Tips to boost your eCommerce sales on Cyber Monday

Tips to boost your eCommerce sales on Cyber Monday

Reading Time: 2 minutes

If your business is gearing up for Cyber Monday then you already know that your deals should be too good to resist. Whether you have a physical store or sell your products exclusively online, setting up for a Cyber Monday special is a crucial part of driving sales during the festive season. 

If you don’t have an online store yet, fear not. It’s not too late. Here’s a guide on how you can set one up.

 

While eCommerce giants like Takealot, Superbalist, Zando, and others might get the most media publicity around Cyber Monday and Black Friday, it does not mean they are the only players in the game. With a little planning, smaller retailers can implement strategies to have profitable sales on Cyber Monday. 

 

Here’s our list of 5 tips to help boost your Cyber Monday sales: 

  • Start with an epic Cyber Monday offer
  • Don’t forget to advertise
  • Create a worthwhile experience for your customers
  • Make sure you close the sale
  • Secure a lifelong customer

 

 

  1. Start with an epic Cyber Monday offer

According to Deloitte’s 2018 Holiday Report, 95% of shoppers say that price discounts are the most appealing promotional offer, followed by free shipping and gifts. A great strategy here is offering a further discount on Black Friday offers or new discounts on specific items. These should be items or services that are already popular so you can almost guarantee a couple of sales. 

 

 

  1. Don’t forget to advertise

Whether you’re using pamphlets, social media, or even word-of-mouth, you have to advertise your offers so people know about it. With it being CYBER Monday, you’ll want to put more focus on your digital marketing efforts. This is the one place gift-givers and avid shoppers look for inspiration.

 

 

  1. Create a worthwhile experience for your customers

Now that you’ve got customers on your site (or in your store), you have to make sure they have a pleasant shopping experience. Optimizing your website for mobile is key to attract customers who are able to shop anywhere and anytime, or might not have access to a desktop. Remember to be on standby to manage the spike in traffic to your site. The last thing you want is to lose a sale because your site crashed. 

 

 

  1. Make sure you close the sale

Getting customers to ‘Add to cart’ is only half the job. Getting customers to check out is what seals the deal. Make sure your promotional prices are clear for each item or service. If there are extra charges such as taxes and delivery fees that come up at check out, customers may abandon their carts.  It should also be clear to shoppers where they need to enter any promotional codes. If you can, add a cart total somewhere on your pages, that runs as the shoppers add to their cart so they know how much they will pay. 

 

 

  1. Secure a lifelong customer

While some Cyber Monday customers may be new to your site, this is a great opportunity to make sure they come back. If they have a seamless shopping experience, followed by great (but not suffocating) customer service along with it, they’re most likely to return. You should also plan to follow up with your new customers shortly after their first purchase to ask them about their experience and strengthen that relationship.

 

Cyber Monday is a great way to boost your online sales in time for the holidays. If you are able to plan ahead and work your strategies well, you’re sure to see success.

Get ahead of your Black Friday Marketing

Get ahead of your Black Friday Marketing

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Anyone who is in the retail business or has previously owned a retail store of any kind will tell you that Black Friday – and the festive season as a whole – is the best time to grow your sales. 

And the numbers certainly don’t lie. A Geopoll survey showed that over the last three years, Black Friday shopper numbers have grown by an extensive 16 percentage points.

Despite South Africa’s slow economic growth over the years, consumers are still interested and willing to spend money – especially when there are major savings involved.

However, you can’t be too confident because your competitor knows this as well – and they will surely have a few tricks up their sleeves to cash in on the busy buying season. With this in mind, it’s always important to have a great marketing campaign that is unique to your brand in order to stand out from the crowd and bump up your sales.

 

Related: 5 Ways Your Small Business Can Prepare For Black Friday

 

Here are a few of our top tips for marketing your business for Black Friday.

1.Have your sale for longer

Extending your sale or savings period further than the Black Friday and Cyber Monday window will give you more opportunities for sales. Yes, we’ve seen this tactic many times before [How many businesses start promoting their Christmas promos in October?] This is the perfect time to get creative.
Using comedy, emotive language, and familiar faces or trends to lure customers will definitely re-engage the stragglers who might be holding off for a better deal.

