Preparing your e-store for Black Friday and Cyber Monday

Black Friday and Cyber Monday mark the beginning of the holiday shopping season in America, but fewer people than ever are lining up in front of big-box retailers. Instead, they’re avoiding the crowds and shopping online thanks to COVID.

In 2018, Cyber Monday was the biggest eCommerce sales day in U.S. history, with $7.9 billion in revenue. In 2019, sales on Shopify Stores crossed the 1 Billion USD mark. Shopify had a live site to show how the sales are happening in real-time. This year promises to be BIGGER AND BETTER. This is an opportunity you cannot afford to miss. Now, the question is how do you stack up against the big brands or celebrity-endorsed brands that people gravitate towards. Fear not, let us give you a few strategies to get the best out of this season.

1.Preparing for the early customers

70% of shoppers shop during BFCM. They make the majority of their purchases during this time of the year. They are going to start researching in advance to plan what to buy and where to buy — and more importantly where the DEALS are.

At times, these shoppers will also create traffic on your website even before the season of BFCM so preparations have to start early.

Try to charm and win the crowd before the holiday season to build up the audience. Using newsletters, push notifications, Whatsapp/SMS messages to get subscriptions, or using gifts and sneak-peeks before BFCM are great ways to attract eyeballs to your store.

2.Check your inventory 

It’s important to know what to keep on the sale and those decisions cannot be made last minute. These should be planned as early as possible and the inventory should be scheduled, organized, or warehoused before the sales. 

If you rely on a supplier for your inventory, or your product is created or manufactured by you or your team, consider the increased demand you’ll experience during the holiday season.

Use forecasting tools to help you better predict sales and to order enough supplies before BFCM. Remember if you end up with more supplies than you anticipated, you could plan a “post-Christmas” sale where you can liquidate inventory. There’s an audience for this sale too.

3.Check if your website can handle the traffic

The last thing you want is a surge in demand leading to your site crashing. It will create a lot of losses on both ends. 

Hire an IT expert to enhance your website if there is a need for it simultaneously you can also work on the flow of the website, UI/UX and the speed.

It is important today to have sites that work well and are optimized for phones, tablets, etc as well. 

4.Making banners, ads, and marketing material

Making alluring banners will inform and compel the audience to shop from you. Coupled with good discount combos, your shop will do well. Before BFCM you might want to consider checking your competitor’s marketing plans and balancing or outdoing those. Run Ads if necessary, reach out to your audience via email, push notifications, Whatsapp, and SMS. You need to make sure they hear you loud and hear but also remember you. 

Find websites talking about Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals or running gift guides that apply to your niche. Get in touch with them to feature your products and planned sales. It’s a win-win for both.

5.Strategies to close more sales

a.According to Barilliance, the average cart abandonment rate on Black Friday 2018 in the US was 82%. Hence, it’s important to use emails, push notifications, SMS, or Whatsapp Messages to remind the customer of abandoned carts.

b.You might want to run BUNDLE OFFERS or tiered pricing campaigns. Entice them to buy more to get more discounts. This is a common practice to increase cart value.

c.If you run paid campaigns such as Facebook or Instagram Ads or Google Smart Shopping campaigns, both of which you can set up directly in Shopify or any other cart. You should place retargeting pixels on your website so you can remarket to your holiday sale traffic. Start this early – else you will be vying with the big brands closer to the sale day.

d. Black Friday Cyber Monday is an opportune time to build relationships with your previous customers and get them to come back. Do a special pre-holiday season sale JUST FOR THEM and send them coupons they can use on your site. They are your brand-loyal customers – make them feel “special”.

e. You’re not the only store the customer is looking at. Use strategies like timers and countdowns for windows on discount to create a sense of urgency but don’t overdo it. Keep it only for your “bestsellers”.  

      6) Cross-Selling

This is a great time to up your cross-selling game. Don’t expect that your customers will purchase the thing that they want and leave your site. If you have a customer that is making a purchase, you should refer them to something that will naturally fit together. Think socks and shoes, paper and pencils, yoga mats, and yoga straps. If someone is making a purchase, is there something else that they may need to complete the look or ensemble? You can also upsell by offering FREE SHIPPING over a certain order value. Think of messages like this: “Add $50 more to your cart to get free shipping.”.

You may want to create distinct Black Friday and Cyber Monday pages with related products for customers. This can consolidate your efforts.

     7) Make it Real — Want to give customers a real-life feel for the product. Try VR/AR models to give a complete view of the product. If you are a beauty/accessories/jewelry store, try magic mirror technology to allow users to upload a photo and see how a “lipstick shade” or “a pair of earrings” looks on them.

In closing:

With early preparation, a plan for the inventory, strategies for the profit, and an optimized website and marketing tools, you are all set to shine and make good deals for BFCM. Happy selling! If you want a 1-hour free consultation for BFCM – ping us today!

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