This or That – The BFCM dilemma

If the last BFCM was all about fixing supply chain issues and getting customers their orders on time then this BFCM will be all about taking the delivery experience a notch higher. For three years now, people have been ordering things online a lot more than they used to. In 2020, around 174 million shoppers shopped during BFCM sales as compared to 83.3 million the year prior. The year 2022 is going to be much more different. Deloitte forecasts a growth of 13.5% in e-commerce sales this holiday season. The total sales can be as high as $262 billion. When the holiday season hits, your customer would want a more personalized delivery experience, reliable timelines and a brand they’d want to come back to. If in 2020 and 2021, customers were relieved if their orders arrived on time because of the rush season and the end of the pandemic, this year, they would be pleased only if the delivery experience is beyond the expectations. 

 “But hey, why do we care about BFCM so much?” – every new eCommerce business owner ever. 

It is because BFCM is much more than just Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Why bfcm is important ?

During Black Friday and Cyber Monday, consumers shop more than they’d like to admit. It is also because of the fact that Black Friday comes in November. It is the month in which companies restock their bestsellers in bulk, figure out their shipping, and optimise the websites. The customers use the crazy offers and deals to secure their Christmas gifts and prepare for the new year. As a small business owner, it is the time to make record breaking sales. This period ends up in creating loyal customers for your business. The point to note here is that the global supply chain market is expected to experience a CAGR of 11.2% from 2020 to 2027. This is why, even if supply chain challenges are a LOT in 2022, eCommerce businesses still need to give premium customer service and reliable delivery options.

Why every choice counts

Shoppers will shop and shippers will ship and eCommerce business owners will be jumping into a sea of choices to facilitate a smooth flow of things. The BFCM dilemma is real. Every choice is crucial and plays a bigger role in your ARR. Be it a 3PL that looks after the logistics part of your business or be it your multi carrier shipping strategy that you are basing your profits on, every decision is worth thousands of dollars and that is something worth reading about. As BFCM nears and stares at us through its expensive strategies and profitable deals, here are the burning questions that you need to take note of.

Top 5 dilemmas

  1. Global or local carrier? – The first question that we think is super important is whether one should go for a local or a global carrier? The short answer is to get a multicarrier strategy. The long answer is based upon the fact that no single carrier would be able to carry the load of BFCM shipping on their shoulders all by themselves. If you are planning on giving lucrative deals, the greatest burden will fall on shipping. So, it is always advised to have more than one carrier. It should be a combination of global (think FedEx) or local (think OnTrac). 
  1. Single-channel or omnichannel logistics? – Omnichannel logistics means getting inventory, logistics and distribution across sales channels in sync. Omnichannel lets you connect customer data and use it to your advantage. Why go for it and not single channel? Because omni-channel shoppers spend 15-30% more than traditional shoppers. So,  you can only imagine what omnichannel logistics would do to your business. 
  1. FedEx or Canada Post? – The second problem, if you are going for a global name, is that there are two many options. Two of the names that come off quite often during BFCM are FedEx and Canada Post. We recommend going for Canada Post if you are shipping in and around Canada and going for FedEx if you are shipping internationally. Get the best rate shipping
  1. Discounts or no discounts? – Businesses often struggle with giving discounts during BFCM. If you are a small business, chances are that you are thinking way too much about the discount dilemma. Giving a lot of deals and offers often end up doing more harm than good. If your business is on Shopify Canada, you’ll notice how discounts play a big role there. Our recommendation is giving discounts if your margins allow. If not, then consider expanding your product line and keeping things that are usually given as gifts. Incentives like this work similar to discounts!
  1. Fast or free shipping – Lastly, the big question – Fast shipping or Free shipping? A survey by Shopkick says that 94% of customers said that free shipping was the perk they wanted the most when shopping online this holiday season, next was fast shipping (60%). As logistics providers we swear by reliable and free shipping. Free shipping is always better than giving reduced shipping rates. During the peak season, when people are ordering their hearts out, they expect fast and free shipping. If you have to choose one – go for the lowest cost shipping or free shipping. 

Secondary choices

Payment – After all the queries regarding inexpensive shipping options and discounts are cleared. Then the focus should be on giving your customers choices in payment gateways BEFORE they add their products. This results in less cart abandonment issues and creates an atmosphere of trust and transparency. 

What is beyond your control

Macy’s is going deep into digital with a third-party selling platform. Amazon held a two-day sale event from October 11th through to the 12th while Walmart launched two metaverse interactive experiences through Roblox. Why? Because generation Z likes it that way. Every major eCommerce brand and platform is going above and beyond to make sure this BFCM all records are broken. 

Getting overwhelmed seeing all this in the peak season is extremely normal. In eCommerce, as in life, nothing can be fully predicted. You, as a business owner, can only put your best foot forward and prepare for all possible situations. Don’t fret over what is beyond your control. 

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