This blog post is the second installment of our Black Friday Checklist series. Keep an eye on our blog for new tips and insights each week, as we count down to the biggest shopping event of the year!
During the frenzy of Black Friday, merchandising is your chance to shine. Well-planned merchandising campaigns are one of the most effective ways to build anticipation and reel shoppers in this Cyber Weekend. And, with the right solution, merchandising automation eliminates manual tasks from your workload during the busiest time of year. What’s not to love?
Get your store ready with this Black Friday merchandising checklist.
1. Conduct a Campaign Clear Out
Your usual global rules and merchandising campaigns probably don’t apply at this time of year. Take stock of your current merchandising and assess which campaigns should be paused for Black Friday. If you usually boost new arrivals, for example, it might make sense to temporarily bump these products out of view. Instead, elevate your discounted products or the stock you need to clear.
2. Start Your Black Friday Merchandising Planning Early
If you wait until late November to start merchandising, you’re already behind. Savvy shoppers do their research early, so tease your promotions well in advance of Cyber Weekend. Don’t forget, a one-day rush on sales is no longer your only option. Holiday shopping starts earlier every year, and many retailers now stagger their offers over a longer period to reduce pressure on inventory and order fulfillment. If you decide to take this approach, merchandising is key to get the word out to your customers.
3. Curate Black Friday Landing Pages
Once you decide on your Black Friday promotions, it’s time to pull it all together in an eye-catching package for your customers. Curate specially merchandised landing pages to spotlight products you have on offer. Add banners to broadcast sale details, and use badges to draw attention to discounts, top sellers, and highly-rated results. Inline banners are another great way to engage shoppers and encourage them to check out other categories.
4. Use Dynamic Rules to Hide Out-of-Stock Results
One thing is certain on Black Friday: your stock is going to fluctuate. As products fly off the virtual shelves, don’t leave shoppers frustrated with row after row of out-of-stock results. Use dynamic rules to automatically remove products from view as they sell out, and boost in-stock items to replace them. You won’t have time to do this manually on the day, so set automated rules in advance. Not only does this make for a better shopper experience, it will also help sustain your sales beyond the initial rush.
5. Eliminate Dead Ends
Merchandising isn’t just for your homepage and top categories. Apply Black Friday merchandising to areas of your site that could otherwise lead to a dead end in the shopper journey. Your no results found page is the perfect example. Use this digital real estate to display your popular products and promotional messaging, and encourage your shoppers to keep browsing. Strategically-placed banners that inform customers of holiday shipping timelines and return policies are another helpful feature at this time of year.
6. Schedule Your Campaigns
Black Friday is stressful enough without manually launching your merchandising at 5am. Prepare your campaigns well in advance, test them, and then test them again. Once you’re happy, set your Black Friday merchandising to launch at a time that makes sense for your team and your customers. When it’s all over, set a specific time to automatically deactivate your campaigns so you don’t inadvertently run a sale for longer than intended.
7. Deliver Consistent Messaging Off-Site
Your on-site merchandising should reflect your off-site Black Friday marketing campaigns, and vice versa. Whatever discounts or promotions you run, use the same messaging across your email communications, social media posts, and other online advertising. Visually, your banners and graphics should be consistent throughout the shopper journey to deliver an impactful campaign. Make the most of your merchandising collateral by adding it to all of the platforms available to you.
Create an Exceptional Shopping Experience with Black Friday Merchandising
Black Friday is one of the most competitive dates in the ecommerce calendar. To stand out, retailers must deliver clear promotions, captivating product displays, and effortless shopper journeys. Take advantage of automated, pre-scheduled merchandising for a seamless customer experience, and stress-free holiday period for your team. Struggling with manual merchandising on your current platform? Get in touch to learn more about Searchspring’s suite of merchandising tools.
For even more Cyber Weekend tips, make sure to check out our Black Friday Webinar Series!