There will be no news footage of early morning and late-night shopping hordes looking not only for the perfect item at the lowest cost but also searching for that shopper’s high achieved only when being pushed and shoved as one extends a shaky arm toward a half-empty shelf.
At least for now the melee of Black Friday is a thing of the past. Retailers are rethinking these massive sales not only in order to keep their customers and employees safe, but also because there will be less shopping this year. Many people have lost their jobs thus tightened their belts and there will be fewer gift exchanges as families will not travel and gather as much and the office Polyanna is probably canceled.
Many retailers will be turning to longer sales periods to help shoppers avoid crowds and to compete with Amazon who just launched their Prime Day sale this week.
The holiday shopping season will be longer, devoid of Black Friday and with huge Cyber Monday sales.
What can you do to compete?
The first thing small to medium size retailers can do is make shopping for their brand mobile accessible and easy.
-- 67 % of all visits and 48 % of revenue on Christmas Day came from smartphones.
-- 2019 saw a 34% increase in revenue from smartphones on Christmas Day.
-- Smartphone shoppers spent $2.9 billion during Black Friday and $3 billion on Cyber Monday.
-- Nearly 70% of consumers are anticipating increasing online purchases this year.
-- 39% purchased from some online stores for the first time during the peak of COVID-19.
-- Salesforce predicts that because of COVID as much as 30 percent of global retail sales will be done online this holiday season.
We also know that because of companies like Uber and Doordash, consumers are used to ease, communication and expediency. Smaller businesses can recreate some of these favored features.
Communication and Expediency
Because of the pandemic, more and more people are using online shopping technologies. Doordash and Amazon, have seen their sales soar. That also means that consumers are more than ever used to certain features of shopping. Smaller companies will have to provide those expected luxuries.
Communication is one of them. When a person makes a purchase on Amazon, they immediately receive an email that tells them the purchase went through. Then they receive another email when it is packaged and another when it is finally shipped.
This is an expectation of online shopping.
Consider shipping out your items 2 times a week. If this is not possible, be clear and upfront about the timeline for shipping your products.
Identity is ease
As creepy as it is, Amazon and other big retailers are tracking our data. It is no coincidence that when you are scrolling the ads you see just happen to be something you have been considering buying recently.
Smaller businesses can do this as well. If you do not have the budget to do a full-on identity resolution process, consider emailing and posting shopping guides with recommendations for consumers. Do research on what is hot this year, and market those items that are related to trends directly to your consumers.
Giveaways and Sweepstakes
Everyone loves free. Need I say more! Buy one, get one is always great. Or small digital giveaways that will help you get more email addresses on your list.
Retailers of all sizes are hurting right now as are many shoppers pockets. Yet, the Shop Small Businesses movement is growing stronger. Consumers, especially those who have fared well through the pandemic want to support small businesses. It just needs to be convenient for them.