Planning on dedicating most of your time to Cyber Monday this year? Think only brick-and-mortar stores need a Black Friday strategy?
Then you might want to take this into consideration: more people shopped online than at stores on Black Friday 2016. Plus, while Cyber Monday had the highest online sales in 2016 with $3.45 billion, Black Friday was only 3.2% lower at $3.34 billion.
And the data shows this trend will continue in 2017. In a survey of over 1,000 U.S. consumers, over half (54%) said they plan to shop online on Black Friday.
So what does all that mean? It means online retailers need to take advantage of consumers’ dwindling interest in braving checkout lines and increasing affinity for ecommerce by building a strong Black Friday strategy.
How to Develop an Impressive Black Friday Strategy
When it comes to the success of your Black Friday sales, there are some elements you just can’t control — for example, the economy, the marketplace, and what your competitors are doing.
But if you invest the time and energy into preparing a well-organized Black Friday sales strategy, you’ll be able to take advantage of the factors you can control.
1. Be ready for an increase in traffic.
You must not only be confident your site won’t crash but also know you have adequate staff levels to handle the influx of customer inquiries.
2. Make your holiday shipping deadlines and returns policy super clear.
When it comes to shipping deadlines and return policies, you can’t overshare. The holidays are a time for happy surprises — not unpleasant ones.
3. Make your website mobile-friendly.
4. Create a comprehensive holiday marketing plan.
Know which customers you’re targeting, the items you’re promoting, and the channels you’re using. If you don’t have a clear roadmap, you risk putting shoppers off your brand instead of drawing them in.
5. Have backup plans.
Again, there are some things you simply can’t control and inevitably, you’ll encounter issues at the zero hour. But if you have backup plans — yes, plans plural — you’ll be in a better position to tackle those unexpected obstacles.
Most importantly, since more and more consumers will begin shopping as early as October, you need to start your promotions well in advance of Thanksgiving. Also, if you have both an ecommerce store and a brick-and-mortar location, be sure to cross-promote deals. Many holiday shoppers will either perform research online before purchasing in the store, browse products on the sales floor prior to ordering them online, or both.