The holiday shopping frenzy is just around the corner, and to make the most of it, you need a solid plan. Whether you’re a seasoned retailer or just starting out, we’ve got you covered with seven power-packed pre-BFCM activities that will set the stage for an incredible sales season.
From fine-tuning your website to building excitement among your audience, we’ve gathered essential strategies to ensure you’re primed for success. Don’t miss out on these game-changing tactics that can transform your holiday sales – let’s dive in!
Table of Contents
- First, let’s understand what BFCM is
- Trends & Predictions for 2023 BFCM
- The 6 pre-BFCM tactics to maximize your holiday sales
- And how about during BFCM, what should you do?
First, let’s understand what BFCM is
BFCM stands for Black Friday and Cyber Monday, which are big shopping events that happen around the end of November. It’s a super important time for your online store because lots of people are looking for deals and discounts on products.
During BFCM, you’ll want to offer special promotions and sales to attract customers and boost your sales. It’s like a shopping frenzy, both in physical stores and online, so be ready to handle a rush of orders and make sure your website can handle the extra traffic.
Trends & Predictions for 2023 BFCM
Marketing activities are starting sooner than ever
In 2023, businesses are launching their marketing efforts earlier than ever before. This shift is driven by increased competition within the eCommerce sector and consumers’ growing inclination to compare prices to secure the best deals.
To stay competitive, many online businesses are starting to plan and execute their BFCM marketing campaigns well in advance. This involves determining discount strategies, creating social media content, and scheduling email and SMS notifications.
Moreover, businesses are increasingly engaging with customers and teasing their BFCM offers four to six weeks before the event, sometimes even earlier. This trend also extends to search engine optimization (SEO) efforts, which begin in the summer to ensure that optimized pages rank higher in search results.
Buy Now, Pay Later on the rise
In 2023, we expect to see a notable trend: an increasing number of shoppers will turn to “buy now, pay later” financing options to complete last-minute holiday purchases. This surge is projected to peak at a record high of 9% of orders during the week leading up to Christmas.
This represents a significant uptick from 2022, when such transactions accounted for 7% of all online orders. However, it’s important to note that this trend may indicate underlying economic challenges.
Total household debt in the United States hit a record high of $17 trillion in the first quarter of 2023, marking a 0.9% increase from the previous quarter and a $2.9 trillion rise since the end of 2019, before the pandemic recession.
Customers expect a simple return procedure
While the holidays attract new customers and nurture existing ones, focusing on post-purchase experiences is crucial. Notably, many customers now expect easy returns. Last year, around 10% to 16% of U.S. ecommerce orders were returned each week from November to mid-January.
Surprisingly, this is a chance to show genuine customer care. Research by FedEx reveals that 98% of shoppers would reorder from a brand with fast and convenient returns, with 56% even willing to pay for seamless returns.
To build loyalty, consider extending return windows and improving return processes, striking a balance between the purchase and return experience.
Now that you know all the trends, let’s find out what you can do to prepare for BFCM!
The 6 pre-BFCM tactics to maximize your holiday sales
Decorate Your Online Appearance
When your website sports a festive design, jolly holiday banners, and seasonal product images, it creates a warm and inviting atmosphere that gets shoppers in the holiday spirit. This makes them more likely to stay longer, explore your offerings, and ultimately, make those impulse buys.
Plus, a well-decorated online appearance can boost trust and confidence in your brand, reassuring customers that you’re ready to provide excellent service during the busiest shopping season.
Here’re 3 ways you can elevate your store to a new height for holiday season:
Revamp your branding with Black Friday flair
Your logo is like your store’s face, so adding holiday elements like sale tags, shopping bags, or discount banners can instantly create a cheerful holiday vibe. Update your product images with images of eager shoppers, shopping carts, and irresistible deals. And also change your social media appearance to suit the holiday atmosphere.
By doing this, you’ll instantly capture the attention of shoppers looking for the best Black Friday bargains.
Use Black Friday colors to grab attention
Colors play a crucial role in influencing buyer behavior. For Black Friday, consider using specific colors to draw attention and convey the message of savings. Red, for instance, is a color associated with urgency and excitement, making it perfect for highlighting your Black Friday deals. Combine it with black for a classic Black Friday look.
Utilize these colors in banners, buttons, and text throughout your store to create a sense of anticipation and encourage customers to take advantage of your offers.
Utilize Black Friday graphics
Make your store a welcoming destination for Black Friday shoppers. Use themed graphics and greetings to set the mood. Customize your store’s welcome message to wish visitors a Happy Black Friday and convey the sense of excitement and anticipation. This simple gesture can make visitors feel like they’re in the right place to score amazing deals.
Reinforce Your Customer Support
The holiday season brings a surge in shoppers seeking the best deals and gifts. And customers expect seamless, fast, and helpful service when they’re making important purchasing decisions, which is why reinforcing your customer support is especially vital during the competitive holiday season. If you really care about your customer satisfaction, here’re 3 activities to elevate your holiday customer support:
Enhance your team’s capacity
The holiday season often brings a significant increase in customer inquiries and support requests. To handle this surge efficiently, consider cross-training your employees from different departments to assist with customer service.
This approach ensures that everyone in your organization is equipped to provide basic customer support, reducing the burden on your dedicated customer service team.
It’s essential to provide thorough training on your products, services, and customer care processes to maintain a high level of service quality.
Utilize customer self-service
Once you have the resources and tools in place to manage customer service effectively, it’s essential to focus on enhancing the quality of service within your store. Customer self-service plays a vital role in providing a satisfying shopping experience. To achieve this:
- Create a comprehensive FAQ page with clear and concise answers to common questions. Organize it by categories and issues to help customers find information quickly.
