Black Friday Cyber Monday: Prep Your Store For This Year’s Biggest Shopping Weekend
The time when pumpkin pies and halloween candies start to overflow the shops is also the season to prepare for proactive sales, what with the Black Friday Cyber Monday (BFCM) just around the corner.
The holiday season of Thanksgiving is just a month away followed by a phenomenal shopping weekend that is overwhelming both for the buyers and sellers alike -- a spot-on opportunity for businesses to grow.
What has been marked by individual retailers for seasonal sales and exquisite deals since early 60s is now being celebrated worldwide as the official shopping weekend.
Though the police had assigned the moniker, “Black Friday” to dissuade the growing number of shoppers from visiting stores, however, over the years, sales has only grown in the weekend following Thanksgiving, both offline and online. Hence the name stuck and now the wild ride continues to Cyber Monday leading up to Christmas!
Image Credit: Shopify.in
Last year’s impressive BFCM data of $1.5 billion sales by Shopify merchants worldwide goes to prove that this year the competition is cut-throat and businesses must be well-equipped with strategies and action plans to achieve all their personal goals for their brand, including making huge profits.
Gear up for some effective ways to get success in Black Friday Cyber Monday this year-
1. Ask yourself questions on sales metrics you want to achieve this BFCM
Set your goals right and make sure they are realistic. You must have the inventory stock, the provision for logistics and the bandwidth to resolve numerous customer queries at a time. This is the opportune time to stock your inventory and any accessories required for differently packaging your products if that’s a part of your marketing strategy for BFCM.
Choose your offers/exclusive deals/ discount rates strategically. It must represent a can’t-miss sale drawing more people to your store!
This is one time when you can get a lot more traction through free shipping. Sort your packaging and shipping supplies in time and decide if you want to ship products internationally too.
2. Prepare for early birds
There are always those who start participating well in advance. Start early with your marketing plans and intimate these customers about your offers, gift cards or discount deals much before BFCM kicks in.
Simultaneously, prep up for promoting these offers via search engines, ads and social media campaigns so these customers land on your site when searching for exclusive deals and specific product info.
Choose the products you want to set discounts on and clearly give out the start and end date to these offers on your website and other marketing channels. It’s easier to create planned sales maps with Google Sheets to plan all your upcoming sales. Alternatively, take help from Shopify Apps to plan and schedule your sales.
Implement the offers on your website homepage, social media and through ads but don’t forget to use Shareable Discount Links so your users can easily redeem their offer codes and your sales get a big boost.
Shopify helps you set different types of discounts and offers for your products.
3. Get your content calendar ready
Build some buzz around your company’s take on BFCM -- whether it’s promotional offers, new product releases or discounts on a particular product collection. The best way to do this that guarantees more conversions than any other method is Email marketing. BFCM 2017 has been proof enough of how successful email marketing can be.
Set an email funnel workflow including -
- An introductory email announcing the sale
- A sneak peek into your special promotions
- Emails to make the most of it during the sale weekend
- Reminder emails for those who shop last minute.
Opt to offer specific deals for your email subscribers and promote these deals on social media as well. Tease shoppers with sneak peek on your upcoming offers and send last chance notifications to facilitate some end-of-the-campaign sales. Mention BFCM in your content to drive better click-through-rates.
Get your team onboard on how you plan to execute your social media campaign ideas and design your content calendar with complete details on the different types of content you want to promote, on which channels and what you want to achieve with each of these.
Leverage all your marketing channels, from paid and organic social media posts to search engines, paid ads and email marketing to get the word out on your BFCM deals. Get done with all your marketing initiatives a week before the madness begins!
4. Create jaw-dropping offers and gamified contests
BFCM is the perfect time to get creative with your marketing strategies. Create as much hype as you want to with curiosity-inciting contests and irresistible giveaways.
While some marketers offer deep sitewide discounts to the tune of 50 - 70%, there are other ways to make it big too -- spin-to-win discounts, exclusive daily or hourly deals, raising funds for causes that mean something to you or selling a collection of products ideal for the holiday season.
