It’s predicted that almost a third of UK shoppers (30%) plan to buy online during this year’s Black Friday compared to just 8% last year. With Black Friday 2015 set to be the UK’s very first £1 billion online shopping day, we take a look at how retailers can maximise this lucrative sales opportunity through improving their eCommerce performance.
With UK retail eCommerce sales expected to top £60 billion in 2015, this year’s Black Friday is set to reach £1 billion in UK online sales alone.
Black Friday is still a relatively new phenomenon in the UK (historically, a US tradition where retailers cut prices on the Friday after Thanksgiving in an attempt to get customers back into shop) but that hasn’t stopped it gathering significant momentum this side of the pond.
So with shoppers ever-savvier to retailers’ promotions – and this year more attuned to the hype surrounding Black Friday – what should retailers be doing to position for success?
1. Price it right
Competition is hotter than ever and keeping abreast of your competitors’ prices will be key to staying ahead this holiday season.
Deloitte research shows that 64 percent of every pound spent in-store is now digitally influenced, so don’t count on shoppers being uninformed.
By the same token, your competitors can see everything shoppers do, so you need to be strategically monitoring their prices on a regular basis (and in some price-sensitive categories, such as electronics, on a daily basis).
But it shouldn’t just be a race to the bottom on price. Monitoring your competitors’ prices and product stock availability will help you display the right price to your customer at the right time – enabling you to find opportunities to increase margin by raising prices, or increase competitiveness by lowering them.
3. Promotions are starting ever earlier – be prepared!
As discussed in our recent Back-to-School whitepaper, retailer promotions are starting earlier than ever before. Shopping seasons are on an upward sales trajectory, featuring increasingly aggressive retailer promotions that are generating earlier and earlier starts to the seasonal shopping period.
And retailers depend heavily on a strong holiday performance.
ChannelAdvisor’s 2015 Online Retail Survey reveals that nearly 60 percent of retailers plan to start their holiday promotions in September or sooner, and almost a quarter (24 percent) are planning to offer more holiday promotions than last year as a strategy to increase their 2015 holiday sales.
The survey also reveals that for nearly three-quarters (74%) of retailers, 20% of annual sales are generated during the holiday season. And when asked which day was the most profitable, 47% of UK retailers (and 41% of US retailers) said Black Friday.
So remember that your competitors’ promotions will have an immediate impact on your sales and profitability this year. Tracking and staying abreast of competitor promotions, and ensuring you stay competitively priced on key items during the vital holiday season, is critical.
4. Don’t fly blind: have the right products in stock
Stocking the right goods, at the right time, at the right place, in the right quantities is certainly a challenge – but that is what today’s shopper has come to expect.
Are you aware of this missed sales opportunity? Do you know which of this year’s must-have gadgets are out-of-stock at competitors’ stores today?
This real-time intelligence is crucial to fine-tuning your product assortment and giving you a competitive edge this holiday season.
5. Continuously monitor and optimise
It’s not just about making changes at any one point in time. To be successful, you need to be constantly monitoring and optimising your eCommerce performance in the weeks leading up to Black Friday and beyond.
Profitero collects pricing, promotion, and assortment intelligence directly from the “digital shelf,” monitoring more than 275 million products at more than 1,000 retail sites globally.
We see firsthand that the way shoppers are buying is constantly evolving. Ensure you have the right insights to act on these changes and take your share of the £1 billion online shopping opportunity this Black Friday.
Request a demo to find out how Profitero can help you optimise your eCommerce performance this holiday season.