How are e-commerce merchants preparing for BFCM amidst talks of recession? Hear key strategies and insights from a panel of industry tech partners.
As market volatility increases heading into 2023, the looming threat of a recession is top-of-mind for e-commerce merchants kicking off their busiest selling season with Black Friday and Cyber Monday (BFCM).
Customer-service outsourcing solution LTVplus recently hosted a webinar to discuss what merchants and tech providers are doing to prepare for BFCM. The round-table featured guests from LTVplus, Shop Circle, Flip and Help Scout. Those who tuned in were treated to an insightful discussion with key takeaways for merchants to consider as they head into their highest-volume season.
In case you missed it, access an on-demand version of Strategies for a Successful BFCM despite the Ongoing Recession.
Automation has changed the way e-commerce merchants operate. 79% of businesses reported relying on automation for marketing. According to Mckinsey, hiring of AI and automation experts has increased by 35% as well.
So how can e-commerce brands and their customers benefit from automation?
Shawn Li, Vice President of Partnerships at Flip, said automation can provide customers with a more consistent and reliable experience. AI-powered chatbots, automated customer response flows, and interactive voice response (IVR) services are among the automation tools merchants can leverage to provide a better customer experience.
These tools also benefit internal teams, freeing them of mundane and repetitive tasks and allowing them to focus on building relationships and driving loyalty. Investing in automation tools also helps teams feel like they have the support they need to be successful in driving a consistent customer experience.
Another key topic included strategies around the right way to roster a customer support team. Questions around team size, and whether or not to outsource customer support, arose throughout the round-table. According to one report, nearly 25% of small-business already outsource customer support to boost efficiency.
GQ Fu, customer support guru and CEO & Co-Founder at LTVPlus, said merchants can optimize costs without losing quality by choosing the right customer service partner. For companies looking to expand their in-house support team, it’s important to ensure they are well trained, have quick-reference sheets ready, and are empowered to add personalization to every customer interaction.
“Technology isn’t about removing the workload, it’s about leaving your team to handle more complex inquiries.” - GQ Fu, CEO & CO-Founder, LTVPlus
Ben Wright, Director of Strategic Partnerships & Business Development, Help Scout, said though there’s an assumption people will spend less this holiday season due to recession fears, the opposite could actually come true. Budget-conscious customers tend to look harder for the lowest price, meaning some shoppers may opt for the “deal of the year” on big ticket items. Cross-selling and bundling, as well as long-term subscription offerings, also appeal to value-savvy customers while increasing average order value (AOV).
Shop Circle Co-Founder, Gian Gramondi, is optimistic a strong growth curve will continue through BFCM. He encourages merchants to stay true to key fundamentals like providing the best customer experience and having a great pricing strategy in place. His advice for merchants is to do their homework and not wait until the last minute to figure out pricing. He also suggested finding out the best tech tools to sharpen pricing, leverage historical data, and price strategically to optimize revenue.
As e-commerce merchants get their BFCM strategies in place, tech providers are also considering how they can best support sellers.
Wright (Help Scout), said merchants are being more strategic when choosing their tech stacks, seeking solutions that provide increased efficiency and more tools under one roof. Providers that offer increased consolidation, ease-of-use, and value may allow merchants to weather the recession storm while accessing the tech they need.
For Gramondi (Shop Circle), it’s important to not just provide tools but also support the brands using them. From helping merchants get apps up and running, to customization and support, Shop Circle wants to provide merchants with an end-to-end approach to integrating tech so they can focus more on running their business.
Shop Circle is the first operator of e-commerce tools, providing a suite of integrated tools that help merchants scale, automate, and optimize their businesses while increasing revenue.
Check out Shop Circle’s cutting edge e-commerce tools.
We hope you enjoyed reading our key findings from this round-table. Watch Strategies for a Successful BFCM Despite the Ongoing Recession in its entirety for even more insights and strategies you can use to make this your most profitable season yet.