Black Friday is among the busiest periods of the year for online retailers across North America and increasingly globally. Particularly, this year due to the pandemic retailers worldwide have to focus on their online presence like never before. The ongoing lockdown means poor online sales this year will have a more significant impact on Q4 revenue targets. Many retailers at this point have an online presence. According to Drive Research online sales will increase by roughly 30% over last year. Only one in six consumers say they will do physical shopping this year compared to one in three, last year. Black Friday in 2020 will be different, and retailers are asking the question “how do we maximize or adapt our existing digital infrastructure into a profitable online operation”?
Online sales this year have accounted for over 30% of sales for many businesses in North America. The figure is significantly higher in more mature Asian eCommerce markets, like China. Only 45% of businesses are expecting to outperform 2019. Last year that number was an astronomical 90%. DigiCommerce thinks there are four pressing eCommerce issues that retailers should be focused on this year. Promotions, Personalizations, Inventory Management and Cross-border Capabilities.
Promotion and marketing capabilities are arguably the biggest thing retailers will be relying on during the Black Friday season. Businesses must ensure they effectively take advantage of promotional features within eCommerce technology. Efficient collaboration between your marketing team and IT department will provide efficiency gains this Black Friday. The major eCommerce platforms are designed to accommodate promotions and discounts. Agencies like DigiCommerce regularly enhance features that out of the box eCommerce platforms like BigCommerce and Shopify. For example, BigCommerce’s marketing offering includes coupons, discounts and promotions features. Additionally, there are numerous third party promotion and discount applications that can be integrated into online stores.
Personalization capabilities of an eCommerce site is intimately tied to marketing and data analytics. This allows for marketing content, promotion, discounts and other features to target individual online customers. It allows companies to better design customers’ journeys and develop effective customer engagement strategies. This is key to maximizing the dollar value of each shopping basket. Shopify and SAP Commerce cloud are designed particularly with this in mind. Good quality integration can use personalization to improve engagement with features like product suggestions and discount offers.
Order and Inventory Management during a busy season, like Black Friday, are key to the bottom line. Inventory management can have big cost implications if not properly done, especially during a low business pandemic. Inventory Management helps in the event of unexpectedly lower sales or higher sales. This is vital as part of an omnichannel strategy. It helps businesses in adapting to curbside delivery, store pick ups and other new eCommerce trends we have experienced since the start of the pandemic. The major eCommerce platforms have an AI enabled order management and inventory feature built in. Elastic Path’s for example enables tracking inventory transactions, automated workflows, real time synchronization amongst other things.
Fortunately, retailers still have time to make changes which can optimize their eCommerce infrastructure before this year’s Black Friday. Quick adjustments or support services can help get online stores ready for increases in sales traffic this year.
For more information on how you can enhance your digital infrastructure contact DigiCommerce.