The acceleration of the shift to online purchasing during the pandemic has set the stage for this month’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales to eclipse all records. Consumer confidence was further boosted by tax cuts announced in this week’s Australian federal budget, backdated to the start of the financial year.
“Continued improvement in the local news around the pandemic and talk of early tax cuts and other fiscal measures in the Budget led to a gain in consumer confidence for the fifth straight week,” ANZ Head of Australian Economics, David Plank, explained on Tuesday. “Consumers are still pessimistic, but confidence is at its highest level since June.”
This month’s data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics showed that online sales rose 7% in August in seasonally adjusted month-on-month terms, following a 6.3% rise in July. “These results followed large rises in March and April 2020,” its report stated, “as consumers turned to online shopping as a way of complying with regulations introduced to encourage social distancing In through-the-year terms, the seasonally adjusted series rose 81.1% in August 2020 compared to August 2019.”
The Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales provide an opportunity for eCommerce retailers and High Street retailers to ride the wave of continued improved consumer confidence and online purchasing trends… so long as your business is ready for the traffic. Here are some tips to make the most of these events.
Quick-Change Flash Sales
Black Friday sales earned its place in the retail psyche with images of crowds surging into bricks and mortar stores in search of huge but limited discounts – much like used to happen in Australia with the Boxing Day sales (remember the scenes at Myer & David Jones Stores?). Before it was outlawed in many places here, people trampled over each other to try and get one of the few $10 televisions or other big-ticket items. This loss-leading sales tactic worked so well because it created a sense of urgency and scarcity, and drew in a crowd who were then exposed to other sales or their associated items.
You can boost online sales by creating this same sense though short time-constrained flash sales. Instead of offering a set discount over all products for the whole Black Friday to Cyber Monday period, you should consider shorter sales periods for different products and different times, changing as much as hourly. Not only will this prompt customers to make immediate purchases, but it also adds an element of surprise. It encourages customers to return to your site multiple times over the sales period.
To maximise the effects of your sales, you should target them at different segments of your customer base. Rather than offering a store-wide 30% off, for example, you can go through your existing customer lists and segment them based on prior purchases so that you can more effectively target them with different offers.
You can begin marketing to these lists a week before the sales to whet their appetite for the upcoming specials without offering specifics.
Offer Unique Deals
It can be tempting to think that Black Friday and Cyber Monday are just about massive price discounts, but competing on price alone is ultimately a race to the bottom that may generate turnover but little profit. Especially for online retailing, where customers are easily able to compare prices from a range of stores, just being the cheapest is a hard game to win and sustain.
It is better to create unique deals for your customers, whether that is through a partnership with your suppliers, creating unique or “exclusive” bundles of products, or offering non-discount incentives such as increased loyalty program points or exclusive gifts.
These are just some ideas to help you enjoy a successful sales period. But for any of it to work, the key is preparation. To discuss how you can get ready for Black Friday and Cyber Monday and even for Christmas, click the button below to set up a free consultation with The Playhouse Group now.
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