With Black Friday and Cyber Monday right around the corner, we’re here to give you the low-down on November’s biggest buzzwords.
The day following Thanksgiving in the US (think sweatpants with an elasticated waistline), Black Friday falls on the fourth Friday of November and signals the beginning of the Christmas shopping season – ho, ho, ho.
The Monday following Thanksgiving is Cyber Monday – one of the biggest online shopping days of the year, which is where you come in.
Characterised by (very) early opening hours and promotional sales, Black Friday and Cyber Monday have become synonymous with queues, down-websites and, more recently, fistie-cuffs: Since 2006 the US has experienced 7 Black Friday deaths and 98 injuries – sometimes that deal is just too good to miss.
Put simply, it is the busiest shopping weekend of the year.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday both produce some impressive statistics:
– In 2016 Britons spent over £5.8 billion between Black Friday and Cyber Monday – an increase of 15% from 2015
– Online retailers took £2.8 billion of that wedge
– Worldpay processed transactions at a rate of 181 per second
– Over in the States, 2016’s Cyber Monday hit $3.45 billion in sales – a new online record.
Who Takes Part?
In the US it used to be a case of who doesn’t take part; whilst over in the UK this was a much more valid question. Some retailers avoid the Black Friday / Cyber Monday mayhem, often stating that they provide low prices throughout the year and don’t need a dedicated weekend to offer bargain deals – oo er! Accordingly, it’s important to understand the benefits and disadvantages of taking part:
1. An army of customers ready, waiting and wanting to spend their money
2. An opportunity to sell slow-moving stock
3. A huge SEO and hashtag opportunity
4. Not feeling left out of the party
1. The potential to cheapen your brand: Are Black Friday and Cyber Monday in line with your brand image?
2. The potential for negative publicity; out of stock items, disappointing deals, shipping delays
3. The extra time, effort and stress handling an influx of orders from multiple sales channel(s)
How to Cope #1
If you decide that you want in on the Black Friday / Cyber Monday madness, it’s important that you are properly prepared. You can do this by:
Customers are checking now who is taking part. Use this time as an opportunity to create a buzz, produce gift-guides, increase your brand’s exposure and get excited.
2. List on Multiple Sales Channels
With huge opportunity to attract new customers, the Black-Cyber Weekend makes multichannel selling essential. Whether people are searching for deals on Amazon, eBay or Etsy, you’ll be there to say hello on them all.
3. Plan Your Sales in Advance
Decide now if you’re offering a one-off spectacular, hourly deals or a site-wide bonanza and then plan your stock accordingly.
4. Check Your Infrastructure
Is your inventory management system robust, can you website handle more customers, can you keep up with shipping, who is going to update your stock levels and handle your orders?
5. Customer Service
Customer service is king this weekend. With an influx in sales comes an increase in queries, complaints, returns and feedback. Make sure you can handle them quickly and professionally.
After the rush, take time to see what worked, what didn’t, check your stock levels and plan how you will engage with your new customers.
How to Cope #2
Multichannel management software. Software such as Expandly can help take the stress out of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, leaving you a little extra time to grab some bargains yourself. Here’s how:
Listing Management – Update all of your listings from one central location
Order Management – View and process your orders from one central location
Inventory Management – Keep an automated, central and live update of your stock levels
Shipping – Batch print invoices and shipping labels
Reporting – Evaluate all of your sales channel(s) from one location
Expandly is multichannel management software that is all about saving you time and effort.
From the moment you login in the morning to the moment you ship your orders, Expandly aims to reduce your workload. It is simple, easy to use and focussed on helping small eCommerce businesses go from home-office or unit to warehouse and beyond.