How E-Tailers get ahead on Black Friday and Cyber Monday
Black Friday 2015 Date: 27th November
Cyber Monday 2015 Date: 30th November
Like many other ideas that have travelled across the Atlantic to the UK, Black Friday and Cyber Monday have been snapped up with enthusiasm by the British shopping public. The UK online trading community was initially slow to react, and slower to cope - but the signs for the 2015 dates are that the British E-Tailer community have learned the lessons of 2014, and are ready to make some serious money - despite MP's calling for a boycott.
According to Experian and IMRG, UK Shoppers spent £810m on Black Friday 2014, whilst spending £720m on Cyber Monday 2014 - with Black Friday generating 180m website hits and Cyber Monday generating 161m website hits. According to the Royal Mail, 26% of consumers in the UK are likely to wait for special sale events before purchasing.
Social media tales and viral videos of customer riots on shop floors, along with a web-traffic induced meltdown for several high-profile websites all highlighted some obvious lessons in terms of webserver-capacity, and in-store customer management for many retailers. But are there other lessons E-Tailers can take away?
Mobile is CRUCIAL!
According to Monetate, internet shopping traffic from mobile devices went up 57% on Black Friday in 2014 versus 2013. This, combined with the general shift towards mobile browsing and interactivity on the web means that 'mobile-native' e-commerce functions will be ideally placed to take advantage of Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2015. 'Mobile-native' doesn't just mean 'viewable' or 'basically usable' on a mobile device - it means that the user experience must be just as good and streamlined as a desktop for customers when purchasing from your e-commerce shop. Get it right in 2015!
Free Shipping and Free Returns
If you haven't already implemented free shipping on your orders, and backed them up with free returns - you need to make it happen and pronto! According to the Royal Mail's 'Delivery Matters 2015' research, having to pay for shipping or sending returns is a major hurdle with 55% of online shoppers stating they 'always expect free delivery'. Furthermore, 44% of said shoppers abandoned their cart because of delivery charges. Guess where 31% of these lost shoppers went when they abandoned their cart? To your competitors, offering free delivery!
Packaging and Delivery
Some of the most overlooked aspects of e-commerce trading are the aspects of packaging and delivery. 63% of online marketplace shoppers find 'delivery ratings' to be at minimum 'quite influential' in their purchase decisions, according to Royal Mail's research. If your E-Tail operation is not providing delivery options that customers find convenient to them, they're going to bounce. Similarly, from our own experiences here at Lil Packaging in developing packaging for some of the internet's largest e-tailers, we know that every time sub-standard packaging is used, it is the retailer-customer relationship that suffers. With the two issues combined we know that consistently high quality packaging, with the 'use-case' well thought out, means that high delivery ratings can be achieved and sustained with happy customers.
These points aren't golden bullets for your Black Friday or Cyber Monday online trading efforts. But if you get them right, you're going to stand a much greater chance of competing with the big retailers who normally dominate both days!