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Is Your eCommerce Store Ready for BFCM?

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In just the previous year, Black Friday and Cyber Monday (BFCM) 2019 brought in a total of $16.6 billion online sales. With the present COVID-19 crises, buyers are relying more on online shopping rather than going out and buying directly from shops. Due to this, BFCM 2020 is predicted to break record online sales far higher than what we’ve seen in recent years.

It’s a continuing trend to see massive growth in online sales when the BFCM season comes along. During this period, the competition for consumer’s attention is getting fiercer than ever at any point of the year. This causes intensity within the market and to bring the costs of acquiring new customers at a shocking rate of 25% over any other time of the year.

‍With these savage market conditions, we want to show you applicable marketing strategies and specific BFCM sales-generating tips based on the best brands to ensure your success in an ultra-competitive environment.

“The actions of top eCommerce businesses prior to the holidays are arguably more important than anything else they did.”

‍Optimizing your eCommerce store is more than a one day process. It requires several months of preparation and nurturing. When it comes to eCommerce marketing, acquiring new customers is arguably the one that takes up the most time and energy. But if you’re looking to drive sales during the holidays, you should focus your efforts on getting your existing customers and prospects to buy from you earlier in the year.

‍According to a benchmark report by Klaviyo, the smallest percent of BFCM sales came from the most recent customers and prospects. Only 10% of overall BFCM sales came from customers that engaged with the brand within six months of BFCM. This shows that if you want to push sales and optimize all possible benefits, investing early in building and nurturing customer relationships well in advance of the holiday season is a must.

“70% of First-time buyers during BFCM did not make a subsequent purchase with the brand”.

In any business, it’s a normal scenario to see customers come and go. But relying solely on first-time purchasers to drive your BFCM sales will only put tremendous stress on your business to acquire new customers consistently throughout the year, costing you more time and money on your end. Depending on them to drive sales for your BFCM, would only get you a low repeat business purchase of 30%.

‍If you want to be on top, it’s important to weigh your options for your eCommerce business. It’s clear to say that first-time BFCM customers are not as valuable as customers that come in during other parts of the year.

‍It’s essential you give special attention to these buyers and not ignore them. Nurturing these buyers assures repeat customers and therefore lower the Customer Acquisition Costs (CAC).

‍As the holiday is fast approaching, building strong relationships with consumers before the season can start is your ultimate weapon to maximizing BFCM sales and optimizing your margins and growing cost-effectively.

Complete your eCommerce marketing set up for a successful holiday season

To help you kick-start your BFCM success, we’ve come up with great tips based on our experience and collected some of the best resources and references to build an ultimate guide that creates long-lasting customer relationships and instantly brings value to your business.

These are the 9 Ultimate Tips to kick-start your success this BFCM season.

1. Create a Customized BFCM Sales Landing Page

Redirecting your prospective buyers from various sources such as social media, email, Google ads, SERPs directly to a specific Black Friday, and Cyber Monday landing page makes the promotion an all in a one-stop-shop for them to easily browse through your deals.

With a specific sales landing page, you can fully load up your offers and announcements, giving your buyers irresistible deals and a smooth user experience.

You can even leverage it even further by adding engaging elements such as videos and countdown timers or add limited quantities as creating scarcity is also a great way to increase sales and engagement.

Videos on a landing page have been found to increase conversion rates by 86%. While countdown timers instill urgency into the customer’s mind to act fast ultimately turning a dull sales page into an engaging, memorable, and time-efficient shopping place.

2. Develop Special BFCM Deals & Offers

Providing special offers to your prospective buyers for events such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday is a strategic move to bring in long term customer loyalty and future sales for your brand.

Special deals are a must in this type of situation. Give out offers, discounts, and prizes that are well calculated and don’t damage any of your profit margins.

A BOGO or Buy One Get One feature is a great addition to your eCommerce store. These types of deals attract more shoppers and bring in great conversions.

Other offers include percentage discount, value-based discount, multi-buy offers, and gifts are well within your budget to tempt your customers to join in and buy during these festivities.

3. Free Shipping Offers

Who doesn’t love FREE SHIPPING? These are 2 words buyers love to see when shopping through an online store. It’s a popular marketing method used to eliminate customers’ shipping charges for approved purchases.

As a competitive necessity, this tactic is super beneficial to your eCommerce business as it has shown multiple psychological benefits to customers and increases spending. Business-wise free shipping services offer multiple benefits. Among these benefits include increased sales and revenue, boosts in average order value, a greater extent of control in shipping costs, and strengthened customer retention.

There’s no denying that shoppers all over the world love free shipping, in fact, according to research by FedEx, “73% of online shoppers say that free shipping is what they want to see at checkouts.” While according to Marketing Land “9 out of 10 shoppers are motivated to shop online when free shipping is offered.” Several anecdotal reports even show that retailers who always offer free shipping directly increase revenue by 10 percent.

So how can you capitalize on free shipping offers?

To make sure you’re getting the best out of free shipping offers, do the math and run simple tests. You can start by running a basic A/B split test and determine how much free shipping can cost you.

You can also try ground shipping only offers if you’re looking for a cost-effective way of transporting items to customers. These types of shipments are usually forwarded through freight services such as FedEx and UPS which use smaller and larger trucks across the country to ship or deliver products.