- Integrate a helpful chatbot to handle basic queries and guide customers through the buying process. This frees up your support team to address more complex issues and ensures a smoother shopping experience.
Leverage digital customer service tools
To effectively manage the influx of customer queries during the holiday season, you can opt for digital customer service tools solutions. These tools, such as chatbots and email marketing platforms, can help handle common customer inquiries and tasks.
The advantage of using these digital tools is that you retain control over the system, ensuring a seamless customer experience. Chatbots, for instance, can assist with frequently asked questions, freeing up your support team to focus on more complex issues and providing a faster response to customers.
Set up Automation Email
You see, setting up these automated emails is a smart move because they can send personalized messages, like special discounts and product recommendations, to your customers without you lifting a finger. For the best result, you should create at least 3 automation flow:
These emails serve as a warm introduction to your brand for new customers. In these emails, you can educate them about your products and highlight the unique value you offer.
Additionally, showcase positive customer reviews to build trust and confidence. Welcome emails set the stage for a positive shopping experience during the holiday season, and they help new customers feel more comfortable making purchases from your store.
In the busy holiday shopping season, it’s common for customers to get distracted or reconsider their choices. Your first abandoned cart email can act as a friendly reminder without offering a discount.
However, if customers still hesitate, the second or final reminder can include a tempting holiday discount or incentive to encourage them to finalize their purchase. These emails aim to recover potentially lost sales and maximize your revenue during Black Friday.
After Black Friday, it’s essential to maintain engagement with customers who made purchases during the event. Winback emails are designed to rekindle their interest and encourage them to return for more shopping. Remind them of the fantastic products they’ve previously purchased and the benefits of your brand.
Consider offering exclusive post-Black Friday deals or incentives to entice them back to your store. By nurturing these existing customer relationships, you can maximize the value of Black Friday beyond the event itself, fostering repeat business and long-term customer loyalty.
Build up Anticipation on Social Media
You see, when you build up anticipation by posting teasers, sneak peeks, and holiday countdowns on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, you’re basically giving your audience a reason to stay tuned and engaged. This not only keeps your brand on their radar but also piques their curiosity.
To maximize that anticipation energy, here are three pre-BFCM contents you can use:
Teasers and sneak peeks
Share enticing visuals and brief video clips that offer glimpses of the deals and products you’ll feature on Black Friday. Highlight a few exciting offers and products with captivating captions to leave your audience wanting more. Teasers and sneak peeks create intrigue and excitement, encouraging your followers to stay engaged and eagerly anticipate the sale.
Sharing memes and engaging content
Create and share engaging memes, GIFs, or humorous content related to Black Friday and your upcoming deals. Memes have the potential to go viral, expanding your reach and attracting a wider audience. Use humor and relatability to connect with your audience, fostering anticipation and excitement for your Black Friday promotion.
Giveaways and contests
Host giveaways and contests leading up to Black Friday. Promote these events on your social media platforms, encouraging participation through likes, shares, comments, or tagging friends. Offer enticing prizes related to your Black Friday deals to create excitement and buzz. Giveaways and contests not only build anticipation but also expand your social media reach, attracting new potential customers.
Prepare an Appealing Products Promotion Strategy
Shoppers love sales, and BFCM offers them the thrill of getting great deals. These sales give your customers that exciting feeling of getting a great bargain during the festive season. Here are 5 types of product promotion that proven to yield the best result during BFCM:
BOGO: BOGO, or Buy One, Get One, is a powerful BFCM promotion strategy. It offers customers a free or discounted item when they purchase another at full price, enticing them to buy more and boosting your holiday sales.
Product Bundle: Product bundles group related items together at a discounted price. This simplifies the decision-making process for customers and increases the average order value, making it an effective BFCM promotion tactic.
Buy More, Save More: This approach offers increasing discounts based on the quantity of items purchased, motivating customers to buy more and helping you clear inventory.
Limited-Time Offers: Creating urgency is key during BFCM. Limited-time offers, like flash sales and hourly deals, drive immediate action from shoppers and add excitement to your event.
Exclusive Early Access: Reward loyal customers with early access to BFCM deals. This fosters customer appreciation and builds anticipation, ultimately leading to increased sales when the deals become available to everyone.
By strategically setting up tiers for discounts, you’re not only encouraging shoppers to buy more, but you’re also increasing your average order value (AOV), which means more revenue in your pocket.
It’s crucial, however, to strike the right balance between discounts and profit to ensure a successful BFCM campaign.
Create an Affiliate Program
When you partner with affiliates, they promote your stuff to their own audience, and you only pay them a cut when a sale happens – it’s like having extra elves in your workshop without the upfront costs. This means more people find out about your amazing holiday deals, and it can bring in loads of new customers.
Plus, affiliates are often experts in their niches, so their recommendations carry trust. It’s a win-win – you get more sales, and your affiliates get a piece of the holiday pie.
And how about during BFCM, what should you do?
All the hard work of optimizing, building your email list, and preparing your e-commerce store has led up to this crucial Black Friday and Cyber Monday (BFCM) moment. However, the job isn’t done just yet. Even as the BFCM event kicks into high gear, there’s still plenty of during-BFCM work to be done to ensure a smooth operation.
This includes vigilant monitoring of your website’s performance, managing inventory to avoid stockouts or overstock situations, addressing customer inquiries promptly,… So, while you’ve laid the groundwork, be prepared to stay active and adaptable throughout BFCM to make the most of this prime sales opportunity.