How to exploit increased traffic on Black Friday

Letizia Zappa
By Letizia Zappa

For e-commerce platforms, Black Friday is the day of the year with the most traffic. This means a very large number of users will be online. Black Friday can then be a great occasion to gather data about users and learn more about them. For this reason, we decided to write a post about how to better exploit the day.

For e-commerce retailers, Black Friday is, first of all, a great occasion to boost sales like no other day of the year. On average, e-commerce platforms generate 300% more sales on Black Friday and Cyber Monday than on an average day in November. And the event is growing every passing year. According to Adobe Analytics, $5.03 billion was spent online on Black Friday in 2017, which was an increase of 17% compared to 2016.

But increased sales is not all e-commerce retailers achieve this day. Black Friday also corresponds to a significant increase in on-site visits. In 2017, the number of on-site visits was 150% higher than in an average 4-day period. In other words, e-commerce platforms are flooded with thousands of visitors on Black Friday. Some may buy the products, some may be interested in the products but will not be ready to make a purchase at the given moment. However, all of them will leave a trace on the website. So, what does this mean?

Data to grow your e-commerce

Black Friday and the days (the month) leading up to it give means to collect precious data about users and customers. There is probably no other time of the year when e-commerce websites experience as much traffic and as many visitors.

There are different types of data you can get access to as a website:

  • Online behaviour: The users’ journey on your website. It can easily be tracked with website traffic tools such as Google Analytics.
  • Socio-demographics and habits of your users: Age, gender, occupation, shopping habits etc. These data can be gathered with online surveys tools such as UserReport.
  • Feedback and opinion: The opportunity to ask for direct feedback from users can bring your website to a whole new level. Online surveys and feedback forums are great tools to collect such data.

The insights you can gather from each type of data can be extremely useful not only to improve your website but also to segment your customers, target other relevant users and grow your business.

Mobile traffic and the omnichannel experience

When focusing on website traffic, an aspect to be aware of is how our mobile usage has increased. Holiday shopping is shifting more and more towards smartphones. Last year, around half of all e-commerce traffic was coming from smartphones. Compared to 2016, this marked a 15% increase.

These numbers are part of a larger trend as mobile traffic increased by 21% in 2017 while purchases made with smartphones increased by 41%. With nearly 40% of all Black Friday sales coming from mobile devices in 2017, we can only imagine what the numbers will be this year.

All of these statistics and numbers are great reminders of how crucial it is to have a great mobile version of your website and/or mobile app, which your customers can use to research and buy your products.

But it doesn’t stop here. Interfaces must, of course, be well designed and functioning but furthermore, it is important that all channels work together as an ensemble. A customer may start researching for a product on her laptop, may decide to try it herself in a brick and mortar store and finally buy it on the app. You need to be ready to create a smooth and great user experience – also on a multi-channel level. With 73% of customers shopping across channels, creating (or polishing) an omnichannel strategy is super important. May it be on the desktop or mobile, may it be both, you need to know who the users visiting your website are and what they really think of you, your website and your products. In other words, you need data.

For this reason, we want to give you a short guide on how to effectively exploit Black Friday…on a data level.

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