 

2. Say yes to in-app offers

Mobile eCommerce is definitely where it’s at – whether it’s on a mobile site or an app. Most consumers are glued to their devices anyway, so offering a mobile-only saving is definitely a plus.
However, you have to be very clear in your messaging that deals on offer are specifically for mobile-only and will not be available in store. This provides your mobile-first audience with a sense of exclusivity, but it also allows you to easily track which – and how many – of your customers came to your site via push notification or email.

You can also use this time to remind your customers that shopping online saves them a lot of time and frustration during the #BlackFriday rush.

 

3. Make a gift guide

The festive season is a time for giving, and creating various gift guides for your customers using products they can buy from your business makes you stand out as a convenient store of choice.
This is also a great way to attract customers outside your normal target audience who are looking to purchase gifts for their friends and family.

A smart way to do this is to group your products first by your most overarching customer segments, then get more specific within each of these categories. For example, gifts for men, women, and children, and even colleagues.

 

4. Let your buyers shop ‘guilt-free’

While some shoppers are very clearly focused on the #BlackFriday specials for items they want for themselves, we should not forget that some people might also have the ghost of Christmas upon their shoulders to ‘do the right thing.’
So why not offer the best of both? Creating a donation option at payment is a great way to do this. This way, both your customers and a charity of your choice gets a little something – and you clean up. It’s a win-win-win situation.

 

5. Everyone loves a giveaway

Since it’s the season of giving, a little thank you to the customers that shop at your store will go a long way. The chance to win a great collection of goods from your store just for shopping during your #BlackFriday or #CyberMonday specials will keep the customers coming back.

 

Related: 5 Ways to support local businesses this Heritage Month

Even though you should leverage Black Friday and the festive season as an opportunity to increase sales and make your business some extra cash, you should not forget the complete customer journey. Sometimes, the most wholesome and effective approach is to stick to what your customers love while adding an extra saving on the goods they love.

If you’re in need of funds to make the most of your #BlackFriday sale this year, we’ve got you covered. We’re offering you a repayment holiday until January 2021 if you apply for funding before 30 November.

Check out more on this exclusive Lulalend offer here.

How to write the perfect business plan

How to write the perfect business plan

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Guest blog by Govchain

Simply put, a business plan is a document that explains what your business is all about. It sets out what the business is planning to do, how it’s going to do it, and over what sort of timeline it’s planning to do it over. A good business plan helps give the business direction and serves as a reference guide to make sure you have a laser focus on the most important goals of the company. So, what makes a good business plan? 

The more detailed you make your business plan, the more encompassing of your mission it will be, making it clear how the business will be run. But, pro tip: don’t get distracted by unnecessary details, a good business plan focuses on the core of business – how it’s going to generate money. Stick to the point and plan everything around that.

Longer and more formal business plans start with an Executive Summary. This is a brief summary of the entire business plan – the trick here is to make it as comprehensive, yet concise, as possible. For a busy investor your Executive Summary might be the deciding factor in whether they go on to read your full business plan or not, so make it count.

Next is an Introduction to your company. This is exactly what it sounds like – an introduction to who you are, your history, how you came up with the idea for the business, what work you’ve done so far, your location, and your management.

 

Related: A quick guide to Bridging Finance

 

After that comes the Company Summary. This is structured in four parts:

Vision: This describes the change that the company is looking to make and how that will impact the community it serves and the world. It’s usually a high-level aspirational statement.

Mission: This explains why the company exists and what its central goals are – spreading its products and/or services. You can include who the major customers will be, but keep it short and sweet.

Objectives: These are measurable outcomes that your company wants to achieve through the business. Include estimated growth figures like how much do you plan on growing every year, how many sales a month do you plan on making etc.

Values: These are your ethics, your core beliefs about how the company is run, and how you want to operate in the world. Examples are integrity, consistency, and spreading positive change. Vision and Values tend to stay the same over the life of a company, but Objectives can change as the business grows over time, which may influence your Mission. 

 

After Company Summary comes the Production/Service Overview. Here you describe in detail how the company makes its products or how the service will be carried out, being very clear with what goes into the processes. Following this is another section on Products and Services where you list all the various things your business might produce, including waste products and/or added services.

To show how you fit into the relevant market, include an Industry Overview. In this section, you describe what other role-players in the industry are doing, what the total market size is, and, if applicable, how much of that total you are planning to take over. If your business covers more than one industry, be sure to show this.

