Using Black Friday and Cyber Monday successfully: 5 tips for online retailers

The most important time of year for online retailers is just around the corner. With Black Friday on 25/11, this year’s Christmas trade in eCommerce will be rung in. In 2015, online retailers were able to register one quarter of their total annual turnover in the months of November and December. As a result, the time between Black Friday and Cyber Monday has become especially important – in this time period online retailers achieve the highest sales figures all across Europe. We have compiled in this article all the worthwhile ideas and also 5 tips for you about both of these ‘web holidays’.

What online retailers should know

Black Friday and Cyber Monday, like so much else, came over to us from the USA. On the day after Thanksgiving, US retailers outdo one another every year with bargain offers and thus attract eager-to-buy customers to their businesses. As a counterpart to this offline success, Cyber Monday has been developed in which online retailers offer special promotions.

In Germany, Black Friday has existed since 2006 – firstly introduced by Apple, incidentally. The interest in this day has since increased annually both amongst retailers and also customers. Yet in contrast to the USA, Black Friday in Germany takes place primarily in online retail. Cyber Monday in these parts is therefore not to be seen as an online variant of Black Friday. It has become much more prominent due to the major discounting campaigns of the online giant Amazon (Cyber Monday Week).

Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2016: How to optimise your online shop

How can online retailers get started successfully on these campaign holidays? In the following, we have compiled 5 tips for you about how you should prepare your online shop for Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Tip 1: Technical preparation

In the ideal scenario, your offers will attract droves of potential customers to your website. Nothing drives these away faster than lengthy loading times. Evaluate your visitor numbers for the last year and test whether your server capacities can withstand an additional flood of customers. Plan for sufficient buffers here and augment your shop infrastructure where appropriate.

Tip 2: Start unique campaigns

Create a unique and exceptional offer! Only in this way can you distinguish yourself from other retailers. When you stage just a standard sale on this campaign weekend, you will sink amidst the masses of offerings. Concentrate yourself instead on a few highlight products from your online shop that you can offer, for example, massively reduced in price or together with a free product. Take note also of which promotions your competitors are running each year. This will help you to plan a campaign in following years that distinguishes you from other retailers.

Tip 3: Prominent placement in the online shop

Customers on Black Friday and Cyber Monday will search expressly for promotions in your online shop. Make sure, therefore, that your promotions are prominently placed and immediately visible. Possibilities in this respect include, for example, using banners in the upper margin of the page, integration in a header or the use of pop-up windows.

The online retailer Amazon.com uses a large banner to remind of their upcoming Black Friday deals.

The online retailer Amazon.com uses a large banner to remind of their upcoming Black Friday deals.

One proven method to increase enquiries on the customer side is to add a countdown clock. Use a countdown that runs down to the time of Black Friday starting, as well as to the time left until the end of the deal. In this way, you will increase anticipation in advance of the promotion weekend itself. During the web holidays, try also to convey a sense of urgency, which will encourage customers towards immediate purchase.

Tip 4: Correct marketing

Spread your offers across all marketing channels. Send personalised emails, use display banners and perform a special Google AdWords campaign. Circulate your promotions particularly in social media also and ensure that somebody monitors the comments and messages on your site during the campaign weekend. Customer queries, or even their complaints, should always be responded to.

On web portals like Black Friday Sale, online retailers can register their promotions free of charge.

On web portals like Black Friday Sale, online retailers can register their promotions free of charge.

Should you decide not to start a laborious campaign yourself, you can also cooperate with portals such as Black-Friday.de or Black Friday Sale. These providers pool together the best deals in Germany and retailers can register in advance their information about promotions.

Tip 5: Keep an eye on the Christmas trade with price observation

Phenomena like Black Friday and Cyber Monday show that: Towards year’s end, the price war becomes markedly acute. To successfully position yourself in the Christmas trade, you should analyse the pricing strategy of your competitors in preparation for, as well as subsequent to, the promotion days. On the basis of this analysis, you can then adapt your own prices to the competition and reliably optimise them in view of the increasing competitive pressure.
To precisely follow the development of competitor prices and to be able to rapidly adapt your own prices, many online retailers use automated solutions for price observation. Our intelligent software solution blackbee shows you how competitive your online prices are – and does so on the basis of highly valid and precise data. You will thus improve your position in the highly contested online market and be well equipped for the next impending holidays in online retail.

In blackbee, we offer you a customised tool for price observation and price optimisation. Test it now and profit from the advantages of an automated software solution.