Why Black Friday and Cyber Monday Won’t Cut It This Holiday Season

Black Friday sale in shop window.

Trampled. Every year, you read a horrendous story about a clog up of people outside a Walmart waiting for Black Friday like an angry mob from the Renaissance era. 

And when the glass doors open, some poor shopper gets clobbered by stamping feet so repeatedly, they wind up dead. Not the most valorous demise.

Imagine---instead---cozying up on the couch with your laptop and browsing through online deals with one hand while nursing a hot beverage with the other. 

No sardine-canned crowds. 

No yanking items off a rack. 

No clobbering or getting clobbered.

The Landscape Has Changed

Traditionally, a lot of holiday shopping takes place in physical stores and retail shopping centers. This year has been anything but traditional.

With Amazon leading the way with Prime Day (yes, Amazon again. Can’t we escape them for once?), it has become a madhouse rush to capture consumer holiday spending up until the end of the year. 

Typically, Amazon Prime Day is in July. This year, it was October 13 and 14. According to a Forbes article, the two-day event will rake in $9.91 billion, up almost $3 billion from last year. 

This kicked off a chain-reaction of other online retailers rolling out specials and deals to compete with Amazon and fulfill holiday shopper’s needs.

Trends Show Early Aggressive Shopping

With shoppers having access to products anytime and anywhere online, one-off events like Back Friday and Cyber Monday become limiting in scope. 

Why not strategically unveil sales and discounts up to the end of the year to engage as many customers as possible? It’s a marathon, not a sprint. 

The landscape has changed but shoppers still have holiday gift lists and they need to make purchases somewhere.

The same Forbes article cites Bloomreach data that shows the word “Christmas” appearing in the top 20 search terms for September, a full month earlier than last year. This is a good indicator that shoppers are taking early advantage of online convenience.

If you own a small online shop specializing in a few, or even one product that you execute at a high level, now is your chance to make some sales and end the year with a bang. Which brings us to our next sub-header:

How to End The Year With a Bang (Shopify-style)

Here are a few killer plugins we dug up from a Sleek Note article that can leverage your shop directly from the Shopify App Store.

Free Shipping Bar plugin created by Hextom. Consumers place a high value on free shipping since---in a lot of ways---the cost of shipping is a major downside to online shopping versus direct purchase in a physical store.

This plugin shows shoppers how close they are to receiving free shipping based on what they have in their cart. It’s a great way to keep the consumer engaged and it acts as a wonderful incentivizer. 

Hextom free shipping bar.

Photo from Shopify.com

Returnly is a returns and exchange plugin which takes the pesky annoyance out of returns.

You thought that dress was a gleaming fuschia color. But when it arrived, it exuded more of an old-lady-salmon. Now you have to pack it up and send it back to the retailer. And you’re probably a bit ticked off.

Returnly alleviates some of the frustration by allowing customers to buy a new item on your site using store credit even before the old item has been returned.

It also allows you to build a customized return policy and automate much of the minutiae on your end. Don’t lose out on loyal customers because of a lame return and exchange system.

Returnly Shopify app.

Photo from Shopify.com

One Click Social Login is a plugin that lets customers use a...anyone? Anyone? You in the back there who hesitantly mumbled “one click social login?” That is correct.

The ability to sign up quickly using a social media platform of their choice. That’s how you tailor the experience to the customer.

The same Sleek Note article previously mentioned, cited “having to create an account” as the #2 reason a shopper abandons their cart. That’s a frightening 34%.

You’ve been there: distracted from work, embarking on a little fun, frisky catalogue perusing. You see a high-tech camping chair that catches your eye. Even better, it's a searing deal and it matches your hiking boots! 

So you go to purchase your chair and a window pops up asking you to make an account and sign up for 25 emails per day from this brand who you don’t really care about all that much. You just wanted to get in on their sweet, light-weight, camping chair sale this once.

So you click off the page, get back to work, and end up never going back. And on your next camping trip, you end up sitting in the dewey grass with a wet butt, cursing account creation.

One click social login 

Photo from Shopify.com

There are over 3,100 plugins available on Shopify’s App Store, so get browsing. 

Plugins are easy to integrate and aid your efforts in converting more leads, running discounts and promotions, and maintaining a better online shopping experience.

Happy holidays. It’s your time to make some sales and help shoppers complete their gift lists.

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