A section on Research and Development is a good place to show how you are planning to improve your products and/or services, and how you plan to offer a better experience for your customers than that of your competitors. Here you can also talk about things you would like to look into in the future as your business grows.

 

Related: Business Funding: An overview of how SMEs can access funding in SA

 

Now for the big one – your Financial Plan. This, after the Executive Summary, is the second thing a busy investor will look at, so make sure you do it properly. A full Financial Plan typically includes:

  • Assumptions made about the business and markets,
  • Options for financing the business, e.g. loans, direct investment or grants,
  • If applicable, a Facility Cost where you lay out all expenses needed to build or fit out the premises. A general rule of thumb is that building ends up costing double what you expect, so budget for this,
  • A Unit Cost Analysis – working out each and every cost that goes into making the product or service that you will be selling to figure out how much you will be charging. This is calculated by adding fixed cost ‘overheads’ (like rent for premises, salaries of employees, water and electricity, etc) to the variable cost of inputs needed to produce each unit, and then dividing it by the total number of units you will be able to produce given those costs. Be thorough here and think about all the costs, everything from insurance to staples,
  • A detailed 3-Year Cash Flow Plan, showing that you will always have cash available, even if you are operating at a loss at the beginning, and
  • A 5-Year Profit/Loss Plan, showing how you will grow and start building capital. Be sure to include the breakeven point. This is the important day where all costs of setting up the business will be repaid and from where you will start making a continuous profit. 

 

Pro Tip: Balance being optimistic, realistic, and prudent when doing your costing – rather ask for a bit more investment and make sure that the business always has cash instead of having to ask for more later.

A final section to include is one detailing your Risk Management. All companies and businesses face risks, and it’s important to consider how you will stay safe. This includes things like insurance, staffing plans, legal matters, and other strategies to make sure things run smoothly.

 

It’s important to be honest and realistic in this document. Exaggerating or underplaying certain things will come out eventually, which will lead to some uncomfortable meetings and explanations. That being said, also think about who you are going to give the document to, and consider what they want to see. You can cater the business plan to a specific investor so long as your document is still accurate and truthful. Depending on what you want to achieve, perhaps let an accountant or someone with experience in the business have a look through the plan and financials before giving it to investors.

Remember that most investors look at the bottom line; they want to see that your business is, or is going to be, profitable. Include any Purchase Orders, Letters of Intent of other contracts as annexures to the business plan. Some investors might be looking to add different types of value to their investment portfolios, such as environmental responsibility and corporate social responsibility – if your business falls into one of those areas, be sure to point it out to them.

Even if you aren’t looking for investors, a good business plan helps bring structure to your company and the objectives within. It also helps to speak to people around you when writing your business plan, to test ideas against them. They may think about things in a way you hadn’t thought of before, which will help to further refine your ideas. Finally, remember to update the business plan as things move along so that it always remains the working manual your company can use to be successful at business!

 

Ready to take the first step in your entrepreneurial journey? Meet Govchain, your partner in company registration and small business compliance. Register your company quickly and easily online, no paperwork needed.

It’s time for a business funding repayment holiday

It’s time for a business funding repayment holiday

Reading Time: < 1 minute

As part of our continued commitment to support small businesses across South Africa, we’re doing everything we can to help you end off the year on a high note while also setting up your business for growth in 2021.

Just as major bank payment holidays are coming to an end, we’d like to offer you a repayment holiday until January 2021.

When you apply for business funding with Lulalend before the end of November 2020, you will get to enjoy a repayment break and only start paying from 11 January 2021. That could be up to two months of completely free capital!

As always, our qualifying criteria stays the same to give you access to funding.

  1. Annual turnover of over R500k
  2. You’ve been in business for more than 12 months
  3. Your business is located in South Africa

If you qualify, our standard rules still apply and you’ll have access to the following:

  • Access to up to R1,5 Million in funding
  • Funding within 24 hours
  • No early repayment penalty fees
  • Fast and easy online application

Apply for business funding before 30 November and only start repaying from 11th January 2021.
Get up to R1.5 million in funding, in 24 hours, no paperwork, no hidden fees.

Enter promo code HOLIDAY to qualify.

