Although the Q4 shopping spree is still ahead, we can already say that this year’s Black Friday and Christmas sales will be completely different. We can expect that the majority of purchases done during this period will happen online. This means that your eCommerce business has to be locked and loaded before it all starts. In this article, we will show you the best ways to prepare for this period and maximize your sales. Here we go!
For the eCommerce world, this means one thing–a multitude of orders. Traditionally, people spend Black Friday and the period before Christmas in malls and large shopping centers, where every storefront has big red signs shouting “SALE!”. And that can be clearly seen in numbers:
In 2019, total retail spending was up 3.7% to 1 trillion USD, marking the first-ever trillion-dollar holiday season. Brick-and-mortar sales grew by 2.4% to 869 billion USD.
However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the recurrence of such a retail increase is unlikely. The reason is twofold. First of all, in 2020 people are making less money. In one of our previous articles, we mentioned that over 36 million Americans had filed unemployment claims in the United States alone within just two months! And second of all, due to COVID-19, people prefer to shop online. It’s just safer. That’s why…
The Q4 shopping spree will happen online
We can say with much confidence that this year’s Black Friday and Christmas sales will happen mostly online. And that’s not just our opinion! According to Scott Rankin, principal and national consumer and retail strategy leader with KPMG US, “it’s accurate to say that online sales now account for as much as 40% of Black Friday sales“. The same rule applies to Christmas and other holidays:
- In 2019, Cyber Monday was the heaviest online spending day in history, jumping 19.7% to 9.4 billion USD.
- Retail spending during the holiday season is predicted to grow 3.4% to 1.042 trillion USD, but eCommerce growth will accelerate to almost 14%, reaching over 156 billion USD.
In fact, eCommerce was on the rise long before the pandemic started. In 2019, shoppers spent over 600 billion USD online, up nearly 15% from the previous year. For 2020, the forecast is even more optimistic as the experts anticipate 3.9 trillion USD in eCommerce sales this year.
Now, is a good time to think about your Q4 strategy. If you get this right, your sales will go sky high! And that’s why we are here–to help you devise an efficient and attractive idea for the Q4 madness.
The perfect strategy for Black Friday and Christmas
Don’t perceive the sales peaks mentioned above as something separate. In fact, many eCommerce companies don’t prepare for Black Friday. They prepare for Black November! That’s the reason why many sellers start their promotions and discounts earlier, not just for Black Friday, allowing them to last longer. Think comprehensively and prepare a strategy for each holiday and each period (for instance, a week before Black Friday).
Additionally, remember that during this period, EVERYONE offers discounts and promotions. If you want to stand out, you have to think about something more. Below, we illustrate seven crucial elements you have to consider when planning your Black Friday and Christmas strategy.
Logistics – Checked
That’s the very first thing you have to consider. All your efforts will be wasted if you can’t keep up with the pace with which your store receives orders during this busy period. Imagine a situation where your store yesterday had to ship 50 orders a day, and now it’s 550 orders. Are you capable of handling all of them? Bear in mind that customers expect to get their orders within 24-48 hours! You don’t have much time, and if you deal with logistics in-house, it can be a source of a huge crisis. After all, shipping is one of the crucial customer satisfaction facets in the eCommerce world.
Thankfully, you’re not on your own. You can outsource all logistics processes to a professional operator capable of shipping thousands of orders a day! This is what we do at Omnipack. With our help, no sales peak is a threat to your customer service and your store’s reputation.
Omnichannel – Checked
This time of the year is the best moment to introduce omnichannel to your sales and marketing strategy. Every email, every channel, every social media profile, and the website itself should communicate one and the same thing–your current offer. Why is that so important? Because people learn about your offer in different places. Some of them will see your latest newsletter, and some of them will never open it. Some will go to your Facebook profile, and some won’t. Some will visit your website and won’t even think about checking your Facebook profile. So, no matter where they land, they should see your offer.
It’s also a great time to activate the remarketing strategy. People will go from store to store, hunting the best deals. All you have to do is to remind them about your offer. Actually, remarketing is your only way to rescue abandoned carts!
Amazon – Checked
Naturally, you want to build your own target audience and attract people directly to your online store. That’s perfectly understandable and reasonable, but you should be open to selling on Amazon (or another marketplace that’s popular in your country). Why? Simply because that’s the place where people are looking for great deals!
According to Tinuiti’s 2019 Holiday Shopping Prediction and Behaviors Report, Amazon now rivals stores as a starting point for holiday shopping and outranks all other online gift sources. Almost 30% of surveyed customers begin their search for gifts on Amazon. If you start selling on Amazon, you can attract up to another 30% of potential customers!
Performance Marketing – Checked
That’s one of your secret weapons. As you know from our other blog posts, performance marketing aims strictly at increasing your sales. It’s a technique that allows you to pay just for the result. There are many performance marketing tools available. You should carefully analyze them and pick the most efficient ones. We recommend you take a closer look at:
- Google PLA (Product Listing Ads)
- Facebook Ads
- Google Ads
You can also look for a decent freelance marketing specialist or an agency that will help you set and optimize the performance marketing campaigns. The results can exceed your wildest imaginations!
Mobile Website – Checked
You have to be 100% ready to serve mobile customers. More and more traffic in eCommerce happens via mobile devices like smartphones and tablets. According to Shopify, during Black Friday in 2019, mobile orders accounted for over 65% of all orders! Just think of how much money you could lose if your mobile website wasn’t prepared to work then! The mobile version of your store has to be flawless.
And bear in mind that in September 2020 (before the Q4 shopping spree!), Google introduces the new Mobile-First Policy. So, think of it as of necessary investment in your store that will pay off even in the long run.
You can go even further and think of other special offers exclusively for mobile users. For instance, you could offer free shipping to a city where your customer currently is. Remember that, according to Gladly’s report, personalized experiences are crucial for 79% of surveyed customers.
Build Anticipation – Checked
This is an extremely effective strategy, and every successful online seller utilizes it. Turn up the heat slowly. First–say enigmatically that you have something amazing in store for Black Friday/Christmas. Then, step by step, unveil your secret. Let your target audience wait for your next message or picture, so that when Christmas comes, they’re primed and ready to buy.
Another exciting idea for you is to ask your target audience what kind of discount/promotion they would like to see in your store. Your Facebook page is perfect for that. Let people tell you what you should give them! The rest is just a breeze!
Build Loyalty – Checked
Lastly, but still importantly: The Black Friday/Christmas sales peaks are not an aim in itself. It’s just a part of your annual sales plan. This is why you should take good care of your customers and use this special time of the year to gain more regular customers. Think of individual gift cards or vouchers for people who purchased something from you during Q4. Invite them to subscribe to your newsletter (for an additional discount?) or to join your VIP club. This is a time when you’ll see many new customers in your store, so don’t let them slip away, and try to build a lasting relationship at once!
And, once again, keep in mind that you have to make sure your inventory and customer service are ready to serve more customers. If you need help with logistics in your online store, please drop us a line! Take a look at what our client said about our help during Black Friday:
We are delighted with this year’s Black Friday results. What makes us particularly happy is the sales increase but also the fact that every order was shipped on time and everything went so smoothly! That’s amazing, especially since this period is one of the most significant sales peaks during the year. Although there’s always this concern, “are we going to make it?” in mind, this year, we were entirely confident that everything will run like clockwork.
This is what Wiktor Dymecki from HubStyle said about working with us. With our help, shipping your goods is quicker and cheaper. Let us prove that!