Black Friday and Cyber Monday: What Does It Mean For Your Online Business?

With the day-to-day stresses of running an e-commerce business, it may be easy to overlook some of the approaching holidays. But the holiday season is certainly the most profitable time of the year. And with a few tips you will be ready to tap into this opportunity. Turns out some retailers make up to 40% of their annual revenue from the last quarter of the year alone.

According to statistics, in the year 2015, a whopping 5.81 bn dollars of goods were sold through e-commerce in the US during Black Friday and Cyber Monday.  Out of this 2.74 bn was spent on Black Friday and 3.07 bn was spent on Cyber Monday. It is expected that this figure during 2016 will be 6.4 bn USD. Out of this over 50% of sales will happen over a tablet or smartphone. These figures are certainly compelling and as an online retail store owner, you most definitely cannot take this day lightly. We are here to help you prepare and maximize your sales during these two days.

Of course before you start preparing for the sales, you need to ensure your store is ready to take the additional traffic during these two days. You can test your server load capacity with tools such as LoadImpact.com or Blitz.io.

Here is a checklist of things you need to do as you prepare for the sale:

1) Plan your sales early on: Look at all your products and plan your sales to avoid a last minute contingency. Choose those products you want to run a holiday sale on and schedule their start date and sale prices.

2) Be Creative: Create good banners to promote your sale. You do not need to be a great graphic designer to get things done. If you lack the skills to create visually stimulating banners, you can use a template from creativemarket or hire a freelance graphic designer.  

3) Pique your customer: Pique your customer’s curiosity as you get closer to your sale. Instead of one major announcement mentioning the sale, have multiple sneak-peeks preparing the customer for the same and arousing their interest. You can tease your customer with email sneak-peeks or posts on social media regarding the upcoming sale.

4) Think mobile first: Mobile sales formed more than 50% last year during these two holidays. This number is only bound to increase this year. What is the user experience of your site like when viewed through a mobile? Is it easy and intuitive to make purchases to your store via a mobile? These are some of the questions you should ask yourself, which if sorted out, can help increase your sales.

5) Have at least one jaw-dropping sale: A strategy most retailers use is to have at least one door-buster sale on a particular product which is sold at a ridiculously low price to lure customers to your store. Ensure you have enough stock on this product so you do not stock out soon. Customers who visit your store to purchase this product will usually end up buying other stuff from your sale too.

6) Create artificial scarcity: Another strategy employed by retailers during sales is to actually show a timer that is running out to imply the sale is for a limited duration only. This creates urgency, and forces buyers to make their decision to buy now, instead of later.

7) Watch out for those competitors: It is best to also keep an eye on the strategy employed by your direct competitors to tap into this holiday season. You definitely want to do something different and better than your competitors or at the worst you need to match up to your competitors standards.

8) Build loyalty: Leverage this opportunity to build loyal customers. Take steps to nurture the relationships with deal-seekers beyond the sale period. Keep your customers engaged year-round by staying active on social media and sending regular emails to your subscribers.

9) Determine which ad channels to focus on: One major aspect of preparing for this holiday season is making sure your marketing materials are ready and up to the mark. Secondly, do not have a scattered marketing campaign. Know which are the most important channels for your promotional needs and plan a marketing campaign around these channels. Some of the channels we recommend focusing on are:

  • Blog Posts: Content is king. Carefully crafted blog posts can go a long way in attracting new visitors to your store. Combine this with some good SEO optimization to attract the people interested in the products that your store offers.
  • Email Marketing: If your email list is big enough, this channel can be a great way to increase traffic to your store. Also if you have segmented the data on customer preference and prior purchase, you can do targeted and customized marketing.
  • Google Adwords: You may want to use pay-per-click advertising for your shopping promotions. Keep in mind though, being the holiday season, you may have to bid more than usual for your preferred keywords. Use words like “free shipping”, “holiday sale” etc. to entice buyers.
  • Facebook Ads: Facebook has emerged into a great channel for targeted marketing. And it is one of the easiest channels to get started on. You can have your ad up and running in less than 30 minutes with tools such as Cocktail Insights and AdEspresso.

There you go! With these tips in mind, you will be making the most of the upcoming holiday season. Make 2016 the best year yet for your business. Take advantage of the gifts that naturally come during the holiday season in the form of increased order size and conversions. While you ride the holiday wave, SynCommerce will help you further expand your sales by helping you list on other channels and seamlessly manage your inventory and order processing across them.


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