Black Friday and Cyber Monday are coming up fast. We've put together a few stock management and merchandising tips to make sure you get the most out of the big weekend.
Before you do anything else, stop and check your inventory! There's nothing worse than running out of bestselling products in the middle of the holiday heyday. If you sell through marketplaces like Amazon as well, don't underestimate how much you're likely to sell. This is probably the one time when overstocking is not a bad thing.
When considering what to order and how much, ask yourself the following questions:
- What sold well last year?
- What did you run out of?
- What did you hope to sell more of?
Get ready for the rush
Next, think about traffic and capacity. Is your site optimized to handle the holiday rush? Is your stock management system up to date and accurate—in other words, do you know how many products you actually have?
Once you've stocked up and made sure your site is ready to handle the holiday rush, double check your fulfillment process to be sure you meet shipping dates and get gifts to customers on time. Post shipping dates clearly on your website so there's no confusion.
Finally, don't skimp on security. This is definitely not the time for a security breach, with the increase of customers sharing their private information as they make purchases on your site. It's a good idea to let your payment processor know you expect increased visits.
Stand out from the crowd
Everyone is competing for attention at the holidays, and with good reason: the holiday season can bring in up to 30% of revenue for online merchants, in some cases up to 50%! With so many stores counting on great sales, customers are going to be facing an avalanche of promotions. Make sure you stand out from the crowd with highly-targeted, unique content.
Everyone will be advertising their sales and promotions in email subject titles, so consider another approach, like humor, to stand out. If that's not your style, try crafting your titles to speak to your target segments, especially top customers. Put all the data you've collected over the last year to work for you to personalize emails and aggressively retarget key customer segments.
Guide your customers to the perfect gift
Customers will be cramming as much shopping in on Black Friday and Cyber Monday as they can. Make it easy for them to find what they need on your site by putting together gift guides that address different customer types, like moms and dads, or product categories, like stocking stuffers or winter duds.
Throw in free shipping
Customers love a good deal this time of the year, but they love free shipping even more. In fact, shipping fees contribute more than anything else to abandoned carts. This might seem like a big investment for small businesses, but the fact is, shipping fees could be what turn customers away from your site and to the competition.
To take some of the risk out of offering free shipping, ask yourself a few questions to optimize the shipping process:
- How many customers didn't receive their order on time?
- How did our partners perform?
- What was the most popular shipping option?
- Were my shipping cut-off dates accurate enough for domestic and international customers?
- What were my fulfilment and shipping costs?
Don't forget your "404 Page Not Found" and "No Results Found" pages
Customer searches may turn up negative for a variety reasons, from spelling errors to different regional names for the same product. Don't lose customers by dead-ending them at an error page. Optimize these pages by suggesting similar products or displaying a page of bestsellers.
Take our Black Friday/Cyber Monday survey!
Black Friday and Cyber Monday generate incredible sales in the United States, but their impact in other countries varies: do merchants practice Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales in Europe? Do South American customers expect extreme deals at this time of year? What about Asia?
To understand how these key dates impact PrestaShop merchants not only in the US but around the world, we've put together a survey and we'd love it if you'd participate! We'll share the results in an update to this article and on social media.
What are you doing to prepare for Black Friday and Cyber Monday? Let us know in the comments!