It used to be that Boxing Day was the biggest spending day in the UK, kick-starting the season of winter sales. But now the winter sales begin in autumn! We’ve already talked about Black Friday occurring on November 27th, but this day will swiftly be followed by Cyber Monday, representing an enormous opportunity for UK retailers.
Retail SMEs now have several great chances to boost their sales online and with Cyber Monday following hot on the heels of Black Friday, it’s time to get your digital house in order. Cyber Monday may yet become the biggest retail day on the calendar with the rise of the modern consumer, and so it’s imperative for businesses now to get online. Here’s what you can do to make sure that you’re ready:
Stock up on – and loudly promote – your top sellers: You know that your top sellers sell, and they sell for a reason, so promote them everywhere that you have an online presence. Being unprepared will cost you, so make sure that your stock is ready for the rush and can handle any additional surges. To keep customers engaged, they must be satisfied with their overall shopping experience, and this won’t happen if you don’t have what they want in stock, so make sure that they are happy with the service that they receive, and you can reap the benefits of further sales.
Promote to your current customers: Actively acquiring new customers takes a fair bit of effort; it’s much easier to keep your current and repeat customers happy. Being online, you have a record of everything that your customers have bought from you in the past. If you can target them with highly personalised offers then the holiday sales are bound to come, and of course loyalty schemes will keep them coming back all year round. However, that doesn’t mean that you can forget about enticing new customers:
Stay active and visible on social media: When it comes to promoting ecommerce, having a good social media presence is as important as having a website. It’s a must! Keep everyone updated with what your business is up to, shout about offers, and even post exclusive offers for those following you on the different social media platforms – Have a Twitter exclusive, or a Facebook exclusive promotion. Spreading the word about your holiday incentives on social media not only puts you in touch with consumers who may be searching for a business like yours, but it also gives you an opportunity to be interactive with prospective customers who are still looking for inspiration about what to buy for friends and loved ones.
Be mobile savvy: If your website isn’t optimised for mobile use, Google may ignore it. Customers are increasingly more connected via their mobile apps and purchases are being made on the move. An optimised website – and even an app – will add to the levels of engagement that you can have with your customers. Push notifications and other app-related marketing techniques can really inspire that impulse buy, and keep customers interested.
Offer additional value: It can be difficult to compete with the big boys. You may not be able to match them on price, but you can offer more without too much impact on your margins. If it means that you get the sale and not one of the mega powers then that’s money in your pocket. Offering that little bit more can sway the customer who’s on the fence, such as complementary gift wrapping, or an extended warranty.
It’s important to keep in mind that these approaches are not just relevant for the festive season, but are something that can help boost sales and reach new markets throughout the next year too. But for now, prepare well, and look forward to one of the most important days on the retail calendar.