Black Friday and Cyber Monday are the biggest, most anticipated shopping events of the retail calendar.
For consumers, BFCM is an exciting opportunity to splash out on gifts and goods ahead of the festive period, attracted by unbeatable deals and unmatched discounts across a huge range of items (it’s no longer just electricals).
For retailers, it’s an important opportunity to seize on increased demand and give your revenue and cash flow a boost.
However, to make the most of BFCM, it’s vital to plan strategically and leverage tools and technology that can help you stand out in the competitive marketplace and maximize your e-commerce sales.
Here are eight things to consider…
1. Seamless multi-channel selling
In today’s ever-evolving digital landscape, retailers need a multi-channel sales strategy that enables them to connect with different customers across multiple platforms.
This is a proven way to increase reach, as well as boost brand loyalty and ultimately increase sales – and it’s especially important during the busiest time of the year.
Adding new channels doesn’t have to mean adding operational complexity, either. Brightpearl by Sage is the leading retail operating system which streamlines, simplifies and automates operations for multichannel merchants.
It offers a huge library of Plug & Play integrations so retailers can connect seamlessly and quickly with the sales channels, apps and tools they need. It also makes it easy to monitor and manage a range of channels by bringing all orders, inventory and customer data together into one centralized hub.
2. Slick order fulfillment
During Black Friday and Cyber Monday, there’s no room for inefficiency when it comes to order fulfillment. Even though it’s the busiest time of the year, consumers still expect super speedy dispatch (and to receive the correct items) so getting order fulfillment right is key for keeping existing customers happy and retaining new ones.
Retailers can optimize their order fulfillment workflow by using automation. Brightpearl by Sage includes a powerful Automation Engine which enables retailers to automate all manual workflows using simple rules (and no coding necessary). This means that during busy periods, more sales can be managed in less time, without compromising on accuracy.
3. Stock availability
While demand is at its peak, it’s vital you ensure you have the right items available at the right time or you risk disappointing customers, and putting them off your brand forever.
The secret to streamlined inventory planning during BFCM, and all year round, is accurate demand forecasting. By analyzing your historical sales data and factoring in promotions, trends and economic climate, you can know what to order and when – but doing this manually is tedious, time consuming and error prone.
Brightpearl’s Inventory Planner makes it way easier. It forecasts demand and then turns it into simple buying recommendations, so you avoid the risk of stockouts of your biggest sellers and can cash in on the opportunity of BFCM, with the right volume of the right stock available.
4. Email campaigns
Personalized email marketing campaigns during the holiday season are an opportunity to connect with customers and drive higher open and conversion rates, which can significantly boost sales and foster loyalty.
However, as inboxes stack up with Black Friday and Cyber Monday promotion emails, the challenge for brands is to stand out from the crowd. Segmenting your customer data is critical, so that you send carefully targeted emails to the right audiences (a ‘spraying and praying’ approach to email simply isn’t an option).
Brightpearl can help with this, as well as offering the ability to automate your targeted email campaigns so you can get the timing spot on, without waiting around to hit send.
5. Strategic pricing and discounts
As the cost of living continues to bite, shoppers everywhere plan to spend carefully this Christmas and shop around for the best price – especially for big ticket items.
To protect their bottom line, retailers will need to be able to think on their feet and adopt a dynamic pricing strategy, adjusting prices based on real-time demand and market conditions in order to maximize revenue. Any discounts offered need to be properly planned for and factored in.
Brightpearl’s Inventory Planner helps you stay on top of real-time demand and its Retail Analytics tool helps you implement strategic pricing strategies and adjust discounts and promotions at the perfect moment.
6. Retail analytics
Data is the key to making fast, informed decisions – but when you’re up to your eyes in festive orders, finding the time to analyze your data can be a major challenge. That’s why a powerful retail analytics tool is so important.
Brightpearl’s solution highlights all your key metrics, including sales, stock availability, ad spend, CAC, ROAS, customer LTV and – more importantly – it does the hard work of translating all your sales, customer and marketing data into simple, intuitive insights for you.
Plus, you can compare your BFCM performance to the competition and make adjustments as necessary, before the opportunity has been and gone.
7. Outstanding customer service
Despite what the department store adverts would have us believe, shopping during the holiday rush can be a stressful and frustrating experience for consumers – especially when money is tight. Outstanding customer service is essential.
Providing thoughtful, supportive service can mitigate against problems and lay the foundation for long-term, loyal customer relationships as satisfied customers are more likely to return and recommend your business to others.
Brightpearl customers have access to a huge library of Plug & Play integrations, from 3PL and shipping providers to leading e-commerce platforms, so you can track orders easily, respond to queries quickly and resolve issues successfully. In a year when every penny counts, this can have a significant impact on your overall success during BFCM.
8. Post-sale communications
Once Black Friday and Cyber Monday have passed, you’ll probably be ready for a lie down – but there’s still work to do. Post-sale engagement comms are essential to nurture new relationships with customers, and keep them coming back.
The good news is that personalized communications can be automated in Brightpearl, enabling you to set up and schedule authentic, engaging post-sale messages to customers that shopped with you over the holiday. It’s a smart way to have all the impact, with minimum hassle (maybe you can have that well-deserved lie down after all).
Learn more about how Brightpearl can help you skyrocket your sales this BFCM with a free demo. Book now.