Black Friday Prep Checklist

September 11, 2023


Start scaling your brand's growth

Black Friday is fast approaching — are you ready? 

While the biggest time of the year for retailers is still weeks away, it’s certainly not too early to start preparing for this busy and competitive season. By taking care of technical details and thinking through marketing tactics, you can ensure you capture more customers and more sales during Black Friday.

Not sure where or how to start? Follow our step-by-step checklist and see your Black Friday numbers grow. 

Prepare Your Website

1. Upgrade your site speed 

Sites that take forever to load a landing page suffer in the search rankings and can drive customers away. Use this free tool to check your site speed and if it’s in need of improvement, try compressing images and upgrading your hosting service.

2. Refine product names and descriptions 

Make sure your product names and descriptions are optimized for the most relevant keywords. This will help customers discover your products when they search for the best Black Friday deals in your category. Use free tools like Google Search Console and Google Trends to hone in on the best keyword phrases to incorporate. 

3. Optimize your website for mobile

In 2021, Shopify reported that 79% of all Black Friday Cyber Monday purchases happened on mobile devices. Mobile shoppers surpassed desktop shoppers in 2014 and their numbers have been growing ever since. Test your website and make improvements now, before you miss out on mobile shoppers.

4. Create dedicated Black Friday landing pages

This will make it easier for customers to find your sales and recognize instantly that your brand is participating in Black Friday. If you set up special landing pages last year, redirect them to the new ones this year. They’ll carry over the search equity so your site will perform even better on search this year. 

Prepare for a longer sales period

5. Offer discounts earlier or for an extended period of time

The name “Black Friday” might suggest only one day of sales, but by now we know that many retailers start their Black Friday deals much earlier. Deals also often extend through the weekend until Cyber Monday and beyond. Consider offering different tiers of deals depending on the timing (e.g. 15% off in the lead-up to Black Friday, then 20% on Black Friday and Cyber Monday). This tactic will capture customers who like to shop early and get ahead of the rush. 

6. Start advertising discounts early, too 

With so many companies all fighting for customer attention, it’s important to get your deals info out early and often. Prime your customers through social media, email marketing, and paid campaigns. You can hint at the products or categories that will be discounted — and if these sales are only once a year, make sure to call out buzzworthy claims like “our only sale of the year” or “our lowest prices of the year.” Customers love knowing that they’re getting rare or exclusive savings. 

7. Make inventory decisions accordingly and prepare your suppliers

Once you decide how many days your Black Friday deals will run, start forecasting demand. Which products will you discount and which products are likely to sell out? Communicate with suppliers or manufacturers as early as possible so that they can prepare stock. Check out more tips for managing inventory during seasonal periods. 

Create enticing buying opportunities

8. Make discounted bundles

Product bundles are a great way for customers to feel like they’re getting the best value out of their purchase. For you, they’re a great way to offload products that generally don’t sell that well or combine different products in a useful way. For example, if you’re a skincare brand, you can combine sun protection and moisturization SKUs and give the bundle a beach day-related name.

9. Upsell products on the page or at checkout

Upselling is when you persuade customers to buy a more expensive or upgraded version of items or add-ons to boost the total sale amount. You might use copy such as “Add Extras” or “Your Cart is Incomplete” to gently push them towards a premium alternative on your site. 

10. Cross-sell complementary products

Similarly, cross-selling can help boost your revenue and involves offering shoppers a product that complements their original purchase. Think: a wine stopper for the bottle of wine you just bought. Here, you may use copy like “You May Also Like” and “Others Also Bought” to call out related product offerings.

Don’t forget about customer service

11. Boost your customer service

With more traffic and sales comes more customer questions and needs. To meet this increase, make sure you’re using the right tools and you have enough staff to handle the volume of requests. Answering people’s simple questions can be all it takes to turn an abandoned cart into a sale, so it’s well worth investing in this area. Consider adding a chatbot to your site, so you can automate some of these processes. 

Remember that your work’s not done

12. Implement remarketing campaigns and newsletters to engage your new customers

Give yourself some time to relax after Cyber Week is over, but remember that there’s still a long road ahead in the holiday season. It’s crucial to engage with the new customers you’ve gained from Black Friday. With Google Ads, you can create remarketing lists to target people who have purchased from your site and show them ads to encourage repeat purchases. 

If email collection was a part of your Black Friday promotion strategy, don’t let those emails go to waste. Use your newsletter to provide educational material, inform subscribers about new products and promotions, and build stronger relationships with new customers. 

How Settle can help

Whether you’re paying bills for marketing or inventory invoices, Settle’s got you covered. With the better Bill Pay, you can manage vendors and pay them quickly with options from ACH to international wires (25+ currencies) to even paper checks. 

Settle Working Capital’s flexible payment terms also help growing companies pay vendors on an extended basis, so they can maximize their revenue during busy seasons, and extend payments for up to 120 days (for qualified businesses and based on approved terms).

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*The information in this article is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal, financial, or professional advice. Settle makes no representation or warranties, expressed or implied, and in no event shall Settle or its affiliates, agents, or employees be liable to you or anyone else for any decision made or action taken in reliance on the information contained herein.