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Is your Website ready for Black Friday?

Graphic that reads "Is your Website Ready for Black Friday?" with a yellow background

As soon as the calendar turns to October it seems like every business starts talking about Black Friday. As consumers, we start noticing hints from our favourite businesses about their upcoming sales, and as business owners, we're busy prepping and strategizing behind the scenes to prepare for the Big Day. 

While Black Friday used to only be one day full of incredible deals and sales, the new Black Friday strategy has businesses promoting not only on Black Friday through Cyber Monday, but now sales stretch into weeks! 

Black Friday is easily the biggest shopping day of the year, both in stores and online and for physical products, digital products and even service-based businesses! 

Businesses prepare for Black Friday months in advance to plan their sales, marketing strategies, and prep their inventory and the back-end of their business. Contracts Market is no different - Black Friday through Cyber Monday is typically our highest sales days of the year too! So I know just how much behind the scenes goes into a successful sale. 

Like everything, planning is key! As part of your planning, it’s important to make sure your website is ready for Black Friday, both legally and tech-wise, as it’s about to see a huge influx of visitors. Read on to learn exactly what you need to check off of your Black Friday ‘To-Do List’ when it comes to preparing your website for Black Friday, legally. 


What do I need to prep my Website for Black Friday?

In order to prepare for the spike in traffic you’ll likely receive to your website during your Black Friday sale, it’s essential to make sure that your website is up to date, legally speaking.

While you may want to ensure your site is optimized, on-brand, and functioning properly, checking the legal aspects of your website, such as your website terms of use and the privacy policy for your website is key. 

The last thing you want is a silly (and preventable) legal battle to put a damper on your Black Friday sales and revenue. Here are 5 things you want to be sure to check to ensure your website is legally ready for Black Friday. 

5 Legal Things to Check On Your Website Before Black Friday

#1: Ensure Your Shipping Policies are Crystal Clear

Make sure your website clearly states what your shipping policies are in your website terms of use section. Lay out what your shipping policies are, who pays for returns, if a prepaid return shipping label is available upon request, whether or not they can qualify for free shipping during this time, etc. 

You also want to be very clear about the timing of your shipping. If it is 5-7 business days, be sure to include this on your website. When it comes to shipping policies, it’s always best to under-promise and over-deliver. The last thing you want is a customer expecting their package in 3 days and getting it in 5. They will be much happier if they expect it in 5 days and get it in 3. I also don’t recommend promising delivery by a certain date, unless you are willing to take the risk from a financial perspective that you may be dealing with returns in the event you don’t meet those delivery dates, as this would be considered a breach of contract with your customers. 

 #2: Confirm your Return Policy Reflects Your Policies

Your return policy should also be included in your website terms of use section. Clearly state what your return policy is on your website in clear language that is not hidden in the fine print. 

Keep in mind, return policies look very different for physical products than they do for digital products, courses or service based businesses. Regardless of what you sell, clearly lay out these return policies and instructions so your customers know what to do in the event that they have buyer’s remorse.

#3: Update your Privacy Policy

If you have a website, you are legally required to have a privacy policy on your website, not just for Black Friday! A privacy policy tells users to your site what data you are collecting on them. This may be personal information such as their name, email, shipping address, etc. It also includes any information that you collect using website cookies, such as credit card information, log-in details, etc. 

A privacy policy also communicates to users what rights they have on your website, such as if they can receive a copy of the data you collect on them. A good rule of thumb is to collect the bare minimum information and data. 

It’s also essential that you create a UNIQUE privacy policy for your website. Every website and online store is different. Their data collection, policies, and what they sell is different from how you collect data from users to your site.  Therefore, you can’t go copying/pasting someone else’s or relying on your website host’s privacy policy for protection. Your privacy policy needs to be tailored to your unique business and data collection/storing methods. 

#4: Check your Pop-Ups 

If you use cookies on your website to collect data, such as log-in details, credit card information, and other information that is typically auto-filled, you will want to use a pop-up on your website to communicate your use of website cookies to users. 

This pop-up should be obvious and give your user an opportunity to give active consent to accepting your cookie policy. Don’t have a pre-checked box accepting the cookies. Make sure the pop-up is easy to see, clear in its wording, and gives users a clear space to give active consent. 

#5: Confirm Your Contact Information

The last thing you want to check when preparing your website for Black Friday is that your contact information is accurate and easy to find on your website. Make sure your phone number and email for customer support is included and accurate. 

If you have a live chat or text messaging customer support option, make sure that is included and all systems are working correctly. List the availability for each type of communication and customer support, such as “Monday-Friday, 8am-5pm Pacific.”

If you have an FAQ section or Troubleshooting tips for customers, this would be a great place to include it, as they may be able to answer their own question before reaching out to support.

With the increase in sales, shipping, and returns comes an increase in customer support, so it’s important that you are prepared for it!

If you need help getting your website legally ready for Black Friday, you can check out our totally customizable, professionally created and reviewed Website Terms of Use + Privacy Policy Bundle (E-Commerce). This bundle will ensure you have everything covered, from your website terms of use to your privacy policy, cookie policy, and more. 

This bundle is now ready to be used by both Canadian and U.S. based businesses! We've actually expanded all of the contracts in our shop to be able to used by business owners across America and Canada!

I hope this post was helpful as you plan your Black Friday strategy. Here’s to the best Black Friday season for your business yet! I'd love to hear in the comments about your sale 👇🏼 - I might just need what you're selling!

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