Welcome back to the second part of the ultimate last-minute checklist for BFCM 2023.
The first part of Black Friday checklist has covered 10 checkpoints in 3 categories: website optimization, sales & marketing, and inventory management. They help you to ensure your store performance and sales potential.
Now, to be fully prepared for the upcoming BFCM 2023, let’s dive into the rest of the checklist and discover essential things to notice before starting your BFCM sales campaign 2023.
4. Shipping and Fulfillment
Now let's move to the nitty-gritty of shipping and fulfillment, a crucial aspect of your Black Friday Cyber Monday (BFCM) preparations. Ensuring clear communication of your shipping and related policies is essential. It's all about setting the right expectations, providing peace of mind to customers, and enhancing their shopping experience.
- Communicate shipping deadlines and cut-off dates clearly: Picture this – it's BFCM, and shoppers are racing to snag the best deals. They want to know when their orders will arrive. So, it's imperative to prominently display shipping deadlines, delivery times, and cutoff dates for BFCM orders on your website. This not only aids customers in planning but also fosters trust. Data has shown that 61% of consumers check delivery information before purchasing.
- Outline your return, refund, and exchange policies: Transparency is key, especially during the shopping frenzy of BFCM. Your customers want to know what to do if they're unsatisfied with their purchases. Make it easy for them by clearly outlining your return, refund, and exchange policies on your website. Data reveals that 79% of consumers look for a return policy before buying, and 58% expect a hassle-free return process. So, make sure these policies are easily accessible to your customers.
- Provide real-time tracking and delivery status updates: In a world where instant information is at our fingertips, customers appreciate knowing where their orders are at any time. To meet this expectation, offer real-time tracking and delivery status updates. A whopping 83% of consumers expect regular communication on the status of their orders. This reduces anxiety and adds to the overall positive shopping experience.
- Set up shipping promotions or free shipping thresholds: Consider implementing shipping promotions to sweeten the deal and encourage more substantial purchases. One potent strategy is offering free shipping for orders over a particular threshold. Data-driven insights support this approach, as 80% of consumers are more likely to purchase when offered free shipping. Remember that the threshold should be set at a level that prompts customers to add more items to their carts - likely from the AOV up.
With clear communication of shipping policies, you'll set the stage for a smoother, more satisfying BFCM shopping experience for your customers. By providing this level of transparency and accommodation, you're well on your way to enhancing sales and customer loyalty during the BFCM sales season.
5. Customer Support
5.1. Ensure Your Customer Support Team is Ready for Increased Queries
When it comes to the holiday season such as BFCM 2023, your customer support team becomes your front line. Nail down that they are well-prepared for Black Friday’s increased query volume since it can make a significant difference in delivering an exceptional shopping experience. Here's how to prepare your customer support for the task:
- Train your customer support team: BFCM often brings an influx of questions, inquiries, and even concerns from shoppers. It's vital to prepare your customer support team to handle this increased workload efficiently. Make sure they are well-versed in your products, promotions, and policies. A well-trained team can provide quick and accurate assistance, securing customer satisfaction.
- Extend customer support hours: BFCM can extend beyond regular business hours. Consider extending your customer support hours to accommodate shoppers from different time zones and those taking advantage of late-night deals. Providing round-the-clock support during BFCM can be a game-changer, as it caters to the diverse schedules of your customers.
5.2. Leveraging AI Chatbots for Efficient Support
The future of customer support is here, and it's AI-powered. Implementing an AI chatbot can greatly enhance your customer support during BFCM 2023. Here's how you can harness the power of AI:
- Implement an AI chatbot: AI chatbots are adept at handling common customer inquiries, offering instant assistance, and freeing up your human support agents for more complex tasks. These chatbots can quickly provide answers, guide shoppers through the purchase process, and offer recommendations, all in real-time.
- Configure for follow-up communication: An AI chatbot is not just a one-time solution. It's a valuable tool for collecting customer information for follow-up communication. Chatbots can gather data, such as contact details and shopping preferences, which can be used for personalized post-BFCM engagement. This improves the shopping experience and helps build long-term customer relationships.
With the strong waves of AI applications in any business field, it’s easy to find and implement an AI chatbot on your Shopify store.
Simply go to Shopify App Store and type in the search bar “AI chatbot”, there are plenty of apps for you to choose from.
In Shopify Editions Summer ’23, Shopify announced Sidekick as the Shopify AI assistant. Not only can it analyze and answer input questions, but it also can set up store fit with basic requirements and help users to get more repetitive work done, faster.
5.3. Encouraging Customer Feedback and Reviews
Reviews and feedback are essential for any eCommerce business, especially during BFCM. Here's how you can encourage your customers to leave their valuable insights:
- Send post-purchase review requests: After a successful purchase, send post-purchase emails to your customers, kindly requesting them to leave reviews and provide feedback. Timing is crucial here, make sure your request comes after the product has been delivered and your customers have had a chance to experience it.
- Incentivize reviews with discounts and loyalty points: To sweeten the deal, offer incentives for leaving reviews. Provide customers with discount codes or loyalty program points for sharing their thoughts. Not only does this motivate customers to engage, but it also boosts your brand's credibility and trustworthiness.
