Skip to main content

The ecommerce merchandiser’s Black Friday checklist

Jessica Farelly
By Jessica Farrelly

In a crowded ecommerce landscape, during the busiest shopping weekend of the year, you need to give customers a compelling reason to shop with you instead of your competitors. Every step of the shopping journey counts. Follow this Black Friday checklist to ensure no tactic or detail is forgotten in the end-of-year hustle. 

1. First stop: last year’s reports 

Dig into your site reporting from previous years to identify trends in Black Friday shopper behavior. No two ecommerce stores are the same, and your strategy should be tailored to your audience and their buying patterns. Review last year’s popular searches and assess whether you need to set up any synonyms, redirects, or dedicated landing pages this year. Plus, now is the time to ensure the “zero results” of the past don’t happen again.

2. Turn insights into landing page gold

Now that you have valuable data on how your shoppers like to browse at this time of year, curate your categories accordingly. Top Deals, Gifts for Her, Stocking Fillers Under $50… Make it as easy as possible for customers to find what they’re looking for, whether they’re checking off their holiday shopping list or tracking down your best bargains.

3. Add sparkle with banners and badges

Shoppers are fickle, especially at this time of year. If they can’t identify your top deals quickly, they’ll bounce to a competitor with more eye-catching offers. Ensure relevant promotions and messaging are displayed prominently using visual cues across the homepage, autocomplete dropdown, category pages, and more. Keep banners consistent across other touchpoints too – from email to social and display ads.

4. Let your star products shine with boost rules

Nobody has time to manually update product arrangement as inventory fluctuates and demand peaks – especially during Black Friday & Cyber Monday weekend. Eliminate the heavy lifting with dynamic rules that highlight products that are in stock, on sale, and selling fast so shoppers can instantly spot the hottest results. It’s all about optimizing that product display order.

Insights to shape your ecommerce strategy in 2021

ecommerce report

5. Inspire with timely recommendations 

Black Friday shoppers are in spending mode, meaning strategically placed recommendations have the potential to significantly boost average order value. Prompt shoppers to add something extra to their cart by making personalized suggestions based on their individual preferences. And, don’t forget to cross-sell the must-have accessories for the items they’re viewing to improve product discovery.

6. Get festive with facets and filters

Offering curbside pickup? Last minute delivery? Guide shoppers straight to the products that qualify. Make filtering easy with visual cues such as color swatches and price range sliders so your site visitors don’t have to scroll through multiple options to find the precise result they’re looking for. And don’t forget your faceted navigation SEO!

7. Spruce up product finders

If you already have a product finder tool on your store, a quick refresh could turn it into a handy holiday gift finder. (And if you don’t have one, you should. They’re a valuable feature to have on your site all year round.) Guided selling tools replicate the in-store assistance provided by a knowledgeable sales associate, taking the stress out of gift-buying for shoppers.

8. Merchandise that no results found page

It’s inevitable that the occasional shopper will find their way to your no results page. But, that doesn’t have to mean a dead end in their buying journey. Keep shoppers engaged and guide them to alternative results with these simple steps, and don’t forget to highlight gift cards for customers who can’t quite find the result they’re looking for. 

The ecommerce merchandiser’s Black Friday checklist

Black Friday shoppers are turning to ecommerce like never before. As an online retailer, you need to deliver an effortless shopping experience to drive conversions and keep shoppers coming back for more. Download the full Ecommerce Merchandiser’s Black Friday Checklist for even more tips to ensure your store is optimized for the busiest time of year.