Your Guide to Preparing for Black Friday 2023 as a Canadian Online Retailer

By Amylee Silva
July 14, 2023
Black Friday 2023

As the 2023 festive season draws closer, signaling the oncoming Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Anyone who sells goods online or offline should invest more in Black Friday preparation, as it’s considered the biggest shopping day globally.

Understandably, these two are the biggest shopping days of the year in Canada. Almost everyone goes crazy searching for the best deals around this time. On the other hand, the online retail world enters the game with excellent sales and special promotions. This means growing online shopping numbers every year.

With so many people shopping within a short span, you need a comprehensive online store plan to maximize sales. You’ll learn more about this later on in this guide. But first, let’s explore the basics of Black Friday Canada.

What is Black Friday?

Essentially, this refers to the Friday after America’s Thanksgiving Day. Typically, the day can be anywhere from mid-October to November. But 2023’s edition of Black Friday falls on the fourth Friday of November (24th). The day typically sets the pace for the Christmas shopping season and is notable for its impressively slashed prices that cause historic surges in e-commerce and brick-and-mortar sales.

Black Friday 2023 isn’t an official holiday. Instead, the phrase has its origin in the 1950s. Philadelphia’s law enforcement officers used it to describe the vast disruptive crowds that used to flock to the city the day after Thanksgiving Day.

On this day, tourists and suburban shoppers would flock to the city to witness the infamous Army-Navy football game. Many stores later adopted the term Black Friday, as they depended on the festive season to restore them “back in the black” as the fiscal year concluded. This means being profitable and is the opposite of “operating in the red.”

In recent years, the word Black Friday is now popular around the globe. In Canada, brick-and-mortar stores and e-commerce businesses have equally adopted it, even though it’s not a national holiday here. Furthermore, the event has extended from just a day to a sales weekend, starting on Black Friday and Saturday and concluding on Cyber Monday.

You can get your company back in the black this year. However, you must get your Black Friday 2023 strategy right. Fortunately, the next section will guide you aptly.

How Can Online Shop Owners Prepare for Black Friday?

The following best practices can aid your preparation for Black Friday 2023 and Cyber Monday:

Promote Early Enough

Savvy online retailers schedule their Black Friday promotions way before the holidays hit the horizon. If you’re not promoting your brand already, you’re leaving revenue on the table.

The following steps can help you get it right:

  • Create a promotion plan and calendar – Note down all your important dates, mark down tasks, and ensure any campaign-related activity or item is at least in development. This includes social media, emails, and blogs.
  • Review your website thoroughly – Next, you should give your site a thorough health assessment. Test the platform and ensure it can handle the traffic influx without crushing.
  • Reevaluate your return policy – What’s your return policy like? Do you even have one? It’s a fact of life that customers will likely buy the wrong size and color. Therefore, ensure it’s easy for them to achieve this.

Grow Your Black Friday Email Marketing List

Email marketing can prove to be a top conversion-related marketing strategy. This promotional approach can appeal to prospects better than traditional marketing approaches.

About 50% of consumers, on average, acknowledge buying from marketing emails at least once monthly. Therefore, you must expand your Black Friday email marketing list to increase traffic and grow your revenue base during the event.

You can use different tactics to build your email marketing list. For instance, you can leverage your social media strength to collect your customers’ emails via a small contest or giveaway event. Alternatively, you can create a newsletter popup on your storefront’s webpage with a small “welcome offer.” After creating a broad list, you’ll go hard with your content, from personalization to optimization.

Make Sure You Have a Responsive Site

We do almost everything from our phones, including shopping. Whenever we have moments to spare, we find ourselves browsing for stuff. Mobile purchases hit the $3.56 billion mark during the final quarter of 2022, meaning the channel is more relevant than ever in the globally connected world.

Therefore, making your website responsive and optimizing it for mobile can help you gain the maximum return during the Black Friday 2023 season. Can your customers order in less than a minute? Can they order with a single Apple Pay thumbprint? Have you linked your site with PayPal? You must address all these concerns before the onset of the Christmas rush.

Leverage Referral Codes

You probably know this already: referral marketing can do wonders. The same applies to your Black Friday 2023 plan, as the strategy can effectively promote your deals.

Getting the most out of this approach is straightforward. You simply have to send referral codes to your email subscribers, offering deeper discounts or gift cards as incentives. With their referrals, you can pull in new clients while at the same time rewarding your loyal clients.

Plan Your Black Friday Deals

As you prepare for peak sales, remember that the event concerns Black Friday sales and discounts. Therefore, you need to plan your deals in advance.

During the event, you must “go hard or go home.” Every customer visiting your platform expects a different deal. So make sure you work with something unique, spectacular, and extraordinary.

Direct discounts are among the most effective methods. For instance, you can offer 30% off all items or save up to $50 on specific products. Gift cards are also effective, like Apple’s strategy of providing up to $150 Black Friday gift cards for future purchases.

Alternatively, you may consider bundle sales or freebies. Nintendo leveraged this strategy by offering a Nintendo Switch with a 3-month-free membership and pre-installed Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. As a result, customers saved nearly $70. These Black Friday Deals and tactics can attract clients and increase your online store’s average order value.

Optimize Your Site for Search Engine

Besides the great deals and discounts, Black Friday also entails fighting for a front-page spot on Google. Generally, ranking requires you to optimize your site for online buyers.

One effective way to optimize your website for holiday deals entails incorporating relevant keywords that shoppers commonly use in their searches. You’ll achieve this by conducting keyword research and seamlessly integrating these words throughout your site.

While doing so, ensure you avoid keyword stuffing. Moreover, ensure your website is mobile-friendly since an increasing number of people prefer using their phones for Black Friday shopping.

Promote Your Sales On Social Media

You’re dealing with different kinds of shoppers. While some enjoy the thrill of the Black Friday sale and discount hunt, another group prefers planning and leveraging early deals. Therefore, your strategy should entice both categories of shoppers.

One effective way to target both groups is by promoting sales through social media. You can tease out sales on your live feed through mystery deals. Alternatively, you can post where clients can find your promotions.

Your brand will build Black Friday anticipation when you share countdown timers, exclusive deals previews, and other engaging content. It’s also a great way to drive traffic to your online store during peak business season. Social media can be a free, practical approach to connecting with customers.

Don’t Forget to Follow Up with Clients After Black Friday 2023

It’s essential to prioritize selling tons of products on Black Friday. However, growing a customer’s value to your online store takes time. So also plan to turn the one-off buyers into lifelong loyal clients.

A recent Shopify report reveals that customer lifetime value hits its lowest point on holidays like Black Friday. About 64% of retailers mentioned that the clients they acquired during the busiest shopping day showed a lower lifetime value than their counterparts who came in at other times of the year.

So follow up with a quick “thank you” email, feedback request, or customer service survey. Doing this can enhance your customer experience. When you reach out to clients, you’ll show that your company truly values their interaction. In addition, it’ll show your commitment to improving customer experiences.

An Opportunity to Enjoy Great Courier Shipping Rates

You want the most affordable courier shipping rates to transfer the same great experience to your customers during the 2023 Black Friday and Cyber Monday festivities. That’s why you must work with a reliable e-commerce partner with valuable industry insights and guidance.

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