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7 ways for retailers to win Black Friday

There is just one month until Black Friday — the busiest day of the year for many retailers with sales in both physical stores and online increasing year on year. In fact, Black Friday has migrated from a day to several days of frenzied shopping that’s now capped by Cyber Monday. In 2020, 100M US consumers shopped online for Black Friday. But the long-time shopping day was surpassed in 2020 by Cyber Monday, when shopper spent a record-breaking $10.8B with smartphones being used for 41% of the transactions according to Adobe.

With the lingering pandemic solidifying many shoppers preference for online shopping, delivering great e-commerce and m-commerce experiences is more important than ever before.

Digital visitors behave differently during Black Friday

Black Friday and the Cyber weekend cause visitors to shop differently compared to the rest of the year. Retailers often attempt to fit their Black Friday specials into their existing website, leading to poor user experience and customer struggles.

Black Friday attracts two distinct shopping patterns. Visitors who know exactly what they are looking for and are seeking the best price for it. Or, visitors who are happy to spend time browsing to find a bargain. The key to providing a good user experience is to cater for these two groups specifically.

With that in mind, here are our top 7 tips for optimizing the digital experience for Black Friday shoppers.

#1 – Provide a quick route to the Black Friday deals

Make access to Black Friday offers simple. Provide clear promotional banners on the home page and across category landing pages that specifically mentions Black Friday.

Place a dedicated link in the primary navigation, not hidden within sub navigation, especially on mobile devices.

Outside of the promotional sections use clear signposting to highlight which products or items are included within the Black Friday promotions.

#2 – Deploy Black Friday-specific search

Visitors with specific products in mind often navigate to the Black Friday section of your site and then use search to quickly find the product they are looking for. We commonly see more than 30% of visitors searching at this point.

A common failing is to offer only your site-wide search that returns a broad range of results. This leads to frustration when the products shown are not a part of the promotion and have not been discounted. Instead, satisfy Black Friday shoppers by providing search functionality within the Black Friday specials. If you are limited to a general site search, you can provide a Black Friday filter on the results page instead.

#3 – Avoid product carousels

Product carousels work well to generate visitor engagement – up to 20% on touch screen devices and 40% on desktop. However, they can quickly suffer fatigue while only seeing a fraction of the available products or offers. Clicks through to individual products from carousels are relatively low.

Pages that list products within the page have greater engagement and significantly higher click through rates as they appeal to visitors who are in an active shopping mode rather than simply browsing.

#4 – Provide progressive load on product lists

People looking for Black Friday deals are more inclined to scroll through multiple product lists than at other times. They are looking for a bargain rather than shopping for a particular item.

Within product lists provide clearly identifiable filters that enable visitors to quickly hone in on the product that matches their interest or budget.

#5 – Category links work, but are not a substitute for filters

Category specific links see lower clicks than ‘view all product’ buttons. However, they serve an important function for focused shoppers, enabling them to quickly reach a specific area and narrow down the products they see. The key to making category links work is to place ‘view all products’ and category-specific buttons close to each other so visitors have both options available.

#6 – Provide easy access to the Black Friday landing page

A quarter of visitors to the Black Friday landing page will return to it at least once in their session. This occurs after clicking through to a product, category or ‘view all’ page. Visitors treat the page as a hub to start a different search or enter a new category.

Provide a clear link back that anchors people to where they were on the page when they clicked through. This reduces scroll struggle on the landing page and allows for a simpler onward journey.

#7 – Be clear on delivery times and pricing

Set visitors expectations regarding delivery timelines and pricing by providing estimated shipping costs on a product detail page (PDP) or cart page. This information is often a deciding factor when visitors are making a purchase decision. Also, be sure to highlight changes to your return policy or shipping schedules transparently. Visitors may abandon the site if they struggle to locate information relating to this — and if they feel misled, they won’t be back.

Win Black Friday by providing a great shopping experience

Understanding your customers is the first step in delivering a great online or mobile shopping experience. To learn more about how digital experience analytics from Glassbox can help, visit our Demo Center.

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