The Black Friday & Cyber Monday Checklist for Merchants
Black Friday (24 November) and Cyber Monday (27 November) is the long-awaited peak of the holiday sales season, so we want to help you to make full use of this opportunity to increase your sales and attract more customers. We prepared a list of questions to help you check how ready you are to welcome the shopping crowd:
1. Have you planned your sales?
If you wish to avoid a last-minute frenzy that may cost you sales and customers, schedule your sales ahead of time. Know which products you are going to be promoting for each sale and their prices. Check with your suppliers to ensure that you have enough stock to meet a surge in demand. Also, get ready your tailored ads, in-store banners and graphics to use for each season sale you have planned inside your schedule. This will make your busy holiday sales period much more organized and less stressful as you would simply need to launch according to plan, thus reducing the chances of something going wrong.
2. Is your website mobile optimized?
It is important to ensure a consistent experience across all possible touchpoints that your customers might come into contact with one of your shopping deals.
With mobile being one of the most commonly used devices for online shopping, you would have expected every website out there to be mobile-friendly, and probably would have this one already checked off your list. The same mindset goes for consumers who find convenience in shopping or doing the research before making a purchase using multiple devices, with mobile devices enabling them to carry out online shopping anywhere and anytime.
3. Are your target audiences anticipating your sales?
With so many good deals lined up in your store this BFCM, you need to make sure everyone knows about it!
Leverage your social media channels to get the word out and build excitement for these special promotions.
Also, rather than rolling out all your promotions on Black Friday or Cyber Monday at one shot, release special promotions slowly and consistently throughout the entire holiday period leading up to the big date.
Creating exclusivity or a sense of urgency around your sale too works well at generating excitement and fetching quick responses. This holiday season, you might want to add in a countdown timer to the end of the sales period to increase this sense of urgency. Flash sales may also be a good promotion tactic if your target audience consists of millennial shoppers.
4. Are you leveraging your email list?
Your email list is a valuable resource you should leverage to drive repeat traffic back into your web store.
According to recent research by the Direct Marketing Association:
72% of people would rather receive promotional material via email than social media.
With BFCM being this close, email marketing is one of the most effective marketing channels to boost sales as you are promoting to people who already displayed initial interest in your web store, not to mention it is an easy and reliable way of reaching your customers that is also free.
5. Is your web store’s shipping policy customer-friendly?
Having a clear and easy shipping policy is crucial in reducing your cart abandonment rate hence do be upfront with your consumers about additional shipping charges before they reach the checkout.
Also, shipping could be the deciding factor resulting in a sale, and free shipping is only one of the many incentives you can offer. Give your customers other options like priority shipping. For instance, last-minute shoppers will appreciate expedited shipping at a premium rather than free shipping which takes 2 weeks.
6. Are you offering free returns?
67% of shoppers say they check the returns’ policy page before they get to checkout.
Source: Blog Article – The Science of Abandoned Carts with Beka Rice
This makes promoting free shipping on returns a great marketing tool that may convince customers to complete their order while they are still contemplating whether to purchase your product or compare various options. Moreover, it is a great tactic to turn first-time customers into loyal customers.
7. Is your delivery process transparent to customers?
At the post-purchase stage, transparency of the entire delivery process is one thing that can give the customer peace of mind knowing where their parcels are. Customized parcel tracking pages allow customers to track the delivery progress of their purchases on their own anytime, anywhere. Automated email tracking notifications that update the customer the moment the delivery status of their parcels change bring about greater convenience to the customer and enhance customer experience. This saves a lot of customer service time on your part and eliminates customers’ frustration, especially during peak sales season like BFCM where high order volumes are expected.
8. Do you have contingency plans in place?
Things may still go awry even after having done the most detailed planning. Therefore, it is best to come up with proper backup for possible scenarios that may possibly happen, such as your carrier being too busy to accommodate your demand, or your website going down. You might want to check if there are other carriers you can engage as an alternative, or if you are able to arrange for someone who can fix your website to be on standby during this peak sales period, just in case.
With the above checked, you are in a good position to attract those one-time holiday shoppers into your store and turn them into loyal customers. Here’s to a successful Black Friday Cyber Monday!
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