The tradition might have started in the US as a retail follow-on from Thanksgiving, but Black Friday - and the Cyber Monday that follow - have since swept the globe to become a worldwide sales phenomenon. Indeed, in 2020, 2.2m households, up 40% on 2019 shopped online over the weekend, with regional Australians making up 22% of online purchases.
What are the origins of Black Friday?
The origins can be found as far back as the 1930s when US retailers prepared for a busy Christmas period by launching sales to get rid of old stock and make way for new. In that pre-computer era, all transactions were noted by hand, with red ink denoting losses and black ink denoting sales. The term Black Friday comes, of course, from all that black ink in the ledger book!
Black Friday fever has since spread across the globe, and our digitalised world has done away with the black ink. However, the fundamental concept remains the same - to deliver the best possible deals available - and in so doing, create a frenzy amongst consumers.
We all know America loves a sequel, right? So that could explain why Cyber Monday was introduced, as well!
Why should you participate in Black Friday and Cyber Monday?
These two calendar dates should be on your radar for four compelling but very simple reasons:
- Your customers will expect you to do so;
- Your competitors will definitely be doing so;
- You stand to make some sensational sales;
- Like those original Black Friday retailers in the US, you can genuinely clear out old stock and refresh the floor with new stock ahead of the festive season.
What kind of sales will your customers expect?
Customers want to see genuine savings, not a mere dipping of the toe into this tsunami! According to a Deloitte report in 2019, retailers responded to Black Friday with between 15% - 20% savings, which then dropped even lower to 25% - 30% for Cyber Monday.
But it’s not just retail deals that draw savvy customers. Other factors influencing Black Friday buying behaviour include:
But that’s not all. Holiday spending forecasts this year predict that consumers will start shopping early this year, so be ready to start sales as early as October to be safe.
- Free shipping (49%)
- Promotions or limited time sales (36%)
- A user-friendly website that is easy to navigate (21%)
- Click and collect (20%)
So, what kind of retail offers can you create?
The choice is yours! Consider any of the following:
- Through your BikeExchange webstore you can create checkout codes that offer percentage discounts, or deductions of an actual sum (e.g. 20 euros off all …).
- A specific deal every hour for 24 hours.
- A free gift with every sale.
- No shipping charges.
- An extended sale - start early, finish late. Milk it for all you can!
How can you promote your Black Friday or Cyber Monday sales?
- Touch base with the team at BikeExchange and find out what marketing opportunities we can provide. Your webstore speaks to a finite number of visitors - we communicate with an avalanche of customers. Make sure you get a slice of the action we can deliver.
- Cross-promote with or advertise on third-party websites that you know will also be getting a great share of voice during this busy time.
- Partner with one or a number of key online influencers. Consider an affiliate relationship whereby they promote to their followers a specific Black Friday or Cyber Monday checkout code. Just bear in mind this is likely to reduce your margins even more.
- Create eye-catching Black Friday and Cyber Monday artwork and establish banners on your webstore; use them as creative posts on social media.
- Set up temporary landing pages with carefully curated content - like a seasonal gift guide - just for this sales period.
- Make sure your social media goes into overdrive not just on the days themselves, but in the lead-up. Help stir up the frenzy and have customers queuing at your virtual - or real - door the moment that sale drops.
- Curate one or a series of emails to go out to your database. Keep them short, sharp and sensational because you and every other retailer will be filling inboxes!
- Do you have permission to SMS your database? Fire off special deals via text!
- Consider advertising, but be mindful that this is an incredibly ‘noisy’ period of the year and will likely require some aggressive bidding in order to generate cut-through.
How else can you prepare for Black Friday and Cyber Monday?
- Access big data - speak to BikeExchange about industry-wide statistics. Get an understanding of the overall historic market behaviour and make webstore-centric decisions that capitalise on these insights.
- Remember this will be an omnichannel experience - as we’ve already said, this is a tsunami, not a trickle, so expect to hear from customers and receive sales across the board; in-store, on your website, through social media. Make sure every channel is on-point, on-the-ball, up-to-date and ready to rock and roll because they’ve all got potential for a huge workout long weekend!
- Keep up communications - be open and honest with your customers and maintain good dialogue throughout this period. If you know, for example, that click-and-collect orders are going to be delayed, update the customer immediately. Don’t wait for them to arrive curbside or in-store and be frustrated.
- Ensure stock levels are adequate and correct - make sure stock levels are accurately up-to-date and alert staff to big changes as they’re happening. For example, if you can see you’re going to sell out of those clearance helmets in a matter of hours, get them out of the window display or off your prime product listing position and replace them with another great deal that can benefit from taking centre stage.
Are you Black Friday and Cyber Monday ready? BikeExchange is, and we’re happy to help you however we can. Contact us today to find out how to catch this mega wave and ride it like a sales-making superstar.