Between Nov. 1 and 11 (Singles Day), Alibaba raked in a whopping $74.1 billion in gross merchandise volume. Prior to that on Oct. 13-14, Amazon Prime Day sales generated over $10.4 billion according to reports.
The report further indicates that 800 million shoppers participated in the 11:11 sales this year with the number of orders per second peaking at a massive 583, 000. These figures (among others) prove one point; that holiday sales are huge.
Thanks to COVID-19 and social distancing, these numbers could further rise, even as 75% of shoppers plan to do at least 50% of their 2020 holiday shopping online.
Black Friday deals are already trending. Major brands like Walmart, Amazon, and Apple are gearing up for the grand finale, come Nov. 27. How prepared are you?
In this post, I’ll highlight four simple tips to help you to prepare for and maximize your Black Friday sales. This can also be helpful for Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday sales, as well as throughout the holiday season and beyond.
4 Tips to Help You Ace Black Friday Sales
Black Friday Sales Tip #1: Know and Save the Date
Historically, Black Friday has always held on the last Friday of November. These days, it runs throughout November. For this year, Black Friday sales will take place on Nov. 27 across the world.
For bigger, more organized retailers, Black Friday is an essential part of the holiday shopping season. Smaller retailers on the other hand, (including solopreneurs like dropshippers) may not be up to date and may risk losing out on the biggest sales season of the year.
The following infographic contains essential shopping events for the remainder of the year, including Black Friday.
You can print this out and use it as a guide to prepare for forthcoming sales this year.
Going forward, you should also make it a habit to get a copy of each year’s holiday shopping calendar. You can also set an alarm reminder 30 days before each event. This way you will be better prepared to take advantage of shopping events throughout the year.
Black Friday Sales Tip #2: Plan, Prepare and Publicize
He who fails to plan plans to fail. Winston Churchill.
By developing a definite plan of action you can exponentially increase your chances of success this holiday season. You should set SMART goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound. It’s the holiday season and time is everything.
The next thing to do is to prepare.
Proper prior preparation prevents piss poor performance. The 7 Ps: British Army.
Armed with a plan and smart goals, it’s time to start preparing by taking concrete action towards achieving your goals this holiday season. In the following paragraphs, I’ll reveal certain steps to take in order to boost your holiday sales preparedness.
You may know the date for Black Friday, but how about your customers?
As an e-commerce consultant, one of the questions I get asked often is, when is Black Friday commencing? Make this information readily available and accessible to your customers. Display it properly on your website (with banners, still and scrolling), landing pages, and in your newsletters. You can also use social media channels to create awareness.
If you’re offering extra incentives like cheaper and faster shipping, you should highlight it. Up to 90% of shoppers will buy more if offered free shipping.
Black Friday Sales Tip #3: Know Your Customer and their (Holiday) Shopping Behavior
The more you know (about) your customer, the more you can tailor your marketing to their core needs this holiday season and after. This knowledge can help with segmentation and personalization.
Hyper-personalization on the other hand can only be possible with a deeper understanding of how your typical customer behaves before, during, and after the holiday season.
You should be able to answer questions like:
- How has COVID-19 affected shopper behavior?
- How does your typical customer conduct product research?
- Which is their most preferred device for shopping?
- Which page on your website receives the most visits?
- On which page do visitors spend the most time?
- What are the current trending products?
- What products do they view the most?
- Why are they abandoning cart?
- What is their view of pricing?
- How do they prefer to pay?
- Which top shipping carriers do you feature?
- Which other shipping options do you offer?
These are a few of the many questions you can address in order to better understand your customers this holiday season. You can get answers by reading relevant reports and learning from industry experts. You can also learn a lot by reading up reports from Amazon Prime Day and AliBaba Singles Day sales.
Black Friday Sales Tip #4: Optimize Your Online Store
Black Friday sales in brick and mortar stores can be chaotic and easily result in a shopping frenzy and disorderliness as customers rush to outdo each other and grab the best deals they can get.
Due to COVID-19, scenes like this may be rare during 2020 Black Friday. However, retailers must prepare for an online rush. According to AliBaba, there were over 800 million shoppers on Singles Day with orders peaking at 583, 000 per second.
You may never experience such huge numbers, but you should optimize your site and prepare for an influx of online shoppers if you’ve done your homework. Ensure that you have enough bandwidth to handle the surge in orders.
In addition, you should pay extra attention to your site loading speed, landing pages, banner ads, navigation and menu structure, on-page SEO, sign up process, guest checkout process, checkout process, payment options, shipping information, and refund policy, among others.
These can help you to reduce bounce rates and cart abandonment while improving engagement, conversion, and customer retention.