On September 30th, Nicholas Bennet, Head of Operations at Vaimo, hosted a webinar to help you prepare your Black Friday operations before the big day. In this article, we will summarise the main topics and take a sneak peek at some of Nick’s advice given during the webinar.
NICHOLAS BENNETT, HEAD OF OPERATIONS, VAIMO
Nick has seen Black Friday as a manager of an online store, a project manager, and a consultant. Over his decade of experience in eCommerce, Nick has seen eCommerce from every angle. He began by managing an online store for a national retailer in South Africa. Shortly after that, he began consulting on eCommerce operations in 2015. He's consulted numerous enterprise retailers across a broad range of industries, including retail, pharmacy, sports and leisure, outdoor, fashion, and home. Nick is based in London and works as the Head of Operations for Vaimo and actively consults with Vaimo's clients.
What can you expect from Black Friday?
Vaimo works with global brands, manufacturers, and retailers across industries, such as Champion, Jaguar, Heineken, and many more. Last year, we noticed yet another dramatic shift in eCommerce.
Our clients’ Black Friday results in 2019
- Year-on-year growth for all Vaimo clients
- 78% increase in transactions
- 96% increase in order volumes
- 140% combined revenue growth for Vaimo clients
- 5,000 - 43,000 average order volumes in 2019 for our top 10 clients
In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, you may feel like 2019 statistics lost their lustre. However, eCommerce has become the most important sales channel for many merchants in 2020. Brands such as Walmart, Kohls, and Home Depot are increasing their online holiday shopping period with great offers over the coming days and weeks. This change means that you should double your efforts to win the trust of online shoppers—and many of them are buying online for the first time.
What you’ll learn about Black Friday operations:
An essential piece of the puzzle is ensuring that you have a Black Friday plan in place. Nick expands on five steps that you should take to escape Black Friday pitfalls and enjoy higher sales on the biggest shopping day of the year.
Through experiencing Black Friday as an eCommerce manager and while advising Vaimo clients, Nick understands the missteps that give retailers lacklustre results. In this part of the webinar, you will learn the five factors that hinder retailers during Black Friday and could turn the event into a disaster.
A winning plan for Black Friday
Nick provides a list of essential steps to take before Black Friday. Here’s a sneak peek.
Get a solid retrospective
You need to analyse what happened in 2019. Ecommerce managers spend lots of energy on monitoring the website and dropping the curtain. By the time Black Friday ends, managers often forget to take stock of how things went and changes to implement in the following year. Before heading into Black Friday 2020, examine your notes and reassess last year’s mistakes.
Investigate the reason for refunds
Did you refund customers because you sold stock that wasn’t there? Did you refund customers because you delivered their products late? A proper refund analysis will identify stress points from 2019 that you can minimise in 2020.
Figure out where you had to scramble
Was there confusion around when to drop the curtain? Did you scramble to reactivate your integrations after Black Friday finished? The answers will help you prepare better for Black Friday 2020.
Determine the successes of your Black Friday
Did you start your campaign at midday rather than at midnight? Did you hire a group of five people for picking and packing? Ensure that your Black Friday successes are also accounted for; after all, they contributed to the outcome.
Define the issues that slowed the return to business as usual
After Black Friday ended, was it easy to return to normalcy? Did you struggle going back to business as usual or preparing for Cyber Monday? Our clients often find Black Friday clean up to be a challenge.
Some other questions to ask:
What did social media say?
Did we meet our operational KPIs?
What could we have done better?
What typically derails Black Friday?
One of the biggest problems during Black Friday is dropping the curtain. Retailers have two options:
- The Big Reveal: show your customers all of the deals at once.
- A Protracted Reveal: slow down your offerings by giving deals over a more protracted timeframe.
The typical challenge around revealing Black Friday deals is managing a potential influx in site traffic. If you let the curtain drop all at once, you need to organise and control all of the moving parts to maintain optimal site performance. Without preparation, you risk losing customers on the biggest shopping day of the year.
If you’re considering how to make the big reveal work, then consider how you’ll let people access the site. Some sites add queues to take the pressure off while customers navigate their site.
Want TO WATCH THE FULL webinar?
Vaimo is a global expert in digital commerce. As an omnichannel agency, we deliver strategy, design, development, and managed services to brands, retailers, and manufacturers.
We drive success in digital commerce with expertise in B2B, B2C, PIM, Order Management, and ERP integrations. With 10+ years of technical excellence, we support clients in business development, digital strategy, and customer experience design.
With offices in 15+ markets across EMEA, APAC, and North America and over 500 employees, we provide an international presence that allows us to cultivate close, long-term relationships with our clients.