In the time when almost all the shop traffic moves to online the Black Friday seems to be not just the Friday but the whole “BF season”.
Another year has passed, and we find ourselves in the run-up to the Black Friday season again. We still remember how last year, the whole world transferred store traffic from offline to online. As a result, Black Friday emerged as the "Black Friday Season" or even multiple "Black Weeks".
This year, customers will also expect special offers and will want to preserve this custom for the future. Even if the "Black Friday Season" theme may involve stock shortages or international logistic issues, customers will require your attention and special treatment. Here are a few tips on how to prepare yourself to deliver your customers the best Black Friday experience and manage the traffic of those who seek out an occasion.
1. Preparing the data - When to do imports
At first, the Black Friday season will require you to think beforehand about the use cases that will help grow your revenue. Thinking beforehand does not only mean setting up proper promotions. It is also about preparing use cases on your Marketing Automation / Personalization tool. In this case, remember to provide your vendor with appropriate data:
- Fresh data about products and their characteristics
- Up-to-date customer data
- Marketing agreements
- External scoring
- Voucher pools
- Additional data (i.e. opening hours)
Providing the data beforehand may give you more time for testing & optimization.
2. How to manage agreements
When managing agreements, take into consideration that sending data in batch form just before Black Friday may not be the best option. Instead, prepare an action plan set on two fundamental points:
- Update clients’ agreement data in batch
- Integrate marketing agreement management in real-time
The first step allows you to update a high volume of users, while the second step allows you to maintain an up-to-date marketing agreement database.
"Black Friday" is the season when users are also hunting for promotions. Make sure that all landing pages and newsletter sign-up forms are visible and properly tagged. This is key to successfully deliver proper customer experience during this period.
3. How to manage cache on websites
At a time when many campaigns are being prepared, campaign parameters are being transferred to url links (such as utm parameters or other particular tracking params). In those cases, it is extremely important to setup cache rules for your website to properly manage all campaign cases and reduce e-commerce engine overload. No one likes when higher traffic – especially generated by Black Friday campaigns - is handled inappropriately. There is nothing more painful for your customers than receiving a high value promotion and then seeing an "internal server error" caused by the traffic that you just paid for due to wrong cache management rules.
4. How & when to synchronise with 3rd party
If you have any kind of 3rd party data synchronization (such as for Facebook Audience or Data Lake) and it is not crucial for your Black Friday processes – limit down the traffic or even eliminate it 100% during Black Friday. It may give your network the space to handle bigger traffic during the sales period.
For this time, it is also crucial to optimize all the automations / data synchronizations that are running in the background.
5. Set “on duty” (one touch contact) for customer support for emergency situations
Even when you think you are 100% prepared, there may always be an emergency situation. To properly handle such scenarios you need to define a SPoC (Single Point of Contact) in your team and in parallel on the side of your vendor. During emergency situations, you would rather have a short 1:1 communication route without any unnecessary proxy to fix the situation ASAP.
These points are essential for your e-commerce to function well and to have extensive knowledge of your customer behavior etc.
Remember that the points discussed above are not specific only to the Black Friday period. You can use them in the process of general data management. This checklist will also be useful at other times of the year, and it is worth sticking to it!
As you can see, preparing proper data is definitely the key to success. You need to focus not only on gathering a huge amount of it but also figure how to utilize it in the best possible way. You have to start thinking about the whole process earlier to be well prepared and be one step ahead of your competition!