We can’t say for certain what Jeff Bezos’ favourite holiday of the year is, but it’s likely Black Friday and Cyber Monday hold a lofty position on the list. In 2017, swelled by bumper sales over the Thanksgiving Weekend, Bezos’ net worth soared past $100 billion for the first time. Anchored by Amazon’s slickly presented deals, Black Friday and Cyber Monday now represent a busier period for businesses than Christmas. But how did we get to this point?
Whether you’re living in Canada, the United Kingdom or the United States, Black Friday has rapidly evolved into the retail event of the year.
Once viewed as merely the start of the bustling Holiday period, Black Friday has grown to become a retail behemoth, prompting dedicated shoppers to camp out in pursuit of door crasher deals. If your business has yet to realise the opportunities available on this weekend, now is the time to start getting ready for the upcoming year. To help you get started, here are five lessons learned from Black Friday 2017.
Are You Mobile Ready?
2017 represented a milestone for Black Friday ecommerce. For the first time ever, more than half of all online sales came from mobile devices. Is your mobile website/store up to snuff? In this day and age, there’s no excuse for not offering a robust mobile experience to customers that’s every bit as useable as your desktop website. It’s also vital to ensure this mobile content is served quickly and is easily accessible to customers.
Start Promoting Black Friday/Cyber Monday Early
According to a recent study, shoppers begin to research their Black Friday shopping plans as early as October. This highlights the need for your preparations to begin by early fall. To use Amazon as an example, their Black Friday website page remains live year-round, building page SEO in the process. As summer ends, they begin to slowly populate the page with content for that year. It’s even worth allowing customers to add deals to their cart ahead of the day, or publishing your flyer weeks in advance to generate publicity.
Batten Down the Hatches
Online sales over the Thanksgiving weekend in America grew 16.9 per cent from 2016 to 2017. It’s the single busiest time of year in ecommerce and it’s one you don’t want any outages during. Take the time to stress test your servers. Whatever traffic you saw in previous years, it’s likely this year will see larger numbers. It’s even worth considering providing a slimmed down version of your site for this period that will load faster. Failing to prepare for these customers will mean missing out on potential sales.
Customers Love Discounts
This might not come as a shock, but price is by far the biggest driver of sales during Black Friday and Cyber Monday. At this time of year, discounts aren’t just welcome, they’re expected by most shoppers. Use this opportunity to discount goods and get customers ordering from you. Highlight just how much they will save in your marketing and never underestimate the power of a bargain.
What’s Your Return Policy?
Getting ready to make lots of sales? You should also be preparing to handle higher than normal levels of returns. No matter how good a product is, some customers will return it. But that doesn’t mean you can’t still make a later sale. Ensure the returns policy for your site goes as smoothly as possible and it will make customers want to deal with you again in future. Create prepaid return labels, make your employees and shipping partners aware of the potential rise in demand.
Want to Learn More?
Ready to take the next step and prepare your business for Black Friday and Cyber Monday? Reach out and we’ll be delighted to help!