Ready your eCommerce enterprise for [.blue]Black Friday & Cyber Monday[.blue]

August 3, 2023

min read

Prepare yourself because the biggest shopping event of the year is just around the bend: Black Friday and Cyber Monday (BFCM)!

It's that magical time when consumers throng to shops and websites in search of unbeatable deals and discounts. But as an eCommerce business owner, are you prepared to capitalise on this shopping extravaganza? Fear not; we've got you sorted!

In this blog post, we'll delve into everything you need to understand about readying your eCommerce business for BFCM. From understanding its history to implementing strategies for success, let's get your online shop prepared to conquer BFCM like never before! So, grab a cuppa and get ready to maximise your sales during this epic shopping period!

The history of Black Friday

Black Friday has become synonymous with incredible deals, long queues, and hordes of shoppers. But have you ever pondered how this shopping frenzy originated? Contrary to popular belief, the term "Black Friday" did not originally refer to a day of retail discounts. Instead, it was coined in the 1960s by Philadelphia police officers who used it to describe the heavy traffic and chaos that ensued on the day after Thanksgiving. This was due to an influx of suburban shoppers heading into the city for holiday sales.

Over time, retailers capitalised on this post-Thanksgiving tradition and began offering special promotions and discounts to attract customers. By the 1980s, Black Friday had firmly established itself as one of the year's busiest shopping days.

With technological advances and eCommerce, Black Friday expanded beyond brick-and-mortar shops to online platforms. Today, consumers can take advantage of amazing deals from the comfort of their own homes. So, next time you're navigating through crowded shops or hunting for bargains online during Black Friday, remember its humble origins as a chaotic traffic day transformed into a consumer extravaganza.

How to prepare your eCommerce business for BFCM

As the holiday season approaches, one event that all eCommerce businesses eagerly anticipate is Black Friday. This shopping extravaganza has become synonymous with amazing deals and discounts, attracting millions of shoppers online and in-store. To ensure your business capitalises on this busy day, it's essential to prepare well in advance.

Evaluate your website's performance and make any necessary improvements to optimise its speed and functionality. With increased traffic on Black Friday, you don't want potential customers experiencing slow loading times or glitches.

Next, plan your promotions meticulously. Develop enticing offers to capture shoppers' attention amidst the sea of deals available during this time. Create a sense of urgency by offering limited-time discounts or exclusive bundles.

In addition to promotions, consider creating targeted email campaigns to notify your customer base about upcoming sales. Craft compelling subject lines that grab their attention and entice them to open the email.

Don't forget about social media! Utilise platforms like Instagram, TikTok, Twitter – and if you’re ahead of the curve, Threads – to create a buzz around your BFCM sale. Post teasers leading up to BFCM and engage with followers through contests or giveaways for added excitement.

Ensure you have enough stock for the expected increase in demand on Black Friday. Running out of popular items can lead to frustrated customers who may turn elsewhere for their purchases.

By taking these steps, you can position your eCommerce business for success on BFCM. Stay organised and focused as you prepare for this major shopping event – it could be a game-changer for your business!

Working with your 3PL for a successful Black Friday & Cyber Monday

Working with a reliable 3PL provider like Zendbox can be the boon you need to ensure a successful BFCM for your eCommerce business. With the surge in online shopping during this highly anticipated sales event, it's crucial to have efficient and reliable logistics in place.

Communication is key. Ensure you are in constant contact with your 3PL partner leading up to BFCM. Let them know your expected order volume, special promotions or discounts, and any specific requirements you may have. This will help them prepare accordingly and allocate the necessary resources.

Next, collaborate on inventory management. Zendportal gives you real-time visibility into your stock levels so that Zendbox can accurately fulfil orders as they come in. By sharing inventory data and forecasting demand, you can avoid running out of popular items or overselling products that are no longer available.

Furthermore, work closely with your 3PL provider to optimise fulfilment processes. Streamlining the picking, packing, and dispatch operations will enable faster order processing times and minimise delays during this busy period. Make sure all barcodes and product SKU codes are up-to-date.

Additionally, discuss dispatch options with your fulfilment partner in advance. Evaluate the options for offering expedited delivery services or same-day dispatch if required by customers during BFCM sales events. Fast and reliable delivery is crucial for meeting consumer expectations and ensuring repeat business.

Don't forget about returns management! Due to impulse purchases or buyer's remorse, BFCM often increases product returns. Ensure that you have agreed on the returns handling processes with your 3PL provider so that refunds or exchanges can be processed swiftly without adding extra stress.

In conclusion, collaborating effectively with your 3PL provider is vital in preparing your eCommerce business for BFCM success. You can ensure smooth operations during this high-demand period by communicating regularly, managing inventory together, optimising fulfilment processes, offering fast dispatch options, and streamlining returns management.

Tips for a successful BFCM sale

1. Plan ahead

Start preparing for BFCM well in advance. Create a detailed plan, including stock management, marketing strategies, and staffing requirements.

2. Optimise your website

Ensure your website is quick-loading and user-friendly. Optimise product pages with relevant keywords to improve search engine rankings.

3. Offer irresistible deals

Research your competition to determine the best pricing strategy for your products. Consider offering exclusive discounts or limited-time deals to create a sense of urgency among customers.

4. Leverage social media

Utilise social media platforms like Instagram, TikTok and Twitter to promote your BFCM sale. Engage with followers through contests or giveaways to build excitement leading up to the big day.

5. Implement email marketing campaigns

Send targeted email campaigns highlighting your upcoming sale and special offers exclusively available on Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

6. Streamline checkout process

Ensure the checkout process is seamless and easy-to-use on both mobile and desktop devices. Reduce friction by offering multiple payment options such as Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) and guest checkout functionality.

7. Provide excellent customer service

Be prepared for an influx of customer enquiries during this busy period. Respond promptly to queries, offer live chat support if possible, and provide exceptional customer service throughout the purchasing journey. 

8. Track performance metrics

Monitor key performance indicators such as website traffic, conversion rates, average order value, and customer retention rates. This data will be useful in evaluating the success of your BFCM sale and inform future strategies.

9. Partner with a reliable 3PL

Working with a reliable third-party logistics provider like Zendbox will ensure your inventory is accurately managed, orders are fulfilled efficiently, and customer returns are handled smoothly.

Preparation is key

As Black Friday approaches, eCommerce businesses must be well prepared and ready to capitalise on this major shopping event. By understanding the history of Black Friday and implementing strategies to optimise your online store, you can make the most out of this highly anticipated trade period. Plan ahead by analysing past data, creating enticing promotions, optimising your website for increased traffic, and ensuring a seamless customer experience. Collaborating with a trusted 3PL company like Zendbox will help streamline your order fulfilment process during the busy BFCM season and ensure customers receive the right products in a timely manner.

Remember, Black Friday and Cyber Monday are not just about generating sales on the days themselves. It's also a fantastic opportunity to attract new customers, boost brand visibility, and foster customer loyalty over a prolonged period. So, get ready to unlock new opportunities for your eCommerce business and delight customers with incredible deals they won't be able to resist. Happy selling!

Are you ready for Black Friday? Zendbox can help you get ahead of the competition this BFCM. Get in touch with our expert team by filling in our form!

Gilson Pereira
Head of Customer Experience at Zendbox

Resilient and forward-thinking, Gilson is responsible for leading the strategy, planning and execution of our customer experience (CX) goals, liaising with department heads to ensure every team at Zendbox works cohesively to provide our clients a positive and seamless experience across all touchpoints.

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