As consumers get ready to flock to retailers to bag the best bargains of the year on these massive discount days, make sure you have everything in place, from promotions to fast, reliable payment processes to ensure you maximise your sales. Here’s how to get ready for and succeed with Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
What are Black Friday and Cyber Monday?
Black Friday started out in the USA, kicking off on the Friday following Thanksgiving (in 2021 it’s 26 November). It’s where bricks-and-mortar and online retailers offer massive discounts to customers and in recent years has spread to become a global phenomenon.
Cyber Monday is the Monday following Thanksgiving (29 November this year) and was created in 2005 to focus specifically on online sales, before physical stores had much of an online presence. While these are two single days, most retailers, online and offline, run special offers throughout the weekend. In fact in the US, the five days from Thanksgiving to Cyber Monday are known as ‘Cyber Week’.
What industries see the best results?
According to Adobe Analytics, consumers in the US spent $34.4 billion during last year’s Cyber Week, with Cyber Monday alone capturing more than $10 billion.
Computers and other consumer electronics and gadgets (including gaming items and speakers) home and garden products, toys, fashion, health and beauty are the categories where most sales are made.
COVID-19 has changed buying habits, possibly forever, with more consumers moving away from shopping in-store to either curbside pickup (Click-and-Collect in Australia) or buying online.
Amazon reported that Cyber Week 2020 was the largest holiday shopping season in the company’s history. Independent retailers turned over more than $4.8 billion in worldwide sales from Black Friday to Cyber Monday. The ecommerce giant attributed this to more people being keen to support small and medium-sized businesses, which had taken a hit during the pandemic.
How to start planning
With just a few weeks to go before Black Friday and Cyber Monday, it’s time to plan now. Here’s what to consider:
What will you sell and what kinds of discounts will you offer?
Take a look at your existing inventory and decide if it’s sufficient or if it’s worth adding extra items. Use Google Trends data to find out what people are searching for in the categories you sell in.
Figure out what kind of discount you can afford to offer. You can apply this to each individual product or category or offer a storewide or sitewide discount on everything.
You need to balance how much profit you’re prepared to sacrifice in return for larger volumes of sales and the potential number of new customers you may be able to sell to at full price in future.
If you’re not keen on offering huge discounts on certain products, you can throw in a bunch of extra items to create a value-packed deal for customers. Pitch these as ‘free’ add-ons and include how much each is worth so consumers know what a bargain they’re getting.
When someone has added one of your products to their cart, this is a perfect time to make them a special offer to add additional items at a heavily discounted price that’s only available right now.
If you’re selling software or apps, consider offering a special lifetime deal during the Black Friday and Cyber Monday period. This ‘loss leader’ strategy can generate a host of new customers to whom you may be able to sell future add-ons or upgrades to.
How to succeed as a seller on Amazon and other online marketplaces
After you’ve locked in your Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals, you’ve now got make sales. Your success in this area depends on two key elements:
You may have the best products and the best offers but if no one knows about them, you won’t be able to sell them.
So, decide on your marketing strategy. Will you use Google ads or Facebook ads? How can you use organic social media marketing effectively?
Knowing who your customers are is essential so you can target them. For example, research by Finder found that young people aged 18-24 are the most likely demographic to shop the sales, so consider platforms like TikTok or using Instagram reels. Get creative.
Email marketing in the lead up to and during Black Friday and Cyber Monday can be highly successful. Your email list likely consists of either customers who’ve already bought from you, or who’ve signed up for your newsletter. This means they’re ‘warm’ leads and typically have higher rates of conversion to sales.
Affiliate marketing is another strategy that can work well to increase sales, as other people are selling your products to their networks. Just make sure your offer isn’t so heavily discounted that after paying your affiliates their commission, you’re left with very little.
Reliable, fast, multi-currency payment solutions
Potential customers have found you, are excited by your offers and want to give you money. Make it as easy as possible for them to do this. Your online sales will likely come from across the globe, so don’t penalise your international customers with high currency conversion rates or credit card fees.
Using an international payment provider such as WorldFirst allows you to offer customers the ability to pay you from their own bank accounts in their local currency.
As an online seller, you can use your WorldFirst International Collections account to open up to 10 local currency accounts for free and start collecting funds from customers as well as marketplaces and payment gateways including Amazon, eBay, Alibaba, Stripe and others.
Get ready to smash your Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales goals with WorldFirst.
WorldFirst has helped more than 250,000 customers send more than $140B around the globe since 2004. Our International Collections Account:
- Is free to open
- Integrates with Xero
- Allows you to repatriate funds when it suits you
- Has no minimum transaction level