This Black Friday will be extremely different than any before.
Everything is in flux:
Amazon’s Prime Day kicked off the holiday shopping season in October.
Almost every major retail chain has changed up their strategies: from offering curbside pickup to not opening on Thanksgiving day, they’re shaking up their playbooks, which means that everyone else has to adapt too.
And a lot of companies held back their ad spend earlier in the year, but now they are expected to dump their excess funds into their holiday campaigns.
As if all of that wasn’t crazy enough, according to Deloitte’s annual holiday retail forecast, holiday spending this year could top $1.15 trillion!
With the bulk of that money expected to flow through online stores, this Q4 is expected to be the most lucrative yet for ecommerce businesses.
While those numbers are amazing, it’s also terrifying. There’s a lot of money to be made, and that means that there’s a lot of money to miss out on.
A Harvard Study estimated that bad data costs U.S. businesses $3 trillion annually. And that’s on a normal year.
Because of all of these variables, it is very difficult to nail down a winning Black Friday and Cyber Monday strategy.
But that’s where data comes into play.
Normally, historical data can give you great insights into customer behavior and allow you to make decent predictions about the future; but since everything has shifted in the last year, historical data is nowhere near as helpful as it once was.
Several major retailers have announced that they will be using real-time data to adjust their offerings and strategies across Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
In order to make sure that you don’t get left behind, we have decided to put together a list of 4 ways that every ecommerce business can use data in order to improve their Black Friday and Cyber Monday performance.
1- Customer Targeting
You need to know who your customers are, and especially who your best customers are. You need to be able to target the right customers with the right products at the right time.
While many businesses have an avatar built of their ideal customers, very few track the entirety of the client journey to make sure that the avatar remains the best.
For example, Praxis Metrics had a client who was tracking their customers and they knew that the customers that came from Google Ads had the highest first purchase AOV so they prioritized those clients. The problem was that they weren’t tracking the lifetime value of their customers, and it turns out that customers coming from Facebook and Instagram were more likely to make repeat purchases, and so over time those customers were actually more valuable to the company than those that came from Google.
In order to maximize your returns, you need to make sure that you’re bringing in the right customers. The best way to do that is to track LTV, not just AOV.
2- Product Bundling
The next way that data can help drive your ecommerce strategy for Black Friday and Cyber Monday is figuring out what products to cross-promote and bundle.
Tying in with customer targeting and tracking the entirety of the customer journey, Praxis Metrics helped a client discover that clients who purchased a mug with their first order had a much higher repurchase rate than those who did not.
Because of this insight, they created bundles that included mugs and updated their upsell sequences to push customers to add a mug to their orders.
This change increased the sales of their mugs and also boosted the overall LTV of their clients, AOV, and retention rates.
3- Pricing/ Discounts
One of the most important pieces of your Black Friday strategy is pricing. You have to find the sweet spot of pricing low enough to acquire customers, while still remaining profitable.
Many companies are willing to take a loss upfront in order to gain repeat customers. But how do you know if your customers are coming back? And how soon are they coming back?
In case you can’t tell yet, your customer journey and upsell sequence is definitely one of the most important pieces of data that a business can track.
Praxis had a client who decided to offer a free shipping discount on their products in order to attract customers, believing that they could make up the costs on subsequent sales.
They saw a flood of new customers come in, but found that their margins started to go down, so they came to Praxis in order to get a better idea of what was happening.
Praxis helped them discover that the new clients that they brought in with the free shipping discount were not loyal to them at all. They simply came in for the discounted goods and then never returned, leaving the client stuck with the shipping bill and a loss.
You need to make sure that your pricing strategy works to attract your best customers, rather than just discount customers. The only way that you can do that is by continuing to track your customer’s lifecycle.
4- Site usability
While most of the other things that we have talked about here have focused on the long-term strategy of client acquisition, site usability is all about the immediate effects that your site has on your clients.
This may be one of the most important things for an ecommerce business to track, as if you never acquire customers, then their journey really doesn’t matter.
One of the most important factors that ecommerce sites need to grapple with is site speed. If your site is too slow, your prospects are far less likely to convert to customers.
Nearly 70% of consumers say that page speed impacts their willingness to buy from an online retailer, and 53% of mobile site visits leave a page that takes longer than three seconds to load.
In addition to site speed, it’s important to audit your checkout process to make sure that it’s as streamlined as possible. 21% of cart abandoners cited a long/ confusing checkout process as a reason for their abandonment.
Amazon offers one-click checkout for a reason. The fewer steps that you create for a customer, the less friction they experience, and the less likely they are to abandon their checkout.
In order to understand where the friction points on your website, you need to measure bounce rates, cart abandonment rates by stage, and exit pages. Each of these metrics will help you pinpoint areas for improvement on your site.
In order to create an effective Black Friday and Cyber Monday strategy, you need to collect and leverage data.
If you need help with customer data, Praxis Metrics specializes in helping ecommerce businesses gather and simplify their data. You can learn more about Praxis here: https://www.praxismetrics.com/ and if you’d like to learn more about their Black Friday offerings, you can visit them here: https://www.praxismetrics.com/black-friday/
If you need help updating and preparing your site for Black Friday, JetRails can help you optimize your site for the holidays.
1. “53% of mobile site visits leave a page that takes longer than three seconds to load.”
2. “Nearly 70% of consumers admit that page speed impacts their willingness to buy from an online retailer.”
3. “21% of cart abandoners cited a long/ confusing checkout process as a reason for their abandonment.”