The results are in for Black Friday Cyber Monday (BFCM) 2021 — consumers are chomping at the bit to spend this season.
By now, you must have a plan, an idea of the sales you are going to run, and goals for how you will execute on the influx of customers hunting for the deal.
Shopify notes that consumers spent $5.1 billion on its platform in BFCM 2020, a 76% increase over 2019. That lift in eCommerce sales can be primarily attributed to the pandemic lockdowns, which took most Black Friday Cyber Monday deals and pushed them into cyberspace: Last year, foot traffic for in-person Black Friday shopping plummeted a jaw-dropping 52%.
This year, with much of the world’s economies reopening and shifting toward “normal,” we expect to see more in-person deals return, but retailers as a whole don’t really know exactly where US consumers will spend their predicted $207 billion this holiday season.
That’s why we created this checklist. We’re tuned in to the pulse of this year’s customers, the economics of BFCM 2021, and the challenges we’re all facing as brand marketers and eCommerce professionals this year. Here are eight things you should check off your list for a successful selling season.
Listen to our BFCM 2021 Virtual Summit
The BFCM Virtual Summit, put together by the Hawke Media team and our partners, is a webinar jam-packed with tips, tricks, and trends for the BFCM 2021 holiday season. Whether this is your first BFCM selling season or you’re a seasoned professional, this webinar has 2021-specific gems for everyone.
Get Shipping Materials Ready
There are countless shipping delays, from all the ships sitting offshore of California. That means if you haven’t pulled together your shipping materials for the influx of orders you’re expecting, you might be missing the boat (filled with your shipping materials and parked offshore).
The solution to this is to do an audit of what you have, so you can ensure that the paper and plastic shipping materials you have exceed your stretch goals. If you do an inventory and come up short, consider how you can source your materials locally, or at least domestically. This both precludes overseas shipping delays and reduces your environmental impact.
Aim for Sustainability
Speaking of environmental impact, what does sustainability look like in 2021? And why should you care? This is on your checklist because aiming for sustainability doesn’t just reduce your carbon footprint, it also entices both millennials and Gen Zers to support your brand.
Sustainability starts with the supply chain; we’ve been dancing around that topic in this point and the previous one, but we’ll talk about it more a bit later. Much of what you can control happens in what is called “last-mile delivery.”
Sure, it’s all well and good to say “go green” this Black Friday, but what are some actionable ways you can implement that?
- Go digital. For last-minute sustainable surprise and delight, consider adding digital offerings this holiday season. Instead of printing a book or selling a physical item, ask, “How can I make this digital?” Digital offerings require almost no supply chain, which means they’re easy to offer last-minute and they’re more sustainable.
- Source locally. Local is the new black (Friday), and the more you source from the area around you, the faster you can implement new offerings and the more sustainable you’ll be.
- Use green materials. You may be using green materials and not even know it. Or maybe you want to shift your offerings to be a little greener. Using materials like glass, bamboo, or recycled plastics is a tiny way you can both be more sustainable and boast about it.
- Partner with those who are already making change. When selecting partners, choose those who are dedicated to sustainability and making change. Then you can name-drop those partners and instantly win approval from your customers and would-be buyers.
Sustainability has to be genuine. You can’t fake it, really, and if you get caught trying, it won’t be pretty.
Suss Out Your Supply Chain
I have a co-worker whose apartment move-in date has been delayed because the landlord can’t get appliances into the apartment before then. You may have run into similar issues if you’re buying a computer or the components of one.
On a grander scale, the longer your supply chain is, the more likely you are to find it interrupted during this holiday season. Shorten, streamline, localize, and understand the entirety of your supply chain. Visible, transparent, and domestic supply chains will fare better than the rest.
Sell Your Why
This season, your audience is being flooded with offers that come with 10% to 20% off coupons.
Email send volumes skyrocket each holiday season, and 2020 was no exception. You need to do something to stand out from the cacophony of voices shouting at prospective buyers from their inboxes.
Millennials and Gen Zers want authenticity and transparency, but they also want a cause. When angling your BFCM efforts, be sure to have an intention beyond just lining your pockets. Donate to a charity and talk about it. Have your team volunteer together as a team-building exercise.
Find your why outside of the money and the rest will come.
Recycle Your Content
If you haven’t created BFCM-specific content, you can always tilt your evergreen content to be themed that way. This works especially well in design, and keeps you from having to overspend on creating content that’s good only for the holiday season.
Make Yourself Available
This is broad for a reason. For BFCM 2021, make yourself available to talk to your prospective and current customers. That involves answering basic questions, providing agile responses to customer-service issues, and presenting your offerings through a number of channels.
If you sell a physical product in a brick-and-mortar location, consider offering pickup or delivery. This will be particularly effective this season, due to shipping and predicted postal-service delays.
Being available also means creating stores and content that are responsive and accessible to the significant percentage of consumers shopping exclusively on their mobile devices.
And you should start offering deals ASAP, because brands like Amazon have already begun their early-bird BFCM promotions. The most accessible brands in BFCM 2021 will be the most successful ones.
Schedule a Consultation
Need a helping hand? Just because it’s nearly BFCM 2021 doesn’t mean you’re too late to take advantage of the holiday gold rush. Hawke Media’s partners and professionals can whip up a last-minute holiday selling-season strategy faster than your mom whips up her famous holiday cookies.
Schedule a free consultation to spruce up your marketing for this selling season and beyond.