Black Friday & Cyber Monday Guide

We have less than a month to Black Friday and Cyber Monday. The two most important days of the year for an e-commerce seller like yourself. The battlefield of e-commerce business gets more competitive each year. In order to move with the speed of e-commerce innovation, you should implement a few of these strategies.  Buckle up and let’s get started.

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Source: STATISTA.COM 

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Seasoned e-commerce sellers start preparing for Cyber Monday as soon as the previous one is over. According to BigCommerce survey, 39% of brands that start planning for their holiday campaigns in January make more than $1,000,000 in annual revenue. – Holy smokes talk about 2019 goals!!! As an entrepreneur, we don’t get rest days. Work smarter not harder.

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Have a plan in place. This year Cyber Monday falls on November 26th, your marketing efforts should begin at least the Monday before Cyber Monday. RetailMeNot found that 70% of retailers start promoting Black Friday offers before Thanksgiving, and the average duration of the offers were 10 days. According to National Retail Federation, 40% of holiday shoppers start buying before Halloween – yes, you heard that right. We live in a constant state of consumerism. Trends change but one thing we know for sure. E-commerce isn’t slowing down anytime soon.

Here are just a couple of marketing tactics that your business can promote during the holiday week:

Countdown & Awareness-building Campaigns – get people excited to shop this holiday season.  

Sneak Peaks – to brand new designs or products coming out on Cyber Monday.

Post-Cyber Monday Bargains  – is a tool to continue shopping fever up until Christmas.

Events & Holidays that you can’t miss: 

Halloween – October  31st is as popular as Cyber Monday in e-commerce selling.

Thanksgiving – November 22nd is not just about family and turkey, with the increase of mobile we are seeing an increase in shopping pre or post-turkey feast.

Black Friday –  November 23rd, in 2017, more than $1,000,000 in sales went through the platform per minute at the peak, beating last year’s high of $555,716,” said Shopify in a news announcement covering Black Friday sales numbers.

Cyber Monday – November 26th, According to Adobe’s 2017 online shopping data, last year Cyber Monday hit a new record as the largest online sales day in U.S. history with $6.59 billion.

Green Monday AKA Cyber Monday 2.0 – December 10th, it is a popular time to get Christmas shopping out of the way to avoid last minute shopping that comes with higher shipping cost. According to lifewire, online retail sales from Green Monday were calculated at $1.621 billion. Remember, not everyone shops on Black Friday & Cyber Monday, some enjoy the time with their families and leave all the shopping for the month of December.

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The holiday season can be stressful, and it will be. According to livechatinc.com E-commerce businesses offer customer service for an extra hour on Black Friday (6h 54min) and an extra one and a half hours on Cyber Monday (7h 26min). How can you ensure that your staff is properly trained and ready to rock the stage? Hire in advance, it can take weeks to hire and train new support agents, makings sure they are qualified to do the job. By now you should have your staff, ready to go finishing up with last minute training. If you haven’t started here are a few tips you can implement to make sure you are on top of the game.

  1. Create templates that have basic and advanced information for your staff to answer questions correctly
  2. Reach out to temp staffing agencies specifically concentrated in the e-commerce industry
  3. Set a firm schedule that coordinates with staff getting time off to spend some quality time with the family
  4. Communicate important dates and deadlines
  5. Ask experienced e-commerce sellers for an advice of how to tackle busy holiday season

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What is Segmented Targeting?

Segmentation Targeting is a grouping of your customers based on certain criteria while using your best efforts to market to them. According to BigCommerce, these states have spent the most online over Cyber Week for the past 2 consecutive years. The only difference in this list between 2017 & 2016, is that Georgia and New Jersey have switched places. Too broad of a market gives a greater opening to a competitor who targets more narrowly. Make sure you don’t spread yourself too thin.

  1. California
  2. Texas
  3. Florida
  4. New York
  5. Pennsylvania
  6. Illinois
  7. Virginia
  8. Ohio
  9. Georgia
  10. New Jersey

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Influencer marketing and social media promotion go hand-in-hand. Take the time to take better photos (by now you should have all your images ready to go) if not, that’s okay because you can take amazing photos with your smartphone in combination with few props that you can easily buy in Walmart or Target. The way you present your products will have a significant impact on your sales.

Option 1 – Clean cut, minimal background product images

  1. Find a room that has the most natural light and set up there, for some it might be the kitchen for others it may as well be a bathroom.
  2. Tripod – can simply be a stack of books
  3. Cheap DIY Set Up – Purchase craft paper (black or white) and metal clips, roll out the paper on something flat and use the clamps to attach one end of the paper to something few feet above the table. Other Props: Wood Planks, Baking Sheets, Suitcases, and Vintage furniture that can be found around your house
  4. Use a white piece of something from Walmart that acts as a reflector from the window, shining a light on your product (hats, drinkware…etc.)
  5. Take out your phone and start shooting
  6. Don’t forget to realistically edit, Remember: overediting kills
  7. When posting on social media, specifically Instagram – use all the space you got, crop your photos to 4X5 to achieve filling the entire space to increase your visibility.

Option 2 – Lifestyle in context photos

Incorporate people, show the product being used in its intended environment such as someone enjoying a coffee mug on the back of their porch. Lifestyle shots tell a story that are heavily used on social media and rarely we see Option 1 being used as a social media strategy. We recommend ordering samples and use them to create unique shots of your products – Example: Grab 10 tees and a model, drive down to the nearest city and simply explore the city to produce on-the-go images.

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Best way to assure a great customer experience is by testing. There are a variety of test sites to make sure your site performs by today’s standards. Test your website with loadimpact.com Does everything run smoothly?

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According to the Baymard Institute, customers abandon as many as 70% of shopping carts. Yikes!  It is nearly impossible for you to control customers who abandon their carts but what you can control is following up with customers who provided their contact information to increase your chances for more sales. Those customers are what will make you successful, we all get sidetracked, something comes up or simply we aren’t entirely sure about the purchase. We take a break. If you have an advanced Shopify account you are in for a treat. You can send the person who abandoned their cart a personal email asking why they haven’t completed the purchase – how cool is that? Good news is, you don’t have to craft every email yourself, this process is automated. You enable this feature you must have a Professional or Unlimited plan.

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Maintaining positive relationships with clients is more important than ever. Establish clear expectations of communication, whether that is Facebook or Email Marketing. Present clear information about Shipping and any other areas that you as a business owner believe are important to maintain strong relationships. Make the information that you present to your customers easy to understand, use industry jargon and don’t introduce new shipping methods, that will only create confusion among your customers. Be a human and try your best to answer all customers questions but if the customer has multiple questions regarding the same subject – send them over to your blog.

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Hacks like Time Apps can be used to tackle impulse buyers with that extra push to complete their purchase. Time Apps show the user how time is running out on the particular Cyber Monday promotion.

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Some customers don’t necessarily need anything. Once they see your gift guide with 80% OFF EVERYTHING they might shop just to “save money”. It makes no sense but we all are guilty of this habit. It’s called the power of persuasion! The Gift Guide is your weapon of choice against non-shoppers – use it or fall short on your sales quota.

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Don’t make the mistake of going into the biggest holiday season of the year blind. Having a system in place is important!!! Systems help to analyze your sales. They help with identifying what strategies are successful and not successful. Systems help to avoid making the same mistakes each year. Systems help you grow! Use insights to tweak your site to perform better ear after year.

We wish you a good luck!

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