The holiday season encompasses the next three months in the form of Halloween by the end of next month to Christmas and New Year by the end of the year. But the most important or ‘peak’ holiday season lies between the two (in November this time) in the form of Black Friday and Cyber Monday (BFCM).
Since we’ll be talking extensively about these days in this article, we’ll use the acronym BFCM hereafter.
This article is not only for e-commerce experts but also for the e-commerce novice. So bear with us as we go through the details.
What is BFCM and Why is it so Special?
Thanksgiving is no longer a single-day event in the festive season. It is the start of a 5-day event dubbed Cyber Week or Cyber Five. The event consists of Thanksgiving followed by Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Super Sunday, and Cyber Monday. Black Friday and Cyber Monday are the Friday and Monday following Thanksgiving.
Not just Cyber week, Thanksgiving also marks the official commencement of the holiday season itself. Talking about BFCM, the trend started when customers, who wanted to get their shopping done ASAP to prevent their favorite products from going out of stock, began shopping for Christmas right at the end of Thanksgiving.
There’s usually high demand for items such as toys, home furnishings, mattresses, and apparel on Black Friday. At the same time, Cyber Monday is known for low prices on tech-related merchandise, like smartphones, laptops, TVs, gaming consoles, and VR devices.
With the growth of e-commerce, changing trends, and customers’ increasing shopping needs, BFCM 2022, just like the last couple of years, has become more than just a couple of days by starting weeks before and extending weeks after.
Therefore, the best opportunity to bring in more customers to your store, positively impact them, and ultimately increase profit margins is now.
Here are some tips and tricks for you to make the best out of BFCM 2022.
BFCM 2022: Insights for E-commerce Businesses
1. Set definitive BFCM KPIs
With less than 100 days to go for BFCM 2022, this is your time to finalize your drawing board plans and work on definitive KPIs that can set you up for success. Having a fixed set of goals helps you stay on track and provides room for improvements. For starters, you can include KPIs such as increasing conversion rate, net profit, website/ app traffic, reducing bounce rates, etc.
2. Make effective use of email and SMS
Assort your campaigns as pre-BFCM, BFCM, and post-BFCM to meaningfully engage with your customers and bring in more holiday sales. Let your customers know of your BFCM offers, follow up with campaigns tweaked based on segments, and end it with elements that add a sense of urgency for those who have abandoned their carts.
3. Personalize your marketing efforts
In today’s competitive e-commerce space, the key to differentiating yourself and streamlining customer experiences is personalization. Take time to understand your customers’ needs and direct your marketing efforts toward them. Personalizing can be as small as addressing customers with their names in your campaigns to sending them personalized recommendations based on their recent purchases.
4. Send out offers and promotions
Offers are a great way to attract your customers as they are something that no one can refuse. However, they aren’t just for new customers. From time to time, you can also direct your promotional efforts towards existing customers from time to time, as they tend to spend more with you than new ones. Here are some ideas for your offers and promotions:
- Free shipping and returns
- Exclusive early launch for special customers
- Buy 1 Get 1 on products that go well together
- Flat 25% on purchases above $150, etc.
5. Share holiday gift ideas
Apart from paid promotions, there are other promotional ideas to bring in sales for your store this BFCM. For example, share gift ideas for customers looking to buy products for their loved ones. To make the best use of your gift ideas, you can create a landing page with specific gift guides for different customer demographics like gift baskets, toy collections, etc.
6. Create visually appealing product pages
Your prospects’ email and SMS inboxes can get crowded during the BFCM with deals from many businesses they follow. In such scenarios, your product pages are your best chance to attract and convert them into a customer. Make your product pages a treat to the eyes — Include colors that go well together, images and videos, a clear Call-to-Action (CTA), enough white space, etc.
7. Include clear product descriptions
Once you’ve caught your customers’ attention, the next step is to ensure they stay long enough to purchase your product. That’s where your content can come in handy. Optimize your product pages with accurate product descriptions, sizing charts, SKUs, etc. This can help them make informed shipping decisions and help you reduce unwanted returns.
8. Add User-Generated Content
Add User-Generated Content (UGCs) to your product pages in the form of product reviews from customers and ‘how to use’ guides. A single customer review can act as a better influencer of your prospects’ purchasing decisions than paragraphs of content from your end. That’s not all! Apart from increasing your brand credibility, UGCs can also considerably reduce your marketing costs.
9. Simplify your checkout process
About 70% of carts get abandoned at the checkout stage. All because of one main reason — It was too complicated. After everything you’ve done, you don’t want your customers to drop the purchasing idea at the very final stage. Ergo, follow these pointers to optimize your checkout process and make it simple:
- Make checkout easy for customers by enabling the guest checkout option, displaying product availability, summary, etc.
