Black Friday Cyber Monday is less than seven weeks away. That goes by really fast in the business world! So if you haven’t started getting ready, there is no time left to spare. And if you’ve already started – well now is still the time to amplify your efforts even more. There is no such thing as over-prepared!
As Shopify experts and leading digital strategists, we’re here to guide you through two of the most important processes that will help you succeed: getting your Shopify store into top shape, and expanding your audience reach through effective marketing tactics. Follow our tips and you’ll be sure to see increased sales and maximised profits during this epic time.
Black Friday Cyber Monday weekend sales of 2018
A quick refresh of the basics
We recently shared an article explaining 14 tips to prepare your Shopify store for Black Friday. It’s important that you spend time going through the details of every tip provided here in order to ensure that you’re implementing them wholeheartedly. But for now, here’s a breakdown of the preparation checklist we created:
1 Ensure stock, fulfilment and support are ready.
2 Assess and improve your website’s user journey.
3 Prepare landing pages, images and other creative to promote your sale.
4 Plan out your sales and discounts.
5 Implement a wishlist on your online store.
6 Use emails to promote your upcoming Black Friday sale.
7 Implement abandoned cart emails.
8 Make use of discount codes.
9 Use retargeting to capture past visitors and customers.
10 Instil a sense of urgency.
11 Increase your email subscriber list.
12 Start building customer trust.
13 Use services that make it easier for people to spend money.
14 Track your performance.
Right. That sounds like a lot to do already! What more could you possibly be doing? Well like we said – there’s no such thing as over-prepared. Once you’re sure you’ve got these areas covered, you can go the extra mile by following the rest of our tips too.
(PS before we continue, remember that we’re running a special pre-Black Friday offer to install Hindsight onto your Shopify store for half the price! Use the discount code "HALFOFF" in the app store before 31 October and use its visitor recording insights to start getting your ecommerce store ready for next month’s shopping frenzy.)
Build and use a pre-launch page
Nothing creates a bigger hype than an upcoming product! Many companies take advantage of Black Friday Cyber Monday – and the entire Christmas sales season for that matter – by launching new products.
Building a pre-launch page and pouring effort into its marketing as the famous shopping weekend approaches will not only gain traction to your brand, but also help you gather valuable feedback on consumer wants and needs before you even start selling. It gives you a much appreciated head-start, helps you build and promote in parallel and ensures that you have an audience to target when the day of chaotic sales hits.
The feedback you receive through social channels will give you rich insight on the audience segments you need to focus on, what you can do to capture their interest and how you should be talking to them about your new product for the next few weeks.
What to include on your pre-launch page:
- Compelling content.
- Striking design elements.
- Information on the product at hand including a detailed description and price.
- A concrete timeline for the launch – or in this case a countdown to 29 November (you can use apps like ULTIMATE Countdown Timer to promote special sales).
- A live chat widget like Shopify Chat that urges prospective consumers to communicate with you, ask questions and stay in touch before the launch.
- An option to add products to a wishlist.
- An option to pre-order.
- An opt-in option for marketing content.
- An option for consumers to share on their social platforms.
- An incentive that urges visitors to share on their social platforms.
A few creative ways to drive more interest to you pre-launch page also include:
- Early bird pricing – spread this news fast, far and wide.
- Exclusive discounts for particular audience segments or for returning visitors.
- A discount voucher either for all visitors, or for visitors who engage through direct traffic – it all depends on your defined strategy (we can help you build one).
- Entry into a competition (look at Gleam Competitions – it’s a quick and highly effective way to implement competitions directly onto your Shopify store).
Remember, these pre-launch page tips are also intended for new products that are launching at any time of the year. This advice is not restricted to Black Friday – it’s just especially crucial to understand and use right now.
If you combine all the knowledge and resources you have, and put it into practice as soon as possible, you’ll be well prepared to control the frenzy that comes when your crush of shoppers hit their screens. Use your skills and team efforts wisely and you’ll stand the chance of doubling – or hey, even quintupling your sales for the month!
Use your pre-launch strategy to enhance your email listing strategy
As an added benefit, a pre-launch page (along with its marketing campaign) will also help you build a stronger email list and improve your retargeting capabilities - a top priority throughout the business year! Make sure you’re asking your audience to sign up to your mailing list so that you can alert them when a new product launches, or so that you can deliver enticing details on all your Christmas season specials.
