17 Tips to Prepare Your Online Store For Holiday Sales

How to prepare for Black Friday and Cyber Monday, avoid losing customers during the campaign, and summarize the results

Black Friday is a sale that takes place in November the day after Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday immediately after the holiday weekend. Originally popular only in the U.S., the tradition has eventually spread around the world. These sales are often blended together so that shopping events span the entire weekend.

In 2021, Black Friday kicks off on November 26 at midnight and runs through November 28, followed by Cyber Monday on November 29. Consumers will spend 414 000 years shopping online during the holidays this year, according to reports.

Let's see how you can prepare your online store for Black Friday and Cyber Monday, how to avoid losing customers, and what to do after the campaign ends.
Contents

How to Get Ready For the Online Holiday Sales

Think about what goals you want to achieve by running a sale. Choose the right products that will bring traffic and increase profits. Prepare the website for the sales in advance, think through possible scenarios, as well as contingency plans. If something goes wrong during the sale, you’ll be able to make quick decisions and get out of any sticky situation.

How carefully you prepare and plan beforehand will make or break the promotion.
Set Measurable and Achievable Goals
Before you launch a promotional campaign you’ll need to define its purpose—outline why you’re having it and what results do you expect. "Selling as much as possible" isn’t a realistic or workable goal, as it’ll be difficult to accurately measure the effectiveness of the campaign.

The SMART framework is often used to set goals in project management, and the same method can be applied here:
1
Specific: The goal should be specific, such as increasing the sales of wool dresses.
2
Measurable: The achievement of the goal can be measured in numbers—for example, increasing the sale of wool dresses 300 times.
3
Attainable: The plan for the sale has to be realistic and achievable—build on your past experience and former campaigns. "Increasing the sale of wool dresses by 10% compared to last November" is a specific, measurable, and attainable goal.
4
Relevant: The offer should be relevant to the time of year. It’s unlikely that a summer sale will make sense in November.
5
Time-bound: The achievement of the goal should be limited in time, for example, during the Cyber Weekend.
By setting a specific, measurable, and attainable goal, you’ll be much more comfortable analyzing the results and understanding how effectively your communication channels worked.
Choose the Right Products for the Black Friday Sale
Offer a discount on popular items that users love—that'll most likely bring traffic to your website. Also, set a discount on targeted items that are most profitable for you to sell. That way, people checking out popular items will see other offers, which will increase the likelihood of a purchase.

Another strategy would be drawing a buyer’s attention to a specific product or category by offering them a discount. There are many benefits to this: the buyer will get interested, try it out, and potentially make their next purchase at full price.
Check the Availability of Products Before the Campaign
During the promotion, keep an eye on the availability of items on the website. If you use the Product Catalog on Tilda, the number of items after each purchase will be recalculated automatically. Set up automatic product booking in the Catalog after adding it to the cart. This will help you avoid situations where a visitor adds an item to the cart and continues to browse the website but then can’t actually buy it because it has been sold out in the meantime.
To set automatic product booking, go to Site Settings → Payment Systems → General payment settings → Book a product.

Get Your Website Ready For the Sale in Advance

In the calm before Black Friday, update the website so you can publish the pages on the big day stress-free.

1
Label discounted items with "SALE" and show the old and new prices. The setting is available for the ST3XX blocks. Please note, if you have the Product Catalog connected, you won’t be able to set the data in advance—changes in the inventory will be displayed instantly without publication.
SALE label in the ST310N block from the "Store" category
2
Create a section with special offers for Black Friday on your website.
3
Add feedback widgets so that users can get in touch with you quickly and ask questions. You can do that by using blocks from the "Form and Button" and "Other" categories. Prepare response scripts in advance so that you spend less time drafting phrases during the sale.
4
Add a "See also" section and recommend related products to users. This will help increase your average sale.
5
Include additional items, services, or discounts to your "Thank You" page.
Customers see the "Thank You" page after making a purchase

Prepare Your Shipping Options

Offer customers several shipping options: Home delivery, post office, or self-pickup. In times of high demand, it’s important to meet your buyers' delivery time expectations. Set realistic delivery times, and if the courier is delayed or running late, warn or agree on a different time slot.
Shipping options displayed in the shopping cart
Inform your potential customers that your store is safe for pickup with disinfection and ventilation of premises, temperature measurement, mandatory mask usage, and so on. That way you will encourage people to pick up their orders, reducing the delivery service workload.

Add Multiple Payment Methods

Make sure that you have several payment options enabled: Online payments with credit or debit card, PayPal, Apple Pay, cash on delivery, and others. For cash payments, consider adding an additional field to the shopping cart "How much change will be needed" so that delivery drivers prepare the right amount in advance.

We recommend that you connect at least two payment systems: If one of them fails, you will be able to quickly switch to the second one without losing sales.

Check the Mobile Version of Your Website

According to the Adobe Holiday Shopping Report, consumers will spend more than $86B online using their smartphones this holiday season, outgrowing the overall spend at +16.6% Year-over-year. Potential customers may view the website from several devices: Laptop, tablet, or smartphone. For example, someone may view your ad on Instagram in the morning on their way to work, and make a purchase in the evening from their home computer. The website should look good and load quickly on all popular devices—that will leave a good impression on the customer, maintaining their interest in your brand and products.

Check how your website looks on mobile and replace blocks if necessary. To make pages load faster, turn on Lazy Load (in case you disabled it earlier), don’t use third-party code, and don’t add lots of images at the beginning of the website.

To learn more about optimizing mobile versions of websites, check out our article on how to speed up Tilda websites.

