As more and more shoppers move online, Black Friday and Cyber Monday have become one of the busiest times for eCommerce businesses. For example, the Black Friday Cyber Monday weekend saw sales of $7.5 billion from Shopify stores worldwide. This was substantially larger than $6.3 billion in 2021. 2023 is set to be yet another massive year.
The post-pandemic retail relies heavily on convenience and reliability. And with increasing demand, eCommerce businesses face many difficulties keeping up with customer expectations. They face many challenges during Black Friday and Cyber Monday - the cost of advertisement reaches an all-time high, inevitable supply chain disruptions, and even inventory management becomes quite tricky.
But there is a particular silver lining to all of this. The increase in demand brings in new customers and allows a business to create a lasting relationship with these customers and retain them in the long run. But they need the right business strategies to achieve customer satisfaction and catapult their success. So how does one prepare for the busy BFCM week?
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BFCM is the most extensive campaign of the year. Studies suggest that 34% of buyers wait until November to start their festive shopping. And 21% wait for the right offer/opportunity to present itself before they begin. The BFCM weekend provides the perfect promotional opportunity for eCommerce businesses looking to lure these customers with the most sought-after offers and products.
BFCM can be a make-or-break moment for a business aiming to reach that 8-figure mark. Every growing business needs to be tactical to make the best of the increased demand and deliver the same quality of service despite the exponential surge. Here are some of the best strategies and tactics to help an eCommerce business make the necessary impact this BFCM season:
Every business will receive a considerable number of new visitors during the days leading up to the festive season, especially during the BFCM weekend. But it’s not worth getting someone to visit your site if you cannot garner trust in the process. This is where the site and shopping experience comes into play. It is the customer’s first impression of a brand and determines how they interact with a business:
Make sure you audit your website and ensure the best site experience before the BFCM season. Not only does a good site experience help establish trust, but as customers rush to find the best deals and tick off items from their gifting checklist, they’re also bound to run low on attention and, more importantly, patience. Ensure your site navigation, speed, and mobile responsiveness are in order and can handle the surge during the BFCM rush.
Cart abandonment is one of the biggest challenges in the eCommerce industry. A lousy checkout process is one of the biggest reasons customers return from purchase. Ensure that your checkout process is seamless and easy to navigate.
Due to the increase in competition during the peak season, it becomes even more critical for a business to stand out. To do so, every eCommerce business needs to offer a personalized experience to shoppers. Creating a special connection with someone “just browsing” or considering buying your products can be the key to conversion.
One can achieve personalization in numerous ways. You can create user-based landing pages, send out personalized text messages, create behavior-based triggers for emails and offer customized offers and discounts for customers based on their activity.
With increased demands and supply chain disruptions, shipping inevitably gets affected during the festive season. When you create offers, discounts, and campaigns around the BFCM weekend, it is essential to account for this problem. Either manage your supply chain so that products reach your customers on time or create clear expectations to ensure you do not disappoint a new customer during a festive time.
Whether you ship the orders or use dropshipping, 41% of customers blame retailers for delayed deliveries, not to forget the additional cost of unsuccessful deliveries. Optimizing your shipping for a better customer experience and higher profits is important.
BFCM is the holiday season, and with the increasing demand, the cost of advertisement and acquisition is at an all-time high. Business owners should aim to make the most of their marketing spending by employing efficient marketing strategies that help them save bucks and retain customers.
The most profitable strategy in BFCM is to target old/loyal customers and entice them to make another purchase from your store. It will reduce acquisition costs when advertisement costs are at an all-time high. Give your repeat customers early access to your BFCM offers or create an enticing loyalty program.
As customers rush to fulfill their gifting obligations, BFCM is the perfect time to attract new customers. You can offer lucrative discounts and bundle your best products, but this does little to convert your website visitors into customers. E-commerce stores should leverage reviews and ratings to alleviate their stress and prompt them to shop from your website to ease shopping anxiety and generate trust with new website visitors.
BFCM is more than just an opportunity to increase revenue during the festive season. It is an excellent opportunity to tap into a more significant chunk of the market and find more loyal customers that will play a part in your growth going forward. Besides customer and user experience, customer satisfaction is pivotal in helping you convert the BFCM rush into a growth opportunity. Here’s how to leverage it-
With the surge in eCommerce sales during the BFCM weekend, customer support queries and even tickets have increased exponentially. Every eCommerce business owner is familiar with the painstaking task of keeping up with these requests throughout the fourth quarter. Most business owners say they hire staff to keep up with the surge or outsource customer service. However, these practices are not sustainable, affect the bottom-line revenue, and might affect the quality of customer service.
