Your Guide to Black Friday + Cyber Monday
As shoppers increasingly move to digital rather than in-person spending Black Friday and Cyber Monday this year will be even bigger and better than last years.
In 2019, Starting from Thanksgiving Day and culminating on Cyber Monday, the US recorded the highest eCommerce sales in history with $9.4 billion in revenue.
Black Friday saw a rise in sales of up to 39 percent from normal sales while Cyber Monday saw a 15 percent rise in online traffic, making the Cyber weekend one of the biggest sale event ever. One thing is clear, people are spending some serious cash. So why not grab a piece of this billion-dollar spend?
The Black Friday, Cyber Monday Weekend is not reserved for the big players. Let us show you how you can win over the biggest holiday shopping event of the year.
Cyber Monday and Black Friday are now Cyber Weekend
First, there was Black Friday and Cyber Monday – two major but mostly disconnected shopping events. Black Friday was initially focused on consumer electronics, whilst Cyber Monday was dedicated to things like jewellery, clothes and home accessories. Originally, the term Cyber Monday was coined to mark the day of the calendar when people would wake up and realize that it’s almost Christmas and they don’t have gifts, so they’d quickly hop online for a shopping spree… When this day got an official title, the shopping frenzy reached a new level.
The distinction between Black Friday and Cyber Monday is long gone
Once merchants got a glimpse of the sales opportunity that comes with merging Black Friday and Cyber Monday into a long week of non-stop in-store and online shopping, a new kind of commerce Frankenstein was brought to life. What could be best described as Black-Friday-Plus-Cyber-Monday-And-A-Few-Days-Before-And-After is now simply, Cyber Weekend.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday have evolved into a single mega sales event that lasts an entire week (sometimes even longer). You can surely feel that Christmas is coming!
Every year, the sales figures have demonstrated that the Cyber Weekend is in a league of its own. Black Friday jumped 23.6 percent, to $6.2 billion. Online spending on Thanksgiving of 2019 hit $4.2 billion, representing a 14.5% yoy growth. Consumers also spent a majority of the time browsing on smartphones, clocking 63.4% of all visits in 2019. As many go digital, merchants are not changing their strategy for online sales, charging the same prices on Thanksgiving Day as they did on Black Friday.
If there is a day you should circle in red on your calendar this year, it’s Friday the 27th November for Black Friday through Monday, 30th November 2020.
How to Win The Thanksgiving Weekend?
If you haven’t started yet, you should really double-down on preparing for the busiest shopping time of the year. Here are the four building blocks of an effective Cyber Weekend sales strategy:
1. Plan Black Friday & Cyber Weekend Sales
You can’t expect people to just stumble onto your shop on Black Friday, you have to get creative and grab their attention.
Planning is a cornerstone of a successful Cyber Weekend sales strategy. Think about your promotion plan – who are you going to target? Which channels will you use to reach that audience? What irresistible offers will you make? When will your promotional campaigns go live?
What’s Your Goal?
Your ultimate goal is to sell. Answering these questions will help you construct a clear, step-by-step action plan that will lead you to that goal. Just winging it is never a good plan.
Researching your competition is also part of the planning stage. The last thing you want is to give an offer that’s less appealing than your main competitors. You don’t want to be caught off-guard and offer a 10% discount while they offer 50%.
Think about other ways of beating your competition without hurting your profit margins. For instance, what extra incentive you could offer. Leveraging your bestselling items or turning slow-selling stock into gifts could be a feasible option.
Research shows that shoppers respond particularly well to the following incentives:
- 64% of shoppers say that free shipping convinced them to make a purchase
- 50% say that limited-time offers help them decide when/where to buy
- 25% say that a free gift with their purchase is an appealing incentive
Determining which deals and discounts would appeal most to your target audience is incredibly important. Pulling the right triggers and tapping into the most powerful emotions will help you generate more sales.
2. Prepare Tactics
There are certain merchandising tactics that ecommerce marketers swear by, including countdown timers, loss leader pricing, optimizing for mobile and implementing teaser campaigns via social media.
Be sure to set up the countdown timers in a prominent spot on your store to elicit a sense of urgency and prompt your prospects to buy now (or regret when the sale ends).
Loss leader pricing is another interesting concept to explore
It basically means you select one or more popular items and sell them below their market cost (at your own loss) in order to get customers to come to your shop rather than go to your competition. That’s in the hopes that once you get the prospects browsing around your store, they’ll be tempted to add additional items to their basket. And the profits you make from those other items will compensate for your loss on the leader.
Since 64% of last year’s Cyber Weekend sales were attributed to mobile and overtook desktop for the first time, it would make sense to prepare for a similar scenario this year. Ensure that your mobile shopping experience is smooth like Jagger to prevent shoppers from bouncing and you from losing sales.
Lastly, consider how you’ll drive customers to your store.
A trusted and much touted tactic is PPC ads. I won’t get into the nitty-gritty of how to set them up, but let’s just establish the fact that it’s like playing your ace in a card game. The two key questions you should ask yourself before investing in PPC ads are: 1) what will your offer be? 2) Do you have enough stock?
Similarly, set aside time for your social content calendar. Before the promotional campaign goes live, sort out your social posts and emails that have the potential to help you generate traffic and create buzz. Scheduling teaser posts, last-chance notifications, and reminders in advance is a surefire way to make the most out of this sales opportunity.
3. Take Actions
Be sure to orchestrate all your assets to go live at the same time for the maximum impact and exposure. And even if you’ve automated most of these efforts (social posts, emails, sitewide discounts, PPC ads, etc.), allow yourself some time to check that everything deploys as planned and without major mess-ups.
At this point, leveraging the leader loss pricing strategy could be your best bet to increase sales almost instantly. For instance, some eCommerce shops offer a huge price drop for the first 50 customers only or make irresistible limited-time, limited-quantity offers to drive a high volume of traffic.
Keeping the big picture in mind, you should also focus on getting your upselling and add-ons right. You could be making tons more money just by getting your customers to slightly increase their order. Amazon is renowned for its upselling powers and makes the most out of the “Frequently bought together” and “Customers who viewed this item also viewed” suggestions.
And last but not least
Build some jaw-dropping last-minute deals to draw in bargain hunters. Preparing some last-minute deals to go out via email and social media is an effective way to capture the last-minute shoppers’ attention and drive quality traffic. According to Shopify, email delivered the best conversions during the Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales last year, achieving a 4.38% conversion rate, followed closely by direct click (4.35%) and search (3.60%). To get more customers to engage with your emails and posts, include keywords like “Black Friday” and “Cyber Monday” in your subject line and copy and use segmentation to make emails more personal and relevant to each customer group.
While there are some helpful, general trends out there that can inform your decision about which products to promote and how nothing will beat your own sales data.
Once the Cyber Week shopping craze dies down, remember to gather and analyze your sales and marketing data. This is the only way to figure out what went well and why, which tactics should be scrapped and how to make sure you do better next year.
The most successful shops begin preparing for the next year’s biggest shopping event soon after the New Year to give themselves plenty of thinking and implementation time and avoid last-minute chaos.
So, reflect for a bit, and then move on to data-driven action.