How to Prepare your Online Store for Black Friday and Cyber Monday
by Marco Raye
For those avid shoppers, Black Friday and Cyber Monday are the most anticipated, most exciting, and most rewarding days of the year. Black Friday and Cyber Monday have seen record-breaking sales in the previous years for many online retailers. This says a lot about consumers' behaviors that they would prefer to shop online to avoid traveling and chaotic store experiences.
In the past, your company may have required weeks or even months to plan, forecast, and calculate your anticipated sales volume and target profit goals to run a competitive Black Friday and Cyber Monday promotion. These methods usually involve buying ads and releasing coupons. In the information age and the global eCommerce market, it is pivotal to plan your inventory and logistics based on accurate sales forecasts. In the era of eCommerce, sales forecasting and inventory control are essential.
1. Plan Inventory Before the Actual Sale
Both Black Friday and Cyber Monday are all about heavily discounted prices on the Big Day. Consumers are always on the lookout for the best deals available online. With mega communication channels, like social media, new posts detailing popular products often trigger excitement on good deals becoming available. With massive discounts enticing your customers to shop online, online retailers can anticipate a surge in demand for products.
Check out some of our top tips to help your business map out its inventory needs during Black Friday and Cyber Monday:
- Stock Up. At any time, sales data should be collected and analyzed to ensure that there is never a shortage of merchandise that disappoints consumers and leads to profit loss.
- Project Sales. Complete a study of the current inventory held in stock to help forecast target sales.
- Avoid Overstocking. This can affect the final profit if your stock isn't used up, and it is also labor-intensive and associated with high processing costs.
2. Execution Plan for the Big Day
After you have updated your knowledge on user preferences for products based on previous sales and current trends, it is time to execute your plan of action. Below are a couple of additional pointers that are very important in inventory control and during the preparation for Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales.
- Ensure you have sufficient inventory of products in stock as you can expect an increase in demand.
- Ensure you have stocked the required number of custom boxes to fulfill and ship the orders placed on Black Friday.
If you sell your products, you should have an inventory stocked. This is typically the golden rule, except in cases where you're having products drop-shipped from a distributor and have no way to monitor inventory availability. Contact your resource at key suppliers to ensure they can handle any resultant surge in demand to help you stay on top of the Black Friday and Cyber Monday rushes.
3. Benefits of Clearance Sales on Black Friday or Cyber Monday
Giving out the existing merchandise on heavily discounted prices makes way for stocking up new merchandise after clearing out the past season's collection within the stipulated sale period.
- The sales made during the stipulated period helps in good inventory management with reduced carrying costs and improved profit margins.
- It helps in addressing customers' demands more efficiently and achieving increased customer satisfaction.
- There is a new ray of motivation to sell new merchandise to customers.
Careful planning of the merchandise mix and ensuring timely clearance of products through effective methods implemented strategically will help in creating a robust bottom line of sales for the store.
4. Factors considered for Strategic Stock Clearance
Some of the important factors considered for clearing stock are:
- Many online retailers choose the clearance sale periods to fall in line with the otherwise lean business periods strategically or just before the holidays to create a surge in demand.
- During the sale, the customer has an enticing feeling that he/she gets the same merchandise at much lower prices in the form of price offs or discounts, or he/she gets more for the same price in the form of bundled offers.
- The Stock Clearance activity creates interest in the traditional as well as new customers to revisit the online store to keep a check when attractive offers get announced.
One of our partners, Arka, has its Black Friday sale with up to 20% off from October 16th to the 23rd. Roll up your sleeves and start executing your plan of action to meet the enormous demand on the Big Day.
If you have any other questions about how EasyPost can help streamline your logistics obstacles prior to the Black Friday or Cyber Monday rushes, contact us today!