Black Friday has evolved into a predominantly online event, with 77% of transactions taking place online rather than in-store. Even pre-sale research happens online (especially this year). That means if you’re planning to host your own Black Friday promotions, your e-commerce website needs to be prepared.
Here are five solutions that are worth investing in:
- E-commerce platform
- A PIM system
- A CMS
- A CRM system
- A connected ERP system
That may seem like a lot but trust us. Are you ready to learn why? Read on…
Let’s start with your e-commerce platform
Your e-commerce platform is one of the backbones of your business, bringing your online storefront and back-end operations together. Here are some capabilities the right platform will have:
- Seamless, consistent experience across all your go-to-market channels
- Easy navigation so your customers can quickly find what they’re looking for
- Ability to be compatible with any device (from mobile and tablet to laptop and any browser)
- Integration abilities with your back-office systems to present customers (and your customer service teams) with accurate, real-time information and enable an end-to-end, excellent customer experience
A PIM system is essential for efficient product data management
A Product Information Management (PIM) system centralises your product data. This simplifies the process of managing your product data, from updating product images and descriptions to removing and uploading new products.
When you’re preparing for Black Friday, keeping your product data up-to-date and being able to edit it as and when is essential. With a PIM, you can ensure only the best, most accurate product information is shared through your sales and marketing channels.
Discover more benefits of a PIM system here.
A CMS ensures your digital ‘shop window’ is the best it can be
For e-commerce businesses, your website is your shop window and like a real window, it’s important you’re showcasing and strategically placing your best products and promotions to attract customers.
A Content Management System (CMS) is the tool that will help you to manage your website, from ensuring the right messaging is broadcasted, to optimising your site for search engines and maximising your online presence.
The right CMS will allow you to quickly and easily update your website content according to what you know about your customers and your brand values - all without the need for coding/developing expertise. The ability to move quickly is particularly important when it comes to Black Friday!
A CRM centralises your customer data so you can focus on customer satisfaction
A Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system brings all of your customer information into one place. Not only does this give you a 360-degree view of your customers and their preferences, but it also enables you to provide them with the experience they’re looking for.
For example, using purchase and search history, you can offer personalised suggestions on your website. These can be based on the individual customer’s past purchases, searches and other interactions on your website and what other customers with similar interests have engaged with. This is a great way to up and cross-sell - perfect for increasing basket value on Black Friday.
Your CRM can also automate more manual tasks, such as sending follow-up emails. For instance, if your customer abandons their shopping cart, you could set up automated emails to remind them of what they’ve left behind and entice them towards a purchase.
An ERP that’s connected to your e-commerce platform boosts your customer experience and streamlines all your operations
The role of ERP in e-commerce means you can unlock a smooth flow of information from your front to back offices which boosts team productivity, process efficiency and ultimately, customer service, experience and satisfaction. Let’s dig in deeper:
- Data such as payment and shipping information, web orders and customer data can feed into the ERP system. And the warehouse/inventory stock levels stored in your ERP can automatically pull into your e-commerce platform. That means your product information can always be up-to-date (and customers won’t accidentally purchase something that’s out of stock or no longer available for whatever reason) and your order fulfilment process is streamlined
- Data can be accessed in real-time. Your teams no longer need to struggle with fragmented information, disparate systems, the risk data redundancy and lost productivity. This also reduces delays and operational costs
- Up-to-date and accurate product information means your customers gain more autonomy. They can find what they need without needing to ask your customer service teams which enhances their experience and boosts overall satisfaction
Read about the benefits of a commerce-ERP integration here.
The Black Friday preparations are just one piece in the overall e-commerce puzzle
If you’re investing in the five solutions mentioned above to get your business ready for surges in demand, good thinking. However, this is just the first step to tackling the overall e-commerce puzzle.
You also need to consider the ways your business can keep up with the changing market trends, whether it’s by introducing new products/services or tweaking your business model. Our guide, New Decade, New Growth, will show you how to stay ahead of the competition in the digital marketplace.
From the technology worth investing in to lessons to learn from famous brands who failed to innovate, download the guide below.