If you are an online retailer, it is time to get ready for Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales. Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving and heralds the start of the Christmas shopping season. Online stores offer attractive promotional deals that shoppers eagerly await. Total sales last year for Black Friday Cyber Monday in 2018 was 18 billion!
Most retailers also display amazing discounts and attractive promotions on their websites on the Monday after Thanksgiving. So, if the festivities keep shoppers busy over the weekend, then they can always catch up on Monday. Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales have doubled since 2012 and are benchmarks in the global retail industry.
Most retailers start planning several months before the start of the actual sale. Lets go through some of the important things you need to check before your Black Friday/Cyber Monday sale to make it a great success.
The Black Friday / Cyber Monday Checklist
1. Have you planned your sales inventory?
To introduce great deals to customers and boost the sales on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, retailers start to develop plans much in advance. You don't want to run out of stock during the sale or offer items only for a limited time period because of low stock on hand, giving your site a bad reputation and losing customers.
To avoid such issues, retailers should spend time on forecasting sales. Look at the past trends for this season, your current bestsellers and monthly sales as inputs for the upcoming season and make plans for inventory levels that can cater to the expected huge demand. A retailer should carry an amount of stock in excess of planned sales for the period in order to meet the unpredictable demand. If there is a shortage, the suppliers should be on speed dial to quickly source the inventory required for sale.
2. Have you chalked out the execution strategy and fixed competitive prices?
Customers look forward to the Black Friday and Cyber Monday sale to grab merchandise at marked down prices. This seasonal sale attracts bargain hunters and low-end customers in addition to regular customers. It also provides a good opportunity for attracting new buyers and clearing inventory at the same time.
Hence, a retailer must plan for reductions in the price. A retailer can use the sales forecast and inventory turnover to arrive at the merchandise budget plan. Retailers compare prices with their competitors and look towards reducing their prices further. Choosing marked down prices for your product catalog can be a high reward strategy as customers often choose the lower-priced product.
3. Do you have a wide range of customer-friendly payment options?
There may be instances when a customer is keen to make a purchase at your store but abandons the cart as the payment options are not comfortable with him/her. A weak range of purchasing options can make you lose your customers thereby reducing returns.
If you can offer more ways to pay like Pay and Collect, it can attract customers to make purchases even if they don't have access to online banking options. In todays competitive retail world, online retailers must provide customers with as many payment options as possible, including cash, debit/credit card payment, and even customer financing solutions.
4. Does your stock of custom shipping boxes meet the high demand?
While seasonal demand is high and you should plan inventory in advance, it is equally important to forecast the shipping needs for the orders to be shipped on time.
As the orders include large and mix of products in shipments, the stock of customized boxes catering to different customers needs should be procured. Reach out to suppliers for the procurement of custom shipping boxes after you have analyzed and forecast the sale that is to happen.
Arka provides the best quality custom shipping boxes for your various shipping needs.
5. Have you marketed your Black Friday/Cyber Monday sale?
To make your products stand out in the Black Friday/Cyber Monday sale, start advertising your sale at least a week before the big day. Your advertising should be aimed at a specific market segment and be measurable over a given time period.
If your sale includes a large markup on a couple of products, get people to access your store online, consider doing promotions with attractive offers so that people get to know them well in advance to plan their purchase. On the other hand, avoid advertising too far in advance as you may lose impact and it can also hurt your pre-Black Friday sales.
Watch other stores too and pay attention to the products and deals they are promoting to the customers. Also, ensure your website can handle a high load on Black Friday and Cyber Monday as many major corporates have lost a large fortune due to the outage.
Get ready for the Black Friday/Cyber Monday in advance. Plan and forecast the demand, analyze customer buying patterns and execute your marketing strategy on time to maximize your returns during the Black Friday/Cyber Monday sales.