We’re back with the latest in our series, helping online retailers prepare for Black Friday 2021. We’ve analysed consumer advice websites to gauge how shoppers are preparing for the shopping event and put together our top tips to help you get ready. With Black Friday falling on November 26th this year, consumers are already researching legitimate Black Friday deals, new online businesses and creating wishlists. Not to mention that they are ready to return to the high street with restrictions eased. But not to worry, Kooomo is here to arm you with a Black Friday eCommerce strategy that’s based on new consumer behaviours.

So, how can you prepare your online store for the Black Friday sales? 

Consumer Advice - Price tracking

 Consumers are much savvier in general – but they are also being advised to track the price of products to ensure the discount represents a genuine net reduction. We would always encourage you to conduct your sales in a way that is morally and legally correct. The statement “it’s for your own good” rings true now more than ever.

Our advice 

Stay true to your discounts and avoid slick sales methods. The ball is very much in the consumers’ court this year – brand loyalty has been tested since the pandemic and shoppers are open to exploring their options. This means they will shop around based on the best deals, experiences and what is in stock. In a 2020 study of online UK retailers Which? found that 85% of items they tracked were available at the same price or cheaper in the 6 months leading up to Black Friday. We advise you to steer clear of price inflating, so as to create a solid reputation that keeps customers coming back long after cyber weekend.

Consumer Advice - Be cautious of unusual brands

 Surging eCommerce sales led to an increase in fraud since the pandemic. Consumer advice sites recommend that consumers be wary of unusual and knockoff brands; stating “there is a reason some are household names and some only crop in a sale”.

Our advice

Build up your brand legitimacy in the run-up to Black Friday/Cyber Monday using reviews, up to date information and secure payment methods. Now is the time to assess your reviews – while no one wants a bad review, a site with only glowing reports can arouse suspicion. Use this time to respond to feedback – both positive and negative to show that you’re a company that cares about what its shoppers have to say. When it comes to the information on your site, make sure information on delivery costs, delivery times and customs fees are in plain sight. Extra costs are the number one reason consumers abandon their carts – having all your cards out on the table can help to avoid this. 48% do not feel comfortable entering their financial data to pay online. If you wish to alleviate your shoppers' concerns you need to show that you are protecting them - Apple Pay, PayPal, and Google Pay have all cultivated reputable names for themselves. These payment methods not only simplify the checkout process but, also eases consumers security concerns.

Consumer Advice – Set up online accounts in advance

Many consumer advice websites suggest creating an account and wishlists ahead of time with their preferred retailers. This will allow them to pre-enter delivery details and payment information to quickly complete purchases when cyber weekend rolls around. 

Our advice 

Behind unexpected fees, having to create a user account upon checking out is the second most common reason for cart abandonment. The solution? Get this process out of the way ahead of time by asking for signup upon initial entry to the website -  you can even incentivise this now with a discount for first time members. This will improve usability when Black Friday arrives and create the opportunity to get to know your consumer and build personalised email marketing campaigns. Personalised offerings are a key differentiator for audiences with 72% of consumers only responding to personalised promotions.

Consumer Advice - Use click and collect options

Restrictions have eased and normality is returning - which means the golden quarter can maintain an element of the in-store experience. Consumer advice guides are encouraging shoppers to use click and collect options this year as a means of reducing their delivery fees. 

Our Advice

Earlier in 2021, 70% of respondents to our social media poll indicated that intend to shop both in-store and online once normality returns. This means strengthening your omnichannel presence now in preparation for journeys that start online, end in-store and vice versa. However, just offering click and collect is not enough to create a competitive experience. Strengthening your click and collect offering begins with testing your technology, implementing a tracking system and preparing your store and staff for the procedures.

To sum up…

While these a great places to start in terms of strengthening your eCommerce business ahead of Black Friday, we’re merely scratching the surface. However, now is the time to act. 

Later this month, we’ll be releasing our full Retailers Guide to Black Friday 2021 packed with expert insight and predictions to help you maximise your online sales. So, be sure to sign up for our newsletter to be the first to know of its arrival. 

Until next time!