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The holiday season has arrived, bringing with it good cheer and hope for increased sales during Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Some business owners feel hopeful because they want to offset lean quarters from 2017. Others want to increase sales going into the new year.
Regardless of your motivation, the information included here comprises two parts to help you meet your goals. First, it covers how buying behaviors have changed on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Second, it shares tips of how to adjust to this altered purchasing pattern.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday Trends
Tim Denman at Retail Info Systems (RIS) sums up Black Friday and Cyber Monday in a single statement: “Digital sales have gone through the roof.” He’s not wrong. Total online sales, both desktop and mobile, reached a little over $3 billion each day.
Mobile deserves special consideration because of its growing slice of the sales pie. Adobe reports mobile shopping accounted for 55% of retail website visits and 36% of sales on Black Friday last year. On Cyber Monday, mobile browsing rested at 53% for visits and 35% for sales.
Another shopping trend complements the financial numbers and mobile growth. Analysts predict foot traffic will continue in physical locations even as e-commerce transactions continue to grow. Consumers still enjoy the brick-and-mortar experience, so businesses should do everything in their power to make it one worth remembering.
Tips to Increase Sales on Black Friday and Cyber Monday
In addition to creating memorable in-store experiences, you should enact the following five tips. They will help increase sales and customer satisfaction long after Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and the holiday season come to an end.
The bulk of your sales will likely occur online, so you should invest in a solid internet connection. It undergirds your online storefront and ensures customers can complete their purchases quickly and easily. The faster you can process online orders and inventory changes, the smoother the entire process will be.
In that regard, purchasing a high-speed internet plan is no different than hiring extra employees and adding extra shifts for the duration of the holiday season. Doing so protects your business from lost sales and unhappy customers.
Consumers increasingly view, if not buy, products on their smartphones and tablets. This means your website needs to be mobile-device friendly. That, however, is the minimum standard. Many retailers now employ mobile applications to help customers browse and buy. These apps provide other advantages too. For example, you can use them to not only drive foot traffic through geotargeting but also facilitate mobile payments and personalized shopping experiences.
According to Adobe, the most successful retailers use multiple communication channels, including mobile, email, and social media. You can boost that success rate further by pursuing a concept called “omnichannel retailing.” It blends online and offline experiences—with profitable results. The Harvard Business Review reports omnichannel shoppers typically spend an average of 4% more on every in-store purchase and 10% more online than single-channel customers. While you might not get to full-scale omnichannel strength before Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2017, it’s never too late to start implementing the strategy.
Some products sell better than others during Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Electronics seem obvious with the whole “cyber” component, so focus some of your holiday strategies on those products. Remember, though, that many consumers will be looking for presents to put under their trees. To strategically promote and sell products, look at your sales figures and identify what sold the most. Also use social media and Google Trends to find out what consumers are looking to buy this year.
The National Retail Federation (NFR) reported that 36% of shoppers purchased all their items on sale in 2016. Retailers seem to have adopted the strategy of “discount everything” in order to meet their sales numbers. But you know you can offer only so many discounts before you start losing money rather than making it. Avoid the danger by employing smart pricing strategies, such as price guarantees and step discounts.
You know consumers’ buying behaviors are changing, but don’t despair. Meet customers where they are and help them take the next step with their purchasing decisions by using the tips shared here. If you do, you may see sales and satisfaction soar this holiday season.