With online shopping becoming increasingly popular every year, more and more people choose to shop online from the comfort of their homes. Black Friday Cyber Monday (BFCM) is an excellent opportunity for merchants and small businesses to make a significant profit. Being fully prepared for the year's biggest shopping event can maximize the results of the sale and help you drive ongoing traffic.
Here are our top 5 tips for you to make the most out of this year's BFCM and transform your business:
1. Start Early
If you want to ensure exceptional results this year, you have to start planning your BFCM strategy early to make sure you are fully prepared. We recommend you start at least two months in advance to outline your marketing and sales strategy.
A lot can go wrong during BFCM, which is why you need to have contingency plans already in place for situations such as low inventory due to high demand, unresponsive website, or shipping delays. Having a solid backup plan will help you stay on top of your game even if any issues occur.
2. Optimize Your Website
Your website is the final barrier to an online purchase. Even if you run ads seamlessly or have the best email marketing strategy, if your website doesn't convert visitors to customers then your sales funnel is clogged at the most important point.
If you have the resources, we recommend you get in touch with a professional for a thorough website audit to discover areas that require improvement for a more pleasant customer experience.
If you are running the show on your own, use the checklist below to make sure your website is ready for the biggest sales event of the year:
- Your contact information is visible on all pages, and customers can easily get in touch with you without having to browse too much.
- The checkout process is smooth, and there are no unnecessary forms or boxes to be filled out.
- All product pages have at two to six high-quality images followed by a clear product description that gives customers a strong understanding of your product.
- Your shipping and return policies are stated on your website.
Include a highlight of the shipping and return policy on every product page. i.e. Free shipping on orders over $50 and 30-day money back guarantee on all orders.)
- Create and highlight a collection of products on sale or your most popular items and make the decision-making process easier for customers.
Your website might seem like the most user-friendly online store ever to you. However, try asking some first-time users to go through your website and carefully monitor their experience. You might be surprised by the results.
3. Leverage Email Marketing
A solid email marketing strategy can transform your business and significantly boost customer retention. If you are new to email marketing, start by creating segments and lists and customize your emails for your audience.
Start your BFCM promotional emails at least one month in advance and provide your loyal customer with early access to show appreciation for their support.
Setting up email automation will make your life much easier and your customers happier. Just be careful not to bombard them with emails. No one likes that! Spamming your audience will have a negative effect and increase the bounce rate.
Here are the most important email flows you must set up before BFCM:
- Abandoned cart
- Abandoned browser
- Thank you email
- Updates (shipping notice, tracking, instructions, etc.)
- Asking For Reviews
- Re-engaging and repeat purchase
4. Invest in a CRM
As a small business, how you manage customers and your relationship with them has a significant impact on your customer retention. Make sure you have protocols in place to facilitate communicating with customers (i.e. commonly asked questions, your approach to responding to enquiries, etc.).
During this time, you must stay on top of your messages, emails, calls, and all other enquiries. If you are receiving a high volume of emails, set up an automatic response to emails you receive and tell customers when they can expect to hear back from you. Don't ghost your customers!
Provide customers with helpful links such as your return policy page and order tracking page in your automated response.
5. Shipping & Handling
Once your customers place their order, it is your turn to deliver your products as soon as possible. Since BFCM is one of the busiest times of the year for shipping companies, you need to have a precise plan outlining how you are going to handle shipping.
Here's a list of questions you can review to ensure your shipping plan is reliable and you are able to deliver your customers what you have promised:
- Which postal operator are you going to work with?
- How long is the delivery time?
- Will you offer express delivery to customers? If yes, does your chosen courier offer express delivery?
- Are you going to provide customers with tracking?
- Does your chosen company provide exceptional support that you can rely on?
- What is your backup plan in case orders get lost or arrive damaged?
You can add to this list as you develop your BFCM plan.
While packing orders, you can categorize orders based on criteria such as order value, delivery method, items purchased, or order time for an easier packaging and shipping process.
During BFCM, every postal operator is bombarded with orders and tons of unsatisfied customers who haven't received their orders as promised. While you can't do anything to solve the busy delivery network, the next best thing is to clearly explain to your customers what kinds of delays should be expected.
Don't forget to activated automated flows to send customers frequent updates on their orders. Even if the packing or shipping process takes longer than anticipated, send them an apology email to communicate how your business is handling the high volume of orders.
Keep in mind, although being as prepared as possible is crucial, there will be unforeseen situations that you probably never anticipated. We highly recommend you take note of what went well during BFCM and what went wrong. Then, reflect on your notes and outline possible solutions for the upcoming years. We also have a free Black Friday Cyber Monday canvas that will walk you through each step of yout BFCM planning and preparation.
Need some extra help? Feel free to get in touch.