When the Black Friday/Cyber Monday frenzy dies down, Shopify merchants will be left with not only orders to fulfill but a lot of incredibly useful data to trawl through. BFCM is your first substantial insight into the behaviours of your customers during the holiday shopping season, and the lessons you draw from this big shopping period can inform how you plan to move forward with your holiday marketing strategies. While your potential customers are preparing for the rest of the holiday season, you can get down to business and analyze that invaluable data gathered over BFCM.
How to get started
Schedule time with your team
With all the different areas of your business and all the facts and figures you have at your disposal, it can be daunting thinking of where to start. The first thing to do is to set aside time for research to take place. Schedule in a meeting with your team to talk through initial thoughts and results, and set a plan in place for analyzing your BFCM data. Allocate time in everyone’s schedules to sit down and look at individual areas of the business and then another group session to get the full picture and discuss next steps. If you’re flying solo, then schedule in time over the course of a couple of weeks where you can hunker down and focus on the data at your fingertips.
Whether you’re a one person operation or a large team, you’ll have a lot more to do throughout the holiday season so scheduling in time to reflect on Black Friday/Cyber Monday is key to ensuring you get the analysis you need without affecting day-to-day operations.
Create a shared location where you can store all the notes and findings from your BFCM analysis. Include as much detail as you can, and clearly label different documents and folders depending on the topic and area of the business you’re examining. This will become a valuable bank of information that you can look back on quickly and easily.
Utilize your findings
It would be a waste for you to do all this research only for your findings to sit in a folder unused. Once you’re happy you’ve finished analysis, consider how you’re going to utilize it. Decide on what your next steps and actions are as a result of your findings. How will you do things differently throughout the holidays, and next BFCM?
What to Analyze
Your sales data can tell you a lot more than just how much money you made over BFCM. Look at what product categories and individual products performed well, and which didn’t. Consider the reasons behind the performance of each product - were they part of your promotional campaigns or not? Was that product category trending recently? Who were these products targeted towards? Look at customer behaviours like Cart Abandonment and products with a high amount of traffic - do you notice any patterns?
There are four key factors you want to consider in your analysis - pricing, demand, promotion, and competition. The conclusions you draw from your analysis of your sales data can help guide your future product development and marketing strategies.
When you put a lot of time and effort into building your SEO strategy, you want to know if it worked or not. After you’ve analyzed your sales data, it’s time to move on to SEO. If you’re not sure where to start, here are three areas you can focus on first:
Which sources saw the highest amount of traffic? What might the reasons be for this - an active strategy, inclusion on deal aggregator sites, etc?
Which pages were people landing on throughout BFCM? Were these the ones you’d planned for, or not? Did you have a BFCM landing page? If so, how does the traffic here compare to other landing pages on your site? Why might people be landing on these pages?
What were your target keywords for Black Friday/Cyber Monday? Where were these placed on your store? Did your store rank for these keywords? If so, how high? Did you include any trending keywords, and if so did you see any pickup from these?
You also want to look at ways that you can build on any successes from your SEO efforts. Identify keywords, landing pages etc. that you can develop over the next 12 months. This will give you a great starting point for your Black Friday/Cyber Monday SEO strategy next year.
When developing your strategy and as BFCM unfolded, you may have checked in on your competitors. You need to do the same even when the weekend is over! Take note of the following:
- Products they focussed on and pricing
- Promotions offered
- Social media engagement and marketing activity
- Any other promotional activity you can view - SEO related, email, etc.
Observe any obvious successful strategies, and consider these when planning your own offering throughout the rest of the holidays and the following year. Pay special attention when it comes to pricing and promotions as tweaking your own can help you stay competitive.
Black Friday/Cyber Monday is a great period not just for that start-of-the-holidays sales boost, but for learning more about your store and customers. Use the lessons you learn from your data to build on and strengthen your strategies to set your Shopify store up for even more success in the future.