Black Friday vs. Cyber Monday: How to Approach a Strategy for Your Ecom Store

Black Friday vs. Cyber Monday: How to Approach a Strategy for Your Ecom Store

Black Friday and Cyber Monday (BFCM) present lucrative opportunities for eCommerce businesses. Shoppers crowd retail outlets en masse seeking the best deals on different products. BFCM is very important to eCommerce retailers because the massive sales add significant weight to their annual revenue. Luckily, you can get a friendly financing option to allow you to buy enough stock and reap big during BFCM.

But to win big during this mega shopping season, you must craft a solid strategy for your store. You must also begin implementing your tactics early to stay ahead of the stiff competition, supply chain issues, and other challenges encountered in eCommerce. 

Black Friday vs. Cyber Monday: What's the Difference? 

Falling on the days immediately following Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday have become the biggest online shopping days of the year. Although holiday sales start as early as mid and late October, BFCM is a short period of massive sales. In 2020, the total consumer expenditure in the US hit $10.84 billion during Cyber Monday and $9 billion during Black Friday. 

One significant difference between the two mega shopping days is exposure. While many Black Friday ads are out before the end of October, you might not find any Cyber Monday ads. And if you see them, it will probably be the weekend before Thanksgiving. Also, retailers do not offer doorbusters on Cyber Monday. Doorbusters refer to a sales tactic where retailers give significant discounts on a limited number of items. Sellers tend to offer short-term deals that remain effective while the inventory lasts or for the duration of the sale. 

Black Friday and Cyber Monday also differ in the products discounted. Typically, Black Friday discounts include Android phones, laptops, TVs, and phones. On the other hand, some of the great deals on Cyber Monday have speakers, toys, and beauty items. However, sellers offering other things also give special offers. 

Related: Christmas in July: What You Should Be Doing Now to Plan for Holiday Inventory

How to Stand Out from Competition

You need a clear picture of your competitors when preparing for the mega shopping days. While there has been a significant difference between the two holidays historically, that has blurred considerably as many retailers offer similar deals throughout the weekend. Therefore, you may need to look at Black Friday and Cyber Monday as a whole, especially when planning how to stand out from the competition.

The first step involves monitoring your competitors carefully. You can subscribe to their mailing lists to receive notifications and see the frequency of sending promotional emails. These can help you adjust your campaigns if need be. Also, check their social media activity, particularly the ads section. When you know how your competitors are doing, you can use that as a benchmark to do your thing better. 

But setting yourself apart from the crowd does not end with having a great campaign strategy. You need to craft an irresistible offer. Considering the numerous promotions that flood the market, you need to craft a deal that holds shoppers' attention long enough for them to buy. When choosing a discount for your BFCM campaign, you should consider the value it offers your customers, how it serves the returning customers and how to tailor it to new customers. 

How to Approach a Strategy for Your Ecommerce Store

The key to reaping the most during Black Friday and Cyber Monday is developing an excellent strategy for your eCommerce store. But you must do that early enough. Early preparations help you avoid scrambling in the fall. You'll also avoid any supply chain issues like late shipment. 

Here's how to approach a strategy for your store:

Set Goals 

If last year's BFCM found you in the eCommerce retailing business, you have something to remember about the season. Now you know just how well the shopping weekend can boost your revenue; therefore, you want to maximize what you can get this year.

Remember how you went about last year's BFCM and what you achieved. Consider what you may want to do differently this time. Maybe you want to buy the stock you need early enough this year. With that in mind, set your goals and deadlines to achieve them. Your benchmarks would include new customers, revenue conversions, repeat customers, and upgrades or up-sells. 

Prepare for Traffic Surge

BFCM comes with a massive traffic surge into your eCommerce site. Unfortunately, this may cause slow loading speeds, affecting discoverability and conversion rate or leaving your customers with a bad shopping experience. The increased traffic can also cause your site to crash. Therefore, you must be ready for the increased online traffic. Use the right tools to check your website's server load capacity and adjust your store. Some load testing tools will fake a traffic surge to see how your site would perform in such scenarios. You may also want to evaluate your site's hosting plan and see its performance. A slow host server means your site will load slowly, hurting customers' shopping experience.

