How e-traders can get ready for Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Singles Day

Thorough preparation, advance planning and top-notch product descriptions are the main ingredients needed for online sales to be successful during this autumn’s biggest shopping days.

E-traders need to get ready for Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Singles Day well in advance

The big shopping days are just around the corner

The year’s craziest shopping days, which set new records year after year (particularly online), are just around the corner. Singles Day on November 11th, which has slowly but surely spread westwards from China, Black Friday on November 29th and Cyber Monday on December 2nd signal a period where both consumers and professional buyers are in the market for good offers, looking for products they have been wanting for a long time at a good price or are planning to make big savings on some early Christmas presents.

With proper preparation, e-traders can become the consumers’ preferred place to shop and increase their sales considerably.

Use PIM to become more competitive

The most important sources of information for consumers when they look for products are product descriptions and product characteristics. An effective PIM system is helpful in both setting up and maintaining your product data. With the help of features like attribute systems, validation rules and enrichment calculations you can ensure that all of your product descriptions are complete and comprehensive.

This is the foundation for the customer’s experience making it easier to search and find the products that the customer is looking for. Updated and detailed product data are also crucial for your ranking in the search engines, so potential customers choose your site ahead of the competition.

Unfortunately, the big shopping days are also known for the many returns. With access to good product descriptions however, there is a greater likelihood that customers will purchase the correct products, and, if you can limit the number of returns, you can save a great many working hours and loss of value.

Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Singles Day also present an ideal opportunity to launch new and updated offers. The PIM system allows you to streamline the processes by using features such as multi-select, mass update and search – features that enable you to execute updates quickly, ‘bundle’ products in a variety of ways and publish offers on all the channels where you have a presence.

10 tips for being prepared

Good product descriptions are key, but naturally there are also other areas where good preparation is important in order to ensure success against the tough competition that you especially face over the big shopping days.

Getting started on the preparations well in advance is a must – obviously because preparation takes time, but also because many consumers use the lead-up to Black Friday, Singles Day and Cyber Monday to research where they can find the products they want and where they can expect the best offers.

Your preparation should at least cover the following points:

10 tips to get e-merchants ready for this year's most important shopping days

1. Identify and limit your ’single points of failure’. If your e-commerce solution can only offer one payment method for example, you need a backup plan in case of technical problems or shutdown of this method.

2. Use last year’s data to learn more about your customers’ behaviour and wishes.

3. Make decisions about goals, budgets and schedules.

4. Create a landing page that relates to each of the shopping days.

5. Build up customers’ expectations by sending out emails and advertising the good offers well in advance of the day itself.

6. Make use of existing data and analyses to project the number of visitors you can expect for your online shop. Conduct a stress-test based on these figures to ensure that the site can live up to the increased amount of traffic.

7. Prepare yourself well and perform advance testing of performance, load times and customer experience on the site in relation to the ‘countdown’ to offers, sold-out products, abandoned baskets, retargeting and so on.

​​​​​​​8. Check whether you have time for an optimisation of the user experience for mobile users. More and more customers now shop directly via their smartphones, and a poor experience can send them swiftly over to your competition.

9. Optimise your physical stock, logistics and delivery possibilities to ensure an optimal experience for the customer – also after they have placed their order

10. Make sure you have enough support staff working over peak periods.

In general, a queue system should be an emergency solution only. You should instead be working with IT architecture, performance strategy and hardware.


We all love to hate Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Singles Day

The big shopping days still divide opinion, but there are some very basic psychological and behavioural reaction patterns that make Black Friday and so on into events that, despite everything, the majority of consumers want to get involved with.

Fear of missing out:
Most of us want to be part of a community, and the notion of ’if everyone else is doing it then I will too’ helps to drive consumers.

Fear of future regrets:
Research shows that the fear of regret greatly influences our decision-making process. Naturally you might regret a purchase you’ve made, but that kind of regret typically lasts less time than the regret over not having shopped at all. The thought that you didn’t buy the crazily cheap hand mixer after all will linger longer than if you had bought the hand mixer and not used it as much as you imagined you would.

The adrenalin kick:
'Yes, I got it (and the others didn’t)’. We all know that pure rush of happiness and victory you get when you finally acquire the flatscreen TV you’ve been wanting for ages, and which had been insanely reduced in price for an extremely limited time and with very few in stock.

Research also describes two types of shoppers:

task-oriented shoppers, who shop with a clear purpose and are looking to buy specific items as quickly as possible, and the

social shoppers, who love to be out among other people simply to shop.

While the latter obviously love Black Friday and similar shopping days, task-oriented shoppers would rather have a tooth extracted than stand in line together with hundreds of others. Fortunately for task-oriented shoppers they can still take part in the big shopping days in their own delightful company by taking advantage of the good offers online.

Source: Mississippi State marketing professor Michael Breazeale

Would you like to learn more about how you can transform your e-commerce platform for the big shopping days?

Please contact Managing Director Lars Hedal at tel. +45 40 25 50 83 or email to:


Join our monthly newsletter and get access to the latest e-commerce trends, tips about up-coming events, inspiring cases, Bizzkit platform updates and much more.

Read more news

Latest news

News archive