Black Friday and Cyber Monday – the two special offer days that herald the discount battle before the annual Christmas business begins. Besides stationary retail, online shops are also luring custom through various campaigns. The origin of these two days lies in the USA, where Thanksgiving is celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November. On the bridging day thereafter the shopping holiday of Black Friday has traditionally taken place for several decades now. Cyber Monday marks the high-selling Monday after the holiday weekend, on which many Americans peacefully engage in online shopping.
In Germany also, these sales campaigns are becoming increasingly popular. Online retailers offer their customers considerable discounts here and consumers use these two days to buy Christmas presents. In 2016, record turnovers were generated. On the Black Friday and Cyber Monday weekend, according to an analysis by Statista and PAYONE, German eCommerce turned over more than 1.2 billion euros – eleven percent more than in 2015. Also interestingly, online retailers generated 409 million euros on Black Friday and on Cyber Monday it was 328 million euros.
This year sees the start of the Black Friday sale on November 23, 2017. Over a period of 24 hours, customers will have the opportunity of exploiting these campaigns from online shops. Then on November 27, 2017, Cyber Monday will take place. In our article “Using Black Friday and Cyber Monday successfully: 5 tips for online retailers“, we’ve put together five helpful tips for the two web holidays. Today, we’ll show you which aspects to also consider for successful online retailing on these two days. Despite their popularity among consumers, success at this time is by no means a foregone conclusion.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday herald the highest sales season of the year
Although the sales weekend only extends from November 23rd to the 27th, it does not mean that special promotions have to be limited to this period. In preparation for the Christmas period, consumers expect attractive offers in advance and also afterwards.
As a study by Arvato SCM Solutions on Black Friday 2016 shows, many retailers were thus extending their sales campaigns. Whereas in 2015, some 41 percent of companies limited themselves to Black Friday and only 30 percent of their customers reacted over several days, in 2016 it was exactly the other way around: barely a quarter of online retailers trusted that offers would be sufficient for that one day alone. By contrast, 37 percent let their campaigns run for more than three days and took advantage of the subsequent Cyber Monday week. A Google Trends analysis also shows that the search for discounts were already growing strongly at the end of October and then continued until mid-December.
Accordingly, these two days are a good opportunity for you as an online retailer to initiate the high-revenue Christmas season and to lure potential customers with special offers into your own webshop. How to optimally prepare for this season, we show you in our upcoming article “How to prepare your online shop for the Christmas business”.
Successful online shops are planning the web holidays based on a three-step process
The Arvato Study also shows that successful online shops are planning for Black Friday oriented on a three-stage process. The first step is to define the exact objective of the promotion. Should, for example, new customers be acquired over the longer term, or would you only like to achieve a short-term sales boost? The second step is the planning of a concept which depends upon the strategic objective. This involves defining the target group, creating added value and also shaping the promotion. It is also important to work out a communication strategy and the corresponding channels, as well as eliminating any stumbling blocks. Afterwards, it will be necessary to check on the achievement of goals and to adapt any upcoming campaigns accordingly.
To ensure your success in this year’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday campaigns, you should also be guided by this mix of strategic planning and evaluation.
Consumers are increasingly shopping for mobile devices during Christmas business
You will have a decisive advantage if you optimise your website for mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. According to a study by Adobe Digital Insights, as early as 2016, a quarter of all online purchases in Europe during the Christmas period were made via a mobile device – and that trend still remains upward. For you, this means that a mobile site is no longer an additional option, but now an obligation if you wish to remain competitive. During the introduction, make sure that texts, images and navigation are adapted accordingly, and then check your site over on different devices. With a perfect optimisation, you will ensure that your customers on tablets and smartphones see the same product, are offered information as on other devices and ultimately enjoy the self same brand experience.
During the holiday season of 2016, a quarter of turnover was generated via mobile devices. With a share of 14 percent, the smartphone is also leading the tablet for the first time (Source: Adobe Digital Insights).
Towards year’s end, the price war becomes markedly acute
For successful positioning in online retail, both Black Friday and Cyber Monday weekends and Christmas also, you should monitor and analyse the pricing strategy of your competitors in the preparation and follow-up to these campaign periods.
To precisely follow the development of competitor prices and to more rapidly adapt your own prices, many online retailers use automated solutions. Our intelligent software solution blackbee shows you which prices your competitors demand at which time for products that you also carry in your assortment, and do so on the basis of highly valid and precise data. You can thus quickly see how competitive your online prices are and strengthen your position in the highly competitive online market.