It’s Fall, And The Crunch Time Is Fast Approaching!

Meteorological Fall began this year on Saturday evening, September 22nd at approx. 9:10 Pm. While we’re not putting the clocks back just yet, (that happens on Sunday, November 4th at about 2AM. It still signals for us, that the “Crunch Time” for getting our eCommerce stores ready and able to take on the influx of shoppers, both existing, which are our bread and butter customers and those we hope to attract by new social media posts and tag-a-long news-blasts announcing a great sale on targeted products.

Something to think about is:
Oct. 31: Halloween: which if your store gains any traction from this holiday you should be making sure your promotional ads are in place and you’re already ramping up your social media blurbs about savings on related products, whether they be costumes, artist paints and facial and body enhancements. Party novelties or just plain holiday decorations and that must have, Halloween scary enhancement to any party or home decoration.

The average American planned to spend $169.81 on Halloween in 2017, shelling out for costumes, candy, and decorations. People who celebrate the holiday tend to start their costume searches online, with more than one-third doing so in September or earlier. This year the volume is expected to rise over $186.00 per person. Are you ready to capture your share of that allotment?

Nov. 22-26: Thanksgiving/Black Friday/Cyber Monday
More than 174 million Americans shopped in stores and online from Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday this year, according to the NRF (National Retail Federation). One-third of those consumers shopped only online. Not surprisingly, Cyber Monday and Black Friday were the two most popular days for online shopping.
Despite the deep discounts on offer over Thanksgiving weekend, NRF found that only 12 percent of people had finished their holiday shopping by Dec. 12, with 53 percent planning to shop on the last Saturday before Christmas, Dec. 23. Notably, more than half of those last-minute shoppers planned to purchase their gifts online

Dec. 25: Christmas Day
Despite the deep discounts on offer over Thanksgiving weekend, NRF found that only 12 percent of people had finished their holiday shopping by Dec. 12, with 53 percent planning to shop on the last Saturday before Christmas, Dec. 23. Notably, more than half of those last-minute shoppers planned to purchase their gifts online. And don’t write off the December 26th
People have learned and so have the stores, eCommerce ones especially that people are looking hard and long at their tablets and smartphones even on Christmas day for optimum sales that stores will be pushing out on Christmas Day and at 12:01 on the 26th. People are setting their alarms, so they get up early enough to capitalize on any potential high-end promotional sales that stores who are looking for their last chance to clear out their inventory. Most consumers philosophy is following the old saying that the “Early Bird catches the worm”.

It all starts with Planning, and those plans need to be made now, as the clock really is ticking and you can be sure your competitors are already fine-tuning their online stores, and if they have a brick and mortar store, they should be working on tying in the two retail opportunities so your customers can identify one with the other.

Planning: Allocate the right amount of Black Friday/Cyber Monday inventory. Do you have sufficient inventory to get through the BFCM sale? Take advantage of analytics to understand your previous year’s sales performance. Start by conducting a product performance analysis within last year’s Black Friday/Cyber-Monday history from last year. This will help you identify your top-selling BFCM products as well as the number of unique purchases made.
You can integrate Google’s Product Performance Analysis to do this. Go to Conversions > Ecommerce > Product Performance and you will get an analytics dashboard: Instead of looking at product revenue performance, focus on the quantity column to see the number of units sold per product. This will give you enough of an estimate as to how much inventory you should allocate per product. Once estimated, you need to coordinate with your suppliers.
Anticipate Additional Manpower: Make sure that your online shop is prepared to support the increased demand. Now that you know how to measure the right amount of inventory to have on hand, ask yourself this: Do I need to hire temporary staff to handle the anticipated spike in orders?
If you manufacture your own product, you need to anticipate if the surge in orders can be covered by your team. If you also manage your own shipping and order fulfillment, then it’s a good idea to include this in your temporary manpower plans. Additionally, work with your suppliers and shippers to confirm if they are also prepared to fulfill all the heightened demands during the Black Friday/Cyber Monday period. The worst thing that can happen to your store is wasting all the sales opportunities because you can’t meet all your customers’ demands.
Determine your Black Friday/Cyber Monday Offers: Your BFCM sales won’t run successfully without the right offers. Determine which deals and discounts you need to run and to which products you need to apply them. During the BFCM period, shoppers have different reasons why they made a purchase, so make sure your offers are based on different motivations, again by using Analytics and following their “Click-thru Path”.
Market – Market – Marketing!
Build hype around your upcoming sale with pre-marketing Black Friday/Cyber Monday campaigns Simply announcing that you have a sale won’t do the trick. Consider preparing for pre-marketing campaigns that will help you create hype for your upcoming sale. Begin by emailing your customer base with a sneak-peek of your products on sale. As early as now, you can also pique your customers’ interests through social media. The idea is the sooner you start your promotional teasers, the more momentum you will gain during the BFCM sale itself. Surely you will find an inspiration from Macy’s Cyber Monday landing page (https://www.macys.com/social/cyber-monday-deals/) which is already up and running. This allows shoppers to find the perfect Cyber Monday deals as early as October! Plus, they also incorporated social sharing buttons to gain more traction from social media.

The above are just the tip of the iceberg in preparing your online store and brick and mortar stores for the Holiday Shopping Season. If you feel a little daunted by what’s needed to have a successful holiday season, that makes your year profitable or not. Then give the knowledgeable eCommerce team at Black Arrow Marketing a call @ 888-225-4780, or email us at Info@BlackArrowMarketing.com

And let them review your current eCommerce store and if you have a brick and mortar store, they can offer suggestions/recommendations on how you can have your existing store have an integrated presence tied into your online shopping store. Call or email them today! Remember, the clock is ticking…….