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Top Tips To Surviving Black Friday & Cyber Monday

Black Friday is rapidly approaching and with that comes Cyber Monday, the biggest shopping day for eCommerce stores around the globe.

Your preparing yourself to be up for hours while watching the sales pour in steadily as your customers wake up time zone by time zone in order to snag your best deals. But maybe your not getting many sales or way more than you anticipated.

Whatever the case here is the ultimate survival guide to get you fully prepared and ready for the spectacle that is Cyber Monday 2018.

Keeping The Energy High But The Stress Low

One way to prepare is to make sure you are well rested, as your no good to anyone if your falling asleep, tired and grouchy!

Make sure you get plenty of water, moderate exercise and fresh air! Go for a 10-minute walk around the block in order to help circulate oxygen and give you that natural energy boost. Coffee in moderation can work in a pinch, but you might even need to opt for a quick midday power nap in order to keep selling through the night.

Beyond staying in good shape physically, your attitude can have an impact on your energy. Keep your focus on the positives in order to reduce stress levels and help you motivate not only yourself but your staff too with these tips:

  • Take a few minutes on the morning of in order to organise your space: gather all of the needed supplies and set up an efficient workflow.
  • Watch the sales role in and keep your staff motivated for all the milestone sales you make, a time where everyone can celebrate and stay pumped together.
  • Remember your goals: Post your goal for the day somewhere where all your staff can be reminded of them during the day.
  • Create a positive environment for your staff and lead by example.
  • Encourage breaks and treat yourself and staff to work hard!

Real-time Customer Service

Remember that customers expect a fast response on Cyber Monday when the stakes are high and deals are timed. Make sure that you are on the ball with checking your social mentions and inbox frequently, in case your customers are having issues with checkout or have any questions about certain products or policies.

Take some time in the morning to up your Cyber Monday customer service game:

  • Check that your product pages have complete and accurate information (always start with the popular products that are included in your Black Friday and Cyber Monday campaign).
  • Add any Cyber Monday specific Q&As to your FAQ page.
  • Possibly try out a live chat app – a lot of them are free and can be set up on your store in minutes and your contact volume will likely be rather high, it’s a great day to test if this method will work for you and your brand looking further on.
  • Set Up Some Automation just so you don’t miss anything important. Use IFTTT or Zapier to collect mentions in a spreadsheet and set up an auto-reply letting customers know that contact volume may cause delays, and link them to your up to date FAQs.

Timed Deals and Social Engagement All Day

Don’t just send one pre-Cyber Monday email and think that will be enough. Black Friday and Cyber Monday are very noisy times for the eCommerce world so it’s easy for your deals to get lost in the shuffle. Send out reminders to your customers, and post updates on your social channels all throughout the day, especially if your Cyber Monday plan involves any timed deals.

Don’t just send one pre-Cyber Monday email and think that will be enough. Black Friday and Cyber Monday are very noisy times for the eCommerce world so it’s easy for your deals to get lost in the shuffle.

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But What If Something Goes Wrong…?

So the day of Cyber Monday might not be the best time to start drafting your official crisis communication plan, but you can avoid customer service surprises by spending a couple of minutes in the morning asking yourself these questions:

What’s Your Backup Plan? If your deals are selling out fast, how will you communicate to your other customers? Will you be releasing any other deals for them and what will you do if your customers are having checkout issues?

What’s your holding statement? Establish common messaging to cover a number of issues, and communicate it to staff to ensure consistency.

At What Point Do You Intervene? If you have staff or a customer service team, establish clear and precise guidelines with them about when and how to escalate customer concerns.

…How Will You Make It Right?

Set up gift cards or discount codes (try shareable Discount Links) in advance and empower your staff to send them to any disappointed customers.

Cyber Monday Top Tip: Set up gift cards or discount codes in advance and empower your staff to send them to any disappointed customers

Cyber Monday Is Over: Now What?

Step back, breathe and celebrate: You did it! There are a few timely housekeeping items to address as soon as your sales have ended, however. Here’s what to tackle in the week following on from Cyber Monday.

Rest, Reflect & Restock

Check in with yourself! We know your business needed your full attention for the past month, but be sure to get a little time to yourself to rest before the holiday orders start to rush in.

Record any observations from the weekend. When you run your post-mortem in December or January, trust us you’ll be glad you did it.

Assess the damage: How’s your inventory? Are you stocked up on supplies? Use this week in order to replenish.

Giving Tuesday

If you run a not for profit business, you’re charity affiliated or donate any of your proceeds to help causes, guess what: this week isn’t over for you just yet. Giving Tuesday is essentially the hangover of Black Friday and Cyber Monday and is a chance for consumers to balance the money spent on products with contributions to causes.

Follow Up Communication

Black Friday and Cyber Monday may have brought a new customer group to your store for the first time. The deal seekers came for the discount, but give them a good reason to stick around. Follow the week up with a thank you email, exclusive deals or brand content that engages.

Cyber Monday Top Tip: The deal seekers came for the discount, but give them a reason to stick about.

For all of your customers, make sure automated email copy is updated so that customers are notified when their orders have actually shipped. You might even consider sending out a survey where you can get customer feedback on their Black Friday and Cyber Monday experience in your store.

Prepping For The Holiday Sales

When Cyber Monday is all over, there is no rest as the holiday orders will be streaming in. Take this opportunity to give your eCommerce store a bit of a festive makeover and also update your shipping and shopping info too.

Update assets in your shop and across social media channels to remove the Black Friday/Cyber Monday messaging and imagery and start to churn out holiday deals and information.

  • Set up and communicate cut off shipping dates for holiday orders in a really prominent place on your site.
  • Update your returns and exchanges policy
  • If you own a retail location to, set up and communicate any other holiday hours.

Plan a Post-Mortem

In order to help you prepare for next year, It’s important to look at the numbers, run reports, and gather customer feedback. When the dust settles in January, schedule a retrospective with your team to analyze and discuss both the wins and losses of the holiday season.

Work out what worked and what didn’t, as well as what you will keep or scrap looking into 2019?

Looking ahead

If you’re new to eCommerce, or maybe you haven’t decided to participate in the whole Black Friday or Cyber Monday shenanigans this year then this is a great time to start gathering inspiration for the next year. It’s never too early to get started! You can see what other stores in your niche are doing before trying to do it on your own.