August 13th, 2019   |   by Anthony Komarov

Re-inventing Black Friday and Cyber Monday in 2020

Re-inventing Black Friday and Cyber Monday in 2020

We’ve entered the last quarter of the year and thus, we can now certainly say that it was one of the craziest periods so far this century. Due to the recent events, many businesses had to move online and teams started to work remotely. Consumers had to change their habits, including shopping expenses.

Accordingly, the form of particular actions such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday needs to be adjusted to the demands of this new reality. As such, there will be challenges and issues in regards to the organization of these events, which must mostly move online. Although the process of creating a whole new strategy from scratch might be challenging, it can become a perfect opportunity to seize.

The clock is ticking, but that doesn’t mean it’s too late to take action. In this article, we’ve prepared a few hints and trends concerning the upcoming Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

If you want to get to know what’s the forecast for this year’s biggest sales events, keep reading.

Black Friday and Cyber Monday concepts in a nutshell

Nowadays, the idea of organizing a few days during the year with huge discounts is so familiar that it seems like they've always been a part of the retail industry.

In reality, Black Friday is more-less an invention of marketers who saw a rise in sales during the weekend before December and the Holiday season. To boost income even more, the idea of providing clients with discounts emerged and started a new tradition. It turned out to be successful and expanded to other countries, making this concept a global phenomenon.

In this way, a one-day event soon grew to an enormous size. Shortly after, with the development and the dissemination of the Internet, Cyber Monday was created. The term itself was coined in 2005 to give a name to the enhanced level of online purchases on the first working day after Thanksgiving. The numbers show the popularity of this event - only last year, Americans spent more than $9 billion on Cyber Monday.

However, this year's shopping spree is going to be far from normal. Due to pandemic restrictions, stores aren't able to let in as many people as they used to. Both of the events have moved mostly online, which creates new challenges.

What actions will the retail industry undertake?

5 new trends and predictions for Black Friday/Cyber Monday

It’s a fact - crowd control will hinder or even make organizing Black Friday with a classic approach completely impossible. Companies have to cope with that problem and build strong systems on their website to cope with big numbers of users at once.

Stores are predicting a massive influx of traffic and are warning their clients to be prepared for the need to refresh their websites. They speculate that technical issues and stock problems might occur and that the websites might crash as a result. These new conditions have pushed brands to implement extraordinary solutions - and here are the five tactics that grabbed our attention the most.

One day stretched to the whole month & separate offers

In theory, in 2020, Black Friday falls on November 27th and Cyber Monday three days later on November 30th. However, this year, the exact dates might not reflect reality. Some stores are organizing an entire month of shopping off-price, starting from the end of October until the end of November.

Walmart has decided to host the "Big Save" - a Prime Day shopping event in the middle of October, which was a kind of warm up before the 27th of November. And there's more - the retail giant also created six separate "Black Fridays", meaning that different items would be on sale during each of those days.

Although it might seem that such division can be more convenient for users, there's more behind it. And that is in how Walmart gets prepared for moving Black Friday online, which might cause problems with a smooth shopping process. Creating a few events instead of one can help avoid high load, bugs, and being kicked out by the system.

Amazon has also announced an extension to their Black Friday deals. As more and more companies take this kind of approach, such actions might become month-long events.

Macy’s has already started discounts called “Black Friday Early Access”, allowing users to already buy clothes at 30% off normal price or more.

A shift from luxury to home goods

In 2020, due to the economic situation, consumers' choices have changed radically and thus new trends have emerged. Instead of investing in luxury items, people have started to buy more homeware and necessities to leverage their daily living standards.

Keeping that in mind, stores will probably focus on essential items rather than luxury goods. The emphasis will be put mostly on leisure and home accessories. For example, Walmart is giving discounts for stuff like athleisure and loungewear, electronics, and any other purchases that were popular during the pandemic.

Upgrading offers on landing pages

Refreshing websites is bread and butter during Cyber Monday. However, this year not only will users do so. Stores might be changing the deals shown on their main website regularly to show the best deals that they offer at any particular moment. A landing page would provide a "sneak peek" based on the popularity of products or the amount of price reduction.

Reducing the crowds in-store & introducing pickup

In places where shops aren't entirely closed, some walk-in stores have implemented a ticketing system to help them track crowd limits. This indicates that a shopping fever like we've known from recent years won't be the same even if one does manage to go to a store in person.

To reduce the contact between customers and staff, retailers have introduced more self-service options such as cashier-less checkouts. For those who want to experience a bit of that traditional, in-person contact, companies like Target have prepared over 20,000 products available for delivery or pickup.

Looking at these actions, we can say that a strong trend which might last for a long time is flexibility in combining digital and traditional facets.