Prepare your Customer Service 

Considering the massive wave of traffic hitting your store during BFCM, you need a support system on standby whenever a customer needs help. Shoppers might have questions or other inquiries, whether they visit your site for the first time or return customers. Set up a customer service system to which shoppers can reach out anytime and get help via email or live chat.

Craft Enticing Deals 

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are mega shopping days for their lucrative deals. You must come up with several attractive and enticing offers for your customers. They are flocking into your store expecting to find different and outstanding values. You can adopt many approaches when planning for this shopping season's offers. 

Some of the great deals you can give include:

Free shipping

You don't have to ship all orders for free. You can give the offer on orders above a particular value. 

Gift wrap

Consumers hate wrapping gifts and will appreciate it when you do that on their behalf. If you sell items that shoppers can gift to their family and friends, consider including this value-laden deal for free to improve order values and lure them to purchase. 

Discount codes

You can create hype around your Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales by giving discount codes. Don't give your customers a reason to abandon their carts. Investing in great discounts will provide them with an excellent reason to purchase. 

Adding special discounts to your items remains one of the most popular approaches for BFCM deals. eCommerce retailers highly favor this approach regardless of their business type and size. When shoppers arrive for a significant discount, they are highly likely to pick other products on their way to check out. 

Your discounted product becomes the loss leader. You recover the difference from shoppers purchasing more products than they would if you didn't have a flagship item's deep discount. Provided you have adequate funds to carry out effective marketing and buying inventory, the massive sales opportunities available during BFCM guarantee you can quickly recover the difference. 

Related: Amazon's Best Built-in Promotions for Increasing Sales

Create an Effective Marketing Strategy 

Gorgeous graphics and visuals do magic when promoting holiday sales. You can have great banner ads to boost your BFCM sales and change the header photo on your homepage. After deciding the virtual assets to use in advertising your holiday sales, it is time to draw up and deploy effective marketing strategies.  

A popular tactic to consider is social media. Millions of active users on social platforms make them a fertile ground for eCommerce retailers to advertise. Leverage your social media strength to increase engagement with your customers, collect incentives and create anticipation toward BFCM. 

Email marketing is also an excellent strategy to distribute your sales information. This strategy allows you to directly connect with repeat customers and those who join your email list. Emails are essential and can deliver colossal ROI, so you should prepare them in advance. Then start the campaign at least one week before the mega shopping weekend to pique customers' interest in your sales offering.

Estimate Your Costs for BFCM 

Marketing and inventory are crucial to maximizing opportunities during BFCM. So, you need to estimate your marketing and stock budget. When calculating your advertising costs, consider how long you will run your ad campaign, the types of virtual assets you will use, and the channels you will use in your promotions. On matters about inventory, check the number of products you want to sell and the prices you want to set. 

Get Financing in Advance

eCommerce businesses already encounter challenges when steering through marketing and inventory management during regular times. When you bring BFCM into the mix, retailers may feel this is an insurmountable hurdle and sacrifice one arm of the business to keep the other afloat. For instance, cutting their marketing budget to purchase inventory. However, such a move will hurt the efforts to maximize the opportunities that come with BFCM.

Since you have already determined the cost of the marketing methods and the items to grace your BFCM shelves, your next step is to figure out how to fund them. 

If you are not in good financial standing to finance your budget, you will want to get external funding. Unfortunately, inventory financing, and a business line of credit, among other traditional bank products, won't be ideal. While these financing options have been around for decades, they are a terrible idea for the eCommerce business. Their terms and conditions, including having high-interest rates, requiring collateral, and taking longer to process, might do your eCom business more harm than good. 

Fortunately, you can fund your business for BFCM with a loan product created with eCommerce businesses in mind. Such a financing option recognizes the unique challenges you encounter in eCommerce, including the long cash cycle. It also identifies the opportunities available in eCom and that you need to prepare early for the same.

Implementing Your Strategy 

Any eCommerce retailer seeking to maximize opportunities presented by Black Friday and Cyber Monday must craft and implement a robust strategy for their store. Crucial segments of the strategy include preparing financially for marketing and inventory management. 

But if you don't have enough finances, an eCommerce-friendly financing option can help you. Reach out to Onramp Funds to get the cash you need to scale your business today. We have a quick approval process and also understand the dynamics of eCommerce, thus allowing our customers to pay as they sell their inventory.