2020 has been a year we all cannot forget. And with an end to such a year, come Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales.
With the year 2020 coming to an end, consumers and business owners both are excited about the Black Friday & Cyber Monday sales. Thousands of online shoppers will get online to grab the best of deals. This year, we are set to witness massive online sales which are about ten times the sales a regular Friday would record.
Here’s proof of crazy shopping behavior during the peak holiday sale season:
- The 174 million Americans who shopped between Thanksgiving Day and Cyber Monday spent an average of $335 per person during that five-day period. (Washington Post)
- The biggest spenders, millennials aged 24 to 35, paid out an average of $419.52 per person. (Washington Post)
- The UK’s online shoppers spent £1.49bn on Black Friday 2018. (SaleCycle)
- In 2019, more retailers than ever before promoted Black Friday deals. (6% more than 2018). (Love The Sales)
In 2020, due to the pandemic, the sales are now more virtual than ever. Experts are predicting a record online sale this year starting from November till the end of the year!
We are thus left with enough evidence that there is no reason to ignore Black Friday and scoop in a portion of these grand online sales. But the big question is, ARE YOU READY? If not, then we still have 2 months to go to get your online store ready. Let’s begin right away.
When to start your preparation?
Two months is an ideal amount of time to get your business geared up for this rush of sales. Yes, September 2020 is your month to begin preparations. While you may think this is a bit early to send out your email campaigns, there is a lot more to do at ground level. Here is a list of things to get in order.
Action Plan for September 2020
Create Your Sales Plan
Email Marketing: Do you have a subscriber list? If not then you need to get your staff to identify a good chunk of potential buyers whom you can target for the BFCM (Black Friday-Cyber Monday) event. You also need to identify a good email marketing tool that can help you effectively engage with your subscribers.
Social Media Marketing: With Web 2.0, this is big! You have to be on this bandwagon to ensure that your Black Friday sales are successful. Work on your social media strategy and make a blueprint of how you are going to use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media platforms to promote your products and sales. Remember one tweet or post per day is a good way to start your event promotion during this month.
Influencer Marketing: Identify the influencers and bloggers with whom you would like to work within promoting your event. Remember these influencers should have a strong website with high DA and SERP, should have good numbers of followers on social, and must be relevant to your business industry. If your products are travel tickets then it would be worth it to work with bloggers who write about holiday planning and travel blogs.
Sales and Promotion: Now is the time you should prepare a skeleton of what sales discounts and offers will you give during your BFCM event. You could get creative and think of promotions of bundle products. Example: if you have a product such as a shampoo then why not bundle it with a conditioner and do a combo offer?
Contests and User Engagement: If you have low subscribers list or contacts, now is the time to run some contests and quizzes. Collect your potential user’s contact information before they participate in the contests. You could then use them in your email marketing and sales promotion campaigns.
Hire Temporary Staff
The next 3 months would definitely need helping hands if you are serious about the BFCM event. It wouldn’t be wise to hire full-time permanent staff at this point as, by December, your sales will go down to routine sales. We recommend that you hire temporary staff on a contract basis to help manage your inventory, shipping, and packaging and maintain your website. It would be ideal to hire dedicated web developer to manage your eCommerce
Action Plan for October 2020
Prepare for Sales
With just a few more weeks to go for the event, now is the time to prepare for the sales. Identify which products you would like to put on sale, what the percentage of discounts or combo offers you would like to give. Calculate prices, sign up with your shipping vendors for a quick shipment, start making flyers, banners, and Pay-Per-Click Ads, update your website for the Black Friday event, and finally, train your back office staff for the big day.
The key to your success is to do a competitor analysis. If you are interested in knowing more about competitive analysis, please read our blog on How to do a competitive analysis of your website?