How to Announce an Upcoming Sale to Potential Customers

Communicate about the upcoming sale using all available channels: Website, newsletters, social media ads, and posts by influencers and opinion leaders. Every contact you make with your audience can prove to be crucial. Let’s take a closer look at these communication channels.

Post Information About the Sale On Your Website

The most affordable solution is to inform your website visitors about the promotion. They are already interested in the products or services, so the promise of a benefit will encourage them to return to the website later and make a purchase.
1
Place a countdown timer on the cover marking the start of the sale. Add either block CR34 ("Cover with a countdown and subscription form") or CR35 ("Cover with a countdown and buttons").
Block CR34 "Cover with a countdown and subscription form" from the "Cover" category
2
Add a news ticker featuring the sale announcement using block DV13 ("Infinite scrolling text") from the "Divider" category.
Block DV13 "Infinite scrolling text" from the "Divider" category
3
Add a neat pop-up window in the corner of the screen and inform your visitors about future promotions using block BF504 ("Pop-up: Form in the corner of the screen.")
Block BF504 "Pop-up: Form in the corner of the screen" from the "Form and Button" category
4
Build the Black Friday announcement into the design of an existing cover on the homepage.
These are just a few examples—there are many more potential solutions. Check out the#nbspTilda Block Library and find one that works for you.

Send a Newsletter to Previous Customers

Tell your current customers who have already purchased your products and services about the upcoming discounts. Warm audiences are more likely to decide to buy again if they’re happy with the quality of the product, like the brand, and also if you offer them something special. For example, send them a promo code for an extra discount or a gift in return for their purchase.

Run Ads on Social Media

Tell people who have already visited your website about the discounts—show them your social media ads. If you haven’t set up a pixel for retargeting, run ads on social networks by interest or by geographic location.

Even if you plan to run paid ads, don’t underestimate posts on your store’s official social media accounts. Gradually build audience interest towards the sale in your stories and posts, talk about your products, and engage people in conversation to get them in their feeds more often.

Advertise With Influencers

Audiences trust their opinion leaders, which is why advertising integrations with bloggers and other social media heavyweights can be an additional source of the traffic to your website.

To keep your stats high, choose an influencer with the right audience for your product. Before agreeing to work with you, ask the blogger to send a screenshot of the social and demographic data of their audience, as well as statistics on similar integrations, and ensure that they haven’t worked with your competitors in the last year.

To track statistics on conversions and purchases, add a UTM tag to the link that the blogger displays to potential buyers, as well as a promo code for a discount.
An example of advertising integration with a YouTube blogger

How Not to Lose Customers During a Sale

Competition is high on Black Friday as online stores and marketplaces aggressively fight for the buyer’s attention. Outline your action plan to make sure that you don’t miss anything, be polite, and respond to customer messages promptly. During a sale, procrastination can be costly.

Go Live With Your Updates On Time

Update your prices in the online store at midnight sharp. That way you won’t lose buyers who actively monitor discounts and buy right at the start of the promotion, making sure that all your products are in stock and ready to go.

Respond to Messages Quickly

On Black Friday, potential shoppers prefer those who respond quickly to their questions via messengers, email, phone, and social media. Involve more people from the team to communicate with customers so you don’t miss out on customers.
Keep Your Website Content Up to Date
Hide the countdown bar, replace images about the upcoming Black Friday sale with new ones announcing the start of the sale. If a promotional item is out of stock, quickly replace it with another. If your delivery drivers can’t keep up with the flow of orders, then remove that delivery option and tell your buyers about the self-pickup option.

Try to keep the website in order so as not to receive negative comments from upset users whose expectations are not met.

Keep Track of Statistics and Make Decisions Quickly

Keep an eye on the statistics during the campaign. Noticing problems with the website on time and solving them quickly will make all the difference. For example, if people are leaving the page right before making a purchase, that means something prevents them from paying for the product.

View the error widget in Tilda’s dashboard. For example, if the form receiver stops working, you’ll see a notification right away and you’ll be able to replace it with another service. Even if you don’t immediately notice that the forms are disabled, user data won’t be lost. You’ll find them in the "Leads" section of the Tilda dashboard.

What Should Be Done After the Online Sale

At the end of the sale, update website content, turn off advertising campaigns, and start analyzing the performance of the campaign.
Online store statistics page on Tilda

Hide All Sale-Related Info From Your Website and Stop Your Ad Campaigns

After the sale ends, be sure to remove all mentions of it from the public domain. Outdated banners or promotions give visitors false expectations. This can lead to negative feedback and loss of customers. To avoid this, make sure the information you post is up to date to protect your brand’s reputation.
Analyze the Stats and Summarize the Campaign’s Results
Analyze the performance of the campaign using Google Analytics or Tilda’s built-in statistics.

Divide your conclusions into three categories:
Things you don’t want to repeat
Things you want to keep doing
New ideas
This way, you can get some rough ideas to plan your next promotion based on reliable data and experience.

Key Takeaways

An online sale for a store owner begins long before the start of the campaign. Carrying out a successful promotion requires thorough preparation: Setting goals, choosing the right products, analyzing and assessing the risks, and thinking through solutions to potential problems.

Post about the upcoming sale on your website, run ads on social media, and arrange for integration with influencers and opinion leaders. Don’t lose customers during the sale—post up-to-date prices and images on time, respond to messages quickly, and keep track of your statistics.

After the sale, remove all mentions of the promotion from public sources, analyze the results, draw the right conclusions, and be sure to use all these takeaways for next year’s sale.

Text: Marie Kochetkova

Illustrations, design, layout: Alex Larionov

If you found the article useful, please like or share it with the community! This helps people discover this and other Tilda Education guides and support our project. Thank you!
See also: