In the first part of our Black Friday and Cyber Monday article, we shared successful strategies that some of our eCommerce clients had implemented to ‘get through’ the annual sales event. In this article, based on our logistics experience, we created a checklist on preparing your eCommerce business for Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales, to help businesses gain the most out of these significant discount days.
No 1: What is your plan B?
Things can always go wrong in logistics because there’s so many factors involved bad weather, variable demand, road conditions, mighty, global distribution issues…. the list is potentially endless. Whilst it’s important to have a plan A which covers every eventuality in the event of things going swimmingly; it’s vital to have a Plan B so that if things go wrong when you are in the centre of the sales period, you can implement the change quickly with minimal stress. You’re busy enough as it is and looking at risk mitigation as part of your business continuity makes life a lot easier over this busy period.
No 2: Don’t just have an offer, have a great offer
Don’t be stingy in your Black Friday and Cyber Monday offers! Consumers are savvy nowadays and anything less than 25% will be disregarded. We know we’ve all got costs going through the roof and bills to pay but utilise this sales period fully. As a time of peak customer spending, to stand out, you sometimes need to go a little bit further south of your normal margin. Whilst a two day period, there is a long-term strategy to consider and think about how you can remarket to your new customers and make your money on future sales.
No 3: Marketing to existing and new customers
Shout loudly about what you’re Black Friday and Cyber Monday offers are.
Spend some time nurturing existing clients and building more prospects with channels such as email marketing and social posting (which cost very little other than your time) to let everyone know what your offers are and how to find them. We’re always gobsmacked at how little marketing we see from retailers that we subscribe to. If customers have purchased from you before, they like your products and style and are likely to purchase again.
If you don’t tell people, don’t assume they are going to go to your website without being reminded that you have offers on for the two days.
No 4: Spread your risk
Of course, operationally speaking Black Friday and Cyber Monday can be an intense and difficult time. The best way to remove pressure is to have a great logistics management company working alongside you. However, with the sales period nearing, changing now would be too much, so we suggest you spread your risk in two ways.
- Geographically: By ensuring you have stock in multiple premises, such as your manufacturing and retail sites.
- Resource: By ensuring you have access to multiple carriers. In the last 10 years at least one carrier has had some major issue over Black Friday/Cyber Monday, so if you happen to be wholly utilising one carrier you could get into big problems. Using multiple carriers is a great example of having a plan B in place because it’s then easy to change over to another carrier if your main carrier is having problems.
No 5: Manage expectations
Work on the premise of under promise, overdeliver. For example, book 24 hour deliveries, tell your customers 48 hour deliveries, and everybody will be happy because you’ve exceeded client expectations. Be very conscious in your marketing about delivery times this time of year. Encouraged people to order early. This goes for Christmas as well.
No 6: Manage exceptions
You need to focus on the deliveries that go wrong. Not the stuff that’s going right. If you utilise Diamond’s logistics management platform and our fulfilment centres then all of this is done for you, but if you’re managing your own logistics you need to make sure that you’re managing those failed deliveries.
No 7: Always have a post peak period review
What worked and what didn’t? There is always something to learn and it’s important to change those flawed areas in time for the next peak. Especially in the case of Black Friday and Cyber Monday when you have Christmas and January sales just around the corner.
The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different outcome, which is why this review is so important. At Diamond, our mantra is ‘Plan | Do | Review’ and it has always worked well for us. So, look at peak times such as your Black Friday and Cyber Monday operations, look back on how change in external factors impacted your business and then identify what can be changed to ensure business continuity in the future.
We hope this helps! If you would like to speak to us about this or Part 1 of our Black Friday/Cyber Monday articles, our team can be contacted on 0333 567 5888. Alternatively, email us at email@example.com or complete our contact form below.