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Black Friday and Cyber Monday

November 23 2018

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Black Friday is here. It’s a holiday that many people associate with large crowds of people stampeding shops and snatching up discounted goods, hopefully with minimal disruption. But the days of Black Friday causing excitement at shops on the high street might be coming to an end, judging by the trend of more people to shop online for their Christmas presents.

Footfall is expected to decrease by 3.7% this Black Friday compared to last year, and by 2.7% over the weekend as a whole. This follows a trend of footfall falling year on year on that day. And while online transactions may increase by as much as 4% this year, this is a slower rate of increase than in previous years.

Why are Black Friday customers migrating online, rather than visiting brick and mortar shops on their local high street? One of the reasons might be deals which online stores are providing. For example, Amazon is providing free shipping for certain products on Black Friday and beyond. It may be that shopping online is just more convenient for people. That’s probably why Cyber Monday, the Monday after Black Friday when people customarily shop online for post-Thanksgiving deals, has become so popular.

If you’re an online business then you’ll have already geared up for these two days. You’ll have nailed down which of your products are best for promotions, estimated how much sales will increase to use as a measure of success, and used bold, simple marketing to make people aware of your offers. You should also have thought about preparing for increased traffic and an influx of customer data. And remember to make your returns policy clear, as the impulse purchases that people make on Black Friday will lead to an increase in returns.

If you’re a customer, you’ll need to consider a few things too. Shopping online can be very convenient and give you a greater range of options, but there are also risks to take into account.

You’ll want to check that the bargains being presented are really bargains. Prices can differ drastically between stores, and even in the same store at different times of day. You can make the most of this by putting an item in your virtual basket before checking other sites for better deals on the same product. You can also use sites and apps to track the prices over time for particular products.

You should also make sure you stay safe and secure when shopping online. If you get an email with Black Friday offers check the link address very carefully. It’s better to just go to the site directly if you know it rather than following a link in an email.

You should also know your rights as a customer. If you buy something online, you have a 14 day period where if you change your mind, you can get a refund. If the retailer says so, you may have to pay return postage, but otherwise you don’t.

If you find your site overwhelmed by the volume of sales on Black Friday then congratulations! You’ll want your e-commerce services and site to be ready for Black Friday sales next year. That’s where Wirebox comes in: we can help scale up your e-commerce services and provide website support and maintenance. So contact us and you need never get caught out by Black Friday again.