Black Friday can be a challenge for retailers. Especially if you have to strategically plan marketing, logistics and finances. In the following article, we have summarized for you what you should pay particular attention to here and which approaches will make your Black Friday strategy a success.

Table of contents:

  1. The beginning of Black Friday in Germany
  2. 10 tips for a successful Black Friday & Cyber Monday
  3. Conclusion

The beginning of Black Friday in Germany

In the U.S., the Friday after Thanksgiving has been called "Black Friday" since 1966 and at that time mainly took place in stationary retail. In the meantime, there are equally many discounts online. Especially the massive discounts are in the foreground on this day and are used by Americans to do their Christmas shopping. Therefore, Black Friday unofficially marks the start of the Christmas season in retail. In 2006, Apple was the first company to offer discount promotions on "Black Friday" in Germany as well. However, Apple did not advertise these under the name Black Friday at that time. It was not until 2013 that Black Friday also took place on a larger scale in Germany, and retailers' sales quickly developed positively. Unlike in the USA, Black Friday in Germany is mainly focused on online retail.

To make sure you are perfectly prepared for the upcoming peak season, we have listed the most important 10 things you should keep in mind to avoid a Black Friday disaster in the following article.

10 tips for a successful Black Friday & Cyber Monday

Tip 1: Identify your most popular products

You probably know which of your products are the most popular. However, it is worth taking a critical look at the sales figures of your products in recent months. A dashboard can help to evaluate the sales figures in an optimal way. Make a list of all products and check which of them have been sold the most on average in the last months. This will give you a first overview of which products will most likely be the most sought-after on Black Friday. This way you can be prepared for increased demand for these products.

Tip 2: Think about a supply limitation

Consider discounting your entire assortment on Black Friday or only giving a price cut on certain products. By giving discounts on selected products, you can increase your profit. Optimally, you should select your most popular products that you have already identified. Also, make sure your discounts are not too generous - but large enough to give shoppers an incentive to buy. Be sure to calculate your discounts carefully so as not to reduce your profit margin too much.

Tip 3: Consider volume discounts

The more, the better? When selling your products, definitely! If you sell products that your clientele can buy in stock, it may make sense to offer a volume discount. You can implement volume discounts in a variety of forms.

On the one hand, it is possible to give a quantity discount on the purchase from a certain quantity. On the other hand, it may make sense to estimate a basic discount and increase the discount from the purchase of a certain quantity of the product. For this purpose, you should thoroughly calculate in advance the quantity from which the increase of the discount is worthwhile. Moreover, quantity discounts increase the chance of customer loyalty, because the more products they buy from you, the less they buy from your competitors. At the same time, this increases the chance that prospective customers will make their next purchase from you again.

The positive effect is not only on your profit, but also on your fulfillment. Since not all products have to be packed and shipped individually, you save on shipping costs, packaging materials, and possibly even labor costs. You can also apply a volume discount in industries where you sell products that are not purchased in stock. For example, in the fashion or beauty industry. To do this, you determine how many products your customers buy from you on average or put in your shopping cart in order to calculate the optimal quantity discount.

Tip 4: Use Black Friday to attract new customers

You already know it. Potential customers cancel the purchase process before they have completed the purchase. Especially Black Friday, when you already plan and calculate the price reduction and consumers are looking for deals more than usual, is a good time to use retargeting campaigns to convert these potential customers into regular customers. You already know there is interest, now you can get them to try your product and convince you.

Tip 5: Use Black Friday consciously to increase the popularity of your products

Now that you have identified your best-selling products, you can build on this to determine which products are most frequently bought together. Especially on Black Friday, when the propensity to buy is higher anyway, you can either offer bundles or engage in so-called "cross-selling". With cross-selling, the products that are frequently bought together with the product you are about to buy are suggested to the customers at the checkout. This way you can increase the sales per customer and at the same time send several products at once.

Tip 6: Get inspired by the competition

Get an overview of how your competitors are promoting Black Friday, what offers they are offering and how much they are discounting. This way you can assess if your discounts are reasonable or if you might even have been too generous with your discount calculation. The easiest way to keep an eye on your competition is to sign up for their newsletter and visit their website every now and then. In the end, however, be sure to only offer discounts that really make business sense for your company.

Tip 7: Inform your fulfillment service provider about the increased demand

Once you have finalized your planning and decided how to proceed with the discount promotion, you should inform your fulfillment service provider about an expected increase in demand for these products. This will allow your fulfillment service provider to prepare accordingly and plan for appropriate capacity during the promotion. Are you still looking for the right fulfillment solution? We will be happy to advise you.

Tip 8: Check if your website can withstand the traffic increase

To avoid crashing your website due to too many hits, you should test beforehand whether your online store can withstand the increased traffic. For this purpose, you can test the server load capacity of your online store with various tools. Some shop systems also offer their own speed reports, where you can check the load speed of your most visited pages. Since in this case it is a planned traffic increase, you can prepare your online store accordingly. Of course, only if during the test it turns out that the traffic increase will lead to server overload. In this case, you should check the user experience and improve it if necessary.

Tip 9: Observe legal requirements

Also on Black Friday there are some rules that retailers have to follow. Of course, your goal is to have the optimal amount of products in stock with your preparation.

There is even a legal requirement for this: The Berlin Regional Court has ruled that retailers are obliged to ensure that they have enough goods in stock to meet customer demand, at least in the first quarter of the offer period (judgment of 01.03.2012, ref. 91 O 27/11). Furthermore, as soon as a product is sold out, you are obliged to mark this and make it impossible to order the product. This means you may no longer advertise with this item. This was decided by the Hamburg Regional Court and confirmed by the Hamm Higher Regional Court (judgment of September 11, 2009; ref. 312 O 637/08; judgment of August 11, 2015, 4 U 69/15). 

Tip 10: Use Black Friday to prepare for the holiday season

Since Christmas and Black Friday have a lot in common in terms of preparation and planning, you can also use Black Friday as a test run for the Christmas season. Document your steps and evaluate whether you were optimally prepared for the Black Friday rush or whether there is still room for improvement for the next shopping-intensive days. Above all, evaluate the extent to which the strategic planning of the discount campaign brought with it advantages in terms of storage and profit. Finally, also reflect on whether Black Friday planning made it easier for you to implement your marketing strategy.

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Preparation and planning is everything. Think carefully about which strategy makes sense for your Black Friday sale and calculate accordingly. Above all, keep an eye on your competitors, get inspiration and make comparisons. Think about suitable marketing measures and prepare your online store for traffic increases. In all of this, however, make sure that it also has a positive effect on the economic success of your company in the end.

You can find more information about "Black Friday" in our article “Black Friday and Cyber Monday: 5 tips for more success

Warehousing1 is happy to support you in your Black Friday preparation! Through our large network of over 1000 locations, we offer virtually unlimited scalability and can suggest the perfect fulfillment and warehousing solution for you and your business. Make a free appointment today for your personal initial consultation.