With just over a month until Christmas, the serious shopping season is upon us.
And while promotions are starting earlier and earlier as retailers try to get the jump on their competition, there’s no doubt consumers still expect the big deals to be on offer for Black Friday through to Cyber Monday (Nov 24-27). And yes, that includes Kiwi consumers too.
Black Friday is infamously one of the craziest days in American retail, as people would literally stampede to find a bargain. But with the mix of injuries occurring in store, the international interest in the sales, and the growth in e-commerce, it was only a matter of time before the deals moved online.
In 2005, Cyber Monday was introduced by online retailers wanting a piece of the action. It was the 12th biggest shopping day that year, and by 2012 had claimed the number one spot.
Now with global deals and the varying time zones that come along with that, it’s fast becoming Cyber Weekend; offers starting online around the world on Friday and running for four days. There’s even a “Small Business Saturday” during the weekend to encourage shoppers to focus on the little guys too!
So, why do you need to be involved? As the adage says, “you’ve got to be in to win”, and that absolutely applies here.
In 2016, Cyber Monday hit a new record in the US with $3.45 billion, the first time that online sales in a single day passed the $3 billion mark. In New Zealand, online spending increases year on year across the Cyber Weekend, last year with a bump of 35%, meaning there’s plenty of Kiwis keen to shop during this time, too.
So, we know consumers want to spend, but it’s up to you to take advantage of this. And Storbie’s done the homework on what you need to do to prepare.
Be different, be you
You don’t need to match what the big retailers are doing, after all that’s not why people come to you in the first place. You also don’t need to have lots of products at hugely reduced prices. Select a few main specials to feature, but also think about shipping deals and offers for click and collect (20% off your next purchase when you collect in store, anyone?) Read more on activating discounts here.
Know your target
You’re going to need to be more specific than “anyone and everyone” here, and the smaller the business, the more focus is required. Decide on two or three types of people that you want to attract and create a few deals for each of them. If it helps, picture your best customers (or even a friend) coming into your store, and the main items they’re likely to want to purchase.
Know your offer
Are you just doing a one day sale on Cyber Monday, or running promotions across the four days? Will deals swap out daily/hourly or will you have set deals for the full promotion time? Remember to keep it simple if this is your first time taking part.
Dare to Drop Prices
You don’t have to discount everything. It’s better to do one big deal really well, than lots of little deals half-baked. Consider one well-promoted loss-leader supported by smaller discounts across a variety of products. That main product may only need to be available for a limited time, too.
Tease the deals
Spread the word of your involvement and what type of specials will be on offer. Include the information in emails, social media posts, and on your website. Remember, once the deals are teased you will have to follow through to avoid disappointing shoppers. This is where you can really catch the attention of shoppers with offers like “1 only at 70% off!” or “Free Shipping All Weekend!”
Freshen up content
Have a look through your website and shop to ensure all content is up-to-date and welcoming. It’s also a good idea to look at stock levels, as there’s nothing worse for shoppers than going to a site to find only three out of 20+ items are available to purchase. You also want to make it clear for shoppers when they visit your site that there’s a sale on, so consider how images can help you do this clearly.
It’s not just about the sales
Okay, it’s a lot about the sales, but this is also your chance to engage new clients, so make sure you give shoppers a reason to come back once the promotion is over. This may be an offer for free shipping next time they purchase, or asking them to sign up to your mailing list.
Need help setting up these promotions? Read about capturing email addresses for your mailing list here. . And for creating discounts and vouchers, read our support article here.
Or simply contact our friendly support team for help at firstname.lastname@example.org
Cyber Monday is 27 November this year, with the weekend of sales beginning Black Friday 24 November.