November 5, 2021
How can your business create a unique digital experience for Black Friday 2021, Cyber Monday, and Christmas? To get a competitive advantage, innovation and planning are key.
Many businesses consider Black Friday one of the most important (if not the most important) retail events of the year. And throughout the present pandemic, it is no wonder that e-commerce has experienced massive growth. According to an Insider Intelligence report, US total retail sales will rise to $1,147 trillion (approximately 9%), and e-commerce alone expects to increase to $211.66 billion.
Many industries are now trying to recalibrate to “the new normal” by creating unique digital business experiences during Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Christmas. In this post, we’ll go over several strategies that will appropriately prepare them for peak season.
As we mentioned, Covid-19 accelerated the transition to digital life by forcing people to shop online. First, the closure of many brick-and-mortar businesses posed extreme conditions to the ones who remained. Not only were they required to innovate, most of them saw the need to rebuild their business model to thrive online.
As people spend more time online, online shopping has also increased. This change in consumer behavior is, by no means, simply temporary. Online shop shares continued to grow, even as many physical stores began to reopen. A GfK report on peak season consumer behavior notes that an 11 percent decline in physical stores allowed traditional retailers to focus on their digital strategy and compete against online pure players.
One of the most exciting phenomena to surge from the pandemic is related to consumer loyalty. People would most likely continue shopping at the same stores online as long as the digital experience is good. This situation posed new challenges to traditional retailers, as they must provide the same level of customer service and consultation they offered in physical stores.
Retaining consumer loyalty also requires offering educational content about product use, enhanced customer support, and safe options for payment and delivery. Samsung, for example, responded by launching an interactive HD video streaming platform on their website. Customers can connect directly with retail experts from the comfort of their own homes.
One of the first and most important recommendations for any business that wishes to remain competitive during peak season is to prepare early. Do you have an interactive user interface? Do you offer a seamless checkout experience? Are there any pain points within the customer journey? Can your business provide a similar shopping experience from a mobile phone? Answering all of these questions requires appropriate preparation and, of course, time.
The checkout process, in particular, can become an issue if you’re dealing with a high volume of shoppers. Because people are pressed for time, they expect an efficient checkout process. To avoid an increased number of abandoned carts, make sure you offer a wide range of payment options and prepare an appropriate strategy.
You must also take a look at your marketing strategy in advance. An excellent option for businesses is to prepare email marketing campaigns at least a month before. Because Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Christmas are so time-sensitive, your emails should be able to raise curiosity.
A recent McKinsey report stated that “every business will also need to reassess its entire value strategy – reevaluating both products and services – to ensure alignment with consumer’s new needs.” One solution to this is looking at your data and developing a value strategy for each consumer segment. Analytics, consumer insights, and systems will continue to be significant factors in delivering impact.
Identifying the specific customer and competitor triggers can help you make decisions more quickly. For example, if a retailer is debating whether to expand shelf space for private-label products, understanding how private labels have grown during the pandemic may provide some insight into how their business should respond to such trends.
Most companies go above and beyond in surprising their customers during peak season. However, delivering a good digital experience doesn’t require overly complicated campaigns. It’s quite the opposite. A simple detail is capable of going a long way.
Connect digitally with your customers through tailored messages and engage through them on different social media platforms. Being able to reach customers personally and provide a tailored experience can also give you a competitive edge.