How to have a great Cyber Week
The online sales week which includes Black Friday and Cyber Monday offers an opportunity like no other for those with eCommerce businesses. And this year, with millions of people locked down around the world, retailers are braced for an unusual but potentially highly-profitable period.
Despite countries reeling from the economic effects of COVID-19, vast swathes of people are spending the majority of their time indoors and are relying on their laptops, smartphones, tablets and televisions for entertainment. And one of the most popular past-times these days is shopping.
While sports retailers, leisurewear and gym equipment manufacturers have seen unprecedented demand for goods, most retailers have taken a massive financial hit with stores being forced to shut and many shoppers unwilling to hit the high street or retail parks, resulting in tonnes of stock remaining unsold.
The origins of Black Friday
The first Friday after Thanksgiving—the US holiday which is always held on the fourth Thursday in November—is traditionally when retailers begin the holiday shopping season, and this began as early as the 1950s.
The day is famous for bricks and mortar stores discounting massively. This often resulted in frenetic shopping with crowds descending on big name stores and queuing from the early hours until a crush usually ensued, when doors were finally opened.
However, with most people now shopping online due to the pandemic, the desire to grab bargains is still as strong as ever, but people are now predominantly handing over their money online, creating huge opportunities for merchants selling via digital channels.
What is Cyber Monday?
For online retailers, this shopping period is equally profitable. The term Cyber Monday was coined in 2005 and is now the biggest online shopping day annually. For merchants selling online it’s a huge sales opportunity.
But shoppers are savvy these days and begin doing their homework early with many tech blogs and news outlets telling consumers where to get the best bargains often culminating in huge discounts as the end of Cyber Week approaches.
And with COVID-19 keeping many people indoors, Cyber Week 2020 could see broadband suppliers struggle even more with millions and millions of people alleviating their boredom at home using their credit card and the URL of their favourite store.
How to prepare your eCommerce business for Cyber Week
To get a slice of the spending pie, you need to make sure you’re ready for Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Cyber Week as a whole, by planning.
And preparation starts with a to-do list, so you’re never on the back foot.
Your Cyber Week checklist
- Ensure your payment gateway is ready with careful attention to detail on your payment page. Fondy offers simple, quick processing and a customisable checkout.
- Make sure your website is optimised for mobile devices.
- Stock up! Don’t be caught short on stock. Make sure you have enough of what you sell to fulfil demand and check your supply chains.
- Consider paying for advertising. Competition for the best bargains will be tough so get an edge by investing in paid search ads.
- Use social media platforms such as Instagram and Facebook to get the word out about your product.
- Tease customers in advance using social media or email marketing.
- Keep one eye on the competition. See what other retailers are discounting.
- Don’t rely on your WiFi. Have an Internet backup plan in case your broadband supplier is struggling due to heavy usage.
- Offer incentives through loyalty such as exclusive discounts for your existing customers
Offer a variety of payment methods
You need to think carefully about which payment gateway to choose. If you limit the payment options on your website, mobile app or platform, you will quickly lose customers.
Offering only credit cards as a means of payment simply won’t work. Instead, you need to be offering several local and international payment methods. Fondy provides over 300 options including cards, bank transfer methods, online banking and digital wallets.
Think mobile first
Smartphones and tablets can offer a more sleek and swift shopping experience. Most people are on their phone or have it to hand 90% of the day. If you offer a fast, simple and well-designed mobile shopping experience you will guarantee return customers.
Offer a superior checkout experience
A poor checkout experience will guarantee cart abandonment. Limit any risk of this happening by offering a simple, straightforward but lightning-fast checkout experience – see Fondy’s new checkout page which is fully customisable – as well as a guest option for shoppers who may not want to sign up to your brand and receive marketing emails.
Solid customer support and no-fuss returns
Handle any customer grievances politely and be understanding. A great customer support experience will create loyalty. Offer no-quibble returns and if your business can afford it, free returns.
And also consider communicating with your customers in their native language, if possible, like we do here at Fondy, as it tells customers that wherever they are in the world, that you appreciate their business.
Customers aren’t just for Cyber Week
Once Cyber Week is over, you can keep connected with the customers who purchased from you or signed up to your brand. You will be planning for the holiday season and your next major sales period in December and the New Year, so offer your customers incentives to stay shopping with you.
Happy Cyber Selling from Fondy!