With Black Friday and Cyber Monday just around the corner, you may be looking to tap into all of those local bargain shoppers.
Whether this is your first major holiday marketing push or you’re an old hand at this, here are some tips to make sure the day of and the days that follow go off without a hitch.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday Pre-Planning
Before the big day, take some steps to make sure you’re providing the best service and experience for your customers.
Test Your Website
Before the big day, run a test run. You need to make sure that your website can handle a surge in visitors. So, test it out three or four days before. If something goes wrong, you have time to fix it.
The other thing you want to test is the shopping experience. Is it easy to put items in the cart? Does the checkout system run smoothly? Are there any issues with adding and removing items in a cart?
Make sure that you troubleshoot problems now so that things run smoothly when it’s time for the actual event.
Make a Contingency Plan
Even if you test your website a dozen times, things can still go wrong. Have a contingency plan prepared. Do you need to have your tech team on standby? Do you need extra employees for the day of?
What do you normally do when your website goes down? What do you do if you run out of stock?
As Murphy’s Law states, whatever can go wrong, will.
Check Your Inventory
If you’re promising something, you must deliver it and when it comes to the holidays, you better deliver it on time. Check your in-house inventory and make sure that your product partners are ready.
These special events only work if you have the inventory to back them up.
If you have some extra time, you can also consider pre-packing some of the products you expect to sell. This will help speed up the turnaround time and improve the overall customer experience.
One of the big keys for an event like this is advertising. Your marketing efforts are what will drive traffic, so you need to make sure they’re up to the task.
Create a Sense of Scarcity and Urgency
One of the reasons that Black Friday and Cyber Monday are such compelling shopping days is that they create a heightened sense of urgency with shoppers. These are the days that offer the best deals of the year and they only happen once a year.
If a shopper doesn’t act now; they miss out.
Creating a sense of urgency or scarcity is a must-have for these big holiday shopping days.
There’s a psychological impact that goes with scarcity and urgency. If you want to understand it better, check out this previous post.
If you’re a retailer looking to drive people into your store, then make sure you cater your ads to locals. Pick your target advertising groups and set them up ahead of time.
Send out email and social media blasts ahead of time so people can plan their shopping routes with your store in mind.
Ads that target local shoppers are essential as you prepare for Black Friday and they don’t just start on Black Friday, they start before.
Double Check Your Social Media Plan
Social media is going to be one of the fastest and best ways to get the word out about your holiday deals. Check and double-check that you have all your bases covered.
Can you do any preparation to make your job a little easier on the big days? Can you pre-schedule tweets or Facebook posts? Are there Instagram videos that you can make now and send out the day of?
You don’t have to leave your social media until the last minute.
Check to make sure you have a solid plan in place and then decide if any aspects of that plan can be completed now, before the big day.
Increase your sales numbers day of by cross-selling items. A customer may have come to your website for those super cool socks you’re selling, but let them know they need the matching t-shirt as well.
Once an item is in the cart, show the customer all the other “similar items” that are available to them.
You’ve got them hooked, now reel them in.
Post Black Friday and Cyber Monday Planning
Now that Black Friday and Cyber Monday have passed, what’s next?
Thank Your Employees
The first thing you need to do is thank your team. You’re not the only person who worked hard to help the business succeed and you need to recognize that. Your business’s success is your team’s success and you need to show people that you appreciate their hard work.
You also want to retarget customers that almost made it to the checkout stand, but backed off at the last minute.
You will need to do a little pre-planning, but there are codes that you can place into your website that will track users who visit certain pages, abandon items in carts or watch certain videos. You can then use this information to conveniently place another ad for your business in their social media feeds.
This is called retargeting.
Every Day is a Holiday
Okay, this isn’t entirely true, however, you don’t need a fancy name to make a day important. Your deals and push for sign-ups don’t have to stop after Cyber Monday.
Think about making offers all the way up and through the holidays. Or, consider offering a deal to start off the new year.
While the holidays make people prone to shop, you shouldn’t wait until this time of year rolls around to make a move.
Written by Erika Towne