eCommerce Guide to Black Friday & Cyber Week

Black Friday and Cyber Week are here! The biggest week in retail and eCommerce is upon us, and this year is expected to see the largest sales volume yet. The one question you have to ask yourself is are you ready for the rush? Read on for great insights to help your eCommerce store succeed during peak season.
Read Time: 5 minutes
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Black Friday & Cyber Week for eCommerce

The holiday season is here! Thanksgiving comes along with a variety of traditions, one of which holds a particular importance to retailers and consumers - Black Friday. For years, consumers have slipped out the door the night of Thanksgiving (perhaps even before the leftovers have cooled) in search of the best holiday deals. Fueled by the promise of unbeatable prices, and armed with bellies full of turkey and stuffing, consumers put on their Santa hats, ready to battle for the perfect holiday gifts for loved ones!

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This tradition, widely known as Black Friday, has become its very own holiday for consumers - getting its name due to the fact that the day means many retailers are exiting “the red” (debt) and entering “the black” (profit) thanks to the large influx of sales. And Black Friday continues to break sales records every year! In 2020, Black Friday sales reached an all-time high of $9.0 billion in consumer spending. And now that eCommerce retailers closely follow Black Friday with Cyber Monday, there's no question that this is the most profitable time of year for most all retailers and eCommerce sellers.

In 2020, Black Friday sales hit an all-time high at $9.0 billion

Cyber Monday . . . Or Cyber Week?

Despite Black Friday’s popularity, the frantic nature of this shopping extravaganza isn’t for everyone. Let’s face it, the premise of Black Friday alone would be enough to overwhelm even Santa himself. When pairing the chaotic nature of Black Friday alongside the rise of online shopping, it’s no wonder there has been a shift towards Cyber Monday quickly becoming Cyber Week - and 2021’s Cyber Week has amazing sales opportunities for both eCommerce sellers and retailers alike!

Cyber Week sales grew 20.7% in 2020, bringing the total 2020 season spending to $106.5 billion! A large contributing factor to the growth of Cyber Week in 2020 was social media - 1 out of 10 visits to retail eCommerce websites in 2020 came through social media. However, this shift towards eCommerce sales hasn’t entirely remedied the problems associated with the chaotic holiday shopping season for all. With eCommerce retailers being the go-to choice for shopping nowadays, they must fasten their elf hats and navigate the rapid influx of online sales that Cyber Week brings.

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With such a surge in online sales, making sure your eCommerce store is backed up by a reliable fulfillment center is a crucial step in perfecting your Black Friday & Cyber Week deliveries. Any inconsistencies, mistakes, or flaws with your order fulfillment company are only going to be amplified during Black Friday & Cyber Week. And if your orders are getting mis-shipped or taking too long to be delivered, your customers will respond with poor reviews & won't buy from you again. If you are concerned about your order fulfillment solutions, are thinking about changing fulfillment centers, (or just are having a really rocky Black Friday/Cyber Monday and just want to talk), don't hesitate to contact PackYak to learn about our reliable, speedy fulfillment solutions that can keep up with large order volumes while giving you a 100% order accuracy guarantee.

eCommerce Guide to Black Friday & Cyber Week

​The anticipated high volume sales expected for 2021’s Cyber Week for eCommerce retailers has the industry excited, anxious, and worried all at once - excited for the large sales potentials, but worried and anxious about keeping up with orders and making sure orders are delivered on time. Here’s what you need to know as an eCommerce retailer to fully capitalize on the opportunities this year’s Cyber Week presents:

Make a Plan

When it comes to preparing for Cyber Week, it’s never too early to start planning. With the stakes high, most eCommerce retailers start planning months in advance. To remain organized and on track, it can be helpful to establish a timeline documenting your plan. Additionally, it’s beneficial to establish roles in planning early on, ensuring nothing falls through the cracks. Lastly, while setting goals and predicting outcomes is always a good idea, eCommerce retailers must be prepared to remain flexible and adapt to fast changing situations. After all, nobody truly knows what this holiday shopping craze will bring each year.

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Review Website Performance

For many eCommerce retailers, Cyber Monday brings website traffic to an all time high. With websites needing to function optimally to accommodate for the heightened traffic volumes, this is not the best time for large website changes. While retailers should stick with what works on their websites, this is not to say that this realm doesn’t require attention. E-commerce retailers should assess their website speed across various platforms and browsers. Research carried out by Google found that a mere 1-3 second load time on a website spiked the bounce rate 32%. To combat this, eCommerce retailers can employ page speed monitoring, a synthetic monitoring technique that gauges a website's speed. Beyond page speed monitoring, synthetic monitoring techniques are valuable tools in general for eCommerce retailers. They offer retailers the ability to simulate consumer navigation pathways and heightened website traffic, alerting you to website performance issues before they pose a problem.

Review User Experience

While an optimally functioning website is a good start, performance issues are not the only thing that can pose an impact on an eCommerce retailer's Cyber Week Success. The competitive nature of Cyber Week means your website must go beyond basic functions, specially considering various facets of the user’s overall experience. Retailers are advised to keep their websites simple, limiting unnecessary clutter that can detract the consumers eye from the products. In the realm of simplicity, streamlining the checkout process can be beneficial in increasing sales as well. In other words, the fewer steps there are in the checkout process, the more likely a consumer is to make a purchase.

Free shipping can encourage consumers to make purchases as well. Many eCommerce retailers offer free shipping to steer consumers further towards online shopping, going on to set a standard of sorts for all eCommerce retailers. In order to compete without taking a major loss, eCommerce retailers can instill order minimums alongside free shipping promotions, further promoting increased products sales. While broad consumer preferences surely hold value, it’s never a bad idea to gather real customers' thoughts on your website. Focus groups and surveys are effective methods in analyzing preferences on the personalized details of your website.

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E-commerce retailers must also consider what measures to take after the consumer clicks purchase. The increase in sales Cyber Week brings comes along with heightened shipping and distribution demands. With a sale not being final until the product is in the consumers hands, it’s important to seek a reliable fulfillment center. Especially with Cyber Week 2021 potentially being the highest-grossing Cyber Week in all of history, it’s more important than ever to have operations in order. With the massive increase of online orders during this short time frame, it’s essential to ensure fulfillment operations are up to scale. Backorders, delayed shipments, and inaccurate orders are unacceptable anytime during the year, and this is especially true during cyber-week.

If you have any questions about working with a fulfillment center, PackYak would love to talk to you! We specialize in working with eCommerce brands and providing reliable large volume order fulfillment. In fact, PackYak guarantees 100% order accuracy for every fulfillment partner! Fill out this quick form and one of our dedicated fulfillment Yak's will reach out to you ASAP to discuss how PackYak can help your business succeed!\

That's all for this week's edition of The New Yak Times! Tune in next week and subscribe below! And good luck to all of our eCommerce sellers during Cyber Week this year!

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