September 27, 2022

Black Friday: How to Successfully Deal With Overdemand

It seems experts forecast record-high Black Friday sales growth every year — and this year is no different. Black Friday overdemand is getting more and more real: over the last seven years, online Black Friday sales have tripled and show no signs of slowing down.

But the huge boost in customers and sales brings its own set of problems, as well. Black Friday overdemand is real, and your business needs to prepare to deal with the stampede. 

In this article, we'll tell you some issues that you may run into on Black Friday and how conversational AI can help you deal with it.

Black Friday Overdemand Issues

Although Black Friday and Cyber Monday can bring some of the best sales days of the year, they can also bring your company a digital nightmare. These issues can quickly damage your brand's reputation and won't go unnoticed on the busiest shopping days of the year. 

Let's take a look at a few issues that could arise.

Website Downtime

Every second that your website goes down is money that goes down the drain. When Amazon's website went down for 40 minutes, it resulted in around $5 million in losses.

Not only do collapsed websites and slow page loads prevent sales from happening, but they can greatly damage your business's reputation. First impressions mean everything for an eCommerce business. 

Imagine going to a brick-and-mortar store and having even the slightest issue with an employee or finding that it's closed every time you walk by. The chances of you returning are slim. Online businesses are no different.

If your website can't prove that it can be reliable (especially on the busiest shopping day of the year), your business's rep could go down the drain in seconds. 

Tedious Website Search

When customers come to your website on Black Friday, they want to find what they want quickly. It can be a pain to scroll through a big website looking for exactly what they want. 

Even on websites that are fast-loading with an intuitive interface and good product descriptions, customers are taking in way more information than they can process. 

On top of that, customers need to know about limited-time promotions quickly while also making purchasing decisions that are "on the clock." 

All of this creates unnecessary friction in the buying process. Every step of the customer journey should be taken into consideration this coming Black Friday.

Channel Dominance

According to figures by Salesforce, most shoppers during the holiday weekend browsed and made purchases on mobile devices. There was also a significant increase in the influence of social media on shopping discovery and traffic to retail sites.

What does this mean for eCommerce businesses preparing for Black Friday? 

Your company website not only needs to be 100% optimized for mobile, but you also need to embrace the entire ecosystem of applications that a mobile device uses. This can include maps and push notifications. 

Businesses also need to prepare for the traffic from social media and capitalize on their social media marketing.

Another underrated issue when shoppers use multiple channels is the higher chance of cart abandonment. Businesses should prepare tools that lower the risk of this happening.

Unreliable Customer Support

In 2022, customers expect to have their questions answered instantly — on whatever channel they prefer. This means that customers will expect to get quick answers on social media, online messaging, chat, email, and more. 

Black Friday can turn into a nightmare situation if your customer support team isn't prepared. Not only will your team suffer, but your customers will lose patience quickly and never return.

Make sure that your team's FAQ regarding simple questions like delivery, returns, and payment methods are available for customers.

Using Conversational AI for Black Friday

On the busiest (and craziest) weekend of the year for eCommerce businesses, utilizing an AI chatbot can help take multiple jobs that will not only help you survive Black Friday but thrive.

A Black Friday chatbot can take the role of a shopping assistant, salesperson, consultant, manager, and customer service rep — without getting tired or having a limit on how many clients they can help.

Let's look at different ways a sales chatbot and Black Friday go together like peanut butter and jelly.

Automate Customer Support

Black Friday weekend can lead to double, triple, or even more sales than normal. This means several more customer service requests. Without proper preparation, your customer service team can get overloaded quickly.

A well-designed chatbot can help significantly reduce response time, even with the increase in messages. They can give support that is always friendly, efficient, and available 24/7. 

This can help lower staffing demands and reduce operational costs in the long run. On Black Friday, you can be confident that your customer service will be well-prepared for the influx of customers.

Relive Customer Service Team of Dull Tasks

Black Friday AI can easily handle queries including:

  • Exchanges
  • Returns
  • Frequently asked questions

AI chatbots can walk customers through each step of the process so that your business can collect the necessary information with ease.

These dull, monotonous tasks can be taken off your human agents' plates, allowing them to deal with more important issues. If a user isn't satisfied with a chatbot's answer, they can easily redirect the customer to a human agent. 

Finding the perfect balance between your virtual and human agents can help you survive a busy Black Friday weekend with ease.

Deliver a Personalized Shopping Experience

As mentioned earlier, navigating a large eCommerce website can be frustrating for customers who are in a rush and looking for something specific. With conversational AI, customers don't have to deal with that.

A chatbot can quickly learn the customer's needs and preferences and direct them to the products they want. If they are repeat customers, this data will already be stored, allowing even faster service. 

Greeting customers this way is a great way to make them feel valued and attended to — just how it feels to be greeted by a real, personal shopper. This allows your customers to have a great experience and positive brand interaction, even on a busy weekend. 

Not only does this proactive service make a sale much more likely, but you can gather first-party data easily for future retargeting.

Related Article: 5 Benefits of Using Chatbots for Customer Experience

Make More Upsells

Adding to the personalized shopping experience, chatbots are great salesmen when it comes to upselling. They can recommend related products based on data they receive from the customer.

A huge component of Black Friday sales is the feelings of urgency and fear of missing out. Chatbots can be programmed to automatically send discount codes and limited-time offers to customers. It can even show countdown timers to show time is ticking.

They can also let customers know when products they're interested in are running out to encourage buyers to purchase.

Lower Shopping Cart Abandonment

Abandoned carts are one of the biggest sources of lost sales in the eCommerce world. According to statistics, 69.57% of online shopping carts are abandoned. 

That means for every 100 customers that come visit your store and add products to their cart, 70 of them end up leaving. This could be for several reasons:

  • They are forced to create an account
  • They have issues with shipping
  • They want to compare prices
  • They simply forget about their cart

AI chatbots can help mitigate these losses. They can gently remind customers about items left in their shopping carts. They can even be programmed to offer incentives to encourage the purchase. 

If there is an issue with website navigation or checking out, your chatbots can help facilitate the process. They can make it as easy and smooth as possible for customers to purchase. 

Removing every potential obstacle for customers is key to getting more sales. Being able to automate this process can be a goldmine for your business. 

Lay the Groundwork for Year-Round Success

The benefits that conversational AI can provide your business don't stop after the holiday weekend. After the busy period, the data that your bots collect will help create better sales for the rest of the year. This includes:

  • Customer feedback
  • Email addresses
  • Social media IDs
  • Customer locations

Chatbots aren't just salespeople and customer service reps; they are active data collectors that work 24/7.

Have Your Most Epic Black Friday Yet With Conversational AI

If you're expecting a big rush this holiday weekend, AI chatbots are a great way to deal with Black Friday overdemand. Don't just survive Black Friday. Take advantage of every customer interaction and have your best sales year yet.

If you're ready to automate outstanding customer experiences, take our product tour and start turning strangers into happy customers with Conversational AI!

Are you looking for new ways to improve your CX?

Our customer service solutions powered by conversational AI can help you deliver an efficient, 24/7 experience  to your customers. Get in touch with one of our specialists to further discuss how they can help your business.