We spoke with leading Shopify innovators to bring you the best advice to make sales snowball in Q4.
As more and more retailers compete to gain the attention of shoppers over the holiday season, it's important to stand out from the crowd. 70% of shoppers planned to shop online during the holidays in 2020. Most shoppers prefer to shop online for convenience and a superior range of products. E-commerce is a huge slice of the shopping pie and we want to ensure your store gets a slice. We spoke with e-commerce industry partners to bring you the best advice to make sales snowball in Q4.
Take a page from the ghost of Christmas past and look at what your competitors have offered and sold in the past on BFCM. “our customers are savvy - they'll be comparing multiple deals at once, so make sure yours is compelling vs. the competition.” says Tim Masek, of Store Tasker.
If there is one thing we firmly believe in - it’s planning. And we aren’t the only ones. Claire Blacker, of Eastside Co, advises that you should prepare everything far in advance and not leave things to the last minute. Once you’ve dotted your I’s and crossed your T’s you can, “start to slowly build hype over the weeks before so people are aware that you are taking part in BFCM.” says Blacker.
If BFCM doesn’t work with your branding, don’t worry Blacker has advice. “Look into alternative eco-friendly or charitable options for those days. Last year a lot more brands were doing “tree planted with every sale” offers.” says Blacker. Building trust and goodwill with your customers will pay off in the long run.
Ben Murray, of Media Carry, adds “many brands I’ve worked with have lost out on thousands of dollars due to not being tactical or strategic enough.” Planning ahead can take time, especially if you are adding new features, tools, or apps to your store. Murray recommends having your BFCM strategy ready and polished at least 4 weeks ahead of schedule. Making good use of agencies or freelancers is a great way for your brand to keep up with the rush while achieving all of your goals.
Zach Grove, growth marketer and advisor, takes it a step further and advises that by the 2-week mark e-commerce merchants should have all ads, emails, social media, SMS, and promotions approved and scheduled. “If you wait until the last minute, you run the risk of not getting your FB/IG ads approved in time, or simply not having enough bandwidth to jump on unexpected fires,” says Grove.
The key takeaway: plan so you can test and catch any bugs and glitches before the big sales day.
Francis Pilon, of LimeSpot, points out how most brands invest heavily in attracting customers and getting them to purchase, but rarely focus on the post-purchase experience. “This is an opportunity to turn happy customers into happier ones while driving Average Order Value (AOV),” says Pilon. Invest in the post-purchase experience with apps like LimeSpot, Spently, and CartHook, which are a winning combo for a higher AOV.
Rémi Drogoul, of Opinew, notes how your BCFM funnel should be fortified by social proof to build trust among consumers. Develop ad campaigns for products bolstered by Google’s star rating, and be explicit about which product lines have netted those coveted five stars. Build email campaigns with a service such as Klaviyo, he advises, and optimize them by adding reviews to those emails. Once consumers can view those positive reviews, they might take a shine towards those products themselves.
“Once they land on your page,” Drogoul continues, “convert clients better with reviews on the product page and more generally on your store, via a review carousel on the homepage and sticky reviews on the side.”
Juggling the global supply chain is no easy task. Starting in Q2 the stress on the global supply chain gradually increases as BFCM inches closer and closer. Considering the instability of the supply chain and long lead times, Bahadir Efeoglu, of Fabrikator, recommends accounting for delays and the high cost of logistics. Additionally, prepare multiple pricing plans and make sure the margins are right.
Efeoglu also reminds merchants that running out of stock doesn’t mean the demand for your product is exhausted. You can still take backorders to fully capitalize on BFCM. He recommends a one-two punch combo of Fabrikator (for inventory planning and backorders) and Bundles.app (for increasing AOV).
“Adding digital downloads to your product offering could also be a powerful way to ensure some of your BFCM inventory is going to be on hand for immediate delivery through holiday sales,” shares Amanda Hiebert of Shop Circle.
Tools like Sky Pilot can plug right into your Shopify store and handle digital deliveries immediately after purchase. You can send videos, music, e-books, podcasts, PDFs, PNGs, EMPs, and JPGs, well, you get the picture! And because digital products can be downloaded endlessly, it’s one area of inventory you never need to worry about.
Chances are you run pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns year-round, but without proper optimization, these campaigns will yield 0 results. To ensure you capitalize on the busiest shopping days there are a few campaign tweaks you can make to boost performance. We spoke with Eyal Reich, of StoreYa, and here are his tips:
Jahangir Alam, of Efoli, knows the recipe to BFCM success is a tech stack of apps. Here are his top recommended apps and why:
Alam also urges that e-commerce stores should make it as simple as possible for a consumer to purchase their products. Things like sending sales emails, preparing gift guides and packages, creating a succinct pop-up messaging in your Shopify store, using gamification, and having a chatbot on your store to recommend products will go a long way.
Make sure to check out our Santa Sleighs Summer BFCM playbook for tools, resources, industry expertise and tips.
Enjoy your BFCM season! Stay motivated and ambitious, set hard to reach, but achievable expectations, keep your eyes on your customer at all times, and remember to enjoy the (sleigh) ride.