Every year, like clockwork, shoppers would line the blocks on Thanksgiving Day, eagerly waiting for their favorite stores to open. Their bellies still stuffed with Thanksgiving turkey (or, if you’re like me, tofurky).
A cautiously approaching store clerk, with keys shaking in their hands, nervously opens the door, then stands back. A tidal wave of shoppers rushes into the department store, knocking over anything in sight to scoop up a good deal.
Some of these wild scenes would be shown on TV the next day. Stores so packed you could barely move or a stampede of consumers, like a pack of animals you’d expect to see on National Geographic.
Once synonymous with early morning queues, elbow-throwing crowds, and doorbuster deals at brick-and-mortar stores, Black Friday has evolved into an entirely new experience.
The era of camping outside stores for the best deals has given way to the comfort of online shopping.
Conveniently browsing and buying from anywhere, on any device with an internet connection, has changed the game and blurred the lines between Black Friday and Cyber Monday (BFCM).
The rise of eCommerce giant Amazon also set consumer expectations of a digital experience: fast, reliable, and easy.
Since then, other retailers and eCommerce sites have capitalized on the digital takeover by turning Black Friday into an online extravaganza. Consumer spending increased more than 4% compared to last year for a record-breaking $35.27 billion in online sales.
For the first time ever last year, sales from mobile devices surpassed desktops during BFCM, accounting for 51% of total online sales.
Retailers must ensure their sites and platforms are responsive, user-friendly, and provide frictionless experiences to cater to the growing number of digital-savvy shoppers.
Black Friday is no longer confined to a single day; it’s the entire Thanksgiving weekend. Extended sales provide shoppers with more time to take advantage of discounts.
Queue the popular infomercial catchphrase: But wait, there’s more!
Although BFCM is still the most concentrated shopping period of the year, more than half of shoppers plan to start their holiday shopping before Halloween. So it makes business sense for retailers to offer even more promotions outside BFCM.
Look no further than Amazon Prime Day, with discounts and sales in July creating excitement for deal-hungry shoppers. Amazon even announced another Prime Day event will take place in October.
Modern shoppers are more informed than ever before, with the power to find the best price, promotions, and deals in the palm of their hand.
They’re also more impatient and selective when to spend their shrinking discretionary dollars. If your website is too slow to load or filled with friction, shoppers will abandon your site if they can get the exact item somewhere else.
Although cost-conscious consumers care about price and convenience, they increasingly value frictionless experiences.
BFCM presents a unique opportunity for online and omnichannel brands to optimize the digital experience and make a lasting impression on shoppers.
By prioritizing remarkable digital experiences, brands can differentiate themselves and build customer trust and loyalty to attract new customers, engage returning shoppers, and ultimately boost revenue year over year.
Your digital storefront, whether it’s a website or app, is no longer just a platform; it’s your primary handshake with consumers.
Instead of shoppers shoving through the glass doors of a brick-and-mortar store, they’ll be funneling through your digital doors. While they physically won’t be knocking down aisle displays, online damage can occur if your site isn’t ready.
So, leverage insights from previous years, continuously improve the customer experience, and optimize your digital platforms now so you can maximize sales and build customer loyalty this Black Friday.
If you want to take a fresh look at your holiday playbook to create frictionless experiences that convert more visitors, read our holiday readiness eBook.
No forms. No emails. No bullsh!t.
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