How to Plan for Black Friday & Cyber Monday, Starting Now
Every year, businesses wait until the last minute to begin planning for Black Friday and Cyber Monday. What the "last minute" means to you and your business may vary, so to put it simply: the time to start planning for the biggest commerce holidays of the year is now. Realistically, the goal is to have a plan in place starting in September! You may be wondering the necessity of creating a plan months before, but read on and you'll see just how absolutely necessary it is.
What Planning for Black Friday & Cyber Monday Involves
Before we dive into why planning for Black Friday and Cyber Monday is so essential, let's take a look at what it involves. First and foremost, you'll need to create a strategy. A BFCM strategic plan involves every facet of your business: site optimisation, sales projections, contingency plans, and fixing weak points. From there, you'll turn your strategy into a plan of action with measurable and effective steps.
Each plan varies from business to business, and no two storefronts prepare for BFCM the same way. Generally speaking, it'll involve finding the most effective way to get the word out about BFCM deals, creating assets for the weeks leading up, and planning landing pages, payment gateways, and more. The last step is execution, where you'll spend time ensuring everything is right where it needs to be.
The planning for Black Friday and Cyber Monday, however, doesn’t quite end with the holiday. The best time to assess how your BFCM went is right after it happens, analysing that success and finding flaws to work on immediately. Of course, there’s new customers you might’ve landed during your promotions too; how do you plan on keeping them?
Why You Should Start BFCM Planning Now
You know what you need to do, but why start now? Like any other business plan, BFCM strategy takes time. Here's some big reasons to get to planning now.
There’s More to It Than You Think
A lot of companies believe that planning for BFCM is no different than another sales day, offering 10-20% off of their typical prices and hoping for success. The truth is, online buyers are incredibly savvy, and seek big time deals. In fact, 2018’s average discount was a whopping 49.6% off. Planning sales this big is more than a matter of a banner or promotional emails; it requires taking a real look at your inventory and sales goals to create a feasible method for providing high-discount offers while maximising profits.
E-Commerce Will Be Booming
It goes without saying that the effects of this year’s pandemic have already been felt by online retailers, and we at Full Fat Commerce are willing to assume that online shopping will be larger than ever this year. In recent years, Cyber Monday has begun to eclipse Black Friday in terms of sales, generating over a billion dollars more in online revenue than in-person purchases.
Your Site Needs Updating
From navigation to page loading speed, it’s essential to have a top-tier site. If your storefront is slow now, you can only imagine how it’ll work when the pressure is on and an influx of customers are trying to buy at once. The simple fact of the matter is that the speed of your site either encourages or discourages millions of pounds/dollars-worth of sales, and 40% of customers will leave a site if a page takes more than three seconds to load.
BFCM Goes Beyond BFCM
Think Black Friday and Cyber Monday stop after Monday? That’s not quite the case. Keep in mind many are buying for the holidays, and there will likely be a multitude of returns. There’s also shipping to keep in mind; solidifying a purchase is one thing, but now you have plenty of orders to get out. Being prepared on all fronts gives you the mental fortitude and time to deal with only the issues you need to as they arise, falling back on contingency plans if necessary.
Your Competitors Already Have
There’s an abundance of brands in the e-commerce space, and the need to compete is already high. This level of competition is only heightened by the month of November, and standing out requires a multi-faceted approach that is sure to convert. Not only will the sales you promote be a huge factor in your success compared to other brands in the same niche, but every part of your brand will be stacked up against others. No matter how successful you already are, there's always improvements to be made.
BFCM Is a Marathon, Not a Sprint
Don’t save your sales for the last minute; get started with Black Friday and Cyber Monday plans now. It can be overwhelming to face the reality of Black November, but try not to stress: Full Fat Commerce offers a customised checklists and plans for gearing up your Shopify storefront.
You have full access to all of the tools you need when you choose to work alongside our designers, developers, QA testers, content creators, and growth specialists — all of which are under the supervision of your assigned project manager. For a site that promotes functionality, engagement, and conversion without losing brand identity, get in touch with Full Fat Commerce.
No need to stress; we've done this before.