How do we know that? Well, aside from the obvious fact that retailers should always consider their customers’ needs, wants and demands – not just now during this busy and potentially profitable shopping period run-up, but all year round – here are the top 4 things we found winning retailers were doing that the losers had not:

1. Data-driven approach

Actionable insights are key and nowadays, thankfully, technological innovations such as user experience (UX) analytics mean retail teams can quickly access detailed, in-page insights on all sorts of visitor behaviours. By combining traditional tools with UX, retailers have a more proactive basis for Black Friday decision-making, without drowning in data. 

With this new approach, they can use the data they have to drill down to in-page detail and understand how and why visitors behave, not just what they do. This offers retailers the ability to plan their Black Friday approach using insight from last year’s November activity. For example, brands can use UX analytics to identify what content drove the most revenue, and which items proved most popular, and apply those learnings to their site structure and product features for Black Friday this year and beyond.

2. Reactive optimisation

Improving the overall experience for visitors drives conversion increase. So, being able to make live changes within minutes of Black Friday promotions going live can help reduce visitor frustration as it happens. Based on behavioural insight, the winners of Black Friday are optimising their users’ experiences reactively on the day. However, retail brands still need to invest in tools that enable everyone in their company, not just the marketing and e-commerce, to have access to any data that is relevant to their role, so they too can measure the impact of their optimisation efforts.

3. Mobile conversion

Mobile traffic has grown steadily in recent years. Visitors can now access retailers’ websites from their mobile phones while travelling, a laptop while sat in a coffee shop, or a tablet in their kitchen while preparing dinner. Aside from requiring retailers to offer a seamless experience on all websites and design formats to avoid cart abandonment, this change in browsing means retailers also need to analyse on-site visitor journeys to identify how visitors from different sources navigate their site.

4. Fast load and easy checkout

Last year, mobile conversion rates increased over Black Friday by a whopping 167%, mobile cart abandonment fell by 7% and 39% of Black Friday shoppers’ purchases were completed on a mobile phone. So, for maximum success, retailers need minimum load times, alongside a smooth and easy-to-complete checkout process.

40% of people will leave a web page if it takes longer than three seconds to load and the 33% bounce rate average on Black Friday, across all channels, is mostly down to the checkout. Having an efficient checkout process, with only a few steps needed to complete a purchase, is essential, but so too is finding out if any form field is preventing your visitors from checking out.


Knowing in advance what on your site causes the greatest visitor frustration and having those elements resolved before Black Friday will be the winning strategy as any errors that could have been avoided on this busy, and potentially profitable, shopping period will prove fatal.

The winning retailers will be looking at Black Friday as more than just an annual opportunity to tune their site and processes. They will be leveraging advanced technologies like UX analytics to maximise their returns all year long.