re only selling products on your website, then branching out to other ecommerce platforms ahead of Black Friday, or for the winter season as a whole, has a number of useful benefits. While this may come at an additional cost, selling across one or two additional, established platforms, in addition to your own website, helps to increase the likelihood of customers coming across your products. Well-established and having gathered a high amount of customer trust over the years, online shoppers might be more likely to purchase your products if you were to branch out and sell on Amazon, for instance, rather than simply using your own website. 

With over 15 million prime subscribers on Amazon UK, free delivery means that users are likely to spend more time browsing through products and adding more items to their baskets, without needing to worry about incurring additional costs. While Ebay follows closely behind, with 298 million monthly UK visits, making both the leading ecommerce websites in the UK.

Prepare for Black Friday with StoreFeeder

Aside from your marketing and website duties, if you’re looking for an efficient way to organise stock, reduce costs, increase productivity, or automate tasks, why not request a demo of StoreFeeder’s inventory management system and intelligent warehouse management system?

From reducing human error, to organising stock, StoreFeeder can help you automate and review internal processes, allowing everything to run more smoothly in preparation for busy sale days. And, if you’re selling your products across multiple marketplaces, StoreFeeder features a convenient integration tool, which is compatible with a range of leading marketplaces, including Amazon, Ebay, and more, meaning you can conveniently manage all your orders in one place.

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October 27, 2022

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