The summer holidays may only just be over, but in business, this means Christmas is just around the corner. If you’ve been thinking about selling online, now’s the time to prep for one of the biggest shopping events of the year – Black Friday.
Given the cost of living crisis, retailers will have to offer considerable savings to be successful.
Black Friday weekend takes place Friday 24th November to Monday 27th November 2023 this year. As it’s an online shopping event, the businesses that are likely to benefit the most are those that have online stores.
Thankfully, there’s still time for you to create digital shop where you can sell your products by Black Friday 2023.
5 steps to start selling online in time for Black Friday
Launching your first online shop can feel daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. Here’s how to sell online in five simple steps.
Step 1: Create your online store
Before you can sell your products online, you’ll need to build an ecommerce website. The site builder you choose should give you the ability to:
- List your products, complete with photos and detailed product descriptions
- Safely process a variety of payment methods using SSL encryption
- Shipping products
One of the easiest ways to get a website that provides all these functions and more is using a drag-and-drop site builder such as GoDaddy Online Store Builder.
You don’t need to have any technical skills or be capable of writing code. Instead, you’ll simply:
- Answer two questions
- Choose from the prebuilt stores the builder presents to you
- Build your site with the click and type editor
Your new store will have a fast checkout process that minimises swipes and clicks. You can even manage orders right from your phone!
Any site created with GoDaddy Online Store will look and work great on mobile devices.
Additionally, Online Store allows you to sell at a fraction of the cost of hiring a website designer to do it for you. And with round the clock help via phone, chat and WhatsApp, there'll be someone at the ready to answer any questions you may have — day or night.
This makes Online Store a good option for small businesses that want to get online quickly and affordably.
Step 2: Add your logo and branding
Once you’ve created your ecommerce website, you’ll need to focus on branding. If you don’t already have a logo, you can create one with GoDaddy's Free Logo Maker.. You can learn how to make a logo for your small business in this guide.
Once you have your logo, add it to your web store near the top header and bottom footer with a couple of clicks. This will help your customers easily recognize your business when they shop your online store.
Step 3: Make product listings
Now that your website business branding is complete, you’ll need to create product listings to showcase your products to potential customers.
As you’re creating your listings, think up names for your products. The AI tool included with Online Store will write product listings based on
- Shipping times
Use categories and menus to organize your product listings, so that your customers can easily find what they’re looking for.
If your store isn’t organized, it can seem cluttered. You may even lose out on potential sales if customers aren’t satisfied with the overall shopping experience your online business is offering.
Step 4: Set your prices
Your online store is almost ready to launch, but first you’ll need to set the prices for your products.
If you’ve been operating a business for a while, then pricing your products should be easy.
However, if you’re new to pricing products, then you’ll want to spend some time considering things such as:
- Direct costs
- Industry markups
- Competitor pricing for similar items
- Shipping costs
Once you’ve set the regular prices for your products, you’ll want to revisit your pricing regularly to ensure that it is competitive and profitable for your business.
When you’re setting the prices for your store, don’t forget to research the shipping costs of each item. Selling online could cost you money if you’re not mindful of shipping.
Getting your prices right will be especially important this year.
The Future Shopper Report 2023 suggests that price is the main element that encourages shoppers to buy from a brand, followed by:
- Free delivery
- Fast and convenient delivery
You may also want to consider a discounting strategy as well, especially if you’re planning a Black Friday and/or Christmas sale.
Step 5: Launch and promote your online shop
Before promoting your new online store to your customers, you’ll want to test it yourself. Go through it carefully, clicking on every link and submitting an order. You’ll want to make sure that everything works smoothly and there are no glaring issues that could result in lost sales.
Next you'll want to launch it and begin promoting it to potential customers. There are many methods you can use to promote your business like:
- Content marketing: This includes things like blogging and social media marketing. They can be a great way to draw attention to your brand, especially if you’re offering unique products.
- Paid advertising: This is an effective way to get potential customers to your site. You’ll need to set aside some funds for this option, but it’s worth the investment if done correctly.
- Email marketing: If you use email marketing, you’ll have a better chance of building up repeat customers. It can also help with establishing yourself as a brand people trust.
This guide is packed with tips on how to promote your business.
How to win over price sensitive shoppers in 2023
With budgets tight, shoppers will be increasingly looking for value for money in their Black Friday buys.
This doesn’t mean you have to slash your prices to shreds, though.
Here are a few ways to encourage purchases from price-sensitive shoppers:
Emphasise product quality and uniqueness
Even now, many people are still willing to pay that little bit more for quality. So, if you sell a quality product, be sure to emphasise this in your website copy and product descriptions.
Equally, if you provide a product that shoppers can’t get anywhere else, be sure to shout about this on your site, too, as scarcity encourages sales.
Create a strong brand
Customers are more likely to buy from a brand they love and feel like they can connect with.
As many as two thirds of UK consumers are prepared to pay more to buy from their preferred brands.
Take inspiration from this major smoothie company. These are the first words you read on their website:
‘We might make little drinks, but we have big dreams to make the world a better, healthier place to live.’
Then make sure your branding is strong and consistent across your website, social media, in store and anywhere else you show up.
Need a branding refresher? Check out this collection of articles.
Explain the benefits of your products
Don’t just list the features of your products on your site, explain how these features can improve the lives of buyers.
For example, a famous trainer brand lists ‘cushioning’ as a feature of one of its pairs of trainers, but it doesn’t stop there. It follows up this feature with a benefit: ‘for light-weight all-day comfort.’
List down sells
This might seem counterintuitive to making money. However, if a shopper decides that the product they were interested in is out of their price range, isn’t a down sell better than no sale at all? Shoppers will thank you for catering to their needs rather than your own bottom line.
Allow visitors to sign up for price-drop alerts
Emailing shoppers with price drop alerts helps you keep your business at the forefront of their mind. It also gives you an excuse to invite them back once they’ve left your website.
Learn how to get customers to give you their email addresses here.
If not now, then when?
With so many customers shopping online now, you need to be there if you want to remain competitive.
If you delay launching your online shop, you could be missing out on sales.