How to pick up challenges and face them?

During the last months, brands were forced to accelerate the digitization process. Such problems have affected many companies, but the world keeps spinning and every business has to adjust their actions to the challenges in order to stay in the game. The new formula for Black Friday might be a kind of test for retailers. It will show how well brands implemented strategies and whether they were relevant.

If companies didn’t manage to implement new changes until now, it might turn out to be too late to make it before Black Friday. However, observation of the current actions of competitors might still be useful for the next season.

Story-telling and quality content as a secret weapon

There’s plenty of brands out there, but you want clients to choose yours. You have to present your product in a fresh way to convince users that it’s the best choice. Besides, your copy should also entertain and attract them at the same time.

Story-telling plays a significant part in digital promotion and can make you stand out from the crowd. But when your website is flourishing with content, including, text, photos, and videos - all these factors might influence the loading speed and slow it down.

Result?

An irritated customer that prefers to switch to another one with a better user experience.

Website optimization is key

With more retailers moving online, the competition has started to become fiercer. More consumers have changed their habits and begun to shop online. Also, to compare products that they can't touch or try in person, searching for information about products has become a new practice of buyers.

To meet these needs, brands are creating more content to give twofold results. On the one hand, quality content helps build client awareness and present a product's strong features. On the other hand, not every brand is honest, so producing low quality or fake content increases bias.

Companies start to side with the client in the digital sphere and this increases the rises even more, especially during the events like Black Friday. Finally, with the fight for the customer, cost per acquisition is growing.

From a technical perspective, uploading more high-quality content to a website might result in a slower loading speed. That’s why a fundamental goal for companies should be performance optimization.

According to many studies about consumer’s behavior and preferences, as well as search engine results, a short loading time of pages in general and of every individual component is essential. It’s good to implement at least the basic changes quickly and in-house, without the need to contact IT experts, as clients expect fast responses to their issues.

Seize the opportunity and create a new approach to Black Friday

Since Black Friday and Cyber Monday are around the corner, there may be too little time to start an ecommerce store from scratch. Those who move online have to implement new strategies, including specific marketing actions.

As stated before - content, social media management, product promotion, and story-telling are becoming key indicators of reaching the right target group.

What exactly is high load?

Marketers and owners are stuck between spicing up their website with quality content while simultaneously achieving the best possible loading speed.

From a technical perspective, there's the problem of so-called high load. It's a phenomenon that occurs when many users visit a website at the same time. This creates a nonlinear slowdown and an overload of the system. The "third dimension" emerges and stores have to handle this vast amount of uncontrolled and unplanned traffic.

Without technical preparation and a robust website architecture, such traffic can overwhelm and shatter their store.

How to prevent a website from crashing?

Starting new actions is a challenge, but if you don't try to fit in then you might get left behind.

Divide your budget. This year it doesn't make much sense to invest lots of money into store decorations and traditional marketing. When working on a strategy, decide how much money should be spent on building a digital store and its content in order to attract as many clients as you need.

Choose an intuitive platform that can help you combine fast customer service and appealing content with good search engine optimization. Focus on the strategies and trends that are worth following, such as adjusting your website to the most popular queries. Try to put most of your effort into marketing and optimization efforts instead of wasting too much time implementing slight changes to your ecommerce shop.

There are a few fundamental things to take into account when working on your eCommerce store:

  • optimize content to consumer queries and adapt your website to the market needs
  • try to accelerate page loading speeds
  • invest in holistic, cross-channel marketing
  • estimate the right amount of money to give you the best ROI and return of margin, and invest it in developing your website

Our software is armed with 46 features (and we’re still working on new ones) to help you make the most of your business. It can come in handy when combining SEO actions with creativity thanks to unlimited customized landing pages.

Over to you

Suppose your online store is all set and ready to handle every client - congratulations! You can focus on boosting your website with additional features to leverage the user experience. Using platforms like B2 storefront, which is easy to integrate with eCommerce software systems, might be an intuitive way to increase your website quality. However, if you’re not at this stage yet, following fresh solutions and tendencies might give you an array of useful insights.

Forecast the digital trends for the holiday season based on your own experience, last season, and newcomers. Look at what your competitors are planning to do and think about improving your actions accordingly. It’s never too late to develop your digital store and start selling online. With the right platform and unique tools, you can stay ahead of the competition.

BLACK FRIDAY IS AN OCCASION TO SELL MORE
don't waste your occasion to sell more, and get more new loyal customers

Black Friday is a well known, very important sales season starting event that none of the merchant can ignore. Be prepared for it the best possible way through utilizing a Headless eCommerce Storefront by B2Storefront!

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