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Thanksgiving Day: How Ecommerce Companies Need to Prepare for Black Friday

November 7, 2023

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Black Friday is the biggest shopping day of the year for retailers. Read these tips to drive conversion on your ecommerce website over the Thanksgiving weekend.

Global online sales over the Thanksgiving weekend, which includes Black Friday and Cyber Monday, reached a whopping $281 billion in 2022, a 2% increase compared to the previous year. In the US alone, online shoppers spent $68 billion, representing 9% growth. This was in a year when consumers were grappling with lower disposable incomes due to soaring interest rates. When making these purchases, shoppers actively looked for the deepest discounts and opted for flexible payment plans. This buying behavior is expected to repeat itself during the Thanksgiving weekend in 2023. Have you prepared your ecommerce platform to chaptalize on this opportunity?

Is Black Friday Really That Important?

The short answer is “Yes”. In fact, the day is called “Black” Friday for its potential to take the bottom line of retail businesses from red to black. Even businesses that were operating at a loss, or in the red, until Thanksgiving, could record massive sales during Black Friday and turn in a profit, or use black ink in the ledger.

Black Friday, or the fourth Friday of November, is a highly awaited Shopping Festival that ecommerce businesses across the globe exploit to set the holiday shopping season in motion. It marks the start of the holiday season, which generated online sales of $1.14 trillion globally in 2022.

Ecommerce companies offer attractive deals and discounts to attract buyers from across the globe. Given the competitive landscape, discounts may not be enough to maximize conversions. You need to prepare your online B2C business to optimize earnings with these tips.

Plan for the Whole Weekend

The Thanksgiving shopping craze is not limited to Black Friday. It runs through the weekend and all the way to Cyber Monday. In fact, Cyber Monday is increasingly becoming the day that attracts most buyers and boosts profits. Ensure to plan your best discounts and surprises for this day.

A few more tips to make the platform ready for blockbuster sales:

  • Design BFCM-specific landing pages highlighting the most exciting offers.
  • Incorporate multiple filters to enable customers to quickly find what they may be looking for.
  • Add features like view similar products, compare products and complementary products to expedite decision-making.
  • Ensure your site is mobile friendly and compatible with different browsers.

Extract Value from All Available Data

Personalization is key to attracting more buyers. You can use abandoned cart data and platform search data to target specific customers. Leverage AI-driven data analytics for customer retargeting during this time of the year. If loyalty bonuses are done right, it can crank up your pre-sale sales a notch higher. Migrating to modern data storage and management practices can help make the most of the available wealth of data.

Insights from the data can help plan marketing ahead of time. Use all channels of communication, including social media, promotional partnerships, and collaborations to create waves. Produce engaging content, use countdown clocks to create anticipation, launch teaser campaigns, and start thinking out of the box. 

The key is to grab the attention of ready-to-shop customers. Start the sale a little earlier than Black Friday to hit the ground running. You can even start with an hour of super-deals before the actual sale goes live to give your business a head-start before the big day. How about some app-only and time-bound offers? Identify what works for your customers and make it happen.

Cloud Solutions to Manage the Holiday Traffic

One of the most common issues that consumers face is a delay in placing orders. During times of heavy traffic, servers can slow down or even crash. Amazon’s server crash in 2018 occurred within minutes of kickoff of its Prime Day sale and is estimated to have cost the company up to $99 million in revenues. The crash is listed among the top 5 most expensive server failures in ecommerce history!

The good news is that cloud technology eliminates the need for physical servers. Partnering with a provider with servers across diverse locations further reinforces the database management and traffic handling capacity. Moreover, cloud-based hosting empowers businesses to scale up or down according to demand, saving cost and resources.

Offer Multiple Payment Options

Most cart abandonments happen because of friction in the payments process, including the lack of enough payment modes and card declines.

One of the most critical things to ensure a smooth check out process is to enable diverse payment methods, like wallets, cards, cryptos (based on regional regulations), BNPL schemes, and credit offers. Offering your customers their preferred mode to pay for a purchase is the most effective way to reduce cart abandonment.

Around 50% of online customers said in a survey that they would cancel their purchase if their preferred payment method was unavailable. Around 40% of these consumers said they felt more comfortable making purchases from an ecommerce site that offered multiple payment methods than from those that offered just one option.

Prepare For International Customers

BFCM has gained popularity across the globe. While November is the festive season in India, Europeans love shopping for Christmas and New Year gifts in advance. Cross-border payments do bring in more revenues, but they come with a new set of complexities. It means adding more payment partners into your tech stack, ensuring smooth integrations with diverse payment gateways, enabling foreign currency transactions and receiving the amount in your preferred settlement currency, and more. These complexities can make your payments unwieldy and inefficient.

To reach global customers with cross-border ecommerce, there’s a need to enable multi-currency, real-time transactions. Additionally, regional data needs to be analyzed to gain insights into the preferred payment methods for locals. This calls for strategic technology adoption and partnership building. But partnering with a new payment facilitator for every country can affect the stability of the tech stack. This is where payment switches and gateways come to the rescue.

Worried about how to accomplish that in time? Partner with Opus, a leader in the digital payments industry with 27+ years of experience, and let the experts help plan the global expansion of your ecommerce site.

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