Black Friday or Cyber Monday are now in the minds of everybody. For bargain hunters these are their favourites dates of the year. Understanding the impact these days can have on your website is important, since they provide you with a great opportunity to boost your online sales, during the pre-holiday period. Below we explain these dates and how you can ready your website for them.
Firstly, Black Friday! This is the day after Thanksgiving and is known in America as the Christmas shopping kick-off. It is the day when stores offer their best discounts and deals of the year. As a result it is becoming one of the largest shopping days in the US.
The name Black Friday originated in 1961 in Philadelphia. It described the state of collapse caused on the roads the day after Thanksgiving Day. However in 1975, the term started to become known as an alternative explanation to the impact experienced in shops during that day. Black Friday marked the point at which shops began to turn a profit and move from red to black numbers after the low months occurred throughout the year.
As for the UK, Black Friday first arrived five years ago when Amazon thought it would a good idea to bring the shopping sensation to a new market by offering some Black Friday discounts. Later in 2013, Asda also ran a campaign promoting the Black Friday concept in the UK.
When is it?
This year Black Friday falls on November 27th, followed by Cyber Monday, probably the second busiest shopping day in the US, which will take place the Monday after.
The name Cyber Monday was created in America in 2005 in a Shop.org press release entitled “Cyber Monday quickly becoming one of the biggest shopping days of the year.” According to the release, 77% of marketers substantially increased online sales that at that time, many Americans were turning back to work where they had high speed internet connections and could buy what they liked.
British retailers – who are always keen to learn from our friends across the pond – started to adopt Black Friday. Last year, increasing numbers of UK retailers ran Black Friday campaigns, offering hugely discounted prices to entice shoppers to start their Christmas shopping. It proved very successful: British consumers spent £810m on Black Friday – a rate of £9,375 every second – and this year, sales are expected to surpass £1bn.
Find out more about predictions for Black Friday and Cyber Monday here.
How to prepare your online shop
Make sure you have everything ready prior to these dates arriving. Plan what offers you will have and how you want to display them on your website. Make it obvious to your website visitors that you have special offers available – make it impossible for them to miss it.
- Prepare your stock and those products that will have a special offer.
- Review and update your product pages and make sure you showcase the discount applied to the product price so customers can quickly see the normal price and the reduced price.
- Refresh your home page so visitors can see instantly that you have offers for these special dates. Here you should present: an updated header image that works as a link to your promotional products and also visible information about the shipping methods, duration of discounts (how long they will be available) and your return policy. For example, check out the homepages of the retailers below, to see how they made visitors aware of their Black Friday offers:
- Inform your existing and potential customers about the promotions in your shop. To do so, plan an email marketing campaign with special discounts for your database of customers and spread your promotions on your blog and throughout your social networks. See here for more information on creating coupon campaigns.
Changes to make to your website:
We advise you have a dedicated page in your online shop or a specific section with all the promotional products will help you organise the structure of your site and will also help your visitors find the products under promotion.
Also, we recommend you announce your business or specific campaigns on coupon websites. These pages are very common among online customers during sales seasons or special promotions like Black Friday/Cyber Monday to get even more interesting offers. Some of the most popular are:
- Vouchercodes.co.uk and myvouchercoders.co.uk are websites where you can advertise your coupons or promotions not only during special dates but any time you choose.
- Groupon is quite similar to the websites above but is more focused on products or services that are under promotion.
These two dates are a great opportunity to increase your online sales and drive more traffic to your website. Don’t miss out on this growing trend. Shout about your offers and make sure all of your customer know what’s available.