Is Your Store Ready? The Black Friday & Cyber Monday Rushes Are Upon Us
If you’re selling online, Black Friday and Cyber Monday have definitely been on your mind. Naturally, you’re looking to drive significant holiday sales, so you’re probably already thinking about what you can do to make your store shine.
Black Friday, which falls on November 29 this year, is one of the biggest ecommerce shopping holidays of the whole year. Last year alone, Black Friday racked up more than $6.2 billion in online sales, and Cyber Monday set new all-time records with a whopping $7.9 billion haul. This year, Cyber Monday is expected to top $8.5 billion in total sales.
About 108.5 million Americans shop online during these holiday shopping days, which makes them some of the highest-traffic events the web has ever seen. Make sure your company grabs a slice of the pie this year by preparing your online store now for Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
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Why Start Prepping Now?
Black Friday and Cyber Monday are two of the most critical shopping days on the web, sure, but they also tend to get away from ecommerce store owners. If you don’t prepare for them ahead of time, you’re liable to get left behind and find yourself scrambling to catch up.
With that in mind, beginning your preparations ahead of time is essential. If you’re not preparing yourself for Cyber Monday’s online rush ahead of time, you could lose site visitors and sales, which will put you behind for the rest of the year. As consumers migrate in droves to the web for their holiday shopping, retailers that are prepared will haul in the most loot.
5 Ways to Get Ready for the Rush
Whether you’re looking to improve this year’s sale or just prep for your first Black Friday and Cyber Monday in business, these five tips will help you skyrocket your results this year.
1. Evaluate Your Current Position
The first step to getting ready for ecommerce shopping holidays is to take an honest look at where your business stands now. What are your goals and how well have you meet them in the last year? What’s your social media presence look like? And what do you want to gain this holiday shopping season?
If you sell physical products in your online store, now is the time to take a literal stock of your product inventory. This will help you stay organized and on-track for the upcoming sales rush, and make sure you’re not selling out of in-demand items prematurely.
If you don’t sell physical items, you’ll want to take a look at the tools you have in place to sell services through your site. What kinds of sales will you offer? How will you push your products?
Take this time now to make some calculations and pull your data together. After all, you’ll need this information to plan essentially anything else.
2. Offer Discounts on Trendsetters
As a general rule, you should take at least 20% off of your items to be competitive this Black Friday and Cyber Monday. If you want to take your perks a step further, you might even consider offering a free gift with your products.
Don’t hesitate to get creative with your discounts. This may mean going even deeper with your discounts or offering BOGO deals. It may also mean weaving unique promotions into your discount plan.
Doorbuster Sales do particularly well over the Black Friday shopping holiday, as do promotions that enable customers to choose a free gift with purchase. Both are great ways to get people into your store and engaged with your products.
3. Streamline the Shopping Experience
Remember that the Black Friday – Cyber Monday holiday experience lasts a whopping four days. If you want to bag as many customers as possible during that time, it’s essential to improve and streamline your shopping experience in advance.
As a general rule, your complete mission during these holidays is to turn visitors into buyers, and to also make sure you’re doing everything possible to provide ample opportunities for both cross-selling and upselling.
Dive into this by creating categories of products that fit together naturally. Shirts and coats are a great example, or socks and shoes. Be sure you’re also offering a shopping experience that is easy to navigate and understand.
The more streamlined your website is, the more likely it is that you’ll make major sales and retain most of the customers you convert.
4. Offer a Speedy Checkout
Holiday shoppers are a fickle group. They’re on the hunt for deals, and they’re willing to visit any of the thousands of stores available to them to get them. With this in mind, you can’t afford to take up any of their time with a cumbersome checkout process.
Think of it this way: The checkout experience is the final point of contact a customer will have with your store. It doesn’t matter how good their experience has been up until then unless the checkout supports the overall impression. With this in mind, improving your checkout experience could be exactly what you need to do to transform fickle shoppers into long-term customers.
Simple steps, like adding extra payment options (Bitcoin, anyone?), enabling shopping on all devices, and implementing auto-fill will go a long way toward making your checkout process as good as it can be. Don’t forget steps like upselling for faster delivery!
5. Optimize Your Email Marketing
Black Friday and Cyber Monday can be overwhelming holidays. Email is one great way to cut through the noise and provide as much value as possible.
To make your email campaign as effective as possible, start it at least a week in advance of your upcoming sale, and make sure you specify the deals you’ll be offering. Wondering how many emails to send, and when? Here’s are some helpful tips:
- One weekly email from four weeks until Black Friday.
- An email both the night before Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
- An email on Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
Welcome to the Holiday Rush
The major holiday shopping days are almost upon us, and now is the time to hone your plan. By streamlining your shopping experience, being smart about which products you discount (and how much) and preparing your marketing ahead of time, you can crush Black Friday and Cyber Monday this year, and every year going forward.
Need even more tips? Check out this infographic we’ve created below!