BFCM Readiness – Tips From Our Partners BFCM Readiness – Tips From Our Partners

BFCM Readiness – Tips From Our Partners

Digital Marketing, Ecommerce Platforms, Experience Design, Salesforce Commerce Cloud, Shopify Plus

BFCM (Black Friday Cyber Monday) this year runs between Nov. 26-29, 2021. First tip: start now!

According to Bizrate Insights, 40% of consumers said they plan to start their holiday shopping in October or before, and 28% more said they plan holiday shopping to start in early November.  More astoundingly, predictions show that online orders will account for $1 in every $4 spent on retail purchases during the 2021 holiday season. With supply chain issues expected for 2021, by starting holiday sales and gift shopping advertising now, your business can spread out sales to better manage your inventory this holiday season.

This time of year, our CQL partners are generating BFCM Holiday Guides on how to boost seasonal sales, based on trends from the past holiday season.  Check out the compilation of BFCM tips for a great 2021 Holiday season!


SHOPIFY PLUS – BFCM TIPS

Shopify Plus, a CQL platform partner, recommends the following BFCM Tips:

  1. Plan ahead & be prepared
  2. Let users know it’s going to happen
  3. Focus on email marketing
    Side note: it’s not all about promotions!  Considering bundling items for gift sets, offering free gifts, a bonus gift card for the buyer), or promoting shopping for cause (proceeds benefit a non-profit).
  4. Keep the UX Simple
  5. Conduct regular load testing
  6. Conduct user testing
  7. Don’t underestimate the impact on your servers
  8. Don’t blow everything straight away
  9. Communicate urgency and rarity (especially with supply chain shortages)
  10. Boost SEO
  11. Convey trust and security
  12. Don’t stress

BONUS: Check out Shopify’s Conversion Rate Calculator!

Want to know how your company’s conversion rate benchmarks against your industry?  Shopify’s Conversion Rate Calculator allows you to enter your country, annual gross merchandise volume (sales), and industry, and then calculates what the average conversion rate is for a business vertical.  Best yet, it shows you actionable recommendations on how to improve your conversion strategy and increase your conversion rate.

SALESFORCE – HOLIDAY GUIDE

Salesforce, a CQL platform partner, stated 58% of consumers expect to do more online shopping after the pandemic than before, and 88% expect companies to accelerate digital initiatives.  Here are the highlights from Salesforce’s holiday guide:

  1. Re-engage digital shoppers with strategic holiday messaging
    1. Grow Your Digital Audience And Build Loyalty With Customers
    2. Listen To Your Shoppers
    3. Build New Audience Segments
    4. Choose Your Channels Thoughtfully
    5. Update Your SEO Strategy
    6. Enhance Your Loyalty Strategy
    7. Reconsider Your Promotions
  2. Optimize and personalize your ecommerce site to win during peak season
    1. Prepare Your Site For The Surge In Traffic
    2. Re-Create Holiday Magic Quickly With Headless Commerce
    3. Promote Sustainability And Corporate Values
    4. Give Every Experience A Personal Touch
    5. Optimize The Performance Of Digital Channels
    6. Keep Self-Service Channels Up To Date
    7. Get Your Service Team Ready
  3. Meet shoppers where they are
    1. Get A Complete View Of Your Customer
    2. Bring Your Brand To Shoppers On Any Platform
    3. Enable Social Commerce
    4. Connect Commerce And Service
    5. Prioritize Mobile Programs
    6. Offer Service Across Digital Channels
    7. Turn Phone Calls Into Connected Service Experiences
  4. Digitize in-store customer engagement 
    1. Empower Shoppers To Book In-Store Appointments
    2. Give Customers Contactless Checkout And Return Options
    3. Enable Store Associates With The Right Tools And Training
  5. Provide creative and agile fulfillment options
    1. Collaborate With Traditional Fulfillment Partners
    2. Strategize Fulfillment Tactics
    3. Manage Supply And Demand
    4. Give Clear Direction When Customer Pickup Is An Option

SALSIFY – HOLIDAY ECOMMERCE STRATEGY GUIDE

Salsify, a CQL partner in Commerce Experience Management, created a Holiday Ecommerce Strategy Guide to help build better product content to drive holiday sales.  Salsify has found that when there are issues with product content, 79% of consumers will not make a purchase.  Salsify recommends 5 Steps to unify and optimize product information for BFCM:

