12.12.2020
5 min. read
Categories: Business
High season eCommerce trends and how to implement them in Sylius

So, Black Friday and Cyber Monday are already behind us. We hope that your online stores have made more turnover than ever… But it’s just the beginning 😉

Challenges always show an opening for innovation, and we’ve seen plenty of such since the beginning of COVID-19. While Black Friday has surely evolved a lot over the years, it has been especially different this November.

For millions of people, Black Friday is the time to do some severe wallet damage while Christmas shopping. It’s one of the major shopping days of the year in the United States, but since not so long ago, it is also celebrated worldwide, falling anywhere between November 23 and 29. 

This year, Black Friday has fallen officially on Nov. 27.

Black Friday in Numbers

Let’s have a look at what Black Friday means in numbers for online stores. Black Friday 2019 saw 93.2 million buyers shopping online and swept $11.9 billion in online sales. That’s a 20.2% increase over 2018. More people shopped online, 142.2 million, while 124 million hit the stores. Despite Cyber Monday and other significant shopping holidays during the year, Black Friday dominates as the most popular day to shop. When we put Cyber Monday against Black Friday, the latter beats the former as the busiest online shopping day as 93.2 million people shopped online on Black Friday – only 83.3 million people did so on Cyber Monday.

We already see the first reports on 2020’s BFCM phenomenon popping up. On this year’s Black Friday, American consumers spent $6.3 million per minute online, or $27.50 per person, on average. Spending on smartphones surged 25.3% year over year to reach $3.6 billion, representing 40% of total e-commerce spending. According to the newest research, US consumers dropped $9 billion online, a 21.6% increase over 2019. The jump made this year’s Black Friday the second largest online spending day ever for Americans, just shy of the record $9.4 billion spent on Cyber Monday 2019.  

Trends

Free shipping – duh!

Everyone adores free shipping, particularly when spending big money during the holidays and especially during times like these (Amazon has been known to go as far as offering every customer free shipping during the holiday season).

Offering free shipping is a small but powerful way to build brand loyalty. It can also be a key factor behind the conversion and retention and way more beyond Black Friday only. However, one thing to keep in mind is that free shipping is a major perk in most consumers’ eyes, but at the same time, it’s not considered a promotion. An estimated 38% of shoppers won’t shop somewhere that doesn’t offer free shipping during Black Friday and the holiday season.

To maximize average order value next year, consider offering free shipping once customers have reached a certain order value.

The sales momentum after Black Friday weekend

Technically, the Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales weekend – usually mark the start of the holiday sales period. Historically, about 37% of all holiday retail sales have been made during this period, but only about 18% of consumers have said that they finish all their holiday shopping at this time.

Now that customers turn to eCommerce more than ever due to restrictions or skepticism towards shopping in physical stores, it is time to make the most of your online store even after the Black Friday dust settles. Have you ever heard of Cyber Week II? It is the period after Christmas when customers are supplied with gift cards and more than ready for round two of the shopping spree. 

Get Your Store Mobile-friendly

Mobile activity has shown a steady increase over the years, with past Black Friday statistics revealing a growing inclination for “on the go” browsing and shopping.

It is especially critical to get on Google’s good side, particularly during Black Friday weekend and holiday season sales, as they put down the sites which aren’t deemed mobile-friendly. And since staying at the top of customers’ search results should always be your aim, being put down during the busy sales season could cost you considerably, quite literally.

61% of online transactions last Black Friday was on mobile, so engaging customers via SMS or push notifications will be something retailers might want to use. It will simply make sense to connect with customers in this manner and provide offers, deals, and even remind them of upcoming Christmas sales hours directly to the device from which they most often shop.

How can Sylius help you during Seasonal Sales?

Promotions engine

When talking about sales in general not to mention Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Christmass sales, or shopping holidays overall, promotions are key aspects, both from the buyer’s and seller’s perspective.

With the usage of actions and rules, which Sylius’ promotions are based on, you can customize personalized sales the way you wish. You can get more in-depth information on how promotions work in Sylius and how to use them correctly to boost your business in our blog post Apply Black Friday discounts with Sylius promotion engine.

Customer groups and loyalty points

You can classify customers into different segments or groups by using the Customer Groups feature. Customer groups allow you to, for example, organize your customers and give them dedicated discounts. 

It’s most beneficial to target your promotions at specific customer groups. Consider building customer segments according to gender, age group, or spending habits. For example, if you want to sell a particular brand or designer, you could build a group of people who bought that brand in the past and then run a promotion, particularly for those customers.

Loyalty promotions and reward points, working as a loyalty program available only in Sylius Plus (check the demo of the feature yourself!), will increase your customer engagement daily, now imagine the boost it could give your sales during BFCM or Christmas shopping. The more benefits customers see, the more attention they share in your store. This will turn one-time buyers into loyal customers who regularly shop in your store beyond the holiday season.

Check out the community plugins 

There are plenty of great useful plugins in our store, which may come in handy during the high season fever. 

One of them is the Banner plugin created by Odiseo. This plugin lets you add banners to your store, which are fully customizable by the admin. An interesting thing to consider when you want to communicate loud and clear to anyone who enters your website of the ongoing promotions!

Add to this one of a few available Mailchimp plugins for convenient e-mail marketing, Alert Message plugin by Monsieur Biz, or SEO plugin by Dedi Agency and there’s no way your customer shall miss your promotion.

Another plugin worth looking into this year is the Click’n’Collect plugin by Les Tilleuls. Sylius Click’ N’ Collect allows for contactless pick-up and prevents queues; it helps you protect your workers and customers.

Check the Marketing section in the Sylius Store for more!

Takeaways

There were and still are several factors to consider this year, such as limited in-store customers, and thus e-commerce which is much bigger this year.

Your websites should be tested, so a crash doesn’t occur, and if it does, it can be quickly found and fixed.

During past Black Fridays, retailers would focus on prepping their physical stores for a multitude of customers. This year, online stores concentrated on recreating a digital version of that:

  • Optimizing their websites for traffic spikes
  • Simplifying the checkout experience to decrease cart abandonment
  • Providing fast shipping, and click’n’collect options as most of us are still in lockdown

The biggest opportunity was in preparing in the right way, and for many store owners, that meant kicking their digital transformation efforts into high gear.

Speaking about opportunities, we have two quite interesting options for you this Black (Cyber) Week time! Make sure to drop by our Plugin Store as  the most popular paid plugins – One Page Checkout and ACL are 20% off till this Friday midnight.

And for all the Sylius newbies, we’ve prepared a special 60% discount for our Online Video Course – make sure to check it out before it ends tomorrow midnight!

It has never been cheaper!
Learn Sylius within just 8 hours.
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Paulina Błaszczyk
As the lead of the Business Partner Network, Paulina guides the proactive development of new opportunities, primarily through building relationships with new and existing partners. She works on evolving the structure of the Network as well as Partner recruitment and activation processes. Paulina also doesn’t like Brussels sprouts.
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