It’s coming! The weekend e-commerce traders around the UK have been waiting for all year – Black Friday and Cyber Monday – where retailers and e-tailers are expected to slash prices to kick-start the Christmas shopping season.
Traditionally occurring on the days after the American Thanksgiving holiday, this year (2015) they fall on Friday 27 November and Monday 30 November respectively. They’re a relatively new phenomenon in the UK and really only made it on to our radar in recent years, but they’ve become the biggest events on British retailers’ calendars.
Last year British consumers spent a whopping £810m online shopping on Black Friday and estimates by The Centre for Retail Research expect this year to be even better, with online spending set to reach £966m and £1.39bn including in-store shopping. You’ve got to be in it to win it, so here’s our top five tips for surviving and thriving this Black Friday:
Asda may have opted out after last year’s messy scenes from frantic bargain hunters, but it’s quite likely your competitors will still be taking part and that means you’ll be missing out if you don’t. It’s a great opportunity to use a national shopping event to leverage your own marketing reach.
Target your offers
Rather than slashing prices across all of your product lines, choose a few, that way you won’t need to buy in extra inventory that you may or may not sell and you can focus on selling a few discounted lines instead. If your margins are tight, you could offer free delivery instead of discounting your products – a simple idea that will encourage users to purchase.
Plan ahead and evaluate resources
Give yourself plenty of time to check you/your team and your website can handle the increase in demand that could arise with a Black Friday promotion.
Increase your spend
Raise the stakes and optimise your search by increasing spending on PPC, targeting more seasonal key words to drive traffic to your website.
Be open to communication
Keep your phone lines manned throughout the day and consider adding a Live Chat option. It might be the difference between making a sale or losing one to a competitor. Giving instant responses can quickly eliminate doubt in the mind of a buyer, stop them looking elsewhere and help you close the sale more quickly.