Black Friday and Cyber Monday are two days out of the year where merchants should pull out all the stops to make as much money as possible. In order to get the best out of your advertising dollars and client purchasing power, merchants should focus on their marketing strategy from now. While you may think it’s too early in the year to even think about Black Friday/Cyber Monday (BFCM) campaigns, think again. What are we doing to encourage our customers to purchase from your store? Other questions to follow are, what does your marketing plan look like? And how are you putting your store in the best possible position to reap the benefits of BFCM?
As a merchant, you’re looking to increase your sales and generate a high profit. But what practices are you leveraging to take advantage of the heavy web traction during the span of these super-charged shopping days? We’ve compiled a few techniques below that you can use to prep leading up to the BFCM event for your website upkeep, email marketing, and campaign ad schedule.
1. Make sure your website is conversion ready
Some businesses feel an entire facelift is needed on their website to celebrate the Black Friday/Cyber Monday event. While a whole overhaul may not be needed, it could be. On the other hand, you may need the slightest of changes or none at all. Let’s look at your options.
Changing Your Shopify Theme
Thankfully on Shopify, the content and style parameters for your website are separate. Therefore, making changes to your site will not seem as daunting a task as it seems.
How long have you had the theme?
Take into consideration how long you’ve had your website theme template for. Is it up-to-date? How have you been maintaining it? Over time, all Shopify themes require an update to ensure all modern technical features and glitches are addressed. Some themes will slowly start to decline. Items like the “buy now” buttons may go missing or other bugs will start to take place. If your website theme design has been around since inception, then it may be time for an update.
You should also be aware of just how much work it will entail to revamp the site. However, if the change involves a few simple tasks at hand, overall, you want to make sure your changes can be implemented well without any glitches to be worried about once the big event comes through.
Stay on top of your website changes
Is your website slow to load? Is your web store optimized for conversions? If your conversion rate is below 2%, there’s likely a lot of improvements that can be made. These are issues you want to fix ahead of the big rush. Whether your changes are big or small, make sure to keep track of them. Note the date when any changes occurred. This will make it easier to have a before and after to compare to and to track back if any issues arise along the way.
2. Retention and email marketing techniques for your website
Before your ads come into play, your goals are to keep customers returning to your site over time with an email marketing strategy because it’s far less expensive to retain your current loyal fans versus finding new ones. Here are a few ways to retain and grow your customer lifetime value (CLV).
Do you have an engaging email marketing strategy?
Most of the customers you’re engaging with will be from a warm audience, basically, customers who have interacted with you previously in some way. They’ve either purchased from you, subscribed to your newsletter or visited your website. Take the time from now to BFCM to educate your audience about your store and products by using a strategized email marketing schedule.
A few options that you can implement include Buy One, Get One (BOGO), winback automations, flash sales, and exit intent pop-ups (to get new subscribers). These choices can give merchants the opportunity for customers to return to the website or double up on their order when shopping during BFCM.
Additionally, stay ahead of your competitors and give your customers the opportunity to opt into an early bird BFCM page. The closer you get to BFCM, the more you will be vying for your competitors for real estate in your target audiences’ inbox. The earlier customers learn about what you have to offer, the better. And the idea of being the first in the know always stands alone as a bonus.
3. How to convert visitors into buyers in your store
When put into place, these actions help you develop an ongoing relationship with potential customers. You are looking for active ways to get customers to your site over time, so when BFCM arrives, they are ready to spend their dollars with you.
Targeting ads on various social media platforms to increase reach and remarketing
Creating ads for Facebook, Instagram, and Google
The layered, yet engaging world of social media and Google’s Display Network can help you place your products in front of trend seekers and millions of potential customers. Cross-targeting promos allow you to create store and product awareness while reaching new potential clients. For example, over the years, Instagram has made it easier for businesses to set up an in-app shopping experience. Most recently, the addition of Instagram Checkout allows for brands to give customers the ability to check out directly within the app (presently only available in the U.S.). Google has invested in Discovery Campaigns giving brands low-cost options to get in front of a very targeted new audience based on a user's past browser and search patterns. Both of these options can facilitate the transition of follower to loyal customer in the blink of an eye for BFCM.
Ads for each stage of the funnel
Plant your seeds early! Refocus on your Black Friday and Cyber Monday ads and review them in advance. Ensure that you have top, middle, and bottom of funnel ad coverage and that overall, you’re comfortable with your funnel. Neglecting any of these funnel areas can lead to lost opportunities.
Taking the initiative now to put some of these marketing techniques in play, can up the stakes for a very bountiful Black Friday and Cyber Monday run.