According to research from Google, 40% of people will fake joy at unwanted Christmas presents and 2/3 are set to open at least one gift they don’t like!
For consumers, there’s now more pressure than ever to start Christmas shopping sooner rather than later to guarantee the perfect gift. In fact, 20% start their Christmas shopping in September.
Last year, the sheer size and scale of Black Friday took the UK retail industry a bit by surprise. An estimated £810 million was spent online, the biggest day for UK online sales ever. This year, it is expected to reach the £1 billion mark. Black Friday customers spent 8% less time in shops, but almost 10% more money. Retailers offering discounts saw an average sales uplift of 180%, and even those that didn’t saw an uplift of 24%.
However, many businesses were not set to handle the volume – leading ecommerce sites went down and some retailers asked online shoppers to join a queue. This year, there should be no excuse for tech failures – brands must make sure web and mobile sites can handle Black Friday traffic.
In this blog post we have prepared a few key tips and tricks that will help you take on the Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales surge, without disappointing your customers. The comments within this post are following a webinar with Qubit on Tuesday 29th October.
Things to consider
1. Prepare for the worst
- Make sure your servers can cope, there’s nothing worse than an online store that crashes during Black Friday!
- Factor in the time/stock needed for extra deliveries
- Consider everything that can go wrong, and put a plan in place to deal with it. This could include anything from late deliveries to complaints on social media.
- First time visitors make up the highest proportion of traffic, make sure you impress so they come back
- Try lots of ideas, and test everything as much as possible!
- Focus on customer retention
- Shipping and returns policies are more important to most customers than price – this is what will convince them to make a purchase
- Customers will cancel orders if they’re unsure about the delivery date
- Free shipping can drive a 30% uplift in conversions
3. Smartphone Optimisation
- Smartphone conversions were up 186% over the 2014 Christmas period
- Almost 30% of sales in November and December 2014 were from a smartphone
- Make sure buttons and important info are big, and cut out unnecessary information – focus on shipping & delivery
- Test your processes with focus groups, and amend any issues before the festive period
- For clothing, using size tiles instead of dropdowns. This makes it easier for customers to select, and shortens their journey.
4. VIP Audiences
(Depending on how you measure VIP Audience)
- Determine the percentage of traffic the VIP audience represents, and what you can give them to reward loyalty
- Test impact of different propositions (ie discounts, free gifts, free delivery etc.) to see which gives the best results
5. FOMO Phenomenon
- Bring the Black Friday aisle hype online!
- Display stock levels and countdown timers (with seconds – these have a big impact)
- Make sure all sale copy is highlighting the urgency of the sale
- Use competitions to let customers/followers decide the deals