Did You Prepare for Black Friday? Five Steps to Retail Success

It’s the biggest weekend of the year for online retailers. Is your business ready to maximise its revenue potential? Prepare for Black Friday by following these five steps to retail success.

Black Friday truly is a phenomenon. Originally the informal name given to the day following Thanksgiving in the United States, Black Friday has been regarded as the start of the Christmas shopping season since the 1950s. But since the mid-2000s Black Friday has taken on a life of its own, enticing shoppers throughout the world to queue outside department stores or frantically refresh webpages in hope of snagging great deals.

The Black Friday weekend – which runs for four days into so called ‘Cyber Monday’ – hit the UK in a big way in the early-2010s, with online retailers like Amazon leading the charge to kick start consumers’ pre-Christmas spending.

If you’re a retailer that operates an ecommerce site, you may well be in the midst of your Black Friday preparations. Alongside staffing, stock and discount offers, you should be taking a proper look at your technology and whether it will enable you to maximise your revenue potential.

At Six Degrees we are supporting a number of retailers as they prepare for Black Friday. In this blog post we’ll cover five steps that they are taking – and that we think you should consider too.

Five Steps to Prepare for Black Friday

It’s not too late for your business to take active steps to prepare for Black Friday. If you operate an ecommerce website, you should take the following into consideration:

  • Prepare yourself for cyber-attack. Black Friday isn’t just peak season for retailers and consumers: cybercriminals seek to exploit the vast numbers of transactions taking place to attempt to steal confidential information for sale on the dark web. Ensure that your website and IT systems, your people and your processes align to prevent cybercriminals inflicting financial, operational and reputational damage on your business.
  • Prepare for sudden traffic spikes. No matter what the scale of your ecommerce operations, preparing your website for sudden traffic spikes is essential. By hosting your website on server resources that can be scaled up and down according to demand, you can deliver a consistent experience to your visitors whilst avoiding unnecessary investment in resources outside of peak periods.
  • Test website performance. It’s true for most of the Internet, and it’s especially true for ecommerce websites: slower website performance leads to higher bounce rates and lower conversions. Test your website performance, and ensure that it is optimised in order to maximise sales and reduce cart abandonments.
  • Streamline user collaboration. Your users need to communicate seamlessly and straightforwardly, regardless of their location or device, and this is especially true during busy periods like the Black Friday weekend. Cloud-based simplified collaboration services enable staff to collaborate better by integrating voice, video, instant messaging, tasks and sharing within one application.
  • Implement robust backup and disaster recovery. The cost of downtime can be an afterthought for many businesses, but it should not be taken lightly. Gartner estimates the average cost of downtime as £4,372 per minute. Considering that last year on Black Friday alone, sales on UK online retail sites were estimated at £1.39bn – almost £1m every minute – it is clear that the potential lost sales resulting from any operational downtime can be significant. Ensure that you have robust business continuity measures in place, and make sure that you test, test, and test again.

It’s Not Too Late to Maximise Your Revenue Potential

The Black Friday weekend is mere days away, and you may feel like you lack the time and resources to implement best practice steps at your business. But the truth is that getting the basics right will enable you to maximise your revenue potential throughout the year, not just during peak periods.

Six Degrees is actively supporting businesses who want to maintain stable, high performance ecommerce sites, streamline collaboration, implement robust business continuity, enhance their security postures, and progress their digital transformation journeys.

We work as a collaborative technology partner to help drive revenue growth and enable your brilliance. Contact us to find out how we can help you.

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