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Preparing for the 2019 Festive Season: Planning for Black Friday Part 1

Web Hosting Blog

We want to spend a bit of time over a few upcoming blogs talking about various topics around the importance for preparing your server and website for busy periods. This is an important time of year to begin these considerations, because we will soon be entering in to the festive period, starting with Black Friday.

Black Friday originated in the USA, and always falls on the Friday following Thanksgiving Day. This year, Black Friday will be on Friday 29th November 2019 this year. In recent years, Black Friday has also been followed by Cyber Monday, which is the Monday immediately following Black Friday. Including the weekend inbetween, that means that on an online store, Black Friday sales now often span at least those four days, with some retailers extending the sale for much longer. Amazon’s Black Friday sales famously last much longer, with their deals lasting two whole weeks back in 2018. We would expect to see the same from them this year.

So today, the preparations we want to talk about are the different strategies that you might plan to get the most out of the Black Friday period, however long your choose to run your site promotions.

Create a mailing list – early!

The cost of advertising will rapidly increase during the festive period, so start gathering your audience now by advertising your upcoming promotions and staying in touch with those interested using a mailing list. This will save you money during the expensive festive season as you’ve already done the leg work to reach your audience during a quieter and cheaper period.

Keep it simple

Whatever promotions you decide on, the best thing to do is to keep them simple. It’s not a good idea to try and emulate Amazon’s daily lightening deals unless you have the capacity and infrastructure of Amazon. For most businesses, this would simply be creating too much work for themselves, at a time when your workload will potentially already be increased due to website traffic and increased orders. For the majority of online retailers, it would be a much better idea to run one or two promotions exceptionally well for the duration of the Black Friday period, than trying to switch it up several times and biting off more than you can chew. If the organisation of your promotions gets away from you, your customers will notice.

But also original

Just because your promotions are simple it doesn’t mean they can’t be original. Entice your customers (or rather, your potential customers) in with a truly original concept that will catch their eye amongst the flurry of promotions they will inevitably see elsewhere. Examples of promotions that work well include free gifts with orders, discounts, personalisation and competitions.

Tailor deals to your audience

Ensure that the deals you settle on are going to appeal to your target audience and that they’re relevant to your business. For example, CWCS is a hosting provider. It would be of little interest to the majority of our customers if we were to give away free tea towels with every order, for example, and probably wouldn’t generate any extra business for us. If a kitchen/homewares retailer were to run that same promotion, however, they’d probably get some success from it!

Know what your margins are

This is particularly important if you’re going to be offering discounts, or buy one get one free deals. Make sure that your margins on the product still make sense. It’s no good having a successful and busy campaign over Black Friday if every single order places your company at an increased amount of loss.

In the upcoming Thursday blogs we’ll continue to focus on your preparations for the upcoming busy period, including blogs on server preparations, site preparations and security measures.

If you would like to discuss your requirements for the festive period with a hosting specialist, please contact us today.