Black Friday and Cyber Monday are fast approaching! As we get closer to the big weekend itself, retailers and merchants start to look at what more they can do to set themselves apart. One of the biggest ways you can stand out from the competition? It’s not deeper discounts, but how great your customer experience is.
Let’s look at 5 ways you can enhance your customer experience quickly and easily ahead of BFCM.
#1 - Make it easy to find your BFCM promotions
Picture this - it’s Black Friday, and you’ve found a great brand with even greater deals advertised on their social media. You go to their website, and you click on a product you’re interested in…only to discover that it isn’t included in their Black Friday promotion. You try a different product, once again it isn’t included. Frustrating, right?
You want to make it as easy and fast as possible for your customers to find and purchase products over Black Friday weekend. The quicker they find the deals, the quicker they’ll get through checkout.
Clearly highlight on your site in the run-up to and over BFCM where to find your deals, and what’s included:
- Change up your homepage over the weekend to highlight where customers can find deals.
- Have a Black Friday collection on a landing page populated with products included and any BFCM exclusives.
- Add a sitewide banner that links to Black Friday deals that can follow customers throughout your site as they browse.
#2 - Offer something exclusive to your most loyal customers
As much as Black Friday is an opportunity for acquisition, it’s also equally as valuable for retention. This is your chance to show your existing customers that you value their continued support, and receive some higher value orders in return. Returning customers typically spend 31% more than new customers, and they’ll already be more interested in your products.
So, make the most of this audience, and offer them something unique and exclusive in the run up to Black Friday weekend. That might be…
- Scaling incentives based on AOV, LTV, or status in your loyalty program (e.g. if they’ve spent $10 to $100 they get a $5 gift card for Black Friday, $10 if they’ve spent $100-200 and so on).
- Early access to sales, or exclusive deals only available to returning customers.
- Free or discounted shipping over BFCM, on top of any regular promotions being run that weekend.
- Free products or product upgrades e.g. if you sell bags of coffee in 250g and 500g, they’ll get 500g when they pay for 250g.
This will encourage returning customers to place an order, and make them feel appreciated at the same time. It will also show them that ongoing loyalty has its benefits, making them more likely to place regular orders to continue receiving these perks over time.
#3 - Create bundles and collections
Many customers will either be new to your store, or be looking to purchase gifts over BFCM. This is itself an opportunity to increase your AOV, as well add value for your customers.
For example, if you sell art and craft supplies you could have collections on a landing page for different hobbies e.g. “Black Friday Deals - Crochet & Needlework”. These collections make it even easier for customers to see what’s on offer, and grab complementary items they may not otherwise have thought to buy.
Bundles are another great way to add value and boost order value. Make these bundles exclusive to Black Friday to encourage customers to purchase in bulk, rather than one-off items. To use the same example as before, perhaps you have a “Watercolor beginners beginner” or a “Model making bundle” that have all the items someone would need to get started on a new project. These are not only great for potential customers purchasing for themselves, but make excellent gifting options.
#4 - Do more than just discounts
When we think of Black Friday, many think about discounts. It’s one of the most popular strategies for BFCM, as it’s easy and typically popular with customers. However, there are some pitfalls once the dust has settled. By setting a discount, you devalue your products to all those new customers who may begrudge paying full price in future. That is, if they ever come back as discounting also encourages one-off orders from less engaged customers. Selling all your products at a discount can be discouraging to holiday shoppers who may feel they’ve missed out.
So it’s worth considering some alternatives to discounting:
Gift cards - Rather than offering a discount, a gift card is inherently something valuable. You’re giving your customers something, rather than devaluing your products. There are a variety of ways you can use gift cards instead of discounts also.
Limited edition products - In 2021, Allbirds launched Black Friday exclusive products, rather than offering a discount which they never do year-round anyway. This still gave something exciting to customers, and didn’t cost a dime in lost revenue.
Free shipping - In a recent survey, 82% of respondents indicated they’d be more likely to purchase over Black Friday weekend if free shipping were offered. Especially if you don’t usually offer free shipping, this can be a great way to snag some orders over BFCM.
- Charity donations - If your brand is tied to a cause in some way, then offering charity donations instead of discounts is a great way to engage your customers. For example if you’re connected with an animal welfare charity, you can offer 10% of all orders to go to that rather than it being discounted from the order.
It’s easy to think that customers just want discounts on Black Friday, but when everyone else is discounting it makes it difficult for your brand to stand out. By doing something unique, you’ll better catch the attention of your target audience.
#5 - Enhance the post-purchase experience
It’s not enough just to get customers through checkout, you want to keep them coming back even when Black Friday is over. We mentioned earlier that BFCM is an acquisition opportunity, but what’s going to really matter is what you do to retain all those newly acquired customers. The solution to that lies in the post-purchase experience.
What happens once an order is placed matters a great deal to the customer. It includes:
- Order dispatch
- Product experience
That’s a lot of steps to think about! And each comes with its own opportunity to leave a lasting, positive impression. Especially around the time of year BFCM falls into, dispatch and delivery are going to be hugely important, so we’re going to focus on these.
You’ll have a lot of orders to process after the weekend is over, and it’s important to let your customers know if there may be a delay in dispatching their orders. This helps to not only set expectations, but also avoid an influx of enquiries all focused on “why has my order not been dispatched?”.
Once the order has left your warehouse, it’s time to track the order. Tracking is important to your customers, and can impact their chances of retention. Especially if an order is planned as a gift, it can be hugely frustrating for a customer to have no idea where their order is. Between that and different couriers having different user interfaces for a customer to try and decipher, it helps to have a simple option. Real time tracking apps like Order Lookup can be easily integrated into your Shopify store, giving you full control of the experience and your customers a really easy way to see exactly where their order is.
If you want to know more about what you can do for BFCM weekend, we contributed to an ebook by our friends at Govalo - "Ready. Set. Go" is packed with strategies and advice for a successful Black Friday featuring experts such as Recharge, Loop, LoyaltyLion, Alloy, and Kurt Elster. Click here to get your free copy!