In ecommerce, a lot can happen in just a few weeks, never mind a whole year. And things do look different than they did 12 months ago – especially in online retail. This time last year, all arrows pointed up; now some report falling stocks, while others forecast rosier futures.
One thing that hasn’t changed is the opportunities available to your business during Black Friday. The year’s biggest sales event provides a golden chance for you to drive growth and power your business through to the end-of-year holiday season. In fact, figures show that smaller retailers saw sales increase by 501% on Cyber Monday 2020 compared to the October daily average, and that worldwide Black Friday sales that year amounted to around $188 billion.
This guide is designed to help you have the best Black Friday possible, explaining how to drive conversions, maximise sales, and provide exceptional customer experiences.
10 tips to increase Black Friday sales
#1 Make sure your checkout is converting shoppers
Your checkout conversion rate is one of the most critical metrics in your business. Numerous studies show that cart abandonment rates are around 50-70% in most industries and even higher in others.
One simple thing you can do to increase your conversion rate is optimise your checkout for conversion. That means providing a seamless, on-brand experience that makes it as simple as possible for a shopper to pay (and offers all the options they want when checking out).
Think about these things:
- Are you offering the payment methods your customers need?
- Are you displaying their preferred currency and language?
- Have you stored their details for one-click payments?
- Is your checkout page PCI-DSS compliant?
Think about running cart abandonment campaigns to try and encourage people to return to the site and complete their purchases. Especially as your competitors probably are: with data showing that 80% of businesses do this.
Tom Martin Chief Revenue Officer at Snag
The conversion rate went up to 8% when the sites were in the native languages, increasing by a further 2% with the switch to Mollie.
#2 Offer the right payment methods
Credit and debit cards are still the world’s most-used payment methods, but that doesn’t tell the whole story. Instead, digital wallets are becoming increasingly popular, and you must offer payment methods customers love in the different markets you sell in. That means iDEAL in the Netherlands, SOFORT in Germany, and Cartes Bancaires in France.
To get the highest conversion possible during Black Friday, expand your payment options by making sure you accept all major cards and the growing digital payment methods. For more, see our guide to find the best payment options for your business.
Did you know? The most popular way to pay online in Germany is by bank transfer; in France, more than 70 million Cartes Bancaires cards are in circulation.
#3 Start selling internationally
Experts say direct-to-consumer cross-border sales will grow by 17% a year until 2026 when they will total around €2 trillion. That means there are lots of opportunities in selling to new markets – as well as challenges. Research the market you want to sell into, run small tests to see what works and develop strategies to attract customers (and sell successfully) in a new country. Partnering with the right firms can also help make activities like storage, shipping, and managing cross-border payments as simple as possible.
Tim Imminga Rosefield CMO/COO
It’s great to see Mollie creating new products and services that we need. Multi-currency payouts will provide substantial savings throughout the year, and we don’t have to do anything for it – Mollie is taking care of it all.
#4 Offer buy now, pay later payments
Our data shows that buy now, pay later has rocketed in popularity, with Black Friday BNPL payments more than doubling in 2020 and 2021. Shoppers love it as it allows for more flexibility when making a purchase. It can be an excellent way for retailers to increase conversions and average order values. Plus, in some verticals, consumers expect to see it when checking out, and if they don’t, they are less likely to make a purchase.
#5 Optimise your tech stack
Whether it’s payments, analytics, or shopping, software as service (SaaS) tools are changing the game in ecommerce – with state-of-the-art tech now available to ‘rent’ for a tiny proportion of what you used to have to pay for them. That means you can access cloud-based ERPs, effortless payment solutions, and AI-driven data tools to sell as much as possible and keep your business running perfectly during the Black Friday rush. That will also make using conversational commerce or email marketing easier.
When choosing a new tech tool consider these things:
- Does it integrate with your current tech?
- Does it offer everything you need?
- Can it scale with your business in the long term?
#6 Use mobile commerce to attract more customers than ever
Research shows that more than half of consumers use phones to purchase goods online, and almost 70% use shopping apps. Mobile commerce is growing daily, so you need a mobile strategy that will grow with it.
Here are some simple things you can do to start:
- Optimise your website for all devices
- Use social commerce to let shoppers buy through social media apps
- Introduce one-click ordering to make buying effortless for your customers
- Use QR codes for multi-channel selling
See our guide on using mobile commerce to grow your business for more tips.
#7 Use conversational commerce
There’s a good reason everyone keeps talking about conversational commerce: shoppers love it. And you should as well. Why? Because harnessing technology such as chatbots keeps customers engaged while browsing and gives them the confidence to buy. Chatbot technology is now highly advanced, and you can access it at a reasonable cost. This way, you can help create a truly personalised ecommerce experience.
Did you know? Alibaba’s chatbot AliMe answered 300m enquiries – or 97% – of customer services queries in just one day in 2021.
#8 Offer the best delivery options
Going to check out and discovering a huge shipping bill is, quite frankly, rubbish. So it’s no surprise that one study found that extra costs are the main reason shoppers drop out of a purchase. Displaying shipping costs or estimated taxes early to visitors can significantly improve your conversion rate. To help, team up with a trusted courier that offers speedy delivery at prices your customers will love.
#9 Spread out your sales
Don’t rely on just one or two big days of sales to deliver Black Friday success. Doing so is risky, as if you don’t hit your targets on those days then the whole week could be a failure. It can also put a strain on your business: suddenly, you will have a lot of orders to deliver; your stock levels will be harder to manage; and you might have to deal with a sudden influx of customer queries.
Instead, offer discounts early and use marketing activities to attract shoppers and sell over the whole Black Friday period (and even in the run-up to it). Doing this will help you manage your orders and stock levels, and keep customers happy with high-quality service. A stress-free Black Friday? It’s possible, we promise.
#10 Find the right payments partner
To get the most out of Black Friday, you’ll need a payment provider that can manage high volumes. They should also help you offer customers a seamless checkout experience and all the payment methods they need.
The best payment partners also provide advanced features and other benefits that can take care of everything payments related so you can focus on other parts of your business.
If you are looking for a payment service provider, download our guide to find out what the best ones should offer your business.
Gauthier Vervaeke Club Brugge ecommerce manager
A fast and smooth checkout is crucial at peak times. We can count on Mollie, even when it’s extremely busy. They prove it time and again.
Black Friday made simple with Mollie
Black Friday is becoming more popular than ever with consumers, but that also means more competition. To stand out, you’ll need to deliver exceptional customer experiences and work with the right technology and partners to ensure you never miss out on a sale. By doing that, it will deliver all the rewards without any (or at least a lot less) of the stress.
Do you need a partner that provides stable, conversion-optimised payments to help you sell more? Mollie is here to help. Using our effortless payments solution, you can quickly integrate over 25 major payment methods and offer customers a seamless checkout optimised to drive conversions on any device.
Using Mollie, you also get access to more than 120 powerful integrations to grow your business, a Dashboard and app to manage your payments, and human, local support when you need it. We offer all this with transparent pricing and no lock-in contracts or hidden fees.