Black Friday - the shopping highlight of the year where calm and composed consumers lose all sense of reality. In 2021, US shoppers spent just under $10 billion dollars on Black Friday.
Whilst there are still moments in brick-and-mortar stores that play out similar to that wedding dress shopping scene from Friends where Monica, Rachael and Phoebe pin down another shopper all to get the dress, online stores are now encountering their own issues as well as consumers rush online out of the expectation to see reduced prices.
How To Prevent The Chaos Of Black Friday And Cyber Monday
Improving your search ranking will physically help you rise above your competitors and increase sales conversion rates. As will speeding up website’s loading times. e-Commerce sites that take ages to load to a landing page suffer in search rankings - two easy ways to do this is to compress images and upgrade hosting services to allow for better speed which, in turn, will boost you on SEO rankings.
To rank highly, E-Commerce sites need to be using relevant site copy to be in line with what customers expect from you. By analysing search terms, brands can decide which items to promote and put on sale. Brands can use free Google tools to determine the best keywords for your product pages.
CAMPAIGN EARLY & STAGGER SALES
In addition to the thought out social media campaigns, adding Instagram shopping allows consumers to purchase products directly through the app.
A fifth of shoppers prefer to shop through apps and most established big brands and retailers have this already set up. For up-and-coming brands, it is essential to make use of this easy to add in tool so not to lose out to competitors. Over 200 million accounts use the Instagram Explore tab on a daily basis, and by adding in Instagram Shopping, brands become accessible to these users.
Whilst BFCM isn’t until late November, it’s one of the biggest shopping events of the retail calendar; meaning, even if you don’t market your offers and promotions, your competitors most likely will be.
Reaching out to your followers on social media apps and through email campaigns will help build momentum amongst your consumers and get them so excited about the savings they could be making on that sought after product which has always just been a smidge out of reach for them.
Early BF offers available to email subscribers only will also help build email mailing lists for the future, even after BFCM is over. Promoting that you will be dropping details soon on socials and email mailing lists will also help build your follower count and subscribers, again paying dividends after the shopping holiday has ended.
These campaigns are also relatively inexpensive. Often, it’s just an updated strategy or change of tone in the posts. It may take additional time to piece together, but will pay in the long run.
According to Shopify, 79% of all BFCM sales were made through mobile devices in 2021. This means by having an e-Commerce site that has only been designed for desktop, or not prioritised for mobiles, brands can massively lose out. Shoppers who are being driven by adrenaline, to make sure they can get the lowest deals on products they’ve been lusting over for months, won’t take the time to navigate around badly designed mobile sites. They’ll give up and move onto the next easier to use site so that they can secure that deal.
PLAN YOUR SHIPPING STRATEGY
As the online surges begin to simmer in the days following the BFCM, the chaos is only just beginning for shipping companies.
The ensuing chaos is enough to make most logistic companies increase their prices over this period. Last year, shipping companies hired workforces of temporary workers to keep up with demands.
One way to set your brand apart is to offer free shipping and returns to increase sales. Although this does mean the company would be sinking the cost and so a few points to bear in mind to help cover those “free” costs.
1. Add a minimum order value threshold to qualify for free shipping
2. Offer free shipping for certain products only
3. Add free shipping during a specific promotion or time frame
4. Include free shipping as part of being a member of a club (such as Amazon Prime) e.g. on mailing lists
5. Offer free local pickup at the store or warehouse
Whilst free shipping is never free to the brand, it does help conversion rates. As long as these are closely monitored, it’s a strategy to help navigate BFCM.
BFCM is renowned for the madness it brings. The e-Commerce stores that implement the best strategies, will be the ones who reap the rewards in the end.
As e-Commerce has steadily increased, its given birth to Cyber Monday, Black Friday’s online sister where online retailers continue the sales by slashing online prices. Whilst Black Friday didn’t break the $10bn mark, Cyber Monday smashed it with $10.90bn in sales.
Combined sales over the period were $20bn+. With this eye-watering figure in mind, e-Commerce stores need to prepare through marketing and customer support as well as shipping and smoothing out any tech issues.
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