6. Analytics and Tracking
In the fast-paced world of BFCM 2023, data and analytics are your compass, guiding you toward success. To ensure you're on the right path, set up tracking for conversion goals and eCommerce metrics and KPIs (key performance indicators). Here are how you can use analytics to your advantage:
6.1. Set Up Conversion Tracking and Define KPIs
- Set up conversion tracking: Tracking conversions is fundamental. Utilize powerful tools like Google Analytics and Hotjar to provide invaluable insights into your website's performance. They allow you to monitor the number of visitors who take desired actions, such as purchasing or signing up for your newsletter. By tracking these conversions, you gain a better understanding of your customers' behavior and can make data-driven decisions.
- Define and monitor KPIs: Key performance indicators (KPIs) are the metrics that matter most to your business. During BFCM, focus on KPIs like conversion rates, average order value, and revenue per visitor. These metrics provide a clear picture of your campaign's success and help you identify areas needing improvement.
- Using advanced Foxify and FoxKit analytics: Foxify and FoxKit offer advanced analytics that do the heavy lifting for you. These tools allow you to easily review sales metrics and assess page performance. FoxKit's robust analytics capabilities provide the insights you need to make informed decisions and optimize your BFCM strategy.
6.2. Monitor Real-Time Analytics During BFCM
- Use analytics tools for real-time monitoring: During BFCM 2023, every second counts. Utilize analytics tools to monitor website traffic and sales in real time. The best choice is using Google Analytics 4. This allows you to stay up to date with the latest trends, customer behaviors, and the performance of your promotions. Real-time data empowers you to make quick adjustments to your strategy as needed.
- Make data-driven decisions: With real-time analytics, you can make data-driven decisions on the fly. If you notice a particular product gaining traction, you can increase its visibility or run targeted promotions. If a specific marketing channel is underperforming, allocate resources more effectively.
7. Customer Retention
The BFCM frenzy might be over, but your work isn’t done. Now it's time to focus on retaining those new customers you worked so hard to acquire.
Customer retention is all about building lasting relationships with your customers. By planning post-BFCM strategies that engage and delight your new customers, and by implementing a loyalty program that rewards their continued support, you're on the path to nurturing a loyal customer base that keeps coming back for more.
7.1. Plan Post-BFCM Strategies to Retain New Customers
- Develop a post-BFCM plan: you've just welcomed a wave of new customers, and keeping them engaged is crucial. Develop a post-BFCM plan that outlines your approach to nurturing these relationships.
- Send follow-up email: consider sending personalized follow-up emails that express gratitude for their support and provide product recommendations or exclusive offers. These personalized touches show your customers that you value their business.
7.2. Prepare a Loyalty Program
- Launch a loyalty program: loyalty programs are a powerful way to keep customers returning for more. Launch a loyalty program that rewards customers for repeat purchases and referrals. This incentivizes them to continue shopping with you and spread the word to their friends and family.
- Offer loyalty points: loyalty programs often revolve around earning and redeeming points. Offer loyalty points that customers can accumulate with each purchase. These points can be redeemed for discounts or exclusive products, creating a win-win situation. Customers feel like they're getting a great deal, and you secure their loyalty.
Yolélé, a Shopify store that sells ready-to-cook cereal grains, has combined its loyalty programs with BFCM promotions by giving email subscribers early access to Black Friday offers before everyone else.
In this way, the brand boosts BFCM sales and makes its customers feel exclusive, which will nurture brand loyalty.
8. Contingency plan
Remember, the key to a successful BFCM lies not just in what you plan for, but in how well you prepare for Black Friday unexpected events. These contingency plans can be the safety net that ensures a smoother and more successful shopping season.
8.1. Out of Stock
This is when you've temporarily run out of that product in your inventory.
Running out of popular items during BFCM can lead to lost sales and frustrated customers.
How to prepare for Black Friday?
- Monitor your stock levels closely and update product availability in real time on your website
- Provide options for customers to pre-order out-of-stock items
8.2. Website Downtime
It refers to a period when your site is not accessible to users due to technical issues or maintenance.
Downtime during BFCM can result in lost sales, damage your brand's reputation, and frustrated customers.
How to prepare for Black Friday?
- Have a backup hosting solution to switch to in case of unexpected downtime quickly.
- Implement a status page on your website that communicates any site issues and provides estimated recovery times to keep your customers informed
8.3. Delayed Fulfillment/Shipping
This refers to orders not being fulfilled or shipped within the expected timeframe.
Delayed fulfillment and shipping can lead to unhappy customers and damage your reputation.
How to prepare for Black Friday?
- Ensure fulfillment and shipping processes are robust and capable of handling increased demand during BFCM.
- Having contingency arrangements with shipping partners can also help mitigate any unexpected delays.
Now You’re 100% Prepared for Black Friday Cyber Monday 2023
As we wrap up this ultimate last-minute Black Friday checklist, you're armed with the knowledge and strategies to make this BFCM your most successful one yet. You've taken all the right steps from optimizing your website for speed and mobile responsiveness to fine-tuning your marketing and sales tactics.
You've also learned the importance of contingency planning, ensuring you're ready for the unexpected, from potential stockouts to website downtime and shipping delays.
Now it's time to put your preparations into action, watch your sales soar, and welcome new customers while retaining existing ones. Remember, BFCM is a whirlwind, but with the right plan and a focus on customer satisfaction, you can navigate it successfully.
So take a deep breath, double-check your checklist, and prepare to make this Black Friday Cyber Monday memorable for all the right reasons. With your preparation and dedication, you're not just in the game - you're here to win. Good luck, and here's to a prosperous BFCM sales season!
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