How To Prepare Your E-Commerce for Black Friday 2020
There are two main reasons that suggest this year’s holiday season to be extremely challenging in the e-commerce space. Not only do we get exponential growth in online sales, year after year, but we are also in the midst of the great pandemic (as of writing this article), which had an unprecedented impact on the overall volume of virtual transactions, pick and pack fulfilment and delivery services.
Most importantly, start planning for Black Friday 2020 now if you haven’t started yet. A study found more than half of consumers in the UK begin their holiday shopping or researching for Black Friday as early as October. Many of your potential customers will be in building wish-lists and shopping-around, so don’t wait until a week before the main event – because at that time it will be too late.
To ensure a smooth order fulfillment operation and to maximise your profits, here are two of the most important aspects of your Black Friday 2020 e-commerce preparation.
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Marketing Strategy for Black Friday 2020
Prepare your marketing strategy and branded black friday promotion materials like coupon code and gift cards well in advance including how you would like to promote your products and your best Black Friday deals through Social Media Marketing, third parties like influencers or Google Ads.
Ensure you’ve got multiple social media ads (focus on Facebook and Instagram) and newsletters pre-designed and reviewed ahead of time, preferably with some targeting based on the past purchase behaviour (Facebook Ads can bring a lot of important customer and ecommerce data).
Further, think about hiring an ecommerce expert to identify your store content marketing and put together effective product pages. To squeeze extra sales, ecommerce marketers will advise different levels of urgency depending on your brand; however if there’s a way you can slowly build up the hype with popular products, you’ll be on your way to the biggest shopping event yet! Make sure to build a product bundle around 2-3 weeks before Black Friday 2020 hits (Friday, 27 November) and then use limited offers and time-constrained deals.
Top 5 Black Friday Marketing Tips for e-Commerce store owners
- Prepare your store for black friday and optimise overall site performance like loading speed and weed-out any design glitches – ensure you can serve a higher number of shoppers ahead of time.
- Review design materials in advance and select those that stand out – introduce price alert, live chat, better site search and keep preparation for black friday consistent throughout the black friday cyber monday to boost sales, customer retention and reduce cart abandoners.
- Great customer experience is paramount – ensure a smooth sales channels operation and checkout process with a timer or an up-sell offer at the end to increase conversion rates and upkeep the sense of urgency.
- Make sure you’ve enabled familiar and simple payment methods in your online store – for higher price items, explore interest-free instalments (like Klarna) to drive sales, lower abandoned cart and bring repeat purchases.
- Prepare an additional deal right after the Black Friday Cyber Monday 2020 to maximise on traffic and sales and to keep the online shopping momentum going.
Order Fulfillment for Black Friday 2020
As business owners, the last thing we want to happen to our e-commerce stores during Black Friday 2020 is to fail our supply chain and order fulfillment. During the event as well as the day after BFCM 2020, you should have a remaining stock and a solid backup plan for selling online in case your product goes viral. It is the head start and the momentum that you can uphold all the way through black friday and cyber monday to Christmas 2020 that makes or breaks your e-commerce store.
Trust us, you don’t want to let down your loyal customers.
We see this happening every year where companies go bust because they come not prepared for black friday and cyber monday (and not forgetting about the prime day and very specific in its own rights Amazon Black Friday!). If you have nothing left to sell for the rest of the holiday season then the brand authority, SEO positioning as well as the online store reputation takes a dive.
Here are a couple of ways to avoid a holiday sales crisis while making sure you’re still bringing customers:
Set up inventory management workflows
If you’re using platforms like Shopify or WooCommerce, you can integrate with the inventory monitoring tools. The inventory management software can help you automate most customer-facing or back-office processes, without any coding.
Key takeaways and automation benefits of such inventory management software:
- Smart Shipping Rules
- Automated Shipping Label Printing
- Amazon FBA Shipments
- Order Tracking
- Courier Integrations
Many ecommerce websites and retailers can prepare their sales channels for increase in online sales using software from WooCommerce and Shopify app store.
Monitor inventory levels
You won’t have success stories to share during Black Friday 2020 without predictive monitoring systems that use AI to help you with the inventory level balance, product recommendations and sales flow.
Make sure your ecommerce platform tools let you set up tracking to monitor your inventory levels. Also, look for seasonal trends (past black friday sales) in your e-commerce inventory history to prevent running out of stock.
Get in touch to set up your order fulfilment for Black Friday 2020
Here’s what to do if your ecommerce business is planning a flash-sale event during Black Friday 2020, or are moving inventory into additional warehouses or spaces:
If you’re on Shopify, a great place to start is using Shopify Reports and Shopify Merchant. Check Customer Data, Sales by Product reports, and filter them by BFCM dates from last year and review deep discounts offered last year and all the products that sold well.
You can explore your “best Black Friday 2020 products” further with the ABC analysis digital marketing tool can also help you identify your best and worst-performing products in your ecommerce to keep your average order value high. Remember that A-grade products make the most money and represent the specific set of products that generate 80% of your revenue.
On the contrary, C-grade products are your dead stock and correspond to the specific products that make up only 5% of your revenue. BFCM is a great opportunity to increase sales by stressing A-grade products in your marketing campaigns with moderate discounts, while C-grade “deadstock” should have a much higher black friday discounts. Using a referral program, social proof or deep discounts you can push out and free up shelf space the second black friday sales starts.
Generally speaking, ecommerce marketers will use black friday promotion checklist to prepare and explore marketing tools to track and monitor stock across multiple locations, adjust inventory levels for different products all at once, and save time by combining inventory levels with automation tools to replenish products.
Outsourcing Order Fulfillment for Black Friday 2020
However, all that inventory management software that you find on Shopify app store won’t run and fully manage itself. Ideally, you want a skilled order fulfillment team that have experience with holiday shopping workload, maintain a sense of urgency during dispatch deadlines, and keep loyal customers happy, as well as cart abandoners back with high delivery success rate.
If you’ve been working on your own warehousing, supply chain, picking and packing, order processing and dispatching, you know how challenging a backend operation can get on a regular day. And during the holiday sales period, you can almost guarantee the traffic and sales will increase many-folds, followed by your online shopping workload.
If that is the case, there is still enough time to prepare your store even better and consider outsourcing your Order Fulfillment for upcoming Black Friday 2020, as well as Christmas 2020 holiday sales.
As an ecommerce expert, The Storage Place can help you transition to a complete E-Commerce Order Fulfillment and Warehousing service in less than a month. Getting started is easy! Ask for a detailed and bespoke price for order fulfillment services catered specifically to your ecommerce business.