Black Friday - Is Your Business Prepared?
Black Friday. It’s the day you’ve all been waiting for. What sounds like an awfully dismal day manages to send the shoppers of Great Britain into a frenzy of panic-stricken, impulse purchasing that leaves both store shelves and bank balances across the nation looking rather depleted. And yet, through it all, we still cross the days off the calendar waiting for the last Friday in November every year. And why? Because Brits love a bargain. Or 23, depending on your shopping habits.
Black Friday originated in the US, and marks the beginning of the festive shopping season after Thanksgiving with large price reductions and promotions. Since the shopping holiday trend has gravitated towards the UK, the hype surrounding it continues to grow year on year, and doesn’t seem to be slowing down any time soon. According to Barclaycard, Black Friday spending increased by 7% in 2017, compared to the previous year. In online sales alone, UK retail sites increased by 11.7% to £1.39bn according to IMRG. That’s crazy money!
And whilst many consumers will be waiting intently for the stroke of midnight on 22nd November, with the glaring light from their smartphones or laptops blinding their sleep filled eyes, businesses on the other hand will have spent months of preparation ensuring that their website, stock levels, and price reductions are all ready for the biggest shopping day of the year. You can relate to this, right? But, before you sit back and relax after ticking off everything on your checklist, is your business really ready for Black Friday? What measures have you put in place to ensure that your customers’ purchases are delivered to the correct address? “Sorted, mate”, you say? Great, off you go then! “Ummm”, you hesitate? Keep reading, dear.
Did you know that 39% of shoppers never purchase with an online retailer again following a negative delivery experience? And were you aware that 54% of consumers say that delivery defines who they shop with? Accurate delivery is a very important aspect of a successful eCommerce strategy, and in order to provide an effective delivery service you need accurate addresses and data.
Think about it, if your business doesn’t have an up-to-date address and postcode finder built into your website, and a customer makes an error when entering their details, the address lookup may fail to realise and you run the risk of mailing to the wrong address. The above statistics suggest that it is pretty certain that a customer won’t return to purchase from you in the future. Whilst losing the odd customer may not bother you, word of mouth and repeated mistakes and mis-deliveries could potentially damage your reputation further down the line. Imagine if all of your hard work and planning amounts to a very disappointing turnover this Black Friday, all because of an inaccurate address lookup system. You’d be kicking yourselves, right?
It’s not only being able to capture addresses and postcodes that you need to consider, you also need to ensure that your customer database is kept up-to-date as well. “That sounds like a mammoth task”, you’re thinking? Well, it’s important because if you don’t then you may lose out on even more customers to your competitors. In 2017 alone, it is estimated that more than 370,000 people moved home in the UK, and there were 533,253 deaths registered in England and Wales. That’s a lot!
If you don’t regularly clean your data with a data cleansing tool, not only do you risk mailing to the wrong address if a previous customer has moved house and hasn’t paid for a redirection service, but you also risk mailing to deceased persons. Bad move! Knowing that Mr D Jones of 34 Acacia Road, Worthing has passed away is not enough. If the father is David and the son is Dan, you need more information to find out which record should be removed from your database to avoid problems.
To combat this, using an online data cleansing solution will enable you to upload your spreadsheets and databases securely, and run them against a number of suppression files to highlight and remove any duplicate, deceased, and goneaway records. Additionally, Address Cleanse will flag up any customers or businesses in your database that are registered with the mail and telephone preference services, so that you know not to market to them via these mediums.
Consumers are set to spend a colossal £2.5bn in online purchases this Black Friday, so to ensure that your business gets a fair share of the profits, make sure you have an accurate address lookup tool, whether it’s installed into your website, integrated into your company’s CRM, or even as a pay per click online solution. Additionally, cleanse and suppress your customer database well ahead of the big day to avoid any mishaps which you could later regret. Again, this can be done on a web based and installed platform, and Hopewiser also offer Bureau services.
For more help and advice on the latest eCommerce website design trends, take a read of our free guide.