The best time to start preparing for Black Friday/ Cyber Monday is August, but the second-best time is now.
The countdown is on, and we’re expecting another record-breaking year for holiday eCommerce sites. In 2020 Black Friday online sales were 21.6% up and in 2021 the growth is expected to continue.
Are your product catalog and product information in optimal condition to boost traffic and transactions on these upcoming dates?
To help you in planning what to focus on to make the most of the biggest shopping weekend of the year, we’ve listed some key priorities below...
1. Start now.
BF/CM is no longer a day or a weekend. It’s now a holiday selling season. For sellers, spreading the sales time period is a solution to relieve the pressure on supply chains and shipping outlets. While shoppers spooked by the thought of not receiving goods in time are starting their bargain hunting and gift shopping earlier.
Sales will be starting as early as November 12th, so make sure to start preparing now to be ready when your customers are.
2. Onboard new suppliers/ products and brands to your site now.
Now is the time to add the new suppliers/ products and brands to your range that will push your business forward. Ensure you have seasonal gifting-type products, trending products, and the most popular items for 2021 in your catalog.
3. Make it easy for your shoppers to find the bargains.
Your hot BF/CM deals should ideally be easily visible and accessible with one click from your homepage.
If you have a sale page already, an easy option is to change this to a Black Friday/ Cyber Monday page for this seasonal period.
Alternatively, create a new page, and set a merchandising rule in Vesta to send sale products to display on this page.
4. Check key search terms from last year.
Checking your search results from last year can direct you to the most effective promotions and curated collections to run on your site. You may find seasonal searches such as ‘’gifts for her’’ or ‘’secret Santa gifts under $15’’ specific to this time of year.
You can make these changes simply by using Vesta to set rules based on attribute values to merchandise products onto these pages or to dual locations on your site.
5. Make sure you are staying on top of inventory levels.
Ensure you have a good system in place to manage inventory levels. You do not want to be selling products that aren’t available or to have out-of-stock products taking up the best real estate at the top of category pages.
With Vesta, you can sync inventory levels from suppliers frequently and create rules to drive display actions on your site. For instance, de-prioritizing out-of-stock products to the bottom of category pages, and switching ‘’add to cart’’ buttons to be replaced by ‘’pre-order’’ CTA’s.
Good inventory tracking and management can also be used to create urgency and action, for example, driving alerts such as ‘’5 left in stock’’ etc.
6. Add Lead Times.
We all have experienced the inconsistencies of shipping and lead times in 2021. Due to the disruption, you may find you are unable to promise one lead-time across your whole catalog. Adding realistic lead times by supplier to product detail pages can give shoppers the transparency they need to build trust and an elevated customer experience.
With Vesta, you can sync supplier lead times through to your product detail pages with ease, ensuring shoppers have clear expectations and there are no disappointments with gifts arriving later than expected.
7. Improve descriptions to improve search traffic.
Review your search data and do some keyword research to gain insights into the terms shoppers are using to find products like yours. Take the time to update your descriptions with the relevant keywords to boost your organic traffic and improve onsite search. Adding in LSI words can quickly impact search success - for example, for a blender, add in words like juicer, food processor, and smoothie maker.
8. Automate product data operations to maximize productivity.
Workloads are heavy, and everyone starts to feel the pressure at this time of year. Help create space for your team by putting the tools in place to automate product data operations. These can save hundreds of hours, replacing the repetitive, manual tasks done frequently. To learn more about the full range of tasks Vesta can automate, take a look at the product data automation guide.
Start preparing for Black Friday/ Cyber Monday now.
It’s time to stop hesitating and get your product catalog and product data in order, ready for the holiday eCommerce sales season.
We are here to help you with your preparations, so feel free to reach out to our product data experts to help you optimize your content and automate your day-to-day operations in advance of the holiday season rush.