After such a confusing year, many retailers are wondering what’s in store for BFCM and holiday shopping season in a pandemic world. The holidays are coming at a very strange time when much of retail has been heavily disrupted and brands are more reliant on the big spike of holiday sales than ever before.
We at VL OMNI understand that this BFCM is expected to be like no other before. Therefore, we want to help Merchants get ready for the uncertainty that brings this holiday season and beyond.
Let’s take a look at how to get your business ready for this holiday selling season.
This holiday selling season is different
Major retailers kicked off this holiday selling season with what they called “holiday sales events.” This includes sales events such as Amazon’s “Prime Day”, Best Buy’s “Black Friday in October”, Walmart’s “Big Save Event, and among others. These sales events drove a 6% year-over-year spending increase for the retail sector in the third week of October, giving the industry a bit of perspective of what to expect this holiday season.
Taking a look at last year’s data, consumers spent a record $7.4 billion online on Black Friday only. It’s uncertain whether this holiday shopping season will scale at that level. But it’s clear Merchants needs to map out a strategy and gear up for what we hope will be a busy holiday season.
Is Black Friday Dead? Not Just Yet
Amidst the uncertainty that brings this holiday season, some brands like Walmart have decided to close their stores during Black Friday. Others, who have seen sales rise due to an increase in online shopping during the pandemic, are confident to meet broad customer needs and deliver omnichannel shopping during BFCM.
Additionally, Shopify Plus research data indicates that the sales season will extend beyond BFCM: “About 66% of Shopify Plus merchants surveyed who are participating in BFCM plan to kick off sales the week before Black Friday and Cyber Monday, and about 33% plan to extend their sales to the week after BFCM.”
Simply put, Black Friday is not dead at all. The ecommerce landscape has changed tremendously this year and BFCM will now be part of a months-long holiday selling season. Those brands that will participate in BFCM will need to ensure their online channels are efficient and engaging for customers in order to be competitive.
After all, the brands that will successfully navigate this turbulent time are those that have prioritized the customer experience (CX) and have made it their goal to deeply understand their customers, seamlessly blending the digital and physical, while maintaining social distancing guidelines in place.
So, how can your business prepare for a successful holiday selling season?
With Black Friday falling on 27th November this year and Cyber Monday following just after on 30th November, one key trend Shopify Plus is predicting is that most BFCM shopping will happen online. Along with the dramatic shift to digital, customers will be shopping earlier and seeking value over price.
With more customers looking for value and quality as well as trying new brands, Merchants will need to take a flexible strategic approach to prepare for a different holiday shopping season.
To help you get ready for this BFCM and holiday selling season, we’ve created a guide that covers everything from how to successfully navigate the complexities of peak selling seasons, to questions your business must consider to identify the state of your business and integration processes now, useful strategies for Merchants to prepare for a post-COVID world, and more practical information.
Growing your business is hard no matter what time of year it is. But the added pressure from BFCM and the uncertainty that comes with peak selling seasons can feel extra daunting. We at VL OMNI want to set you up for success.
(And stay sane along the way).