As we fast approach what has become the most anticipated shopping extravaganza of the year, we would like to take a look at what makes Black Friday and Cyber Monday so special. We also want to offer some advice on what you, as an online merchant, can do to ensure that you have the best processes in place to attract and prepare for the anticipated consumer frenzy.
Prepping for Black Friday and Cyber Monday
There is still enough time to prepare for a successful Black Friday. By following the checklist below you will be A for away:
❐ Do you have enough inventory?
In the run up to Black Friday it’s essential to make sure that you have enough stock to meet the surge of demand. According to popular retailers like Takealot.com, you should consider having 2.5 times the amount of stock that would be required in June.
If you need extra financing to purchase stock, you can apply for fast and easy finance of up to R1.5 million for your online store through our partner Lulalend.
❐ Are you using the right channels to reach your target market?
The quicker you can get the word out about your Black Friday deals the better. Creating a sense of anticipation among shoppers is one of the best ways of ensuring that they will visit your online store and make a purchase on Black Friday. In order to do this, you can send out promotional mailers to your database counting down the days until Black Friday. In these mailers you can either say outright or hint at the types of deals and savings they can expect.
It’s also very effective to use social media to build up the Black Friday hype. Post images and catchy text on your Facebook business page, Instagram and Twitter accounts counting down to Black Friday hinting at what your deals will be. Don’t forget to make use of the correct hashtags, such as #BlackFriday2019, and to link back to your online store to drive traffic.
❐ Is your website mobile-optimised?
Year on year more and more consumers are using their smart mobile device to browse online stores and make purchases. You can’t afford to not be on their radar. You can test how mobile friendly your online store is by using a free Chrome extension called Window Resizer where you can test your website at different screen resolutions. In mobile view go through your website and checkout process to see how user friendly it is. If it’s not, then you are at risk of losing buyers.
❐ Is your online store secure?
Shoppers won’t convert to buyers unless they trust that their banking and credit card details are secure when they check out on your online store. If you have selected PayFast as your online payment gateway then you are already offering your customers peace of mind because our platform is PCI-DSS level 1 compliant.
Google will also penalise your website if it doesn’t have SSL certificates installed. If you don’t, then your website will display a ‘Not Secure’ notice informing shoppers not to enter sensitive information as it could be intercepted. Make sure to talk to your web designer or hosting company to make sure that you have an SSL certificate installed.
❐ Do you have different payment options available?
One thing that Black Friday has become notorious for is causing banks to experience issues with 3D Secure due to the massive amount of online credit card transactions. For Black Friday 2019 it’s therefore imperative to enable all payment options in your PayFast account so that your customers have a backup payment option if they are unable to pay with their credit card, for example Instant EFT and mobicred.
What is Black Friday and Cyber Monday?
Like almost everything else in pop culture, Black Friday and Cyber Monday originated in the USA and gradually caught on across the globe as a shopping holiday to be reckoned with. Although the exact origin of the term Black Friday is often debated and believed to have negative origins, American retailers made the term their own and created a positive spin on it, for both themselves and consumers. Taking place on the day following Thanksgiving (the fourth Thursday of November), Black Friday became a day where retailers offered amazing deals to consumers, so that they could get a headstart on their Christmas shopping, and make a substantial profit doing so (ie going from a loss, red, to a profit, black).
What initially started off as just one day of amazing deals has turned into a weekend celebration with, since 2005, Cyber Monday taking place the following Monday. Cyber Monday is focused primarily in the digital realm where consumers are encouraged to purchase online tech deals.
While it may come as no surprise, retailers have become motivated to run extended deals in the run up to Black Friday, and even the week following Cyber Monday, to further increase profit margins. South Africa is no exception. Since South African retailers started following the Black Friday and Cyber Monday trend a few years ago there’s been unparalleled consumer growth year on year. According to PayFast stats from Black Friday 2018, at least 66% of South Africans participated in Black Friday, with more than 60% mixing online and offline shopping. On Black Friday 2018 PayFast processed 680% volume compared to a normal busy shopping day, and this year the number is expected to be even higher.
You can count on us to do our best to help you achieve a successful Black Friday 2019 period by offering your customers an uninterrupted payment service. We look forward to seeing what amazing deals our PayFast merchants have install for Black Friday and Cyber Monday.