Black Friday 2023: prepare your online store for international sales
Black Friday has always been one of the most relevant ecommerce opportunities during the year, as it marks the beginning of the holiday shopping season.
In this article, we’ll walk you through the following topics:
- Black Friday and Cyber Monday: essential facts for online sellers
- Most recent Black Friday trends to consider
- The three most important things that will prepare your online store for Black Friday
This year, Black Friday will take place on November 24. Each year, the date varies, as it falls on the day after American Thanksgiving.
Another relevant ecommerce opportunity happening at the same time is Cyber Monday – on November 27. The term was coined and popularized by ecommerce retailers to differentiate between Friday in-store sales and Monday online sales.
Many ecommerce businesses continue offering deals during the following days or weeks to maximize profit. This period is often referred to as Cyber Week or Black November. You should consider it, too, when planning your international marketing campaigns and SEO strategy.
The significance of Black Friday in ecommerce
Online shoppers consider Black Friday and Cyber Monday one of the most important shopping holidays. After all, Cyber Week features some of the biggest online bargains of all time.
But is it as profitable for ecommerce businesses?
In terms of revenue generation, Singles’ Day in China (on November 11) has dethroned Black Friday and Cyber Monday. As reported, during 2022 Singles’ Day, Alibaba’s total GMV reached ca. $84.5 billion. It’s six times more than Amazon’s Prime Day GMV and almost ten times more than all online sales during Black Friday 2022 in the US.
It’s important to note that Alibaba’s sales are generally slowing down drastically. In 2022, Alibaba Group Holding Ltd decided not to disclose the final results of their Singles’ Day online sales. We know, however, that their online sales in 2021 only grew by 8.5%. Compared to their 26% growth in 2020, it is the slowest rate they have ever experienced and is most likely going further down.
When it comes to sparking an online bargain shopping frenzy in the West, Black Friday and Cyber Monday are still key ecommerce events. According to a report from Adobe Analytics, Black Friday online sales in 2022 reached a record of $9.12 billion in the US.
It proves that Cyber Week is definitely worth prioritizing in your online sales strategy.
How has Black Friday changed in recent years?
Ever since the COVID-19 pandemic hit, distinctions between Black Friday and Cyber Monday are no longer as relevant. Retailers moved away from typical “doorbuster” bargains when authorities worldwide banned large crowds from public spaces. Those were the massively discounted items that would entice crowds to the brick-and-mortar stores and have them queue up in front of their doors before they even opened.
Nowadays, shoppers can find Black Friday doorbuster deals online and browse special offers on their computer or mobile devices.
Top-selling Black Friday categories
As Forbes confirms, 2022 Black Friday sales increased by 2.3% compared to 2021. Considering how the 2022 holiday sales season was weakened globally by inflation, those are solid results.
Online smart home electronics and audio equipment sales rose by 200%. Adobe reports Apple Watches and Airpods, along with smart speakers and televisions, gaming consoles, and espresso machines, as the top sellers in this category.
It’s also worth noting that according to Adobe, Black Friday online toy sales rose by 285% compared to an average sales day.
How to prepare your online business for Black Friday customers?
While Black Friday typically signifies the beginning of the holiday shopping season and an opportunity for substantial revenue, it’s not without its hurdles. This year, we also need to consider the economic landscape, with the shadow of recession looming over consumer spending habits.
What challenges should online sellers consider when preparing for Black Friday in 2023?
#1 Black Friday ecommerce tip: Format your offer in the Cyber Week spirit
According to stats, 46% of Black Friday 2022 purchases were impulse buys.
Black Friday sales are already driven by a sense of urgency. Think strategically about your Black Friday product offers to reel as many impulse buyers in:
- Keep everything in the Black Friday and Cyber Week spirit. Don’t be afraid to use strong colors: black, yellow, and red.
- Consider adding a countdown clock to emphasize that your deal is time-sensitive.
