Black Friday 2022: useful facts & tips for ecommerce sellers
Black Friday is just a few short weeks away!
It has always been considered one of the most relevant ecommerce opportunities during the year as it marks the beginning of the holiday shopping season. Will the year 2022 be the same, or should you expect some bumps in the road? Let’s find out – buckle up and get ready to sell!
In this article we’ll walk you through the following topics:
- Is Black Friday still relevant in 2022? Important facts and stats
- Current ecommerce challenges and how to prepare for them
- How to effectively prepare your online store for Black Friday: 5 most important things you should consider
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How to prepare for Black Friday? Know your November dates and opportunities
Black Friday features some of the biggest online bargains of all time… but when is it exactly? Each year the date varies, as it falls on the day following American Thanksgiving. It means in 2022 its date will be November 25.
Another big ecommerce opportunity happening at the same time is Cyber Monday. This year it falls on November 28. The term was originally coined and popularized by ecommerce retailers to differentiate the Friday in-store sales from Monday online ones. But ever since the COVID-19 pandemic those distinctions are no longer relevant.
When large crowds have been forbidden from public spaces, retailers have moved away from typical “doorbuster” bargains. Those were the massively discounted items that would entice crowds to the stores and have them queue before their doors were even open. Nowadays doorbuster deals have moved online, where special offers can be made in the same fashion, for a limited amount of time or in a limited quantity.
Many sales continue throughout the next few days or even longer to maximize profit, which is why some call it Cyber Week or Black November. You might want to take it into consideration when planning your marketing campaigns & SEO strategy.
Is Black Friday still a relevant ecommerce opportunity?
Black Friday and Cyber Monday are considered to be the most important shopping holidays for ecommerce. But are they also the highest-selling?
In terms of revenue generation they have been dethroned by Singles’ Day in China, November 11. As reported, the total GMV generated by the event rose to 540.3 billion yuan ($84.5 billion) in 2021. Even combined Cyber Week sales results from 2021 are bleak compared to it.
But at the same time Alibaba Group Holding Ltd has admitted that sales in 2021 grew by only 8.5%. Compared to 26% in 2020 that was the slowest rate ever.
Statistics from America’s National Retail Federation (NRF) show that 88 million consumers made online purchases during Black Friday 2021. Additionally, it is reported that in the US as much as 50% of total holiday shopping is done early, during exactly those days.
So when it comes to sparking an online bargain shopping frenzy in the West, Black Friday and Cyber Monday are key ecommerce events. And you should treat them as a priority in your sales strategy to ensure good results.
Main challenges for sellers
We won’t lie, there’s also some challenges to take into account when preparing for Black Friday. After all, no marketplace is immune to current world events. Last year most issues were related to the pandemic. This year, according to the European E-Commerce Report 2022, the ongoing conflict in Ukraine will undoubtedly have a big impact on various markets across Europe. It seems we’re in for yet another unprecedented holiday shopping season.
What are the issues that you should take into consideration when planning the last quarter of 2022? Experts are mentioning three main areas that might have direct influence on ecommerce during Black Friday:
- Supply chain disruptions resulting in shortages of raw materials, production losses, stock level shortages, and delivery delays
- Reduction of lockdown restrictions resulting in people flocking back to brick-and-mortar stores for deals
- Rising prices (higher energy and petrol costs, inflation) resulting in smaller budgets of potential shoppers but also increasing transportation costs.
Silver lining? Ecommerce sellers have already faced those challenges during Covid-19 lockdowns. By now most of them already know how to prepare and adapt quickly. If you’re new to the game – don’t panic. There’s resources like this article that can walk you through it, and tools that can help you with it.
Let’s start at the beginning!
How to prepare your shop for Black Friday?
#1 Set the right price
According to Salesforce the global average Black Friday discount rate in 2021 was 24%, and all discounts were generally weaker than in previous years. Take a look at discounts across some popular categories based on data from 2021:
- 15.9% for toys
- 12.4% for computers
- 8.7% for other electronics
- 4.6% for appliances
Yet still one in five adults says it would take a discount of 50% to motivate them to go shopping… So how to make sure your prices are just right for Black Friday? There’s no bargain calculator that could assess the discount rates best for your business. But there are a few simple rules that will help you figure out the right pricing strategy for the upcoming Cyber Week.
You should always be aware of your competitors’ prices. Do your research! If you don’t have the habit of checking them on a regular basis then Black Friday is a good moment to start doing so. Monitor current price ranges of identical and similar products. After all, shoppers compare deals and look for the best ones too. If your items are too expensive in comparison to other sellers, clients will simply buy them elsewhere.
Research shows that as much as 26% of Black Friday shoppers end up going online to find better deals than the ones they got at the stores they visited themselves.
It is crucial to closely monitor both your online and offline competitors. Use that knowledge to your advantage and be ready to offer a discount that’s competitive enough. After all, an ecommerce store is cheaper to operate than a brick-and-mortar store so you should have some advantage when setting up discounts.