You can also offer mystery boxes in custom packaging, soon-to-be-revealed deals, bonus gifts, product bundles, additional accessories to initiate a little surprise among your audience and prompt them to purchase more than what they initially had in mind.
Channelize your BFCM efforts to align with your mission statement -- if you sell travel gears, then you can create contests and quizzes around adventure sports or trivia about places. If your company supports a social or environmental cause, you can help spark a change during the BFCM weekend.
5. Build ad images, copies and other visuals
Plan PPC ads keeping in mind the location of the target audience. Allocate a good budget for your paid ads so that any price hike during the BFCM weekend or holiday season does not risk your ad visibility.
Change your header and banner image on your website with attractive visuals to match your BFCM marketing campaign. Pop ups on your site and landing pages to talk about giveaways or causes you support are other full-proof ways to win the attention of your audience.
Another way to capitalize on BFCM is by choosing to offer discounts on select items targeting a particular set of audience.
6. Make your store mobile optimized
For the past three years, Shopify stores have seen more mobile purchases throughout the BFCM period. Test your store’s responsiveness on all devices -- mobile, desktop, laptop, PC and tablets for both Android and iOS.
When you do this, also make sure to check if your store is intuitive, user-friendly and easily navigable on these devices. All the design elements, features and functionalities on all the pages on your store needs to be accessible and compatible with all browsers.
With Shopify, responsiveness and cross-browser compatibility are guaranteed so there is one less worry. Still, we would recommend you to check your site on all devices and browsers before you go live with the BFCM campaign.
Using Shopify Pay and Google Pay further help improve conversions as these options help customers save and auto-fill their details during registration so they don’t have to keep filling info to make a purchase from your store.
7. Get your customer loyalty program on track
This is the ideal time to build long-term relationships with customers who have always been loyal to your brand. You can entice and retarget your previous customers with exclusive deals.
Run social media ads using Shopify Kit for some great marketing strategies, especially given that your existing customers are likelier to be on board with your BFCM sales than your new audiences.
While you’re at it, also retarget your site visitors who stocked up some items from your store on to cart but then left your store without a purchase. Either send them notifications reminding them of the items in their cart or send them an impactful email that would bring them back to your store and compel them to complete their purchase.
Shopify’s in-built abandoned checkout recovery feature and select apps help you retarget these visitors effectively.
8. Ensure urgency and exclusivity
Having a clear start and end date to your BFCM offers is one way you can ensure urgency and scarcity. Another way is to send notifications on ‘few stocks left’ or ‘only 1 left’ to create a sense of urgency.
Work some scarcity with countdown timers to trigger those last-minute buys.
9. Integrate apps and live chat
With the mad sale rush that ensues during BFCM, it goes without saying that your customers would look for quick answers to their product or service related queries.
A live chat tool enabled on your site would ensure each of your customer gets quick and adequate support even during rush hours. That said, make sure your team is available on live chat right after you launch promotional offers, send emails/app notifications or when someone has just bought a product from your store or is viewing their cart.
To equip your store well and design optimized shopping experiences, you’ll also need to provide your users with social proof, follow up with them through pop-up notifications, manage sales while offering never-seen-before complex deals, provide referral-based discounts, notify when products are back in stock, upsell and cross-sell products and more.
Luckily, Shopify has apps for all these features that you can strategically use at this time of the year for maximized profits.
10. Track performance of your marketing activities
Understand your customer’s shopping preferences/ on-store behaviour better with tracking tools such as Google Analytics, Facebook Pixel and others. Facebook ads and Google Smart Shopping campaigns will help you track conversions and create tracking pixel codes.
Shopify reports further help you gauge how your marketing campaigns are performing on different channels and how many of them are materializing into sales and conversions. Leverage Shopify’s analytical tools and keep tabs on what your competitors are up to.
With this, we hope you’re able to navigate through the BFCM wave successfully. Create contingency plans and ensure your store is able to withstand a surge in demand and influx of heavy traffic during this time.
Here’s to achieving new commercial milestones! Happy marketing!
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