- Improve checkout design with proper usage of CTA (Call-To-Action) buttons.
10. Enable multiple and secure payment options
Integrate with multiple payment gateways such as Amazon Pay, Apple Pay, PayPal, etc, and enable your customers to pay via their preferred method instead of forcing them to choose from limited options. This works great when it comes to satisfying your customers’ checkout needs. Also, display trust badges and certifications during payment to increase their trust.
11.Optimize your UI/UX
Did you know that nearly 90% of online shoppers will never return to a website after a bad user experience? Therefore, optimize your e-commerce store’s UI/UX (User Interface and Experience) to ensure that your customers easily find what they’re looking for. One of the best ways to do that is to create a responsive template that automatically adapts to the visitor’s device — mobile, PC, laptop, etc.
12. Keep your inventory in check
Holidays like BFCM usually come with a huge inventory problem. Either your products grow high in demand and frustrate your customers by getting “out-of-stock” or fall in demand and cost your business heavily by getting overstocked. To avoid such scenarios, frequently manage your inventories and gain the ability to predict the items that would surge in demand.
13. Have a multi-channel approach to selling
Reach your customers where they spend most of their time. Sell your products on multiple channels such as marketplaces and social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram apart from your e-commerce store. Multi-channel selling helps you maximize sales by opening doors to new markets and greatly improves brand recognition.
14. Add a live chat feature
Support queries and issues can be too much during times like the BFCM. In such cases, look to enable a live chat option all round the clock for distressed customers who want their issues resolved instantly. This is a much better way to improve your customer satisfaction metrics than asking them to send an email to your support team and wait for a response.
15. Include a FAQ section
The lack of appropriate information may look trivial. But it can frustrate your customer and lead to a loss of sales and loyal customers. Include a FAQ section on your e-commerce website that contains all the relevant questions about the product, shipping, payments, etc. FAQs can also help you in the post-purchase phase by reducing customer support queries and unwanted returns.
16. Embrace sustainability practices
Over 80% of customers feel sustainability is important when shopping online. For this BFCM, take the opportunity to introduce eco-friendly measures primarily in your packaging by using biodegradable ingredients. You can also do the same by partnering with carriers who strive to reduce their carbon footprint. Keep in mind that in the current scenario where people look forward to shopping with environmentally conscious businesses, sustainability can be an opportunity to build your brand and drive sales.
17. Get creative with packaging
Much like eco-friendly materials, you can use holiday-themed packaging items such as stickers, gift tags, handwritten notes, etc to make the unboxing experience special. Creative packaging techniques also help you improve brand recognition and display your brand’s commitment to staying relevant for the holiday season.
18. Inform shipping deadlines in advance
Delays are almost inevitable and common during BFCM when shipping volumes are too much for carriers to handle. But you can ensure that they are no longer a problem for your business. Keep your customers updated on holiday shipping deadlines and increasing parcel traffic to warn them about and prevent possible delays.
19. Proactively resolve potential delivery issues
The best way to resolve issues is to deal with them before your customers become aware of such issues. With the help of modern support-friendly technologies, you can empower your support team to proactively resolve issues and take preemptive action before discrepancies impact your customers.
20. Send regular order status notifications
Reduce your customers’ anxiety in the post-purchase phase by sending post-purchase transactional Emails, SMS, and WhatsApp notifications to keep them in the loop of their orders throughout the delivery lifecycle.
21. Push the boundaries of order tracking
Apart from enabling your customers to just track their orders, it is time for you to delight them and double your chances of driving repeat sales. You can do the same by providing on-brand order delivery experiences via shipping notifications and tracking pages by following these steps:
- Include brand elements such as fonts, color schemes, design templates, etc (that align with the rest of your website and holiday theme).
- Cross-sell your products via personalized promotions and recommendations that go well together as holiday combos and intrigue your customers.
22. Prepare to handle increased returns
With high order volume during BFCM, you can also expect the returns volume to go higher than usual. To effectively handle them without causing them to become a nightmare and a cost-center for your business, you need to make sure your returns strategy is easy to process for the customer while not compromising on revenue. Here’s how you can do it:
- Have a holiday-specific return policy.
- Make it easy for customers to initiate returns.
- Incentivize customers to opt for exchanges and store credits over refunds.
- Automate your returns management process to drastically reduce time spent per return request.
Well, that’s it from us. It is now your turn.
Follow these steps to stay a step ahead of your competitors and work your level best to maximize your BFCM sales and enjoy holiday season success.
Here’s a small downloadable checklist to stay on track with all the things on your to-do list for BFCM this year. Feel we’ve missed out on something? Let us know in the comments so that we’ll include it as well.
The post BFCM 2022: 22 E-commerce Insights to Maximize Sales appeared first on Lateshipment.com Blog.View Original Article