The biggest shopping event of the year is about a week away! Black Friday (which — let's be honest — really starts the Thursday of Thanksgiving these days), has become part of the great American culture. Theories suggest that this annual shopping event was named “Black Friday” because it is when retailers experienced their biggest profits- in some accounting practices, red ink was used to show losses and blank ink to show profits.
Anyway, here is what you should really know about Black Friday and Cyber Monday: only about 55% of shoppers actually set foot inside a store, and the rest are purchasing online. Reports show that in 2016, shoppers spent nearly $3.34 billion shopping online during Black Friday alone! ($5.27 billion if you include Thanksgiving shoppers.) If you are an ecommerce shop, then these numbers probably really excite you.
Reports show that in 2016, shoppers spent nearly $3.34 billion shopping online during Black Friday alone!
Now that you have a better idea of how much shoppers are actually spending during this event, take a look at these 9 helpful tips to help you prepare and increase your sales for Black Friday and Cyber Monday:
1. Learn from last yearSomeone once said that we can learn a great deal of things from the mistakes that we make - perhaps that someone was talking about e-commerce! If you still have your business notes, Google Analytics, or other key reports from last year’s business sales, take them out now. Glancing at this information can help you to better prepare your inventory and anticipate the types of items that will get sold out, customer behavior, and much more.
2. Have unique and specific promotionsEvery single business will be using Black Friday and Cyber Monday to offer their best promotions of the year. If you want to stand out from your competitors, then create extremely unique and very specific promotions. Try to think out of the box and offer promotions that you normally wouldn’t make- for example, Free 2-Day Shipping On All Items. Make sure that your promotions detail exactly the percentage that you will be discounting as well as the particular items that will be on sale. Also, place your promotions where shoppers can easily find them- such as a pop up message or banner of your home page.
3. Use the power of social media.Create compelling and personalized content on social media, tailoring specific interests and revolving around a particular holiday theme. To get a better idea of this, take a look at Banana Republic’s holiday campaign. Also, focus on using content that demonstrate higher engagement levels than images- such as videos, carousel ads, GIFs, Vines, and slide shows. A great way to get more organic reach is by incentivizing sharing. For instance, you can tell your audience something like “Share this on a friend’s wall and get 15% off”. If you already advertise on Facebook, consider slightly increasing your ad dollar budgets in order to push against competitors!
4. Upload a countdown widget to your siteFind out how you can set up a countdown widget on your site. A countdown widget can be a fun way to set the mood for the holidays and also motivate shoppers to take action!
5. Be SEO savvyMake sure that your site is up to date on SEO matters. SEO is important because it can help enhance your visibility and page ranking on Google. A couple of simple things you can check your website for are: title tags, meta descriptions, 404 pages, and URLs. Also, use keyword savvy text on your on-site content. Keep in mind that SEO is a long term and ongoing process, so the earlier that you start the better!
6. Make sure your site is responsive and works on mobileResearch tells us that people spend 51% of their internet usage time on mobile devices versus 42% that is spent on desktop. This means that most of the information that you are promoting is being viewed on mobile. This is why it is so important to have a responsive website template that is mobile friendly. Assure that shoppers can easily navigate and make purchases on your site with their mobile devices without a problem.
7. Consider using PPC and Shopping FeedsIf you are currently not using Shopping Feeds or PPC (pay-per-click advertising), now might be a good time to consider doing so. These types of Google advertising can be a game changer and help your business gain greater visibility and significant traffic volumes. Paid advertising models like this are also relatively fast to set up and get running, and can start generating traffic to your site very quickly. In turn, this also helps your site with higher positioning in search result pages!
8. Start promoting earlyDo not wait another day, start advertising and promoting your offers now. The earlier you notify your shoppers, the more prepared they will be to shop. Create your goals and map out an action plan. If you are advertising on social media, make sure to create a content schedule and schedule your posts ahead of time. It is also very helpful to include a promotional calendar on your content schedule so that you know exactly when to promote particular items. If you are using email lists or mail, start sending those out as well. Don’t be afraid to message your shoppers frequently because this is one of the main times in the year where they are most likely to shop and want to hear about your promotions and sales.
9. Test everything on the front and back endAfter you have completed all of these steps, visit your website as a shopper and make sure that everything is working as it should, including the checkout processes. The last thing you want is a web crisis or malfunction to occur during Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
Hopefully you found this information helpful and are now ready to take on Black Friday and Cyber Monday! If you have any questions about getting ready, let us know in the comments!