4 Tips for successfully starting the holidays with Black Friday

4 Tips for successfully starting the holidays with Black Friday

14 September 2017  |  E-commerce

Are you in the Black Friday craze yet? This originally American concept has taken over the world and if you don't participate yet, chances are you'll miss out on a big turnover. With the addition of Cyber Monday it is now a weekend full of discounts where people are queuing up for.

Being on the doorstep of a shop early in the morning turned into online shopping in the comfort of your own home. Although offline stores still attract a lot of people every year, the shift to online shopping made it possible for Black Friday to become a global phenomenon. The kick-off will take place on the 24th of November this year, but to be successful you need to get there quickly. We'll give you 4 tips to successfully participate in this global trend!

As Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving, it has never really set foot in countries other than the US and Canada. For us it's just a working day, no one has time to go shopping early in the morning... In 2003, however, shopkeepers noticed that online sales on the Monday after Black Friday increased considerably. This is how Cyber Monday came into being and the concept of Black Friday began to spread, because nowadays we almost all have a computer.

Where people in the rest of the world were not prepared to chill out at night until the shops open and then compete with everyone for that one fantastic offer, they actually wanted to have that offer. Cyber Monday was the solution to stay on the couch and still score those bargains. Cyber Monday was picked up, starting with small shops that joined the hype to earn some extra money. Nowadays, large e-commerce shops like Bol. com, Amazon, Zalando, HP and Tesco also open their online doors with drastic price reductions. High time to go along with this.

Global growth
Although Black Friday and Cyber Monday originally started as separate days, it has quickly become a weekend full of discounts. By adding new offers every day, retailers attract as many (returning) visitors as possible. It has become such a big event that retailers plan months in advance. Stocks are being replenished in September and often there are offers around that time to get rid of leftovers to make room for the runners. Actually, it's not even a weekend with discounts anymore, but a month-long sale with Black Friday as the highlight.

High time to start with the preparations! We will help you on your way with these 4 tips and will soon share some creative ideas with you to really excel during the holidays.

Be prepared and smart
The most important thing, of course, is to make sure you have enough stock, it would be a shame if you had to say 'no' during the busy holidays. But also think carefully about your prices, margins and discounts. Which products are popular and have a large margin? These products will probably be bought even more often if you offer a good discount. Also gather information about your competitors and what they do with their prices so you always have the best offer. Also keep in mind that people around the holidays are willing to pay a little more for a quick shipping if they need to buy a present at the very last moment. Just lower your price a little further and ask for an extra fee for fast shipping. This works especially well if your competitors keep up a longer delivery time. Be creative and smart and beat your competition this season.

Be present
The holidays offer the ideal opportunity to earn some extra money, get rid of your remaining stock and attract new customers. During the holidays, people are more focused on looking for products, which means that more people search through search engines, instead of directly looking for their regular shops. Time to bring these people in and make sure that your webshop becomes their new go-to shop. So make sure you are easy to find through these search engines, that you have extra long days available for customer service and that you can send products as late as possible (ordered before x, the next day at home). If necessary, take on additional (holiday) employees for this purpose. As mentioned before, service and speed are very important this season, so make sure you respond smartly, it's really worth it.

Another possibility to be present is to sell on to marketplaces like Bol.com and Amazon. Through the ChannelEngine integration platform, you can easily sell your products in multiple locations for extra turnover and visibility, without having to spend extra time. At Bol.com and Amazon you can make use of their fulfilment possibilities, which means that you put your products in their storage so that they can handle the shipment. This way you can easily generate extra sales, without the effort.

Start promoting
What of course also helps for your visibility is your promotion. Although Black Friday is growing, as a consumer you can't simply assume that every shop has offers. So how do you find out? There are several websites like Blackfridayonline.nl that provide this information. Some sites only have a list of webshops that offer discounts and a number of sites search for the best offers for the consumer with daily updates. Make sure you're visible on these kinds of websites, this is where the consumer will most likely end up in his/her search for discounts and a little free publicity will never hurt, right?

But also use your own website and social media channels to make current customers and visitors enthusiastic about the upcoming promotions. Some stores publish a complete discount list a few days before Black Friday, while others only give small hints such as the number of items or categories, or even don't reveal anything at all until the offers really take effect. Choose your own method, but make sure people know that they can expect big discounts from you. Make sure you give your visitors a reason to come back weeks in advance. You'll be able to hold them in the pocket!

Payment options
Do you currently only have one payment method, for example iDeal? Then this is a good time to offer several options. People tend to leave their shopping cart if you don't offer the payment method they are looking for. Think of people who don't have a credit card, which is your only option. Or people who like to pay a bit later with afterpay and therefore drop out if you only offer iDeal. So take a look at the possibilities in your PHP system and make sure you have as many options as possible. This really prevents a large part of your abandoned shopping trolleys.

Hopefully we have already helped you with these tips. We will follow quickly with more tips and creative ideas.