Consider using exit-intent pop-ups that capture website visitors and convert them into subscribers/customers. You can look into Shopify apps like Privy to get started, which integrates with leading email service providers like Klaviyo, Bronto, smile.io, octane.ai, and Retention Rocket. Remember, it’s good to go over the basics of GDPR for Shopify Store Owners before you start gathering and using consumer information.
If you want to get started on building your pre-launch page, and get your audience fired up and excited for your Black Friday Cyber Monday promotions, contact us right away – we will help you in a heartbeat!
Gain international traction
A common misunderstanding among Shopify owners is that Black Friday Cyber Monday is only worth giving attention to if your company and its consumers are based in North America. Sure, North America may hold the majority of online sales during this time of the year, but according to Shopify the retail movement continues to expand its global footprint at an increasingly fast rate. In fact, last year 18.54% of all orders placed with Shopify stores were shipped internationally!
As you can see, it’s not just North America. The UK is doing quite well, and the numbers will continue rising.
If you need more convincing, tune into Shopify’s BFCM Data Story over the weekend of 29 November and watch them live stream sales data across the globe. It will be so interesting to see – simply fun to watch! It will also give you great insight into buying trends and top sales locations for all your future efforts.
There are a number of things that you can do to prepare your Shopify store in order to accommodate a global market over the Black Friday weekend.
Four of the most important things include:
Optimising for mobile shopping
This one sounds so obvious, you might be wondering why we’re even bringing it up! Granted, this is an important aspect for making sales on any day of the year, but in this case it holds unparalleled importance.
At times, store owners may overlook the fact that a high majority of their first-time visitors are users who just so happen to stumble onto their store during a casual internet browse – which mostly happens on mobile. Over the Black Friday weekend, you’re not only dealing with these casual internet browsers, but also with an extremely high volume of active and well-prepared competition! If your store isn’t optimised for mobile shopping over this particular time, you’ll lose visitors to another brand in a flash.
Make it easy for shoppers from all around the world to engage with your specials and make purchases by implementing responsive themes and multiple mobile-friendly payment options. Shopify Pay, Apple Pay and Google Pay are all examples of apps that make the complete purchase process easy on any device.
Considering peak shopping hours in different time zones
The very first tip on our list of 14 things to do to prepare your Shopify store is to ensure that stock, fulfilment and support are ready. And not only for buyers in your own country. If you want to gain international traction, you have to keep every single one of your visitors, potential buyers and converted buyers happy. So plan ahead to ensure that you have members of your support team available around the clock over the entire Black Friday weekend! You will need staff members to assist with order fulfilment, reply on live chats or just generally be available in case any issues arise.
Make sure your whole team is fresh and hands-on at noon - in your own country as well as in the USA - and again in the late evening. Don’t forget to implement last-chance promotional offers at the right time. You will definitely see a spike in sales towards the end of the whole ordeal if you follow these tips!
Prioritising your highest converting channels
Different traffic sources (email, direct, search, social etc.) have different levels of impact on your conversion rate. You have to gather and analyse all the traffic, engagement and conversion data you’ve accumulated over the past couple of months to pinpoint exactly where your qualified traffic is coming from, and how it’s influencing your conversion rates.
No two companies will follow the same approach, so consider your brand as the unique entity that it is and put effort into building a highly customised marketing strategy. Give data analysis the careful attention it deserves and you will find the answers that promote the smart marketing and effective content distribution decisions that will increase your conversions.
You should also download and use our Conversion Optimisation Checklist. This free copy is jam-packed with practical tips that turn visitors into customers throughout the entire year.
Entice your audience through shipping
Are you connecting with audiences from all around the world by making your product available to them? According to an extensive survey done by Inc Magazine, the top two benefits that consumers say encourage them to do more online holiday shopping are free shipping (80%) and fast shipping (54%).
So keep in mind that Black Friday Cyber Monday is not all about the low prices, but also the convenience your buyers experience when supporting your brand. Gone are the days of stampedes through brick-and-mortar, and checkout queues that are longer than time itself. With the major capabilities that Shopify has to offer, your buyers can shop in peace and quiet! Make sure you’re not giving them a reason to get loud by having your shipping and delivery strategy planned as well as possible and communicated clearly.
Call us if you want to reach a notable milestone with your festive season sales this year. With the right knowledge, attitude, energy and vigour we can create a Black Friday Cyber Monday hysteria around your Shopify store that will shine light on your product specials and reel in profit like you’ve never seen before.