11 E-Commerce Tips To Boost Your Black Friday & Cyber Monday Sales

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are right around the corner, signaling the beginning of the busiest season of the year for e-commerce retailers. According to eMarketer, online retail sales during the holiday season accounted for a record 10.6% of total retail sales in the US for the entire year. That number is only expected to grow as more and more people shift their purchasing habits to online, carving out the perfect opportunity for you to boost your sales during the holiday season. 

That being said, here’s 11 e-commerce marketing tips to help you take advantage of the Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and the rest of the holiday season.

1. Make your return policy visible and easy to understand

This is something that you should always do, but with the holidays around the corner, it’s critical. Per UPS’ Pulse of the Online Shopper, 66% of online shoppers will look for your return policy before making a purchase. You want to give prospective buyers every reason to feel comfortable buying from you, and having your return policy easily located will give them the piece of mind they need to make a purchase.

2. Offer free or expedited shipping

In the age of Amazon, consumers are becoming more and more conditioned to getting their products fast. Free shipping, or offering expedited shipping on orders of a certain value work really well for getting people through the purchasing process. When customers are weighing buying your product versus a competitors, something as simple as free or faster shipping can make all the difference.

Look at the icons in the image above, pulled from online retailer Huckberry’s holiday landing page. Free shipping, check. Best price, check. Free returns, check. Everything you need to give customers piece of mind to order with you, displayed right away.

3. Display your holiday offers prominently on your website

With the ever-growing internet landscape and all of the options people have to make purchases, shoppers are increasingly priding themselves on their ability to find the best deals. People are sifting through information quickly, scanning to see what kind of deal you can offer them. So if your offers aren’t immediately clear, they’re going to move on. A new hero image or pop-up box with your holiday offers work really well here.

The above image is from Amazon’s homepage last Black Friday. The hero image effortlessly identifies what items they’re offering, and how much you’ll save. Too easy.

4. Use promo codes to encourage bigger purchases

Promo codes are an excellent way to encourage people to fill up their shopping carts. Passing along a promo code that lets customers take a percentage off their order total when they spend a certain amount is a quick and easy way to encourage more and larger sales.

5. Start teasing sales a few days early

Just because sales don’t start until Black Friday, doesn’t mean you have to start promoting them on Black Friday. If you start promoting your sales prior to the holidays, it’ll build anticipation with your consumers, making them excited and ready to take advantage as soon as Black Friday or Cyber Monday hit.

6. Integrate and ramp up your marketing strategy

In the lead up to Black Friday and Cyber Monday, you want to make sure you have a plan for communicating your products and deals. One of the best things you can do is sync up your messaging across social media, emails, and paid advertising (i.e AdWords, Facebook Ads). 

A long-standing marketing adage is the Rule of Seven: meaning a person needs to see your message roughly seven times before they take action. Integrating your message over social, email, and paid advertising will ensure that your message is heard loud and clear. Plus, companies who took time to invest in their social, email, and mobile marketing saw 30% higher sales on average.

Key to success here: make sure your content carries visual continuity across platforms. That way, each time someone comes across your post/ad/email, the image will be instantly recognizable. 

Warby Parker released new holiday packaging last year that was bold, stylish, and eye-catching. They displayed the packaging in images across their marketing channels, making their content instantly recognizable and lingering in people’s minds.

7. Set up a quick abandoned cart email flow

MailChimp says that 67% of online shopping carts are abandoned before a customer completes a purchase. That's a lot of revenue walking out the door!  One of the most effective ways to turn those website visitors into sales is to reach out to them.

An abandoned cart email flow will help keep you in the customers’ mind, and if done right, nudge them towards purchasing. Try giving the customer some extra value in this email by offering them some additional incentive, like 10% off their order.

8. Generate a sense of urgency

Black Friday through Cyber Monday is a pretty short window, and making sure your customers know that is a really good way to get them to make a purchase. To create a sense of urgency with your customers, a really good practice is adding a countdown clock so they know how long the deal lasts. Or include text on your website that makes it clear that your holiday deals won’t last long.

9. Test your site on mobile

In 2017, online retail brands can no longer get by with a poor mobile website experience. For the past few years, even though mobile traffic was steadily on the rise, an overwhelming majority of purchases happened on a desktop or laptop. However, as people adapt more and more to their phones, the number of purchases happening on mobile is on the rise.

In 2016, Black Friday sales came out to $3.34 billion, with mobile accounting for $1.2 billion of those sales –– a 33% increase from the year before. Moreover, one of the biggest reasons people are migrating to mobile is convenience. So, if you’re mobile experience isn’t convenient, there is a huge piece of market share that you could be missing out on.

Luckily, most e-commerce platforms make it easy to edit and optimize your mobile site, so make sure you review it before the holidays roll around.

10. Consider giving or donating time to a charity or cause

Donating a small portion of sales, or even simply donating your time to a cause or charity is a great way to stay grounded in what the holidays are really about. Not only will it be good for your own company culture, but you will also get to show customers a more human side of your brand. 

Adventure brand United by Blue is choosing to spend their Black Friday leading a nationwide cleanup movement, and inviting you to do the same! They’re known for their responsibly, sustainably produced goods, so this initiative is very on-brand for them, and resonates with their customers. Plus, by inviting people to join in and share what they’re doing, they should get some strong social media exposure.

11. Start early, and don’t stress too much

The holidays are an incredibly important time for retailers, and it can be easy to let that pressure get you, but don’t get overwhelmed! If you start planning and checking things off your list now, you’ll be perfectly prepared and ready to go by the time Black Friday and Cyber Monday roll around.

We hope this list serves as a great launching point as you prepare for the holiday season. Did we miss anything? If so, let us know! We’d love to hear your holiday secrets, and what you do to make the holiday season a successful one.

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