Black Friday– the worldwide shopping event that marks the beginning of the Christmas buying frenzy and sees consumers hunting for the best cheap deals on the market.
Black Friday falls on the Friday after Thanksgiving, which happens to be the 25th of November this year. While at one time a phenomenon exclusive to the US, the term has now been adopted by retailers globally, offering their own versions of Black Friday discounts and sales in-store and online to entice thrifty shoppers.
In recent years, online shopping has become increasingly popular, with shoppers shying away from visiting physical stores. A study by Finder has shown that a mere 10% of people planning to shop the sales this November will do so solely in-store, compared to 46% who plan to buy via the internet only.
Proliferation in online sales has given rise to a new shopping day: Cyber Monday. Taking place on the Monday after Thanksgiving. Cyber Monday is reserved for online trading. It also offers a chance for smaller e-Commerce businesses to compete with larger retailers.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday are two great opportunities for you to grow your e-Commerce business’ Q4 sales, but you need to be well equipped to meet increased demand. We have prepared a guide with the Top 5 tips you need to go through to prepare yourself for the busy season.
Get your website set up for traffic surges
As shoppers flock to the internet this Black Friday and also Cyber Monday, your website needs to be prepare for increased traffic. Research has shown that internet users will click off if your site takes more than 3 seconds to load.
It also needs to have the infrastructure to be able to cope with a surge in visitors without crashing. The best thing to do ahead of the busy season is to test your website in advance. There are multiple methods to do so and one example is testing your page speed using Google’s PageSpeed tools.
Furthermore, avoid making changes to your website close to the big day to minimise glitches and remove any unnecessary plug-ins that increase the load time.
Promote your deals early
It’s important that customers know about your offerings in advance of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, as many shoppers start browsing for deals in October.
Keep your customers in the loop by sending anticipatory communications via email, text and any other channels in the weeks leading up to the shopping events. You could consider launching an influencer marketing campaign, to spread the news about your business’ products and also discounts.
Remember that all eCommerce businesses are also marketing their offerings so try to lure in your customers early on.
Optimise your back-office operations
Your back office operations need to be up to scratch during this peak time for sales. The last thing a customer would want to receive after securing a bargain in their inbox is that their order has been cancelled due to incorrect inventory calculations. Therefore, it is key to have a world-class software that allows for efficient order management if you run your own fulfilment. However, if you work with a fulfillment centre, it is key to select a center that capture real time data of all stock available.
Invest in software for efficient order management, stay on top of your expenses, and automate as much as possible to reduce manual labour.
Offer multiple payment methods
The easier the customer journey through your shop, the more sales you will get. Therefore, offering multiple payment methods will allow for faster and easier customer journeys. According to a recent study, 12% of shoppers cancelled an order as their preferred payment method was unavailable.
Although there is several payment methods, PayPal, Apple Pay and ‘buy now pay later’ methods such as Klarna were the most popular and easiest to use.
Double down on fulfilment
You must meet shoppers’ delivery needs to make sales. To do so, check that your shipping policy is up to date. Moreover, providing expected delivery dates and various delivery options will give the shoppers’ more confidence on buying from your shop.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday are exciting times for your business.
Prepare well, and hopefully enjoy fantastic sales!