What to Expect This Black Friday & Cyber Week

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2020 has been a year full of surprises with a lot of the major holidays looking very different this year. Black Friday/Cyber Monday will be no exception and many brands are feeling antsy with anticipation as we approach one the biggest and most important shopping holidays in the entire year!

We’ve already noticed the shopping season started much earlier than usual, with Prime Day and other competing promotions arriving in October. But what other new trends and pitfalls can we expect to see this year?

Black Friday will be longer than just the weekend

Since many large and small retail stores are closing or limiting the number of in-store shoppers due to COVID, there will be an even bigger emphasis on online shopping this year. Many brands have their offers starting at the beginning of Thanksgiving week, and their Cyber Monday offer lasting all through the rest of the week.

There are no physical limits with online shopping so retailers can run deals with a lot more flexibility. Start notifying your shoppers of your deals early so they can plan ahead.

Plan for technical difficulties

Even in past years, with in-store shopping, online stores have been unable to handle the large spikes in traffic around the holidays. Since the influx of shopping will be shifted online even further, you may expect to see some technical errors. Sites may run slower than usual, or even crash.

There might also be issues with stock and many shoppers rush to take advantage of what are typically the best deals of the year. There’s nothing worse than adding something to cart only for it to be sold out by the time you checkout, so make sure you’ve prepped your site to address this. Take advantage of this situation a step further and build scarcity with low-stock alerts and countdown timers so encourage conversions.

Social media may play an even bigger role

With email often being overloaded and brands fiercely competing for shoppers’ limited attention, many retailers are leveraging social media to get their deals to their audiences. Consider sharing your Black Friday/Cyber Monday deals on your Instagram, Facebook and Twitter accounts.

Some brands are even running exclusive offers, not found anywhere else on their social media pages, to reward their loyal followings. Use influencers to help push your messaging even further to reach both old customers and new ones.

Don’t forget to prioritize mobile

More and more shoppers prefer to shop from the comfort of their smartphones, so be sure your site is optimized for mobile shopping. The majority of browsing will take place on mobile so commit to creating a seamless mobile experience for customers, applying strategy equally to desktop and mobile.

Call to actions, deals, and code should all be clearly and obviously visible and as easy to apply from an iPhone as on an iMac.

While the e-commerce landscape is more competitive than ever this year, shoppers have been watching and taking note of sales throughout the year and are more ready than ever to pull the trigger to complete all of their holiday shopping.

Be aware that most online customers will prepare ahead to know where to shop their wish lists, so make sure you’re on them this Black Friday/Cyber season. Take advantage of these knowledge tidbits and strategize accordingly!

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