Opinions expressed by australiabusinessblog.com contributors are their own.
We all know that Black Friday and Cyber Monday mean big business for the retail industry, and these two anchoring days made for an entire weekend of sales opportunities. Retailers make special efforts to bring in consumers and make them enthusiastic to buy. Online retailers offer particular advantages over traditional shopping and have the opportunity to generate significant sales for now and gain repeat customers at this critical time of year.
You don’t hear me complaining either. My company, Hollywood Sensation Jewelry, is an online retailer that relies on the holiday season for a significant portion of its annual sales. Jewelers can make 20% of their annual turnover in December, so it’s in our best interest to shine our best over the Black Friday and Cyber Monday weekend and then keep the magic going in December and beyond! Drastic lowering your prices can feel a bit scary, but the numbers don’t lie. Retailers throughout the country lower prices while making money in this lucrative time of the year.
Let’s take a look at how you can make this a reality for your online retail business.
Related: how small companies can prepare for Christmas shopping
Can your website handle it?
First of all, make sure that your website works quickly and error -free. This should be a good idea, but you must take into account more traffic and competition. Online shoppers simply do not wait for slow loading times. They have too many other options. One fast Google search and they can find a dozen different stores that offer what you have. So make sure that your loading times are fast and that your checkout process runs smoothly and easily.
The best way to know what your customers are experiencing is to go through the process yourself, so take the time to shop your own store or hire a few others to do it for you and get feedback. Your website must also be prepared for extra traffic during the busy shopping season. A few lost hours on a vital sales day can be disastrous. Don’t lose sales because your site crashes due to overload!
Related: 27 ways to increase traffic to your website
Are your prices competitive?
Ah, that difficult information highway! A customer can immediately tell that annoying Google search whether another retailer has the same article for less. People may be willing to pay a little more in a brick-and-mortar store if it saves them the trip, but online shopping has no such barriers. Shoppers go to the online retailer with the best prices.
Does your customer base grow?
You can use this time to grow your email list and put that information to work for you. At my store, we used to do a $30 store credit for Black Friday sales. Now we’re doing something better: we offer discount codes up to 65% off, depending on how much the customer spends. To get the code, we need their email address. It is also a fair trade. We offer our customers significant savings so that they can contact them again.
Do you have a “abandoned shopping cart” protocol?
According to Shopify, 88% of online shopping carts are abandoned. We did it all. We browse online, put some things in the cart and for some reason don’t complete the purchase. “Abandoned Cart” emails are a great way to contact consumers who haven’t completed their transactions. Smart abandoned cart emails remind them what they were doing and where, because with so many online shopping options it’s not impossible to forget where they were shopping. These emails may contain simple links to return to “saved” shopping carts.
The main reason people abandon a shopping cart is sticker shock: the total price was higher than expected. Sending a discount code with the abandoned cart email is a great way to get them back on track – you’re happy, they’re happy – everyone’s happy! Email marketing is now expanding into text marketing, and since text messages are usually noticed faster than emails, it’s an even faster way to complete the shopping cart. Abandoned cart messages can be set up through many different online apps and services.
Related: 5 things that lead to reasonable consumers leaving their shopping cart
Do you benefit from the entire season?
Black Friday and Cyber Monday kick off, but they’re by no means the only days when profits can increase significantly. Take advantage of other “days” in the cycle, such as:
- Green Monday. It takes place on the second Monday in December — it’s one of the busiest shopping days in the US. The name may have come from the fact that a lot of profit is made on that day (a lot of greenery), but you can also tailor it to the environment. After all, online shopping is the “greener” option. In 2022, Green Monday falls on December 12, which fits in nicely with…
- Day of free shipping. December 13 is widely known as Free Shipping Day, an excellent opportunity for late Christmas shoppers to get their deliveries on time.
- Super Saturday/panic Saturday. The name says it all: this is the Saturday before Christmas and as an online store you can take a bite out of that hectic shopping day. Customers can spend Panic Saturday in the comfort of their own homes and enjoy great deals instead of fighting through parking lots, lines and unpredictable weather. Be forewarned now: in 2022, Panic Saturday falls on December 24, so online businesses are at a bit of a disadvantage there if delivery is an issue. December 17, however, is completely yours! Give late shoppers a reason to visit your website.
- Boxing Day. Online businesses have this advantage: shoppers from all over the world come to our stores. In Commonwealth countries, namely Australia, Canada, Britain and the UK, Boxing Day (always on December 26) is a bargain hunter’s paradise, and the United States is catching on quickly. Traditionally this was the day when employers gave gifts (boxes) to their employees, but since many of us now have the day off, it has become to shop for ourselves. Shoppers are looking for a small party on Dec. 26 to get through another busy holiday season. Tell them, “You’ve given it your all for the past eight weeks. Now you’re earning something for yourself.”
Related: The 2022 holiday season will bring about a shift in consumer behavior. Here are 3 ways you can prepare
As you enter the holiday season with your online retail business, opportunities arise for you to build a more robust and significant customer base. You can improve customer satisfaction and create loyal customers who know your business offers a great holiday shopping experience. They are more likely to come back throughout the year for their special holidays, such as birthdays or anniversaries, and will be on your mailing list when the next holiday season arrives.