You know it’s coming and last year you promised to be early with, and on top of, your Black Friday and Cyber Monday preparations. But we know how it is. The year creeps up on you fast and before you know it, there are Christmas decorations in the shops, sales everywhere and Black Friday and Cyber Monday marketing galore.
If you’ve fallen behind with your preparations for two of the biggest eCommerce days of the year, fear not, all is not lost. Follow these last-minute tips to get you prepared for, and benefiting from the Cyber Monday and Black Friday mayhem.
Recap – what’s it all about
If you’ve had your head in the clouds and aren’t entirely sure what the fuss is about. We’ve got you.
Black Friday – falling on the fourth Friday of November (the day following Thanksgiving) it celebrates the beginning of the festive season with sales, deals and bargains.
Cyber Monday – the Monday falling Thanksgiving, it’s one of the biggest online shopping days of the year, which is where you come in.
Both are known for their very early opening hours, promotional sales and record customer numbers. That, and queues, down-websites and a little bit of fistie-cuffs (not good, people).
Put simply, it is the busiest shopping weekend of the year and you’d be a fool to not consider taking advantage.
How well am I going to do?
Black Friday and Cyber Monday produce record statistics year-on-year.
– In 2017, UK shoppers spent a staggering £1.4 billion online, 11.7% more than 2016.
– Sales were also up in Britain by 3% on Cyber Monday 2017.
– Mobile sales were hot, accounting for 24.1% of all sales.
– Over in the States, $20 billion was clocked up in sales over the weekend, with Cyber Monday winning the battle.
Should I take part?
In the States, it used to be a case of who doesn’t take part; while over in the UK, takeup wasn’t as high. Some retailers avoid the Black Friday / Cyber Monday mayhem, feeling that their year-round low prices negate the need to offer a dedicated weekend of deals (sassy). If you’re unsure whether to get involved, we’ve rounded up the benefits and disadvantages:
1. A lot of online shoppers ready, waiting and wanting to spend their money
2. A chance to move slow-moving stock out of your warehouse
3. Marketing opportunities, with lots of social media traffic #BlackFriday
4. Joining in with the fun
1. Offering flash-in-the-pan deals could potentially damage your brand image and what you stand for
2. Out of stock items, disappointing deals, shipping delays – the potential for the negative press is higher
3. A lot of sales requires a lot of time, effort and stress – can you handle the heat?
Last minute tips
If you decide that you want in on the Black Friday / Cyber Monday madness, it’s essential that you are properly prepared. You can do this by:
Customers are already checking out who’s in. Create a buzz now on your social media, email campaigns and website to get your customers excited and you on their to-visit list.
2. List on multiple sales channel(s)
This is a huge opportunity to attract new customers and you still have time to add additional sales channel(s) to your portfolio and quickly copy listings and manage orders with multichannel management software. But don’t delay, speak to us about a free 14-day trial today. Whether people are searching for deals on Amazon, eBay, Etsy, Wish or Wish, you’ll be there to say hello to them all.
3. Plan your deals now
Decide now if you’re offering a limited number of deals, hourly offers or a site-wide bonanza and take into account what stock you can increase in time and what stock negates items from taking part.
4. Check your infrastructure
Inventory management will be the difference between a happy and successful BF/CM weekend and a nightmare one. If you’re not sure that you can keep up with the updating and management of your inventory, invest in inventory management software now. You’ll thank us later.
5. Customer Service
Customer service is king always, and especially this weekend. Prepare yourself for an influx of queries, orders and possibly some grumbles. Whatever you do, make sure that everything is handled as quickly and professionally as possible.
After the rush, take time to see what worked, what didn’t, check your stock levels and plan how you can engage with your new customers. Reporting might not be your favourite word but its necessary (and if you want some tricks and tips on making it easier, we can help).
Last minute coping
It’s going to be hectic, stressful but oh so rewarding. If you want a little extra help in handling it all, multichannel management software if your friend; taking 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.