No one knows exactly what this Black Friday and Cyber Monday weekend (27th – 30th November) has in store for retailers. However, what can be certain is that retailers will witness new behaviours this year. This is according to eCommerce platform Kooomo.
The company says new shopping habits and broadened demographics are now shopping online. Kooomo suggests social distancing and safety measures will lead to an unprecedented reliance on digital for cyber weekend 2020.
“This minimised footfall and increased web traffic means that retailers will need to adequately capacity-plan. To ensure that loading speeds aren’t affected and site performance remains high,” says Ciaran Bollard, CEO at Kooomo.
“With over half (53%) of site visits abandoned if the page takes more than three seconds to load. This results in lost revenue. Retailers need to be stress-testing their platforms now and preparing for unpredictable surges and peak period traffic. This will be key in ensuring a successful Black Friday.”
Alongside increased online traffic, Ciaran outlines the following predictions for this year’s Cyber Weekend. He advises what retailers should do to ensure they’re ready:
1. Omnichannel solutions will play a major role in smooth operations
Omnichannel solutions have ramped-up across most industries in 2020 to bridge the gap between consumers and bricks and mortar stores. They allow the synchronisation of all inventory and sales channels. Black Friday may be the last attempt for most retailers at clearing stock given lockdown has essentially held up the progression from each season. This means you can order inventory in a more accurate fashion (reducing wasted costs). In addition to better communicate with your customers if items are low or out of stock.
We also expect consumers to place much greater importance on a smooth and seamless customer journey. From hyper-personalised offers landing in their inbox to a fast and efficient checkout process online. Collect, synchronise, and deploy your data to improve the flow of the customer journey and improve the customer experience (CX).
2. mCommerce will accelerate
Mobile shopping habits have long been on the rise, but COVID-19 has accelerated its uptake. Kooomo expects this year to be the biggest yet for mobile commerce throughout Cyber Weekend. The company predicts a 63% jump in its use from Q1 to Q2 this year. Retailers who optimise their websites for mobile will reap the benefits by offering another channel of access to their brand.
3. The merge of Black Friday & Cyber Monday
It’s no secret that Black Friday and Cyber Monday are no longer singular 24-hour events. In the last few years (facilitated by the increase in online shopping) more retailers are starting sales and promotions early. These promotions are running them into Cyber Monday – this is expected to be truer than ever given the climate.
With many retailers abiding by the new norm, there is no longer this 9-5 mentality around sales. Some retailers have already capitalised on night owls by launching midnight sales online. Kooomo expects to see promotions such as this during the upcoming sales events.
4. Conscious consumer spending
Consumers are expected to be savvier and more conscious about their spending this year. Nearly 61% of consumers more conscious of the environmental impact of their Cyber Weekend purchases. Furthermore, 45% of consumers making more sustainable choices.
Retailers should therefore plan promotions carefully. Companies need to reflect on their marketing messaging and it’s emotive and relative drive. Retailers need to assess online customer assistance to ensure that consumers attach value to your brand presence as a whole. Not just to individual products. This may be the first time consumers interact with your brand and this will help ensure loyalty in future instances.
Ciaran concludes, “No one can fully predict just how this Black Friday is going to go. The shopping holiday has been transformed in the last couple of years, but the pandemic has fast-tracked its digital facelift. What we can be sure of is that power is most definitely in the hands of the consumer. People are well versed in online shopping. Retailers who are flexible and original in their approach to Black Friday still stand to maximise their profits and honour. The shift from “bargain hunters” to “value seekers”.
“It may not live up to be the most successful of Black Friday holidays in terms of YoY growth. However, for the retailers who take the time to prepare their website, refine their marketing and create a strong CX stand to have their biggest year for online conversions.”
Enterprise Times: What this means for business
Kooomo has simply stated what many analysts and industry research have previously reported. Coronavirus pandemic has had a massive disruptive influence on customer behaviour both online and offline. Global lockdown has resulted in serious revenue losses for many retailers and brands.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday will be one of their few opportunities to gain grounds and recover revenues. Hence the four key trends that Kooomo have indicated makes interesting reading, for brands looking to rescue their finances. The company lays out clearly what it believes will be in store for retailers this Black Friday.