- Think of queries that can be used to search for bargains, and use relevant keywords in your offer descriptions and ads. This way, you increase your chances of appearing in search results and catching your customers’ attention.
- Operate with simple text formatting to highlight the discount rate: apply bold rather than underline and keep the font size large.
- Offer your products individually and in bundles at more profitable prices.
- Make sure your listings are mobile-friendly. Almost 43% of Black Friday sales in 2021 were made through smartphones.
- And if the deals you’re offering are good – don’t forget to make them shareable through social media.
How do you ensure your prices are correct for Black Friday? No bargain calculator could assess the best discount rates for your business. But simple rules will help you determine the right pricing strategy for the upcoming Cyber Week.
You should always be aware of your competitors’ prices. Do your research! If you don’t habitually check them, Black Friday is the perfect moment to start doing so. Monitor current price ranges of identical and similar products. After all, shoppers compare deals and look for the best ones. If your items are too expensive compared to other sellers’, clients will simply buy them elsewhere.
Take a look at average Black Friday discount rates across popular categories based on data from 2022 quoted by Forbes and Adobe:
- 31.8% for toys (vs. 15.9% in 2021)
- 23.4% for electronics (vs. 8.7% for electronics in 2021)
- 13.8% for apparel.
Research shows that as much as 26% of Black Friday shoppers end up going online to find better deals than the ones they got at the stores they visited in person.
It is crucial to monitor both your online and offline competitors closely. Use that knowledge to your advantage and be ready to offer a discount that’s competitive enough. After all, an ecommerce store is cheaper to operate than a brick-and-mortar store, so you should have some advantage when setting up discounts.
One trick we don’t recommend: inflating prices right before Black Friday to create a fake price drop later. Such tricks are easy to spot and might ruin your reputation. Remember – online comments and reviews can be merciless! And your client’s trust is worth everything.
#3 Black Friday ecommerce tip: Think locally, sell globally
Cross-border trade is growing twice as fast as domestic, underscoring the immense potential for global sales. However, tapping into global markets during the Black November shopping frenzy can present unique challenges for online sellers.
In addition to managing high-demand sales and supply chain logistics, international sellers must consider factors like currency fluctuations, customs regulations, and regional shopping preferences.
What challenges should online businesses consider to succeed on a global scale on Black Friday 2023?
- When selling on multiple marketplaces, ensure your prices are unified across all platforms.
- Try to provide accurate translations and localization of your product description. Don’t forget to check the sizing and metric systems used in descriptions – they might vary depending on the country.
- Set accurate shipping dates, introduce competitive shipping rates, and provide reliable parcel tracking to increase security.
- Review your return policies (according to research, 58% of online shoppers want a hassle-free “no questions asked” return policy)
Are you open to trying those ideas for Black Friday but worry you lack experience selling goods outside your local market?
To maximize your international sales potential with ease, consider leveraging trusted management solutions designed for online sellers looking to expand their marketplace business on a global scale effortlessly.
Cutting-edge tools can navigate you through the challenges of international selling and let you embrace Black Friday and other ecommerce opportunities with confidence.
Black Friday: takeaway for online sellers
Whatever challenges Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2023 bring – strategize ahead and be prepared for them.
Black Friday is a relevant ecommerce opportunity that kicks off the holiday shopping season and can generate significant profits, so make it your priority. With the help of all the tips from this article, you should be able to get your store ready for selling.
Webinterpret supports merchants selling on big, international ecommerce platforms, such as eBay and Amazon as well as local marketplaces. Our AI-based solution enables selling more effectively with automated listing localization, marketing, and logistics (shipping and returns).
By giving your international customers a full end-to-end local shopping experience, Webinterpret improves your conversion and helps establish your business on a global scale.
Our marketplace offer is constantly expanding – if you want to grow your online sales, feel free to contact our sales experts. They will help you analyze your international sales potential and choose markets that will offer you the best possible return on investment.
Plan your sales, not only at Black Friday, with our useful guide!