Black Friday & Cyber Monday

5 Last Minute Tips for Black Friday & Cyber Monday

November 19, 2012


So, this Thursday is Thanksgiving. A time for family (whether you’re looking forward to it, or not), some kind of main dish, whether it’s turkey, ham, or tofurky, and then about 30 gajillion side dishes. Even with all the hassle and fuss over the dinner, most of you reading this probably will have a little voice in the back of your head all day going on and on about Black Friday and/or Cyber Monday.

Well, stop it. No, really, there’s no reason to worry about what’s going to happen on Friday and Monday. If anything does happen, your worrying is not going to fix it or prevent it. That isn’t to say that you shouldn’t be prepared. Your site will probably get more traffic. You will probably get more sales than you have in these two days than in the past two weeks. These are all good things, so let’s make sure that you’re ready for them.

1.) Display a banner with your promotion’s information

First and foremost, make sure that you have some kind of banner ready to display on your site that details your promotion. Make sure you include all pertinent information, including coupon codes, restrictions, and timing. Also, for the love of all that is design, don’t use WordArt. With a quick Google search, you can find free online banner makers that will create the picture for you after you design it on their website.

2.) Change your home page title to include holiday keywords

If you can and know how to, a good idea to show up in “Black Friday” or “Cyber Monday” search results is to change your home page title to include these keywords. You might even want to put whatever promotion you’re running along with your store’s name. Above all, though, make sure that you stick to fewer than 60 characters. Anything longer won’t even show up in the search results page. Also, it’s going to take a few days for search engines to display the change, so make sure to re-submit your sitemap and plan in advance.

3.) Announce your discounts on social media

If you have a social media presence at all, use it. You can bet the hashtags #BlackFriday and #CyberMonday will be trending on Twitter on their respective days, so to get in front of people following those, use them in your tweets. For Facebook, pictures always do better in getting engagement from fans over a regular status update, so use your design skills to come up with something descriptive and shareable to display. If nothing else, use a really good, interesting picture of one of your most popular items.

4.) Get your shipping boxes now (& get extra)

Trying to get boxes after your sales happen is never fun, and after two of the most popular shopping days of the year, it’ll be even worse. Remember that individuals as well as businesses are shipping things everywhere because of the holidays, so the demand is much higher. Trends on purchases from year to year are great to look at how many boxes you’ll need and of what size and whatnot, but you should always get extra. Even if you don’t use them now,  you’ll surely use them over the next month or so.

5.) Know the hours your carrier is open (and what they’ll pick up)

USPS, UPS, & FedEx are all having special things going on this year with limited hours and closing, so know your hours of the retail spaces if you drop off there. If you have your packages picked up, there’s special stuff happening as well, so make sure you know what’s going on with your chosen carrier. If you haven’t already, take a peek at our holiday shipping infographic; it’ll fill you in on what days are special and it’s even got the ship by deadlines that are oh-so-important for stuff arriving on time.

As I said in a previous blog post, my best advice is to write down everything you do over the next few weeks. What works, what doesn’t, your sales, traffic, everything. Then, next year, you can go back and compare to make the season flow more smoothly and have things go even better than they did this year.

Do you have any tips to offer for making this week go well? Let us know in the comments!

I’m Erika, the social media & content manager for ShipStation. You’ll find me on Twitter, Facebook, and the other areas of the ShipStation world. In my free time, I love playing & streaming video games, taking pictures of my cats, and doing other—generally nerdy—things. :)