The bargain shopping rush first hit Britain in 2010. E-commerce giant Amazon introduced the mania that was Black Friday, and the event has set some trends among consumers in motion since then.
One change it has brought: Christmas shopping in November. It is not that people spend more during Black Friday. They just tend to spend less in December. According to the Telegraph, “Visa’s UK Expenditure Index from 2015 showed that while overall spending increased by 2.1% in November last year compared with the same month in 2014, in December it rose by just 1%.”
The U.S. import holiday sale has also let loose a savvy horde of shoppers. In the run-up to the big day, consumers have become masters of planning and preparation. The e-commerce boom has allowed them to check out comparison websites, download price watch apps, and subscribe to emails, alerts, and social media updates. And they can do all of these on the internet.
What do these shifts in behaviour signal to retailers? For one, they factor into the sales volume surge, a much-needed boost in Q4. Despite a weakening pound, those in the clothing and grocery business are expected to stay strong. Household and electronic goods do not fall far behind. But, you have to out-prepare the Black Friday crowd. While you are at it, make Cyber Monday a tradition for your brand as well.
Here are a few ways to help you devise a solid game plan:
Cleanse & Segment Your Lists
Get the technical part out of the way. iContact, an automation and email marketing provider, underscores the importance of clean, targeted lists. Through them, you can optimise the performance of email newsletters and social media promotional materials. They can help improve deliverability, engagement, and profitability. It is not yet too late to do this task. You may just have to double your speed and effort at this point.
Provide People With Relevant information
Shopify shares that consumers conduct their research as early as October. Timing and relevance are key to getting your information out. You can tell target customers about your upcoming discounts and deals. This tactic also aims to build up interest and excitement about your products. So frame your content close to your brand identity. And do not forget to deploy visual tools and tell unique stories.
Say, your catalog has subcategories grouped according to age. Let the audience find your blog entries on the best gift ideas for grandparents, parents, kids, and even uncles and aunts. Or register a UK domain name that is exclusive to Black Friday and Cyber Monday offerings. Then dish out a secret code that will enable guests to preview the products. You can reward them, too, for sharing the secret to a friend. Complement your creativity with strategic thinking to ensure that you will hit your year-end revenue goal as early as November.
Test Software, Site & System
Your system breaking down on Black Friday will be your worst nightmare. Customers can abandon their carts and move on, but probably not without shaking their heads. So, before this scenario becomes real, you have to triple-check if your site will be able to handle the expected surge in traffic on November 24. Run new apps and widgets. Find bugs. And then run again. On the front end, see if you can navigate your homepage, catalog, checkout page, etc. without getting lost. Navigability is a major factor in getting a guest stay on a site. Faster loading times also matter. If you can bring the checkout process down to 3 steps, you will also score points in customer convenience.
Learn From Last Year’s Mistakes
Finally, you should gather the team to list the Black Friday/Cyber Monday mistakes to avoid as you try again this quarter. If you already had a debriefing earlier this year, all the better. As you go over the items, focus on what action to take. Should you remove this feature or improve on this service? Then move on to asking harder questions, such as how do you multiply the sales this year? All teams win if the online store wins. Now, if you did not participate in 2016, that is an error you should rectify first and foremost this year.