If you’re in the eCommerce game, you’re almost certainly familiar with Black Friday.
It’s a fruitful - yet exhausting - season for online retailers, beginning the day after American Thanksgiving and heralding the start of the Christmas shopping season globally. The roots of “Black Friday” in brick and mortar retail go as far back as the 1950s, and in the US, it’s as prominent as our boxing day traditions Down Under. News footage of shoppers makes it difficult to differentiate between the roller doors of Target at 9am and the stampede scene in Jumanji.
Cyber Monday was coined much more recently in 2005 and refers to the first Monday after the Thanksgiving holiday in the United States. It’s kinda like eCommerce’s version of a Hallmark-made holiday, where both bargain shoppers and business owners can win. Created solely for the purpose of extending sales, it encourages consumers to move their holiday shopping online and has become a universally acknowledged 24-hour online event.
With eCommerce growth up over 80% since 2019 already (cheers, virus-which-shall-not-be-named), it’s important to hit the ground running. Black Friday Cyber Monday sales are the perfect time to maximise revenue, optimise your online store’s user journey, and convert new visitors into long term customers. Sounds great, you say - but where do you start?
Well, every eCommerce business has its own hurdles to overcome and mistakes to avoid to make sure its online store is visible, attracts visitors and maximises sales opportunities during the sales period. With the countdown to Black Friday and Cyber Monday now on, there’s a lot of marketing advice to consider. We’ve condensed the best of it into 3 timely, golden rules we think all online retailers should follow in 2020.
1. Prepare Your Online Store For A Large Increase In Traffic
While the aim of the game is always to increase revenue, big sales periods can come with a downside that seems obvious, but many eCommerce business owners neglect to prepare for. If you haven’t tested the server load capacity of your website, there’s a good chance it could crash and burn under the sales pressure.
If your online store uses Shopify, you’re in luck! They’ve invested a lot of time in ensuring their servers can handle a huge spike in sessions and sales - just one of the reasons we recommend them to all our eCommerce clients. Shopify runs speed tests for all its users, examining their home page and highest-traffic collection and product pages, then combining each page’s Google Lighthouse speed score into an overall score. It even gives you a sense of how your store’s speed compares to similar businesses.
From quick shipping, prompt support, and in this case, fast loading times, remember that customers reward speed. Think of the Black Friday Cyber Monday sales as your first date with potential new customers; sluggish performance and slow loading times are the red flags of the eCommerce world. Behave like a jerk on date number 1, and there’s a good chance that new visitors will ghost you, never to return to your site. Ouch - just when you thought you might have a future together.
2. Ensure Your Online Store Is Optimised For Mobile
I know what you’re gunna say, and yes, it’s true that some of us still browse on a mobile and THEN purchase on desktop. But data shows that more people are clicking all the way to the “checkout” button on their phones now than ever, and it’s only growing in the wake of the pandemic. In fact, mobile commerce sales are projected to reach $2.91 trillion globally in 2020 – 25.4 percent more than the $2.32 trillion it registered in 2019.
Due to the unfortunate circumstances of 2020, many Australian shoppers are still feeling hesitant about making an in-person excursion to their local shopping centre. You can be sure that a substantial number of Black Friday Cyber Monday sales will come from mobile, as Australian shoppers enjoy a retail experience from the comfort of their sanitised homes. So, now’s definitely the time to make sure your online store is mobile optimised.
Providing a great user experience is always the endgame in mobile optimisation. We know that smooth journeys result in happy customers and higher revenue, but figuring out how to perfect this journey is the hard part. Shopify has made mobile-first design simple: it puts the user’s needs front of mind in order to fuel conversions and integrates seamlessly with apps and social media. Wondering if your eCommerce site is optimised for mobile? Get in touch with our team of Shopify experts for recommendations.
3. Entice New Customers To Your Online Store With An Irresistible Offer
Just like Al Pacino, you gotta 'make ‘em an offer they can’t refuse'. Online shoppers will be searching for the “wow” factor in Black Friday Cyber Monday sales, so craft an irresistible discount on a popular item and once they’re in, there’s a good chance they’ll pick up other items on their way to the checkout.
The trick is turning these one time shoppers into loyal, repeat customers who come back long after the sales have ended. Make the most of the opportunity by analysing data about how past customers have been navigating your store. For example, what are the product categories they get immediately drawn to? Where do they click first on the homepage and at which point do they most commonly drop off from the store?
Use this knowledge to not only better optimise your store for the coming sale weekend, but also give them more reasons to return to your website. Highlight popular product categories and great value deals and make it easier to check out.
Converting Customers And Maximising Revenue Once The Party’s Over
So, by now, we know that preparation, strategy and a whole lotta planning are the key drivers for a successful Black Friday Cyber Monday weekend. This article should cover most of what you need to know to prepare for 2020’s sales, and hopefully, it even puts you in a better position to succeed in the lead up to Christmas.
If this is your first Black Friday Cyber Monday sale, treat it as a learning experience, but remember you don’t have to go it alone. At BA Creative, we have an experienced, in-house team of eCommerce web developers and online store web builders who have a thorough understanding of how to make your online store convert. If you’re looking to take your eCommerce business to the next level, get in touch to find out how we can help.