What Can You Learn From Being in the Black?

If it wasn’t clear from the title, we’re here to talk about the 2018 Black Friday and Cyber Monday (BFCM) retail sales events. Both are strictly U.S. innovations but have become a favourite thing in recent years in many other countries, including Australia.

Every year, the events become bigger and bigger, with a lot of promos and big sales happening across the board.

So we have to take note of that and learn if there are any implications for these retail sales events across other sectors – such as ourselves in professional services – as industries often learn from one another, with some being the leaders and others following.

The Shopify website provides us with a live feed of all the sales happening on the site by their member retailers. I watched this, and it’s incredible!

Globally, during the peak hours, the merchants generated around $870,000 per minute and $37,000,000 every hour! That includes approximately 10,000 orders every minute, which is more than astonishing. Last year, that number was at least three times smaller.

All in all, the merchants made more than &1.5 billion during the weekend event, which typically extends to a week! Last year the number was $1 billion

It was going to be big from the start

It’s now more than clear (for some it has been like that for a few years now) that the BFCM event is no longer a strictly U.S. invention. Yes, a large proportion of sales originate in North America, but this year, some 18.5% of orders on Shopify shipped internationally. That’s almost every fifth order being international, which is not bad for an American event.

We can go on about the numbers, but the fact is that most of them saw a sizeable increase. So the real question is what does this mean for your professional services firm?

What am I to do with this?

This globalisation of retail has a long-lasting and far-reaching impact on our traditional retail environment.

What these trends during the BFCM events are doing is training the consumers to conduct their shopping online, beyond their own borders.

That, in turn, has enormous consequences for your firm as well.

First of all, you need to bear in mind that a robust online presence is now a must. Your potential clients are smart. They scour the web in search of testimonials and more information on your firm and the quality of your services. If you don’t ensure that there’s a lot of positive info for them to find, you’re mostly losing clients.

What’s more, those same people are also comparing you to your competitors. They won’t be choosing between products but comparing you and your competitors’ services. They are also comparing you with other services, that may offer some kind of benefit over and above the traditional advisor / client relationship. This may not necessarily be better, but may tick a box for them that they didn’t realise was on their list to tick in the first place. That’s what scanning the internet does.

In the end, they will go for the firm or service that has given them more answers they were looking for.

They will select the firm or service that offers a user-friendly experience that is optimised for mobile and for their need at the time.

What you must do

The clients won’t necessarily ask you about anything (unless your personal relationship with them is rock solid – and even then they may not); they’ll move over to another Google search result. That’s why it’s imperative for you to have a robust online presence, a good and well-populated website, active social media pages and be personally responsive and proactive.

All in all, it’s about evolving into the thing your clients would want to see and be surprised you knew what they didn’t know they were looking for (you may need to read that statement again to make sense of it!). They want active firms, with real-time information. They want this to be consistent, and they want you to be in tune with the times and offer them the answers they need.

Contact us at The Thought Leadership Initiative where we can help you achieve a strong online presence and enable you to attract a vast number of clients for next years BFCM event!

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