It’s that time of the year again. No, not the time when choirs start caroling through neighborhoods and a big, jolly old elf checks his list for the second time. While those days are right around the corner, today, we’re talking about the famous and long-awaited Black Friday & Cyber Monday.
The shopping extravaganza which started a few years ago and used to be a single-day event has evolved into a week-long ultra marathon for fashion lovers, tech-savvies and the majority of buyers who simply enjoy shopping and seeking bargains.
But let’s be real here for a moment. We are not here talk about everyone’s hobbies, but rather about the benefits and opportunities that these days bring to your e-commerce. We’re talking about huge online sales!
Last year we saw drastic changes in user’s behavior while searching their products online and changes in how they view online shopping as a whole. So today, we’re going to have a look at what you need to know about these changes and what are users expecting from your business this year.
What has changed?
Back in 2015, shops were full of customers waiting impatiently to enter through the doors and grab the lowest Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals, in 2016 we’ve seen something quite different.
Users are turning to online shopping because of its hassle-free and faster service benefits. They’ve even changed the way they search and prepare themselves for these special days.
They are able to:
- compare prices
- save products into their wishlist
- create alerts for price changes
and even have early access to Black Friday & Cyber Monday offers on some websites.
They are no longer willing to wait several hours in front of the store waiting for it to open or tussle through the massive crowds to try to grab the last unit of a product, and that’s one of the most valuable information brands have learned from last year. But is that all? Of course not, let’s see what else has changed.
Customers prefer mobile apps over mobile websites
Some studies have shown that the majority of customers prefer mobiles apps over websites mainly because it’s faster while others claim that the payments and checkouts are much easier and simply through mobile apps.
Whether they decide to pay by scanning their credit card, digital wallets or PayPal, customers are looking for brands who mainly simplify their online shopping experience. But aside from being easier, apps and mobile websites have more flexibility. They don’t require the user to use their laptop or Wi-Fi while in public transportation, and they have fewer connectivity issues.
Again, a lot of consumers are utilizing apps nowadays and expect more known brands to have a dedicated app. That being the case, companies should see the need and opportunity to come up with a mobile app to increase their reach and engagement, on a channel that is used by a lot of potential customers.
What about businesses?
Online shopping has indeed reshaped not only people’s buying habits but e-commerce and overall online businesses. In 2016, online shops such as Amazon anticipated the dates and changed their status quo by starting their Black Friday deals as early as November 1st.
While the majority of businesses waited until the traditional day to release their online offers on their websites, others like Target, Walmart and Best Buy reported their biggest achievement and sales growth came from mobile purchases. What does this tell us?
‘Consumer Spending over Black Friday Weekend Is Forecast to Grow by 47% Year over Year’’
Well, that mobile has opened a new era of online shopping and that during this year’s Black Friday, the online sales via mobile will probably be the biggest source of income once again. In fact, in a recent post from Forbes, they shared that ‘Consumer spending over Black Friday weekend is forecast to grow by 47% year over year and consumers plan to spend an average of $743.’
What should we expect in years to come?
Mobile e-commerce is officially taking over e-commerce websites as we speak. Some reports claim that in 2020, mobile apps are projected to generate near 190 billion U.S. dollars in revenues via app stores and in-app advertising.
This trend changes and numbers are now so obvious that some of the big companies made the decision to shut down their desktop version of their websites and to exclusively offer their products or services through apps. A good example of this particular strategy was Flipkart, who decided on going app-only and rapidly saw an increase in their sales growth. You can read about the whole strategy on Wharton’s website.
While going app-only hasn’t been a prerogative for most companies online, mobile apps have definitely shown remarkable performance in this year’s sales report. A mobile app does wonders for an e-commerce site, especially if the funnel and purchasing process is optimized to offer the best user experience for customers.
What you need to remember
Besides optimizing the app or mobile version of your website and having a strategy in place for these special dates, you’ll need to be prepared to track sales, revenue, bugs, and as many data as you can. The fact is, we are so used to track the desktop data that we may forget about the mobile version.
Make sure to have all the trackings you need in place, have your team and strategy prepared, newsletters and a list or report in place that will give you all the information you need during Black Friday’s & Cyber Monday madness.
Read more: How to read and learn from your data
If you don’t have a proper tool to review all the important metrics such as InsightsX, make sure to write down some KPIs such as:
- time on the app
- bounce rate of pages & products
- website uptime
- page load time
- on-site search terms
- total revenue
- average order value
- shopping cart abandonment rate
- conversion rate
Finally, you’ll also need to be very aware of online fraud and making sure the traffic coming through your website is filtered and safe. We’ve talked about it a few weeks ago in case you want to check it out.
Read more: Why PSD2 is so important for your business
These reports will not only give you an almost exact profile of your customers, but rather a better understanding of the points your e-commerce needs to improve on the app or mobile version of the website in order to increase sales for next big dates such as Christmas, New Year’s Eve, Easter, etc.
In conclusion, we can agree that mobile apps will continue to change how users shop online and as we move further into the mobile era, it is expected they will continue to change not only the customers’ behavior but the way that businesses will manage their sales strategy in order to increase their e-commerce sales.