The approaching flood of shoppers interested in purchasing deals Thanksgiving weekend can seem intimidating. Forty percent (40%) of shoppers are looking for Black Friday promotions. With more than half of consumers intending to do some of their holiday shopping online, Cyber Monday sales have great potential too. As a result, businesses need to improve each area of the shopping experience in order to maximize customer sales through the Holiday shopping season.
Keeping these factors in mind, here are some suggestions for preparing for Black Friday and beyond:
Make sure your site can handle the extra traffic. Both online and physical locations can benefit from load testing to make certain the systems and processes can handle the extra volume.
Plan out all your promotions for the holiday season. Your promotions will likely include Black Friday, Cyber Monday and countdown promotions so it is critical they all “fit” together. There is nothing worse than poorly planned product specials. With today’s sophisticated shoppers there is little patience for unsatisfactory buying experiences.
Make sure your inventory supports each promotion. Excellence in inventory management is critical to success starting with your Black Friday promotions and throughout the holiday retail season. The challenge for online and brick & mortar businesses is not only understanding which products to buy and what quantities but also planning for possible last minute reorders. Product availability is not helped when several of the major US shipping ports are heavily backlogged, so have contingency plans in place.
Notify everyone on your team about Black Friday Promotions and Cyber Monday Sales. Inform key team members in your holiday business plans: Search Engine Optimization Strategist, Pay Per Click Consultant, Social Media Manager, Marketing Director, Sales Staff, Store Manager, Customer Service and any other additional team members and/or floor staff. A more educated staff means a better the customer experience. Verify all personnel understand the goals for both Black Friday promotions and Cyber Monday sales. Help your teams not only get the conversation going with shoppers, but keep open dialogs with those customers to make sure they find the right promotions.
Plan for “out-of-stock” situations. The best and worst case scenario will eventually happen. Confirm there is a solid strategy for up-selling or cross-selling to satisfy customer demand when the out-of-stock situation happens. The worst thing that can happen is loss of sales due to low inventory for high demand products.
In the words of Bobby Unser, “Success is where preparation and opportunity meet.” Ensure everything is in place prior to the first of your Black Friday promotions and your business will be better equipped for the rush of holiday shoppers looking for deals.
Feel free to share your Black Friday promotions or other deals you have in the works for the Holiday season in the comments below.
About Kent Yunk
Kent is currently Advisor and SEO Strategist to Roaring Pajamas a boutique digital-strategy company located in San Carlos California. His in-house SEO experience spans GoDaddy, QuinStreet, Ask.com, Dictionary.com, Adobe and IBM where he did extensive audits and optimization for local and international web properties. He and his team also execute reputation management, link building and social media campaigns.