One trick we don’t recommend? Inflating prices right before Black Friday in order to create a fake price drop later. Such tricks are easy to spot and might ruin your reputation. Remember – online comments and reviews can be merciless! And your client’s trust is worth everything.
#2 Think locally, sell globally
During the Covid-19 pandemic ecommerce has increased rapidly. In 2020 lockdowns and other restrictions forced shoppers to move online. That led to a whopping 45% increase in ecommerce sales. Some worry that this year, since we’re not expecting much more social distancing, people will go back to the real life shopping experience.
Although the in-store foot traffic is slowly growing stronger, the pandemic caused a natural shift in people’s shopping habits. And habits are not that easy to shake! Online shopping is now natural for most people.
As a marketplace seller your advantage is that you can sell to thousands of people around the world, not just the ones who visit your store in its physical location. Think of the possibilities this gives you and consider selling internationally. It often allows sellers to plan and balance the sales between markets, spread their risk and make the most of diversification.
If you’re willing to try it you should remember about a few things. Try to provide accurate translations of your items. Don’t forget to check the sizing and metric systems used in descriptions – they might vary depending on different countries. When selling on multiple marketplaces – whether it’s eBay, Amazon or a different one – make sure your prices are unified across all platforms.
If you’re dealing with a lot of stock you might benefit from an ecommerce solution that will synchronize it automatically. Webinterpret’s AI-powered internationalization solution helps sellers not only to synchronize their listings but also to make sure they are localized and compliant across multiple international marketplaces. In a swift and streamlined way – think of the time it will save you!
#3: Meet shipping expectation
Customers’ expectations can be set high, especially when it comes to shipping. Buyers want to receive purchased items fast. Sometimes faster than fast: one survey shows that same-day and next-day delivery options are important to 34% and 40% of Black Friday shoppers respectively.
Don’t worry – standard international shipping should be enough to compete with in-store shopping for most customers. What can you do to further increase their satisfaction in that area?
- Set accurate shipping dates
- Offer a wide selection of carrier services and pick-up options to address different needs
- Introduce competitive shipping rates
- Offer free shipping to incentivise spending over a certain amount
- Provide reliable parcel tracking to increase the sense of security
Is shipping all that matters to marketplace customers? Stats don’t lie:
67% of shoppers review the merchant’s returns policy before purchasing items, and 58% want a hassle-free “no questions asked” return policy.
You should review your return rules once again before Black Friday to make sure they are 100% clear and require as little effort from your customers as possible. In such a highly competitive online market it can’t hurt to also consider a free returns guarantee. For some shoppers it could be a dealbreaker:
If you’re open to trying out those ideas for Black Friday but worry you lack experience in delivering goods outside your local market, you might want to try an external solution for shipping.
#4: If things go bad – provide good customer service
Stockouts are now part of shopping reality. It was measured that in October 2021 consumers have seen over 2 billion out-of-stock messages – 250% more than compared to pre-pandemic period. This is why you should plan your Black Friday stock carefully.
You can’t predict all supply chain disruptions and shipping delays. But you can provide impeccable customer service and experience in case they happen. Clear and swift communication can make up for a lot, and save you some bad reviews. Always keep your customers updated!
If there’s an issue with a client’s order – inform them immediately. Delayed parcels can cause a lot of stress so be sympathetic and professional. And when things are really bad, consider offering something to make up for the delay. Maybe a discount for their next purchase? It’s worth it if it earns back your client’s loyalty.
#5: Format your offer in the Black Friday spirit
According to stats, almost 60% of Black Friday 2021 purchases were impulse buys.
Which is why you should think strategically, and plan everything ahead in order to reel those impulse buyers in! What should you remember when preparing your product offers for Black Friday?
- Keep everything in the Black Friday and Cyber Week spirit. Don’t be afraid to use strong colors: black, yellow, and red.
- Operate with simple text formatting to highlight the discount rate: apply bold rather than underline, keep the font size large.
- Consider adding a countdown clock to emphasize that your deal is time-sensitive.
- Think of queries that can be used to search for bargains and use relevant keywords in your offer descriptions and ads. This way you increase your chances of coming up and catching your customer’s attention.
- Offer your products not only individually but also in bundles at more profitable prices.
- Make sure your listings are mobile friendly. Almost 43% of Black Friday sales in 2021 were made through smartphones.
- And if the deals you’re offering are good – don’t forget to make them shareable through social media.
Takeaway: Black Friday 2022 marks the start of yet another unprecedented holiday shopping season so make sure your shop is 100% prepared
Whatever challenges will Black Friday 2022 present – strategize and prepare for them ahead. This is a relevant ecommerce opportunity that begins the holiday shopping season and can generate your biggest profits so make it your priority. With all the tips from this article you should be able to get your store ready for selling.
If you need an extra hand, we have a special pre Black Friday offer for Webinterpret’s full suite of sales-increasing products that will help you prepare your store and maximize your sales in a hassle-free way.
Contact us before November 10 to receive a limited-time offer!