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Top 4 Black Friday tips for merchants

Article provided by PayFast

With everything that has happened this year it’s more important than ever to ensure you have a successful Black Friday and Cyber Monday. To help you get all your ducks in a row, we’ve asked some of our experienced Customer Services team members for advice on what you can do to make sure your online store is ready.

The tips below are based on years worth of Customer Services experience in assisting merchants and buyers with related queries in the lead up to and over the busy Black Friday weekend. So we can confidently say that these tips come straight from the experts. 

1. Advertise your Black Friday deals

The best way to generate excitement amongst your customer base is to advertise your Black Friday specials a few weeks before the big day. This can be done on your social media pages via organic and paid posts and in email blasts sent out to your database. You can create hype around your Black Friday specials right up to the big event and even during the busy weekend.

2. Update your website to make sure it’s ready for Black Friday

There are a number of important things you should do to make sure your website is equipped to deal with the increased visitor traffic over the Black Friday weekend.  

Test your site to make sure all is in order

Ask your web developer to test your website to make sure all your plugins are updated and everything is working correctly. The last thing you need to happen during Black Friday is for your website to crash! Also make sure that all the pages display correctly, the checkout process runs smoothly and all redirects are processed efficiently without any delays. 

Update your stock

It’s extremely important to ensure you have enough stock to process incoming orders over the Black Friday weekend. Your website’s product listing should be up to date with what’s available, and if certain products have limited stock clearly state that. This will avoid any confusion, delays in shipment or the need to action refunds to your customers. Also make sure all your delivery options are available and ready to go to ensure a smooth process after the payment has been received.

Clearly display your contact information and T&Cs

All of your available contact details should be easily visible on your website, as you may experience an influx of buyers querying updates on their online orders. It’s also worth updating your contact information and your T&Cs related to Back Friday, such as delivery time frames.

During this busy time, consider hiring additional support staff to manage orders and inventory related queries during this period.

3. Integrate your online store with PayFast to receive online payments 

If you’re new to selling online and this is your first Black Friday, make sure you follow these important steps to getting your online store ready to accept payments with PayFast.

Register and get verified

Sign up for a PayFast account and upload the required documents to verify your account. It’s very important you do this well in advance of Black Friday to ensure you upload the correct verification documents and our Customer Services team are able to verify them. For more information about the verification process, read this knowledge base article

Integrate PayFast into your online store and test it

You can find instructions on how to integrate PayFast with your ecommerce store on our Shopping Carts integrations page. Here you’ll be able to find information on all the 80+ shopping carts that PayFast integrates with. 

Once the PayFast integration is complete (or even if it’s already been integrated with your website for a while), test it to ensure that your customers get redirected from your website to the PayFast payment page.

Activate a variety of payment options

To ensure a stress-free Black Friday experience for your customers, activate a few – if not all – payment methods on your PayFast dashboard. This will allow your customers to choose their preferred payment method at checkout, and give them a backup option if for some reason their first choice has issues on Black Friday, for example if OTPs are delayed for credit card payments. 

Read this PayFast dashboard advice blog for information on how to activate payment methods. 

Familiarise yourself with the Merchant Refund feature

There may be a chance that you’ll be required to refund your customers if there is an issue with one of your products, such as if you run out of stock or are unable to make the delivery. In such instances you can use the PayFast Merchant Refund feature to initiate refunds from your PayFast dashboard. In the lead up to Black Friday, it’s worth familiarising yourself with the refund steps, which can be found here

Familiarise yourself with the PayFast Knowledge Base

For any other PayFast related queries you may have in the lead up to and during Black Friday, take a look at our comprehensive Knowledge Base

4. Provide excellent customer service

Throughout the Black Friday period (and forever after) provide top-notch customer support, including keeping your customers up to date on their delivery status, returns and refunds. This will go a long way in creating happy customers. 

Even though this year has been a rollercoaster for the South African economy, we are confident that 2020 will be the biggest Black Friday for ecommerce to date due to the popularity of shopping online during the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown. In our next Black Friday blog, we’ll offer some Black Friday tips for buyers. 

PayFast is a proud Partner of the NSBC