The hot topic online right now is, of course, Black Friday/Cyber Monday. From the notion that it begins as soon as Amazon Prime Day is over, to navigating the increase in competition and beyond, there are a lot of issues and opinions out there. It’s easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of information about what to do in the run up to and on Black Friday itself, but what about after it’s done?
Today we’re going to look at five things you need to plan for now so you can take care of them as soon as those BFCM promotions end.
#1 - Fulfilment
So you made a record number of sales, and you nailed your promotional offering - great! But now you’ve got to make sure all those orders get out the door. Fulfilment after Black Friday/Cyber Monday can be brutal if you’re not accustomed to that level of orders at one time. Make sure ahead of time that you’ve got plenty of packaging and shipping materials, and that you’re in regular contact with your courier partner to get updates on any delays and shipping issues. Keep in regular communication with your customers, giving plenty of updates on when they can expect their order to be prepared, picked up, and then delivered. They’ll appreciate this extra effort to keep them in the loop, and you’ll avoid your customer service being backed up with order status enquiries.
#2 - Restocking
It’s always great to see that the products you promoted sold well over Black Friday/Cyber Monday, but it’s not so great if you can’t replenish stock. If you’re planning to heavily promote your bestsellers and popular products over BFCM, then you want to make sure the momentum of those products carries throughout the holiday season. Consider your supply chain now and get in contact with any suppliers that are integral to you being able to restock items. Look at key delivery dates, and plan your stock accordingly. If products do go out of stock, display an estimated restock date on your site and have an out of stock app installed into your Shopify store so that you can collect email addresses of potential customers.
#3 - Communication
We touched on how important communication is when it comes to fulfilment, but you can always do more to ensure existing and potential customers are up to date on the latest information. As soon as BFCM is over, people start thinking about orders arriving in time for the holidays before placing any more orders. Communicate across your social media and email marketing what your final ordering and delivery dates are throughout the month of December taking into account any days you’ll be completely closed. Display this information clearly on your store also, so that customers know when they can expect orders to arrive.
#4 - Data Analysis
BFCM is about more than just making a lot of sales, it’s also a great opportunity to learn more about the buying habits of your customers for this holiday season. Plan for time in your schedule a few days after Cyber Monday to go through all the data you’ll be able to gather, and think about how you can use this to tweak your holiday promotional plans. You’ll want to look at the following areas:
- Sales data for product categories and individual products
- Social Media engagement and reach
- Traffic sources and landing pages
- Email marketing engagement
- Competitors - pricing and promotions
This will help you determine what did and didn’t work, and shed some light on what you could do better throughout the weeks following BFCM.
#5 - Time Management
Everyone knows how busy the holiday shopping season can get, so time management becomes an issue that goes ignored in favor of more pressing tasks. The weeks following BFCM can get crazy, so you need to prioritize and plan your time accordingly. Here are some easy things you can implement now to save yourself the stress of time management following BFCM:
- Use an app like Trello or Asana to keep track of tasks within your team.
- Plan your week ahead of time, making room in your schedule for must-do tasks such as data analysis and fulfilment.
- Touch base with your team at the start and end of each week to find out what tasks are being done, and what needs more time and attention.
- Have a shared vacation calendar so you and your team can clearly see when the business is closed, and who is on vacation and for how long.
- Automate as much as you can - from social media to email marketing to order communication and more.
By thinking about these issues now, you can ensure you’re ready for whatever Black Friday/Cyber Monday throws your way and carry that momentum forward through to the holidays.