APPLY NOW

What’s more is that during the repayment holiday, you can rest assured that no interest, monthly charges, or any other fees will be accrued. Giving you extra peace of mind to focus solely on putting your business in a better position to grow and succeed in 2021.

Offer applies to first time Lulalend advances only.

Make the most of 2020, and put your business in a secure spot for 2021.

 

Lulalend named one of the Inclusive Fintech 50

Lulalend named one of the Inclusive Fintech 50

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Lulalend is proud to announce that we have been named one of the winners in the 2020 Inclusive Fintech Awards. Inclusive Fintech 50 announced the 2020 cohort of companies driving inclusion and resilience for the 3 billion financially underserved people globally.

An independent panel of 35 experts from venture capital, technology, and financial services firms identified the most promising Fintech companies providing credit, insurance, savings, and other critical products to low-income households and businesses that are particularly vulnerable to financial shocks like the COVID-19 economic crisis.

We are honoured to be part of the 50 fintech companies that were selected from a pool of 403 eligible applicants operating in 111 countries based on four criteria: inclusiveness, innovation, scale potential, and traction.

Brad Jones, CEO of Wave Money and one of the expert judges said, “The final 50 were selected based on strong product-market fit, the experience of their leadership teams, and their potential to scale and reach underserved populations.”

Launched in 2019, Inclusive Fintech 50 identifies and elevates high-potential, innovative fintech companies driving financial inclusion and resilience. The initiative is implemented by MIX, the global data resource for investors focused on inclusive finance.

“Lulalend is incredibly proud of the work we’ve been doing to support the nation’s SMEs. Recognition of what we’ve managed to achieve from Inclusive Fintech, a global thought leader on financial inclusion, will fuel the fire in our team to deliver on our mission of helping South Africa’s SMEs grow, prosper and drive our country forward, ” said Trevor Gosling, Lulalend CEO, and co-founder.

The winners are listed below by the main operating region. Full profiles can be viewed at www.inclusivefintech50.com/2020-cohort.

East Asia & the Pacific

  • Fairbanc (Credit)
  • First Circle (Credit)
  • Helicap (Credit)
  • Kiu Global Ltd (Infrastructure)
  • Modal Rakyat (Credit)
  • Neat (Payments & Remittances)
  • Oriente (Credit)
  • reach52 (Insurance)
  • UangMe (Credit)
  • ZigWay (Infrastructure)

Europe & Central Asia

  • EthicHub (Credit)
  • Eversend (Payments & Remittances)
  • Papara (Payments & Remittances)
  • SteadyPay (Credit)
  • TagPay (Payments & Remittances)

Latin America & the Caribbean

  • Aflore (Credit)
  • Akiba (Savings & Personal Financial Management)
  • Alfi (Savings & Personal Financial Management)
  • Bamba (Insurance)
  • Coink (Savings & Personal Financial Management)
  • Grupo R5 (Insurance)
  • Siembro (Credit)
  • TiendaPago (Credit)

North America

  • Climb Credit (Payments & Remittances)
  • Esusu (Credit)
  • Fonbnk (Payments & Remittances)
  • Propel (Savings & Personal Financial Management)
  • SoLo Funds (Credit)
  • Trust Stamp (Infrastructure)

South Asia

  • Davinta (Credit)
  • Dvara SmartGold (Savings & Personal Financial Management)
  • ftcash (Credit)
  • Fundfina (Credit)
  • Kaleidofin (Savings & Personal Financial Management)
  • Naya Jeevan (Insurance)
  • Nagad (Payments & Remittances)
  • SureClaim (Insurance)
  • Verismart (Infrastructure)

Sub-Saharan Africa

  • Asaak (Credit)
  • Bankly (Savings & Personal Financial Management)
  • DreamStart Labs (Savings & Personal Financial Management)
  • Extramile Africa (Savings & Personal Financial Management)
  • Hydrologistics Africa Ltd (Payments & Remittances)
  • Lulalend (Credit)
  • Moon (Infrastructure)
  • OKO Finance Ltd (Insurance)
  • Paycode (Payments & Remittances)
  • PayGo Energy (Infrastructure)
  • PesaKit (Infrastructure)
  • Turaco (Insurance)

Inclusive Fintech 50 was founded by MetLife Foundation and Visa, with support from Accion and IFC, and additional funding from BlackRock and Jersey Overseas Aid & Comic Relief.”