Falling on the 24th – 27th of November this year, it’s seen as the unofficial start of the holiday season, many retailers treat their customers to bonus promotions, helping to make the Christmas period a little more wallet friendly.
Xsellco looked into the busiest times of the weekend during 2015, finding that globally Amazon saw a huge 320% sales peak during the hours of 9am – 12pm on the Friday alone, with customers then returning to take advantage of any last minute deals on the evening of Cyber Monday. Xsellco also reported a 14 hour sales peak over Black Friday on Amazon UK, so how can you get a piece of the action and how should you prepare for the busy weekend.
Plan your sales strategy, will you be offering a site-wide 20% off, mixed discounts, or 3 for 2 on all products? Whichever option you choose offering free shipping (if you don’t already) will sweeten the deal for any potential customers. Now is time to think big picture, black Friday is a great opportunity to convert new visitors into valued customers, so having a smaller profit margin now can pay off in the long run.
Take full advantage of marketing tools such as MailChimp and Hootsuite, being able to schedule your marketing messages over the course of the weekend will prove incredibly handy, don’t forget to build the excitement early by posting countdowns to Black Friday or teasing discounts before the busy weekend. Remember those last minute Cyber Monday shoppers too, send reminders through the whole weekend updating the deals and the end time of the sale. Over the course of the weekend you may want to plan for an AdWords campaign to boost site visits too.
Whether you sell solely via your own website, marketplaces, or bricks and mortar, it’s best to keep your shelves (physical or virtual) as full as possible. The reason why there is such a surge on the morning of Black Friday is people not wanting to miss out on a bargain due to low stock, with the news encouraging the rush of shopping showing busy supermarkets and shopping centres, there’s an air of panic on Black Friday morning to get the best deals before anyone else. So you don’t want your shoppers disappointed come 12pm Friday afternoon, it’s probably wise to overestimate the stock and resources you’ll need over the weekend than find you’re disappointing customers thanks to lack of resource.
Take the time now to understand how busy your delivery provider may become and whether you may need to entrust some alternative providers over the course of the weekend and the following week. If you will be offering free shipping as an added bonus to your customers, have you shopped around for the lowest cost (and reliable) provider to minimise the impact of delivery on your profit margin for discount weekend. Have you planned for multiple carrier collections over the course of the weekend and do you have a contingency plan in place, the last thing you want is customers regretting their discount purchases, like Argos’s shoppers in 2016 where newsworthy delays caused fury.
Keeping additional customer service resources where needed to account for increased sales over the holiday period is one part of this, the other is more focused at converting any new customers into valued ones. Perhaps by sending exclusive discounts to them during early December and for January sales to encourage their return.
Whatever your plans for Black Friday / Cyber Monday, focus on the opportunities it presents the sheer number of people online during one weekend, and remember that Black Friday is now global, it’s a great opportunity have your products seen on cross-border marketplaces. If you would like KnowGlobal to review your delivery resource and analyse your cross-border opportunities, get in touch today.