It’s also beneficial to set a minimum order value and offer an affordable flat rate for all sales when offering free shipping services. By setting a minimum threshold you can raise your average order value as shoppers add to their carts to meet the threshold. It can also reduce the cost of shipping by lessening the number of orders as customers buy a lot in one go.

You can reduce your costs further by only providing a free shipping offer for specific items. This way you remove low margin goods, restrict free shipping to high volume items and remove heavy items that carry high shipping costs from your free shipping offers.

Find the right circumstances and you can truly capitalize on free shipping as an effective way of increasing your sales and revenue.

4. Product Bundles

Creating product bundles are always exciting for both merchants and buyers. As a merchant, making these bundles increase your total sale value while buyers experience a simple and instant buying process.

It’s always a great joy to save on your delivery expenses and elevate profits. By following bundle pricing strategies you can create bundles that are more profitable and increase sales.

5. Bring Out Your Personal Touch

Simplify your buyer’s sales journey by giving them a more personalized experience. According to Accenture.com, 91% of shoppers are more likely to buy from brands that recommend products based on the buyer’s choice and provide timely offers.

You can start by building one of my favourite email sequences that so few utilize, a strong “welcome series”. This is an opportunity to introduce new prospects to your business and start building a relationship with them. You can gather enough quality information about them and segment the data into various categories. Then, you can personalize the advertising or marketing messages based on your segmentation.

Ultimately, bringing in a personal touch to an eCommerce business makes the product-hunt easy for your buyers and thus increase conversions.

6. Strengthen Your BFCM Content

Developing a content strategy allows you to send your customers and prospects timely and relevant content that piques their interest. With this type of quality content being served up to them, they will likely be more open and engaged with your brand.

Social media is a bonus platform aside from email to engage your customers with your content. It’s an additional medium of advertising you can use to publish regular posts, keep the audience informed about new offers and features, and opens them up to engaging in festive marketing.

It’s also a great option to redesign your Facebook page specific to BFCM deals and offers and update Messenger chatbots. You should consider utilizing messenger chatbots as it builds personalized conversations, creates emphasis on your offers, landing page links, discounts, and other sales promotions.

You can also implement the power of popular hashtags and use them to gain more exposure.

7. BFCM Emails Campaign

Email marketing may be the oldest campaign tool around, but it’s absolutely the most efficient way to run any campaign, especially events like Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Email marketing allows you to create customized Black Friday & Cyber Monday specific email sequences and scheduling. It makes your call to action (CTA) button specific and catchy to get quick attention.

Not a lot of tools can target your audience with personalization and offers at the right time over the BFCM weekend the email does, so don’t take the cookie-cutter approach.

With email as a tool, you’ll be able to pay close attention to how your customers and prospects interact with your messaging. Using email also allows you to develop and evaluate a relationship with a customer or prospect.

So how can you evaluate customer relationships prior to the BFCM weekend using email? Look at the two most common relationship engagement signals, opening and clicking an email.

Studies have shown that getting a consumer to open an email from your brand prior to making a purchase during BFCM brings in sales during this time period. According to Klaviyo, 89% of 2018 BFCM purchases were made by customers who opened an email beforehand. This eye-opening data highly suggests a stronger connection between opening a message and making a purchase than any other time of the year.

At first glance, it may appear that it doesn’t matter when a customer opens or clicks an email as long as they open or click it. But building trust with consumers throughout the year pays dividends when it comes to BFCM sales.

According to a study done by Klaviyo, customers that first opened an email prior to Q4 and later made a purchase during BFCM had a 9% higher average order size than those that first opened and bought during BFCM in Q4, and a 16% higher average order size than BFCM shoppers who had never opened an email.

This is proof that using email to create a longer-standing relationship with your brand will lead to bigger purchases when BFCM seasons come along.

Utilize email segmentation as an easy way to make sure your customers open your emails. Make sure it’s measurable, actionable, and operates within the workflow you currently have for email.

By simply using email segmentation, this enables you to create and serve relevant content throughout the year. This directly impacts the value that your customers bring during BFCM. Considering customers who were first active with your brand in Q4 are more price-sensitive than others, you can offer them more aggressive deals throughout the year in an effort to build a lasting relationship with them.

8. Get Optimized for Mobile

People are buying more from mobile phones, and thus you need to check every aspect of your BFCM sales campaign that it is mobile optimized.

In today’s digital age, we can expect more buyers to purchase more from their mobile phones than any other device. It’s important you check every aspect of your BCFM sales campaign and make sure it is mobile-friendly. Optimize everything from your landing page, offers, emails, and other marketing efforts for mobile devices and bring in 52% more buyers during this BFCM season.

9. Develop a Post-Purchase Sequence.

Consider the BFCM as the beginning of a customer’s purchase journey. The end of the BFCM season is not the end of sales and customers’ needs, it’s the starting point. Staying connected with them during the normal day sales will create a post-purchase flow and motivate the buyer to leave great reviews for your product.

A post-purchase sequence allows you to initiate a relationship with the customer early on in their life and get them in the habit of engaging with communications from your brand.  

Nurturing them regularly with emails and using various types of email templates such as “Thank you” emails is a great foundation for taking your customer on a journey with your brand.

The time is now to develop relationships that are valuable to your eCommerce business. It may be tedious but putting the time and effort into cultivating existing connections and prospects has been proven to provide greater value than first purchase customers. With the strategies and tips we’ve presented you’ve got the ultimate tools in your hands in taking the right steps towards maximizing all the possible benefits from the BFCM season.

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