Action Plan for November 2020 (First Week)
With just 3 weeks ahead of your event, it’s the right time to do an inventory stock count. Most Sale campaigns end up in a flood of grievances as the customers order online, but the actual inventory is out of stock. This will not be good for your business. Now is the time to separate the products you will put on sale and ensure that the stock count is well consolidated with your website inventory. Set your products on sale with the start date and end date on your website. If you are still not comfortable, you can do beta testing with few products on a flash sale.
Action Plan for November 2020 (Second Week)
Start Spreading The Word
Now is the time to begin your sales campaigns. Dig out the blueprint you had prepared before and slowly and steadily begin executing them.
Do not bombard your potential customers with emails, they might simply unsubscribe you. The best way to reach out is with a maximum of 2 emails. One now and another one on the eve of the sale.
Begin with Google AdWords, run your Pay Per Click campaigns with image and text ads. Share the banner ads you had made for affiliate and blogger partners. It’s time for them to start posting them on their websites.
This is the time to ensure that the remarketing code snippet is added to your website. Your visitors will then be constantly presented with the products they viewed on your website even when they are on a third-party partner website. I am pretty confident that they will buy the product during the BFCM days as soon as they see a discounted price. With a proper remarketing strategy, you can expect multifold returns. Give it a try this season.
Action Plan for November 2020 (Third Week)
Update Your Website
Set up sale banners that talk about your Black Friday Cyber Monday 2020 Sale. Ensure that the sale start date, end date with time is properly mentioned on the website. Your customers are eager to know about them. Your landing page should be ready by now with proper category blocks, discount offers and combo offers. Users like these offer to be on the homepage for quick navigation and checkout.
Train Your Support Staff
On sale day, you can expect huge traffic on your website. As the checkouts continue, be prepared with support staff to address your customers’ needs. They may be so excited with the offer that some may checkout a wrong size, some may checkout a wrong product altogether. Your support team needs to handle them calmly as per your terms of purchase.
Other Aspects That Needs Your Attention
Ensure that your hosting providers have properly equipped your servers. During the event, you can expect huge traffic visiting your website. It is important that your website does not crash and is able to balance the load evenly. You may want to hire a Web Tester to ensure an error-free user interface for your visitors. A website is expected to load between 3-4 seconds.
Ensure that you have got all the packaging materials stocked-up. During the sale weekend, you would need them in place for your packaging team to ensure timely shipment and delivery. Try to have a custom sticker or note with the packaging related to BFCM – for thanksgiving. A personal touch will help you grab repeat business.
Free Shipping & Returns
The terms and conditions for free shipping and returns must be clear and informed to the buyers to avoid any embarrassing discussions or disputes.
If you are selling on multi-channels or marketplace B2B websites, do not forget to extend this offer to those visitors as well.
This would be a great way to engage with your customers. Run flash sales at specific intervals during the BFCM event. This will work, trust me. Your customers will be around browsing the products while waiting for the flash sale. This time frame is good enough for a few successful checkouts.
Try not to keep offers which are like “the next store offer”, which are similar to your competitors. Find creative ways to showcase how great and exclusive this deal is. This will raise the bar and your customers will be inclined to buy your products. It is important to maintain genuineness while running sales.
Prepare For The Worst
Yes. Prepare for the nightmare of a complete flop show. You may find at the last moment that some of the products are out of stock, your credit card checkout may not be working or your website may hang without any response. Ensure you have a backup plan to engage with your customers and work with them to correct the glitch.
Measure Your Returns
It is important, finally, to measure your ROI. Ensure you have good reporting tools in places such as Google Analytics and other tools that help measure the source of traffic, rate of conversion, and bounce rates. It is important to quantify each approach taken during the campaign. This will help you fine-tune your campaigns for the next event you have in the pipeline.
At Atlas SoftWeb,
We constantly engage with our customers and work closely with them in running successful campaigns such as the Black Friday- Cyber Monday event. We have recorded up to a 78.4% increase in revenue generation through online stores using our well-tested sales strategies. Speak to our executives to know more about our sales-marketing packages. And yes, even small and medium businesses can afford our services.