The Holiday season is underway. What better opportunity is there for your business to generate online sales than Black Friday and Cyber Monday? This year Black Friday falls on November 29, and Cyber Monday is on December 02. If you want to be ready for this year’s biggest shopping weekend, now is the time to start planning.

Here are ten steps that you can take to prepare your e-commerce site for this Holiday season.

1. Ad Copy and Creative

Paying attention to your favourite brand’s marketing can help you gather ideas and inspirations for your own Black Friday Cyber Monday deals. Subscribe to their newsletter to see how often they promote sales related to the holiday seasons.

A strategy many businesses use is to run a big-offer discount on a popular item to attract customers to their store. Once the customers come for the deal, there’s a chance they’ll pick up a few other things before checkout. Occasionally the popular product serves as a loss leader, with the difference being made up by users adding more to their cart than they would have without the popular product’s big discount.

To support your ad copy, you will need to design graphics to match the messaging. You can create banner ads to promote your holiday sales or update the header/hero image on your website for Black Friday Cyber Monday. It is always good to refresh your creative, so users don’t get ad fatigue. Here are some tips for designing effective programmatic ads.

2. Advertising

If you plan to do some paid advertising this season, it is a good idea to prepare your advertising budget ahead of time. That way, you can put more thought into copy and ad placements.

One thing to remember about PPC campaigns is that bids can get more competitive and expensive during the holiday season. You may need to increase your bid on specific keywords or audiences to increase the visibility of your ads during this time.

Along with paid advertising, you should take advantage of your inbound marketing channels. Entice your customers with emails and social media posts of what’s to come. The sooner you do this, the more momentum you will have during Black Friday Cyber Monday when you finally announce the sale.

3. Email Marketing Campaigns

Email marketing always plays a significant role in the success of holiday sales. It would help if you had a couple of email marketing campaigns planned to bring customers to your site so they can act on your offer.

Begin planning, creating, and scheduling the emails that you’ll send out during the holidays. Here are some ideas of email campaigns you can do:
• Announcing Black Friday Cyber Monday sale
• Last reminder before the sale ends
• Exclusive deal for email subscribers
• Sneak-peek of upcoming promotions

4. Abandoned Carts

According to, the average cart abandonment rate on Black Friday 2018 in Canada was 61%. The goal is to keep this number down. One of the most effective ways of lowering this rate is by setting targeted abandoned cart emails. This way, when a user adds a product to their cart but leaves your store without purchasing, you can use a compelling email to bring them back to complete their purchase.

5. Place tracking and retargeting pixels

If you are already running paid campaigns such as Facebook Ads or Google Ad campaigns – You should place a retargeting pixel on your site so you can remarket to past visitors. With retargeting, you’ll reach people who may have forgotten about your store and wouldn’t have checked out your sale otherwise.

6. Sponsored Content

Sometimes it can take weeks of back-and-forth before you finalize a sponsorship or partnership agreement with a publication. It’s always better to contact blogs, news publications and gift guide websites earlier rather than later. Find sites that talk about Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals, or one running gift guides in your niche. Get in touch with the publication to feature your products and planned sales on their site.

7. Customer Service

Your customers should easily be able to contact you during this time. The last thing you would want is to lose a sale because a potential customer couldn’t get an answer quickly enough. Use a live chatbot on your site that customers can use to contact you quickly and easily.

Ensure you have quick and courteous responses – The holidays are a potentially hectic time for customer support, whether you or your team manage it. Part of providing a fantastic customer experience is having a quick response time—the other part is being courteous and respectful to all of your customers.

Having prepared a couple of standard phrases and responses already will enable you to deliver more consistent, helpful service with minimal upfront effort.

8. Hassle-free return policy

To further add to the customer service experience, offer your customers a hassle-free return policy. The holidays are not just a busy time for retailers; it is also a stressful time for shoppers. Be the business that cares and goes above and beyond for their customers.

Make sure your return policy is transparent, fair, and well-communicated on your site. It might just convince the customer to pull the trigger, since you’re showing confidence in your product and to remove potential risk.

9. Set up Analytics

Understanding how your customers shop on your online store is crucial knowledge. Using Google Analytics, a powerful and free traffic-tracking tool, will allow you to understand your shoppers even more.

Furthermore, set up heatmaps to understand user behaviour, where are visitors clicking, and how do customers read your product pages. A great heat-mapping tool you can implement to your site is HotJar.

10. Convert holiday shoppers into full-time customers

Why does your relationship with seasonal shoppers need to end after the holidays? Instead, create a plan to maintain and nurture your relationship with new customers you acquired during the Holidays.

Keep all your customers engaged year-round by staying active on social media and sending emails to your subscribers, and if those seasonal, one-time shoppers did not subscribe to your email list or follow you on social media, then retargeting might be the second-best option.

If you set up a retargeting pixel, the one-time seasonal shoppers can become customers year-round. Bring them back to your website with new ads, and continue to expose them to your latest or most-relevant products.