Thanksgiving is rapidly approaching, and the official start of the holiday season arrives along with it. Black Friday and Cyber Monday are two of the largest shopping days of the year.
Millions of customers are making their lists and are preparing for the incoming Black Friday sales, but they are not the only people who should be preparing. For many businesses, the holiday shopping season is a critical time for sales. But those sales are not just given, and companies must work to ensure they will win the lion’s share of customers. It is not enough to cut your prices and open your store doors on Black Friday; prudent businesses will put in the work ahead of time to ensure they are prepared for Black Friday, and those are the businesses that will reap the most benefits. Here are some tips and tricks to ensure your eCommerce business and store are ready for Black Friday so you can get the most out of the giant shopping holiday.
Plan Sales In Advance
It can be easy to think that businesses arbitrarily choose which items to discount or include in sales, but that is a terrible idea in practice. Before you start slashing prices or offering massive discounts, take the time to plan everything out as is only fitting for one of the biggest shopping days of the year. The planning stage should start with an inventory audit, so you do not offer fantastic deals on an item you don’t have the supply for. Don’t bank on more inventory arriving at the last minute as shipping is chaotic at best during the holidays, and there is a global pandemic to make things even more complicated. Make your plan for sales, discounts, bundles, and other offers realistic. Crunching numbers and doing experimental or predictive sales situations isn’t the most exciting work, but it is crucial. There is no point in offering incredible deals if the end result is a net-zero or negative impact on your bottom line. Find the balance between providing the best sales for customers and realistic sales that will still help your business turn a profit.
Get The Word Out
Once you have your Black Friday offerings figured out, it is time to tell customers about your upcoming sales. The eCommerce industry is growing more and more crowded, which means you must publicize, advertise, and make your Black Friday plans known. Breaking through the noise ceiling is not always easy, and you must accept you will never be able to market to everyone, but there are also more ways than ever to get the word out. Use direct response marketing, email blasts, social media posts, and even physical mailers to ensure your customers, returning and potential, know about your fantastic Black Friday deals.
Prepare Customer Service
All the world’s preparation cannot prevent issues from occurring, and as tensions run high every holiday season, you can expect your customer service team to get hit just like your sales team. You can take steps to help customers find answers and solve problems independently by posting a detailed FAQ page on your website, making the checkout process as straightforward as possible, and clearly explaining your return and refund policy before a customer confirms an order. While these steps are fantastic ideas to limit the volume of issues that will end up before your customer service employees, nothing will eliminate service issues, so you must prepare your customer service agents to handle the Black Friday intensity.
Customer service is often forgotten or an afterthought, but many people fail to realize customer service plays a massive role in customer loyalty. A customer contacting customer service has likely already bought an item but is having issues with it. If your team can solve the problem and make the customer happy, that customer is more likely to remain loyal to your brand. However, a negative customer support or service experience will do the opposite, especially while everyone is extra stressed during the holidays. Ensuring your customer service team knows how to handle issues, especially over text-based support, can be the difference between a loyal customer and one who has sworn off your brand for good, so do not neglect it.
The holidays are almost upon us, and with the changing seasons comes Black Friday. Black Friday is a big event for many people, but not everyone sees the preparation that Black Friday requires. For eCommerce businesses, planning out Black Friday sales is imperative to ensure that the numbers crunch how you want them to. Once you have your sales planned, get the word out through every platform available to bring in more customers. Before you call it quits on Black Friday prep, ensure your customer support team is ready to go so you can turn dissatisfied customers into loyal ones.