Black Friday is often referred to as one of the most important shopping days of the year, quickly followed by Cyber Monday.
If you're a small business owner and you've never considered running a Cyber Monday sale, it might be time to think again. A Cyber Monday sale might be just what your business needs to boost profits in the final stretch of the year, but this can only happen if you prepare for it properly. Here are some tips for making sure your holiday sales campaign is successful.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday are two very different shopping events. In fact, they shouldn't even be considered the same thing! Black Friday is a physical event that takes place in stores across the country, while Cyber Monday takes place online. In general, people seem to prefer one over the other.
When Black Friday rolls around (the day after American Thanksgiving), lines at big box stores can be long and grueling but it's worth it because you get access to some awesome deals on TV's, computers and other electronics.
Cyber Monday is much more relaxed than its counterpart because all shopping happens via their computer screen
But Cyber Monday is much more than an opportunity for savvy consumers to get a deal – it also affects businesses in many ways.
For many of our clients, especially those with e-commerce sites, deciding whether to take part in Black Friday can be tricky. For smaller businesses, or artisan producers, the admin alone can be a nightmare. For some, though, the payoff is worth the hassle.
Why is Black Friday and Cyber Monday important?
Black Friday is the day after American Thanksgiving. It has become a major shopping day for many people and retailers because it marks the official start of the holiday shopping season, which continues until Christmas.
With such a recent focus on the cost-of-living, many consumers are particularly keen to find a bargain. Offering a Cyber Monday exclusive deal could be enough for your business to draw in new customers despite their tightening budgets.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday statistics
- Brits plan to spend an estimated £3.95 billion on Black Friday and Cyber Monday purchases in 2022
- In 2022, overall Black Friday spending is expected to drop by £850 million, down 18% from last year
- The average spend per person will also fall by 31% (£85) in 2022 to £189.59
- The percentage of Brits shopping the sales in 2022 has risen to 39%, a 6% percentage point increase from 2021
- In-store spending has fallen by 36% in 2022, with shoppers spending around £96 less on the high street than they did in 2021
Should your small business participate in Cyber Monday?
First, there's no right or wrong answer. The best approach for your business will depend on what type of organisation you have, how small you can make your profit margin in the short term, and whether it makes sense for your industry.
If you supply handmade artisan products, you may feel that Cyber Monday deals cheapen your brand, or put too much pressure on your producers and creators. However, if you have products that are easy to package and sell, you may want to take advantage of the digital marketing bonanza and offer deals on certain products within your store.
The Pros of Black Friday Sales
- People often hold off shopping until the end of November, waiting for Black Friday.
- People are more likely to buy big-ticket items on Black Friday
- It’s an opportunity to clear stock before Christmas and the end of the year.
- Increased traffic to your site, and increased sales.
The Cons of Black Friday Sales
While the idea of Black Friday activities is quite appealing to many small businesses, it's important to understand your company's resources and capabilities before you decide on which activities you can or cannot carry out.
- Large sales can “cheapen” your brand.
- You feel pressured to discount items you otherwise wouldn’t have.
- Higher sales can generate a higher returns volume; especially items people bought without thinking as it was on sale.
- Black Friday is crowded and competitive; you may put in a lot of work for little return.
You know your business best, and it is important to make the decision that is right for you. If you decide to go ahead, it is crucial to plan your campaign well and do what you can to ensure it is seen by the right people.
Make your business an online destination.
- Make your business an online destination.
- If you don’t already have one, start thinking about building a website that can handle the traffic you expect to see during your Cyber Monday promotions. If you already have a website and it isn’t mobile-friendly, this would be a good time to update it with some new features—and make sure it looks good on all devices!
- Set up a shopping cart system that allows people to purchase products online (rather than over the phone or via email). This will make things easier for everyone: customers won't have to wait on hold while they order different items; they'll also avoid having to write down each product's name and price.
- A payment processor like PayPal makes it easy for customers to check out by using their credit card information, which means less time spent manually entering data into forms. Plus: fraud protection!
- Use shipping options so customers can get their orders as quickly as possible; even if they're not in any rush themselves (maybe because there's no hurry when shopping online), most people want their purchases delivered as soon as possible.
Do take advantage of social media.
Social media is where most people are shopping, so it's essential to take advantage of this in order to reach new customers. You can use social media to connect with people who are interested in your product or service, but also as a means to communicate with them after they've made a purchase.
If you're unsure where or how to start, here are some tips:
- Make sure you have a professional-looking profile image and regular updates on all platforms.
- Have plans for responding to customer service issues on each platform (responses that are quick and helpful will result in more satisfied customers).
- Connect with your customers on social media and encourage customers to share their pieces with you online.
Do create an email campaign that leads up to the sale.
If you’re planning on doing a sale, there is no better time than Cyber Monday to do it. An email campaign gives you an opportunity to get customers back to your site, build relationships with them, promote products and services and events. You can also use the emails to promote your brand as a whole.
How can you make the most of Cyber Monday even if you don't go on sale?
Even if you’re not planning to go on sale, there are still ways to make the most of Cyber Monday.
- Emails can often get lost in inboxes at the end of November, so if you’re not looking to compete with the deluge, hold off sending emails until the beginning of December.
- Keeping postal dates in mind, you can offer smaller discounts in early December.
- Make it clear why you’re not doing Cyber Monday this year; maybe you’re not looking to cheapen your hand-made products, don’t want to jump on bandwagons or are gearing up for a promotion in the New Year.
- Consider giving a percentage to local charities instead of offering a discount. Many smaller businesses rely on the help of their communities throughout the year; winter is a great time to give back.
There's no one ‘right’ answer for how to deal with Cyber Monday
As with any marketing strategy, it is not a case of one size fits all. You know your community and customers best; you know what has worked in the past and what trends you have noticed in customer sales.
If you take part in Cyber MOnday, keep these key things in mind:
- What is your capacity for orders (stock, time to pack etc).
- Keep your messaging consistent across all channels (website, social media, emails).
- Set realistic sales goals for the weekend so you can measure the success of your campaign.
About NB Communication
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