Black Friday marks the start for online retailers of the highly anticipated holiday shopping season. This year alone it is expected to generate more than 100 billion USD for online retailers.
Black Friday in 2017
News broadcasters reporting about pure mayhem scenes may well be a thing of the past, as POS sales dropped by 5% in the USA last year. At the other end of the spectrum, websites saw their average daily traffic triple over the same time. So make sure that your servers can handle this higher volume of traffic, and ensure that mobile traffic is not diverted to low-capacity servers. No one wants to land on a page that takes forever to load.
It is worth noting that Black Friday per se has dramatically changed since Amazon started advertising it in 2007. At that time, Black Friday and Cyber Monday were two different things, and it all lasted a couple of days. In comparison, the Black Friday season now also encompasses Christmas shopping, i.e. from early November till Christmas.
As Black Friday is marked by fierce price competition, shoppers are more likely to compare prices and visit different websites. Investing in shopbots and PLA may well be a winning strategy to win over customers, as this will prop you up to the top of search results.
Retailers of all size should prepare for this time of the year. While the largest companies in the world such as Apple, Microsoft, and Samsung are well ahead of the game, all industries are benefiting from this sales season, hospitality industry included.
Mobile, Mobile, Mobile
Mobile commerce should not only encompass mobile websites but also apps. Thus some retailers have built and launched award-winning shopping apps, such as ASOS or Voyages SNCF. While this option enables great conversion rates, and full immersion into your brand, this might not be a viable option for small retailers.
Our best tip then is to enable mobile push notification for Chrome Android users, which will remind your customers of your latest deals. What’s best is that this does not need any registration or else from your prospects. This simple hack may be all that’s needed for a small online retailer, to compete with apps from larger retailers.
Remember that app not only enable greater connection with clients, but in-app average basket value is 41% higher than on mobile web pages, and the conversion rate is 3 times higher as well. So make mobile checkout optimization a priority!
Activate all channels at your disposal
2016 figures show a rise in sales performance of more than 30% for those who invest in mobile commerce, social and email. This implies that retailers and marketers should develop specific strategies for mobile, which showed tricky for some in the past.
Thus specific online merchandising tactics, especially in terms of product ranking should be adopted. Some eCommerce merchandising solutions, such as Mazeberry Merchandising are already at the forefront and provide specific features to retailers who can specifically design ranking grids depending on the device that their potential customers are browsing on.
One last thing to remember when thinking about mobile commerce is SEO. While being number 3 on SERP is fine on desktop, online shops that rank #1 on mobile show a CTR of 28%, compared to a dismal 4% for #3 – vs. 8% on desktop.
Customize your strategy to your demographics
Many studies highlight the different purchase behaviors specific demographic groups display. Thus women have a preference for Mobile devices for instance. Generation X & Y have a tendency to use Fintech apps such as Monzo – London’s ever more popular payment app or PayPal that witnessed 50% transaction growth on mobile in the past year during Black Friday.
Thus, make sure that your purchase funnel is fully optimized to cater to the needs of these people, as a simple glitch in your purchase funnel can negatively impact your conversion rate and increase cart abandonment. To remedy this, make sure that your mobile checkout page is fully operational and optimized for smartphones. Why not run Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test to check if your website is smartphone friendly?
mCommerce in the UK and beyond
Some markets especially the UK are ahead of the game when it comes to mobile commerce, as more than half of online conversions happen on mobile and it is expected to reach more than 70% by 2020. This figure may well be reached earlier, as mCommerce growth has been sky-high for the past couple of years. Keep in mind though that tablets in the UK are highly popular, and up until recently have been on par with smartphones.
The rest of Europe is also on top when it comes to Mobile Commerce, so do not wait any longer, and make mobile optimization a priority to take full advantage of Black Friday.