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Is your e-commerce business ready for Black Friday?

Make sure all your hard work pays off and get prepared with real-time analytics.

image of the globe with small lights representing customers, the date November 23, Black Friday, is stamped over the image

Last year Black Friday generated £1.4bn in sales for online businesses in the UK alone.

There’s a lot at stake for retailers who aren’t prepared. In 2017 major online retailers including Ted Baker, Game, and Lowes were all temporarily down leaving users unable to take advantage of Black Friday deals and costing them 1000s of dollars a second according to research from Gremlin.

On a day where every second counts, here’s 3 tips to make sure your online business is best placed to take advantage of every moment.

1. Ensure you have the correct infrastructure and monitoring in place.

Last year, major online retailers including Ted Baker, Game, and Lowes were all temporarily down leaving users unable to take advantage of Black Friday deals. The loss of sales revenue isn’t the only cost with most brands spending significant ad revenue to cut through the noise and in some instances, as Calvin Klein faced, ads drove traffic to a blank page.

One of the first steps in avoiding this is to make sure you have a scalable hosting solution like Amazon Web Service in place. This allows retailers to prepare for an expected peak in traffic on Black Friday without having to pay for bandwidth and other resources for the rest of the year.

With real-time analytics tools in place and being able to see instantly if traffic is exceeding expectations, these hosting services give you the ability to quickly scale up your infrastructure to avoid any downtime.

2. Use real-time data to optimise sales.

image shows a dashboard with the total sales figure increasing representing sales on Black Friday

Black Friday is a huge source of e-commerce data for retailers. Using data to make small changes can yield huge impacts on revenue. Unfortunately the time it can take to run reports, analyse data, and then optimise on the day can cost retailers a significant amount revenue

A great example of this is an excellent Tesco Direct case study from Perscopix that found on Black Friday 11% of revenue occurred between 9am – 10am, yet by 11am, when they would have had a full view of their data, conversions per hour had dropped by 21%.

By not using and acting on real-time data, Tesco would not have been able to capitalise on the consumer demand when it was actually occurring. By Perscopix acting in real time and continually adjusting their campaigns, Tesco was able to achieve 160% increase in conversions year on year and a cost of sale decrease of 35% in the same time period.

Using real-time e-commerce data can allow retailers to quickly see which deals are driving the most sales, and also which deals may be driving a lot of traffic but few or no conversions. A retailer can then use that data, for example, to quickly adjust which deals they are putting ad revenue behind to drive more traffic to the higher converting details.

3. Take advantage of the day to create a buzz around the office.

gif showing the globe spinning slowly, with small lights representing customers

Black Friday can have an impact on more the just revenue for your business. The weekend is a culmination of an incredible amount of work from multiple teams within a business. Being able to visualise the result of that work by communicating the success of the day’s sales can result in an incredible boost of morale.

This can be done effectively by setting up screens around your office showing up to the minute results of the day.

You can do this by using custom dashboarding tools to show actual traffic on your site along with a real-time e-commerce tracker to showing your daily sales against your target. You can even use some more advanced visualisations as we do with our GoSquared Globe showing where in the world live traffic is coming from.

This is all something that can take as little as 20 minutes to set up and can end up creating a big buzz around the office to make the team feel even more connected and valued through their hard work.

There’s still time to prepare…

Some elements of preparing for Black Friday require extensive planning. However, if you wanted to add real-time tools to your day’s technology stack you could be up and running in minutes.

Whether it’s for optimising your sales through real-time data, or to generate buzz for your office, if you would like to get a solution in place before the big day, get in touch with us to learn more about how GoSquared can help today.

Written by
Russell is a sales engineer at GoSquared, focused on helping new customers get up and running with the GoSquared platform.

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