Missed the boat on black friday? Here's our top tips!

December 16, 2019



Black Friday was initially created in the US in the late 1800s as a post-Thanksgiving tradition, however it has slowly made it way across the pond hitting the UK market in more recent years. This year however, a late Thanksgiving has led to fewer shopping days and weekends between Black Friday and Christmas which has prompted many ecommerce brands to start their holiday promotions in early November.

Black Friday/Cyber Monday sales hit an all time high this year and Barclaycard, who process about £1 of every £3 spent in the UK, reported that transaction value was up 16.5% compared with last year. Retailers who have missed the boat with Black Friday promotions this year still have an opportunity to make an impact in time for Christmas, Boxing Day and New Year.

With visions of increased conversions and AOV on every retailer’s mind; a substantial shopping season is already underway. One of the main concerns of ecommerce businesses this year has been creating a seamless and engaging customer experience for onsite visitors. With cloud-based solutions leading the charge, customer experience has been at the forefront of every retailer mind.


What’s cloud got to do with it?

Cloud computing is clearly here to stay but more than that, moving to the cloud has been on the minds of businesses more recently as technology evolves. With the global cloud computing market expected to reach $623.3 billion by 2023, a variety of industries have been migrating to the cloud. For ecommerce, the benefits are enormous and include increased speed, cost reduction, disaster recovery and scalability. Cloud solutions also offer increased speed which can be a huge deciding factor for ecommerce businesses who want to offer their holiday shoppers the ideal buying experience.


Holiday shopping meets CX

Intelligent solutions for customer experience (CX) are critical parts of the buying journey. Turning browsers into purchasers requires website visitors to feel connected with the site while enjoying a seamless experience. Optimising customer experiences with end-to-end digital engagement extensions can likely digitally transform your business and build engagement throughout. Shoppers are especially likely to demand a visually stunning and seamless customer experience during the holiday season as this is both a high spend period and high stress period for many. A strengthened customer relationships across online (and offline) platforms has been shown to result in increased loyalty, engagement and revenue. So, as an ecommerce brand, what are some of the tactics you still have time to utilise this holiday shopping season? We’re so glad you asked!


Social commerce

Like the name suggests, social commerce is a combination of social media and ecommerce where brands can sell goods and services directly through social media channels. A recent study reveals that 55% of consumers surveyed bought products after seeing it on social media. Through social media content being made accessible, brands can remove any extra steps between discovery and purchase which can hurry the process while keeping the customer engaged. It also gives the shopper another platform to find your products - one which many already frequent on a daily basis.

Cluse, H&M and Sephora all do a great job of selling products through their social channels and uses a variety of influencers, offers and special campaigns throughout the holiday shopping season.


Site optimisation

Walmart, J.Crew and Lululemon were just a few of the big name brands that experienced site crashes last Black Friday. Forrester reports that impact for J.Crew was an estimated $700,000 in sales. Traffic spikes are likely to happen around the holidays but it’s crucial to be prepared to avoid disgruntled customers, unfavorable media and a crashed site. Another reason why ecommerce organisations are favorable towards the cloud is simply speed. Load times are faster and cloud solutions offer disaster recovery options that can be useful in a crash situation.

Companies like SAP have disaster recovery built into their cloud commerce solution which can be ideal for support. SAP Commerce Cloud is one of the five SAP Customer Experience clouds that can be easily integrated. SAP Sales Cloud, SAP Service Cloud, SAP Marketing Cloud and SAP Customer Data Cloud are all available to bridge the gap between front and back office and are optimized for IoT, machine learning and blockchain. Robust systems can ensure your site is supported if any issues should arise during the holiday season.


Personalisation

Creating a memorable experience for customers is essential and through personalisation technology, retailers have never had more of an opportunity to identify visitors, gather information and then speak to them in a way that resonates. Offering ecommerce customers recommendations based on their own specific shopping habits has become a large focus of the online shopping industry. According to reports, 80% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase when brands offer personalised experiences. Using tools that already understand your customers preferences, that can recommend the specific products to onsite visitors at the right time can mean the difference between conversion and increased AOV or simply just browsing.


Better UX/UI

These days, the experience is everything! You can see it with major companies making a shift to create well-rounded and fully optimised experiences online and offline for their customers. Good UX/UI should we help you to clearly communicate your value proposition and deliver quality and consistency onsite to ensure you are converting visitors into customers.

Effectively creating engaging user journeys across all touchpoints to solidify your brand strategy can help increase customer retention and conversion while essentially helping you connect with website visitors. Working with a consultancy can offer specific opportunities to review user journey mapping, to do proper user research and create a user interface and design system maximized for your company. It can also speed up the process to ensure you can meet strict deadlines; this holiday shopping season for example!


Using Time Efficiently

Black Friday has now come and gone but that doesn’t mean there isn’t still time to get prepared for the next leg of this holiday shopping frenzy. Testing social commerce can be a creative quick win for ecommerce businesses while improving UI/UX can lead to immediate results for conversions. Looking at these tactics as ongoing projects with continuous room for improvement is key for making an impact this holiday season as well as gearing up for 2020.

Jon Brooks
Jon Brooks

Jon Brooks Chief Technology Officer and founder of Weaveability, is a certified SAP developer with over 25 years of experience in SAP. Jon’s responsible for the technical side of the sales team, ensuring we’re using the latest technologies in the SAP product set to meet our customer needs. Outside of work, Jon is an avid football watcher and golfer.