3 Key Learnings from Black Friday/Cyber Monday 2016
Although many online retailers will continue to push promotions until the new year, it’s likely that the majority of holiday sales are over. We saw a huge push from our customers this year, and want to share a few key things that should drive ecommerce strategy in 2017.
Mobile Is King
In 2016, it may seem silly to talk about how important mobile is, but there are still many opportunities to improve mobile shopping experiences. Responsive sites make up the majority of the “mobile-friendly” web these days, but they actually aren’t the ideal solution for most shoppers and merchants.
Responsive sites often struggle to manage layouts for different UI elements across the many different screen sizes that shoppers will browse on.
(Screenshot taken on iPhone)
With all the experience and capital available for a brand like Everlast, you’d expect them to have this figured out. But as you can see, mobile responsive sites don’t always work the way they’re supposed to.
Why is this so important?
Mobile revenue was up nearly 20% YOY on Black Friday. This is consistent with projections from industry experts, who have said that 2017 will be the year that overall mobile sales overtake desktop.
We still didn’t see that over the cyber weekend, with mobile sales making up about 1/3rd of the total pie.
What does all this mean for the future of mobile? What is the right path to take?
Certainly, if your site is not mobile responsive, it needs to be as quickly as possible. Mobile shoppers are extremely impatient and expect a tailored shopping experience.
If your site is mobile responsive, it’s time to consider a separate mobile site. This is generally more time-consuming and expensive to build and manage, but it is what consumers will expect in the near future. In all likelihood, most of your sales will come from mobile in the next five years, so wouldn’t it make sense to cater to your primary user rather than leave them as an afterthought?
The Significance of Specific Shopping Days is Weakening
Just two or three years ago, virtually all of the “great deals” were only available on Black Friday or Cyber Monday. In marketing and sales, this is called scarcity. Of course, retailers could make the same deals available on Thursday, or Tuesday, or anytime throughout the next 12 months if they wanted to. But if those deals were available continuously, people wouldn’t go wait in line in 20 degree weather.
Unfortunately, most major retailers are trying to milk consumers for all they’re worth. Each year they introduce a new “early bird” sale, or a “snoozers” sale for people who want to get an early or late start. This year, many of our customers began running promotions a few days before Thanksgiving, and Cyber Monday extended into a Cyber Week.
For now, it seems that this strategy is working, and has enabled retailers to rake in more cash than ever before.
What does this mean for you?
Don’t expect all of your holiday sales to come on just one or two days in November 2017. Plan promotions throughout the entire month to keep up with evolving consumer expectations.
Attacks Are a Virtual Guarantee
Weeks before Black Friday, a massive DDoS attack took out thousands websites. The hackers evidently knew what they were doing when they targeted Dyn. Dyn’s servers are tied to many major retailers, and many third-party service providers, causing widespread ecommerce issues.
It’s very hard to protect your website from these types of attacks as security has nothing to do with it. In reality, all of your service providers need to have a plan in place as well, and even then, there’s no way to protect yourself from every angle.
What does this mean for you?
First, talk to your service providers to learn what plans they have in place to deal with a massive DDoS attack. Second, ensure that you have a communication plan in case service to your site is disrupted. Make sure that you have multiple lines of communication with your customers so that you can keep them informed. Third, there are some mitigation strategies that can help, and there are agencies that can help you set these up.
Of course, these attacks happen throughout the year, not just around the holidays, so get your 2017 plan ready early.
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