If you operate a B2C eCommerce store then you should have already noticed a big hike in traffic and sales in time for Christmas 2015, and you are probably preparing for the mayhem that comes with Black Friday and Cyber Monday. These American traditions have gradually become ingrained in British culture; two days (or rather a long weekend) of discounting, both in-store (Black Friday) and online (Cyber Monday). The hype surrounding these days has been gaining more and more momentum, last year in-store it was reported that old ladies were being pushed aside, youths were climbing over barriers and there were fights between businessmen to get to cut-price electrical goods, whilst mothers with pushchairs shouted instructions from the side-lines; it was utter chaos. The online retail world is no less competitive, but online shopping is definitely safer and after the events of last year we fully expect eCommerce sales to dwarf those of 2015.

In 2014 online consumers spent around £810 million on Black Friday alone with 405,000 people making purchases (compared to 268,000 on Cyber Monday); and . online spending was up 41% on the previous year across these two shopping days. Online sales are increasing each year, some interesting statistics include smartphone traffic increased 57% year on year, with mobile accounting for 60% of Black Friday’s online traffic. The increase in online shopping gives consumers the ability to shop around more easily and this is reflected in the stats, traffic may have increased but mobile conversions fell by 6.1% (compared to 2013). Having an easy-to-use mobile friendly website is essential to getting the most out of the increased sales opportunity at this time of year. Customers will shop around if you give them a reason to and so building loyalty amongst your buyers is one of the most important activities website owners should have been doing all year. Keeping in contact with your customers each month and staying present is the best way to get a repeat purchase at the busiest time of the year – be the first place they come back to for their Christmas shopping.

The two days have become synonymous with ‘sales’ and many retail commentators have criticised the retailers - with Christmas traditionally being the busiest time of the year, why discount prices at the same time? The movement seems to have become a victim of its own success, with Black Friday sales starting a week before the day as retailers compete for custom and many businesses having to drop their prices just to be able to compete. Experts suggest that this year Cyber Monday will lead to greater sales than Black Friday for the first time, as more and more of us buy online rather than face the queues in-store.

If you sell online we hope you have a great flourish in sales this Christmas and you are able to cope with the demand, ensuring that you deliver excellent customer service and benefit from the loyalty that this will bring for the next year.

Have you read...