The times when Black Friday was strictly for the brick-and-mortar stores and Cyber Monday was for eCommerce companies are long gone. Current estimations are that 40% of Black Friday sales happen online. This year, this value may be even higher. What does this mean for online store owners?
Today, no one doubts that the eCommerce sector is one of the major beneficiaries of the COVID-19 pandemic crisis. Many signs indicate that this growth will continue and stay with us up to Black Friday and Christmas.
Sales go online
We are all familiar with the sight of lines in front of the clothing or electronics stores in the United States. They literally stretch for miles! This year, however, is going to be different. Sellers are obliged to maintain the sanitary and social distancing rules. Each customer has to have the proper amount of space. In many countries, only people wearing masks can walk into the store.
Some sellers can go even further and, at the climax of sales, allow customers to enter the store based on a lottery system. Perhaps you will be able to win or buy a time slot in which you will be admitted to the store. Some of the retail chains (Walmart Inc., Target Corp., Dick’s Sporting Goods, Kohl’s, Ulta i Best Buy Co Inc.) have already announced that they will not open their stores during Thanksgiving day, which (until now) was a usual marketing procedure that allowed customers to access the promotion the day before Black Friday.
On the other hand, some merchants are getting ready for the increased activity in their fulfillment centers. Walmart, for instance, will keep their fulfillment center operating during Thanksgiving. This is a clear sign that sales are going online.
This year’s Black Friday will be like no other. Many things will be different for brick-and-mortar stores and eCommerce companies alike. Brick-and-mortar stores will have to stick to the sanitary rules and take care of their customers’ safety, while eCommerce companies should be ready for the increased traffic and much higher interest in their offers. All eCommerce companies should consider whether or not they can handle the increased orders volume on their own. Mind you; orders can go up even several hundred percent! – advises Karol Milewski, Chief Revenue Officer at Omnipack.
Extraordinary solutions for the extraordinary times
This year’s Black Friday will require some unusual solutions. Some of the online sellers will surely decide to utilize the click and collect method. It’s an option that allows you to place an order, pay for your products, and then pick up your parcel in a chosen place. Typically, it’s a brick-and-mortar branch of the online store. Customers also select Paczkomaty (self-service parcel pickup stations) or other service points, like gas stations, newsstands, or grocery stores. This option generates many benefits. First of all, it allows stores to decrease the traffic in their stationary stores, but what’s also important–such an option is usually available for free.
Another interesting option is the curbside pickup. It’s an even more secure version of the click and collect option. We reckon it will be especially popular during this year’s Black Friday. In the curbside pickup option, you place an order online, go to an agreed place, and the store’s employees put your shopping directly into your trunk.
Most likely, some of the largest players will have the possibility to implement really innovative solutions. For instance, think of the VR space that will create the impression that you are buying directly in your favorite store. The QR codes are the more down-to-earth version of this idea. These codes can be placed in the print media where, after scanning them, you will be taken to the store’s website. The QR codes can also be a great way to grant a discount.
We all agree that the Q4 shopping spree is the year's busiest time for eCommerce companies.
According to our clients' data, in November, the number of orders increases by about 47% compared to the average sales level from the past three months. In December, that value goes up 70%. Our record-holder has reached a 278% increase in sales in November compared to October 2019–explains Karol Milewski, CRO at Omnipack.
This is why you have to get ready before this shopping spree starts. What should you bear in mind?
- Take care of your stock replenishment
- Purchase more packing material
- Hire additional employees
- Prepare your website and servers for the increased traffic
- Devise attractive promotions and create adequate marketing campaigns
- Take care of the post-sale customer support
Black Friday in Poland
The shopping spree on Friday right after Thanksgiving has started overseas, but now, every year the entire world waits for the best Black Friday deals. Polish stores do not fall behind!
Jadłosfera is an online store with organic food. Last year, they offered their customers discounts for four days, from Black Friday up to Cyber Monday. The discount was 13% for the entire inventory.
It’s a massive discount for a store like ours. We operate based on cooperation with local and small suppliers; therefore, our margins are much lower. But we offer only verified, unique treats composed of high-quality ingredients–explains Agnieszka Szynal-Majewska, the owner of Jadłosfera.
Thanks to this offer, during the period of the promotion, they quadrupled the number of orders. And thanks to logistics outsourcing, they managed to handle them without any problems.
Cooperation with Omnipack allows us to plan Black Friday and maximize our profits during this period. We were struggling to handle so many orders in the past years, so we couldn't spread our wings fully–the Jadłosfera’s owner explains.
Now, Jadłosfera can maximize their profit during this busy Q4 shopping spree. Last year, Black Friday was a starting point for the increased sales period that lasted up to mid-December. Now, Jadłosfera’s expectations are even more significant, and that’s because of the favorable conditions for eCommerce and increased demand for healthy local products.
Tumilu is an online publishing house selling books for children that teach the little ones to deal with their feelings. Tumilu’s sales go sky high during the November promotions. During last year’s Black Week, Tumilu noted a 500% increase in orders compared to the week before. That tremendous success was possible thanks to well thought-out communication.
We offered a 20% discount and free delivery during Black Week. Our offer was promoted in social media channels (Facebook and Instagram), through our mailings, and on the dedicated landing page–explains Marta Dahling, the co-owner of Tumilu.
The adequate preparation was also crucial, and that was possible thanks to Omnipack.
In all probability, we could handle orders on our own in a typical month. However, since there are so many occasions during a year (Black Friday, Christmas, Children’s Day, and, especially, new book launches) when sales go up to 500-800% of our standard level, we decided to ask for professional support in the fulfillment process–explains Marta Dahlig.
Last year, Black Week was a great success for Tumilu. That’s why their plans for this season are also promising. At Tumilu, Black Friday 2020 coincides with their latest book launch. Customers can expect attractive discounts, contests with prizes, and many other special offers.
The eCommerce entrepreneurs look forward to Black Friday with great optimism. The majority of them enjoy growing sales, and this is what they anticipate for Black Friday. Such a profitable situation likely won’t happen again quickly, and that’s why you have to be prepared to make the most of it. It’s your key to success.