Preparing and Delivering Black Friday & Cyber Monday Sales

April 14, 2024

Ron

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are some of the most important shopping days in the retail calendar. They are also two of the craziest, busiest and most competitive sales events of the year! These two days see a spike in traffic to online stores and they can be instrumental in driving new customers to your business. eCommerce makes up 20% of all holiday spending, which is why it is so important to have a strategy for Black Friday & Cyber Monday. There’s a lot that goes into getting ready for these sales, from planning your inventory properly, to make sure you have enough stock available at the right time – not to mention all the other things you need to think about like taxes, working with suppliers, shipping dates, etc. We have interviewed a number of eCom brands throughout the month to see what preparations people are making for BFCM and have shared some of the insights from all of those fantastic brands who were willing to share their story.

Preparing and Delivering Black Friday & Cyber Monday Sales: Before the Sale

Before the sales, you should make sure that you are properly prepared to handle the traffic that these two days bring. Preparation is the key to a successful event as agreed by Christophe Defoy of Montreal Weights and Lukas Julher of CleanSea. You can start up by sending emails to your valued customers inviting them to be part of this massive event and giving them special offers, and in order to get them to accept the invitation, good email segmentation is needed to reach target customers of every criterion. Something business owners Rhianne of The Online Wine Tasting Club and Jason Nichols of New Kings Coffee have excelled at with great segment their email list. But of course, it is not always bad to be short of this skill like Alexandre Chambon of Nooz Optics who is still doing great with their email marketing despite having a hard time with targeting customers through email.

Promoting the Sale

All of the brands we spoke to who contributed to this article are using the email marketing tool Klaviyo to support their marketing efforts. This is a tool that we here at Underground Ecom use every day and highly recommend one of the top performing email marketing platforms.

One of the challenges of e-commerce owners here is how to attract more customers with the use of exciting and eye-catching graphics, some are well versed in content creation and graphic designing that fits their brand like Stephen Watson of Sand Dollar Dubai Swimwear Store & Beach Boutique who strength is in design, or Christine C. Oddo of Mettalusso who makes good original entertaining content that features original characters in relation to their products, and Trina of Spirit Based Therapies who’s great at generating ideas to put in their email marketing content. Don’t feel down if you haven’t mastered all of these marketing skillsets yet, Reetta of Fargo Vintage & Design finds it hard to generate new content ideas but does well with making campaign templates that fit their brand and style, we also have Zac Dudzik of Rogue Energy who claims that graphic content is something that needs more emphasis but is still confident with their overall campaigns. Creating well designed and highly converting campaigns is a challenge for just about every business.

Day of the Sale

The day of the sale is the busiest day of the year for eCommerce businesses. There is a spike in searches and traffic, which leads to increased sales. Providing your marketing efforts pay off, when you have a lot of visitors, your website needs to have the capacity to handle all of those people. You should make sure that your website has sufficient hosting so that it doesn’t crash and burn under the pressure of all those extra users. You also need to make sure that you have your inventory stocked up and ready to go – If you don’t have enough inventory on hand, you could be looking at a lot of disappointed customers who can’t get what they came for – and that lost sales potential is never pleasant. If you are using a marketing automation platform, make sure that it can handle the additional volume during the sales period.

After the Sale

After the sales, you should make sure that you are prepared to handle returns and refunds. During Black Friday and Cyber Monday, these are more probable than at other times of the year. You should make sure you have a procedure in place to handle these things quickly and efficiently. You should also make sure that you have a system in place for shipping returns to the appropriate parties. Another thing that you need to make sure that you have in place is a system for analyzing your sales and inventory. You will want to keep track of who is purchasing what and how much is being returned. This information will help you to understand your customers better and make better decisions moving forward. Moreover, don’t be discouraged by the list of abandoned carts that arise especially during the Black Friday Sale as many customers are just window shopping, after the sale, you must handle these carts by still reaching out to the customers and reminding them of the products they added, though this can be a tough process for starting e-commerce shop owners but still one of the easiest email marketing processes for owners like Sanat Srivastava of Funkfeets and Morgan Lerner of GoNanas.

Inventory Management and Analysis.

As mentioned above, you want to make sure that you have enough inventory on hand to meet demand. This is especially important during Black Friday and Cyber Monday. You don’t want to run out of products when demand is high. It is also important to know your capacity for delivering products as you will want to be able to fulfil demand in a timely manner. This could be particularly challenging for brands such as MK Neon who produce bespoke custom LED neon signs where production time is something to consider. To prepare for this sales period, you can use sales projections to determine how much extra inventory you need. You can also use inventory reports to find out how much product you have on hand and when you will need to reorder. You can also use inventory management software to help you with this process. This software will keep track of your inventory, sales, and trends so that you can order the correct amount of inventory for the next sales period.

Advertising and Marketing Strategies

During Black Friday and Cyber Monday, a lot of your customers may come from promotions and discounts. Many retailers offer discounts or free shipping during these sales to incentivize customers to buy from them. It is a good idea to have these ads ready before the sales begin so that you can instantly start promoting them when the sales period start. An idea for ads can be something that touches your customers on a personal level, like how Brooke Reich of Cherry on Top entices their customers through storytelling and personalization or Alexander Chambon of Nooz Optics who creates a recurring relationship with their customers with the use of visual environments while also giving a message associated with the products and brand. If you are using marketing automation software, make sure that it is prepared for the increase in volume. This can be done by increasing the capacity of the software or by creating rules to reduce the amount of traffic that is sent to your site.

Conclusion

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are some of the busiest and most competitive sales events of the year. By preparing for them well in advance, you can make sure that you are ready for the rush in both sales and traffic. Keep in mind that these two days are just a small part of the holiday shopping season. Q4 is a much busier quarter in general for most retailers, and usually the majority of their sales will occur during the two weeks before Christmas – so don’t forget to prepare for that. By making sure that you are properly prepared for these two days, you will be able to profit from the increased traffic and sales and have a successful holiday season.

We would like to give a special thank you to all of those who contributed to this article and would encourage you to check out their stores and upcoming black friday and cyber monday sales!

Contributors:

Montreal Weights

CleanSea

Funkfeets

Sand Dollar Dubai Swimwear Store & Beach Boutique

Mettalusso

Spirit Based Therapies

Fargo Vintage & Design

Advance Apparels

Nooz Optics

Cachia

The Online Wine Tasting Club

MILK Shirts

New Kings Coffee

ADAPT

Rogue Energy

Cherry on Top

GoNanas

Dennis Bernard Professional 

Wisdom Supply Co.

MK Neon

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