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How to Avoid Crazy Long Crowds While Shopping During Black Friday?

Beginning of Christmas season is upon us. Ever since Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in 1924, Black Friday became unofficial start to Christmas shopping. In recent years, it has been marked by a real shopping frenzy with most retailers, malls and shopping centers, offering huge discounts or bargain deals, often called "doorbuster deals" and "loss leaders". According to National Retal Federation, the value of Black Friday weekend shopping was about 59 billion USD in 2012.

This means perhaps the biggest peak of shopper visits in your store. How to prepare your shop long crowds during Black Friday weekend?

1. Brick and Mortar Shop: Extended Opening Hours And Extra Staff

Your regular opening hours might feel the pressure of high customer turnover. Why not extend them? Be prepared to give consumers more of your own time and your staff's time as well. But beware - exhausted shop assistants will provide less effective customer care, thus decreasing your chances of making your customers happy.

Get some extra hands on deck! Employing more staff for temporary period can enhance your response time and in turn make more customer happy. Just remember: unprepared staff can damage your shop's reputation more quickly than lack of personnel - so make sure you provide proper entry training.

2. Online Shop - Clear Your Lead Generation Path And Prepare For Killer Traffic

Almost half of your online customers will leave the transaction if it's way too complicated or if it the user experience is not intuitive enough. That's a huge drop that you need to avoid. Best way to do that is to create the simplest possible pathway from product selection to final checkout. Take into account your e-shop's layout, product showcase and checkout processes. These three cornerstones need to work 100% and if they don't, you have to do some changes.

According to Forbes, the total United States online revenue during Black Friday 2013 was 1.2 billion USD. This suggests one of biggest peaks of traffic for e-shops. Are your servers ready for that? Let your IT guys go crazy with the testing - Black Friday traffic is always going to be an extraordinary event. Do the tests, find the bugs and fix them. Do it again and again. You'll be thankful during the big day - just imagine the losses you would suffer if your website suddenly went down!

3. Customer Care - Make It Visible And Engaging

Higher sales mean higher chance of stuff going upside-down. And with a time-limited shopping event like this, your customer care needs to be able to act fast. Is your contact information easy to find? Or does the unhappy customer have to search in confusion? Make that phone number or e-mail clear as day. Stressed customers will be thankful for obvious means of making their unhappy experience a better one.

Helpscout research shows that 73% of customers abandoned e-shop due to incompetent staff. Your first line customer support needs to be engaging, reassuring and able to solve most of the issues your customers might encounter. Phone and e-mail contact can only go so far and in 2015, technology gives you a few more options on how to engage with your customers and quickly solve their problems.

Even a limited budget can afford basic customer care apps. Either an integrated widget for social media comments and feedback, or better yet, additional customer service communication tools like dynamic live chat (e.g. LiveAgent) or fully integrated platform for complaint management (e.g. Youstice) can help your customer care staff make the real difference.

Don’t make your customers wait in line during the biggest weekend of the year! If you are interested in making your shop work better, here are 7 psychology tricks to boost your sales and here are 5 tools to improve your workflow and save time. If you’d like to see if Youstice is the right tool for your customer care, try our live demo and see for yourself. We wish you a profitable Black Friday!

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