  1. Leverage The Power Of User-Generated Content (UCG)
  2. Add Reviews To Your Product Pages
  3. Provide Engaging Experiences With Enhanced Content
  4. Give Your Product Pages Some Holiday Charm
  5. Optimize Product Pages For Holiday Search Terms

KLAVIYO – HOLIDAY SMS GUIDE

Klaviyo, a CQL partner in Email and SMS Marketing & Automation (we’re a client, too!), recommends using SMS in addition to emails for holiday marketing. While email continues to be the most effective digital marketing channel, according to Omnisend, omnichannel experiences lead to 90% higher customer retention and 250% higher engagement and purchase rates when marketers use 3+ channels.  

Amazing results, right? I can attest that after getting an email, seeing an ad on social media, and even getting a catalog, I’m not quite ready to buy.  But that SMS on my Apple Watch entices me to shop!

To add SMS into your holiday marketing, Klaviyo recommends the following:

  1. Growing your SMS List 
  2. Creating a dedicated SMS welcome series
  3. Creating a VIP sneak peek for your customer
  4. Create a business text campaign to let customers know about time-sensitive announcements like a flash sale or pre-sale access
  5. Create an abandoned cart flow

BONUS: Klaviyo features courses in BFCM preparedness.  Check out this 30 minute BFCM Preparation Course.

GORGIAS – 11 TIPS TO GET CUSTOMER SUPPORT READY FOR BFCM

Gorgias, a CQL partner in Customer Help Desks, recommends 11 Tips to get Customer Support Ready for BFCM:

  1. Create a Concrete Plan to Establish a Solid Process
  2. Set Customer Expectations by Letting Them Know About Your Availability
  3. Review Your Return Policy
  4. Get Extra Hands By Outsourcing Your Support
  5. Prepare Your Team and New Hires to Move Quickly
  6. Adopt a Helpdesk to Empower Your Support Team During Holiday Customer Service
  7. Leverage Support Automation to Work for You
  8. Add Self-service Options
  9. Get the Workflow Ready
  10. Be One Step Ahead of Your Customer and Make Shopping With You Fun
  11. Take Care of Your Customer Support Team to Boost Their Morale

BONUS: Like Shopify, Gorgias also features a benchmark tool, to see how your customer service stands up against the competition: https://www.gorgias.com/benchmark-customer-service

YOTPO – BFCM MARKETING STRATEGY GUIDE

Yotpo, a CQL partner in Loyalty & Customer Reviews, created a BFCM Marketing Strategy Guide, focused on the top 10 strategies to drive sales:

  1. Create a sense of urgency and incentivize immediate action
  2. Build a loyalty program now to earn long-term retention post-holiday
  3. Capitalize on shifting in-store experiences
  4. Get creative on social media (and increase your ad budget)
  5. Use AI to drive discovery commerce
  6. Optimize your site in advance for search result shoppers
  7. Maximize the value of subscription customers
  8. Optimize your messaging strategy to respond to real-time behavior
  9. Try new personalization tactics, and vary them across channels
  10. Use visual content to increase awareness early

SEARCHSPRING – LEVEL UP YOUR BFCM ECOMMERCE STRATEGY

Searchspring, a CQL Search Parter, compiled an eBook: “Level up Your Black Friday & Cyber Monday ecommerce strategy”.  The BFCM strategies are grouped into 3 Groups: The Searcher, The Browser, and The Bargain Hunter, with search recommendations for each shopper persona.

  1. Start with insights from Black Fridays past
  2. Turn your data into landing page magic
  3. Ensure there’s no such thing as no results
  4. Read your customers’ minds with autocomplete
  5. Content search = contented shoppers
  6. Focus your facets on the Black Friday shopper
  7. Repurpose your product finders
  8. Ask the right questions, show the right products
  9. Captivate shoppers from the homepage
  10. Merchandise category and product listing pages
  11. Accentuate product detail pages with recommendations
  12. Curate landing pages for flash sales and promotions

As Shopify best stated, “Don’t stress.” Reading some of these holiday articles can make you feel unprepared and short on investments in the right marketing areas.  Follow your holiday plan, optimize where you can, and take time post-holiday to learn about your shopper behavior and what strategies and channels were most effective.  Each year provides lessons learned and unveils new opportunities ahead.  Happy BFCM Prepping!

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