The biggest shopping events of the year are just around the corner. It’s already October and it’s time to gear up for the holiday season shopping and key eCommerce events including – Black Friday and Cyber Monday weekend. However, this year has brought about a series of changes in what we consider normal due to the key role social distancing plays in combating the virus.
As we navigate through the new normal, let’s consider what the holiday season and eCommerce events such as Black Friday will look like this year. We will also consider the essential factors that brands will need to keep in mind to ace this year’s biggest eCommerce event – BFCM weekend.
A Digital Black Friday and Cyber Monday
It’s vital to consider the sentiment of the consumers and the steps they might take to protect themselves from the virus – majorly social distancing. Hence, this year the biggest shopping event of the year – Black Friday and Cyber Monday weekend could be largely online.
However, this trend is not new. In fact, in the past few years, Black Friday and Cyber Monday have already started to become an increasingly online-driven event. Last year, Black Friday saw record sales of $7.4 billion online alone with smartphones driving $2.9 billion of the online sales. This year the numbers could be much higher driven by more consumers wanting to shop online rather than in-store.
Due to the limit of people in-store at a time, and the social distancing rules, retailers too will face challenges as this weekend tends to result in long lines that can last hours. This year, we could be looking at a purely digital Black Friday as retailers will try to mitigate any risks and overcrowding.
An Extended Period of Deals
This year many retailers are planning to offer extended periods of deals for Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Home Depot is reportedly extending the deals over a 2 month period to curb the stress and overcrowding that usually take place. Other retailers such as Amazon are offering an extended “Prime Day” and will likely offer an extended period of deals for Black Friday as well.
So what do these changes and a digital Black Friday mean for brands?
1. A Digital-First Approach
As increasing numbers of consumers over the years have begun to shop online even for key events like Black Friday, this year this number is going to be even higher. As we discussed earlier, many customers will likely shop online in order to avoid crowded stores and long lines. In lieu of this, many retailers are offering Black Friday deals online only to avoid crowding in stores. This will shift an even a larger chunk of holiday and Black Friday shopping online. It is expected that 75% of shoppers in the US will be doing their Black Friday and Cyber Monday weekend shopping online.
Hence, this also means that retailers and brands need to be easily discoverable for consumers online. So when they visit your website and want to buy the product – you should have up-to-date information about the various buying options, whether the product is in stock or not, and even a price comparison to aid your customer in their decision-making. Want to implement this on your website? Learn more about our Where To Buy solution and how it helps brands drive conversions while optimizing the customer journey.
Further, it’s vital to ensure that you have consistent messaging across a number of channels. Ensure that you have your brand’s presence on multiple channels such as website, marketplaces, and social media and outline the different objectives these channels are going to solve for.
2. Utilise Past Data and Prepare Early
In addition to this balancing act that brands will need to adopt, utilize the data that you already have from the previous years to determine what works and what does not work. While this year may be different from the previous years, the data you already have can steer your strategy in the right direction. Need more insights on how you can more in-depth data and leverage it? Get in touch with us.
Starting early and being prepared will be key to succeeding during this elongated shopping period ahead of you. It is important for your teams to have sufficient time to come up with creative and effective deals, consistent messaging, and preparing a social calendar.
3. Think like your customers
Understanding your customers and what their priorities will be this year is key to being successful this holiday season. As a general blanket, many consumers will avoid going to crowded stores and stand in long lines. However, the customers that do go to the stores will most likely research the products before and will want to only go to the stores where the product is available in stock and perhaps compare prices as well. This was confirmed in a survey conducted by Google that reported 67% of shoppers said that they will ensure that the product is in store before making the trip as well as look for various stores near them.
Looking to incorporate this in your eCommerce strategy but need some help? Get in touch with our experts that can guide you through this and help you implement the appropriate solutions.
Want specific insights to help you prepare for this year’s holiday season?
Preparing in advance and with the right resources and tools will help you stand out from the competitors. At ChannelSight we have a number of experts that can help you optimise your eCommerce strategy, and identify the key trends for your brand. You can also better understand and use your data to achieve your goals.
ChannelSight has worked with a number of brands to drive digital success. Read our case study on Schneider Electric and how we helped them drive online sales. Contact us today to learn about how our eCommerce solutions can help you and your brand today. In other words, what are you waiting for?