One of the most cost-effective and scalable solutions to this seasonal problem is the effective use of self-service.
About 40-70% of customer support tickets are redundant queries like- “where is my order?”. These do not need manual oversight, and an agent should not have to spend their precious time performing these mechanical and unfulfilling tasks. Self-service flows help eliminate this redundancy by allowing the customers to take matters into their own hands. It improves customer experience, and lets agents concentrate on more complex queries.
Self-service is the best way to handle customer service during the BFCM frenzy.
Self-service is the best way to handle customer service during the BFCM frenzy.
Related Read: Reduce Tickets by 50% through self-service
The BFCM campaign should ideally act as a means to an end. The aim isn't to generate more revenue during this busy season but to create repeat customers and a more loyal customer base with the opportunity provided. Post-purchase experience defines the customer experience to a great extent.
Good post-purchase service is a simple way of showing your customers that they mean more than just a one-time transaction. It shows the business’s willingness to form a lasting relationship with the customer that extends beyond the BFCM weekend. Creating an excellent post-purchase experience is pivotal in cementing your success after BFCM is done and dusted.
Return rates increase significantly during the holiday season. Consumers buy a product in different colors and sizes, pick their favorite and return the rest.
Loop returns shared valuable insights that suggest 57% of consumers will not buy from a brand if they have a bad return experience. Hence, returns play a significant role in retention. They’ve created a checklist to nail returns this holiday season!. Discover more on Shopify Returns Management
Read Also: How to Reduce Ecommerce Return Rates
8 out of 10 customers are likelier to buy from a brand that offers personalization. When there is an increase in competition, it is easy to get lost in the crowd. Personalized customer service helps you stand out and build a loyal customer base beyond the festive season. Learn more on how to create Personalised Shopify Customer Accounts
With the increasing number of orders, customer queries and tickets are bound to skyrocket. One of the most effective ways to ensure that your new customers stay with you and become repeat customers is to improve the response rate for your customer support queries. This helps improve the customer experience by building trust.
Related Read: Complete Guide on Ecommerce Customer Service
A good marketing strategy is necessary if you want to realize your business’s potential during the BFCM weekend fully. Here are some of the best marketing strategies to use this holiday season-
Visibility is the key to every BFCM strategy. Your customers should be able to find your discounts at every touch point, whether you choose to display them on the online storefront or create pre-launch pages to attract their attention. Make sure you tease your offers and give your customers a taste of what’s in store well before the BFCM weekend, making sure they land up on your website when the offers roll out.
A recent Shopify article correctly points out you have 10 seconds to capture your audience's attention once they land on your page.
An attractive banner and easy navigation are the most functional interface elements and can help shape your visitor's perception.
Shopify has a pre-launch feature that considers this strategy's importance and makes it easy to tease deals. It allows business owners to showcase their BFCM offers and create lead-generation opportunities to capture their contact information. Even amazon stores will enable you to promote upcoming deals on the storefront and create listing pages for the same.
To increase conversion during the BFCM weekend, capture as many emails leads as possible in advance. You can use several traditional methods to grow your email sign-ups- organize giveaways, or create loyalty and rewards programs. Using the proper marketing and promotional tactics, you can even use social media to generate interest in your BFCM campaigns.
You can even tease the upcoming BFCM offers with promotional banners and campaigns, urging customers to sign up for incentives or early access. It will help you create a list of qualified leads and help increase conversions.
Shopping anxiety is bound to cause cart abandonment during the BFCM frenzy. However, with the right retargeting strategy, you can easily convert website visitors who’ve shown interest in your product. You can increase revenue without increasing your acquisition costs by chasing new customers. Here are some popular retargeting strategies:
Segment your audiences into different sales funnels. It will help you create specific retargeting campaigns that send lucrative deals to website visitors that are most likely to convert.
Use social media ads for retargeting website visitors, especially if they are interested in a particular product or service. Send an email with an exclusive discount immediately after a customer abandons a cart.
Related Read: Best Shopify Apps to Integrate with Ecom Store
BFCM is often viewed as an annual opportunity to raise sales and increase revenue in the fourth quarter. However, most businesses fail to realize the long-lasting impact an excellent BFCM campaign can have on their long-term goals and how it plays an essential role in the growth of any eCommerce business. Using the right BFCM strategy and tactics helps tap into the increased demand during the festive season and can also help a company expand its reach and find the right customers for the future. Learn more on How to Prepare your CS team for BFCM