As the holiday season approaches, thoughts turn to preparations. Some are setting aside money for shopping, while others are gearing up to boost sales. Among the year's most significant shopping events is Black Friday, but it's evolved beyond a mere 24-hour sale. It now spans an entire month, known as Black November, often starting as early as October.
Everyone knows that the Black Friday & Cyber Monday (BFCM) discount period offers a massive opportunity to boost sales and enhance brand visibility. To capitalize on these benefits, it's crucial to plan, prepare, and execute effectively.
The potential rewards are significant, but so is the competition. That's why we've crafted this post to ensure you're well-prepared for the BFCM 2023 craze.
When is BFCM 2023?
Black Friday festivities officially commence on the Friday following Thanksgiving. In 2023, mark your calendars for November 24th for Black Friday and November 27th for Cyber Monday. Black Friday festivities officially commence on the Friday following Thanksgiving. In 2023, mark your calendars for November 24th for Black Friday and November 27th for Cyber Monday.
Assuming you've already put together your pre-holiday to-do list, it's always a good idea to give it a double-check in case you've missed anything important. Continue reading to discover our unconventional Shopify BFCM checklist, designed to help you cover all bases before the holiday rush begins.
What do customers expect for the BFCM 2023 holiday period?
Customers not only want high quality products and huge discounts, they also expect a seamless experience both online and offline for this upcoming holiday season. Here is some point you should focus on to surprise your customers:
- Free shipping. Customers want and expect free shipping. In fact, 75% of online shoppers say Black Friday free shipping is crucial to their shopping experience. Be prepared for shipping delays and manage your time wisely.
Additionally, remember to inform your customers about potential delays during the holiday season. Different tracking apps will help you to save time by reducing customers requests regarding their order position as well as improve customers experience with your brand.
- Free return. It's true, returns are a hassle for you and your customers, but they can also be opportunities. Instead of considering returns as liabilities, turn them into assets. When a customer returns something, use that interaction to delight them with exceptional service.
It doesn't matter for what reason customers return goods, it's not always your fault. And if you've lost a sale this time, focus on selling your business, brand, and products to the customer for future brand loyalty opportunities.
- Buy online, pick up in store (BOPIS). If you have a brick-and-mortar store, customers expect them to buy online and pick them up in store, and they want a smooth transition from online to store. Both experiences should be seamless, especially if this is the first interaction a shopper has with your store.
BOPIS customers prioritize efficiency and convenience. They opt for online ordering to save time, with 75% expressing the likelihood of making future BOPIS purchases. When they visit your store, ensure swift, friendly, and efficient service to leave them with a positive impression and a reason to return.
Your Final Shopify BFCM Checklist
With this upcoming holiday season getting closer and closer, retailers are in the final stages of preparation, getting their stores and websites up and running for shoppers who will be looking for the best deals. Follow this handy checklist to be sure that everything is in order for this holiday shopping hype.
- Have a Plan B ready.
Don't just plan for BFCM sales; have a backup strategy ready. Consider alternate shipping options, extra staffing, and communication channels to avoid delays, unhappy customers, and lost sales opportunities. A contingency plan ensures you can focus on boosting sales and a seamless shopping experience, rather than dealing with unexpected hiccups.
2. Boost your pre-BFCM subscriber base.
Now is the ideal moment to grow your brand's audience by capturing leads before the BFCM sales frenzy. Research indicates that email marketing outperforms other marketing forms when it comes to driving purchases.
Use your social media presence to encourage followers to subscribe. Consider running targeted ads aimed at your ideal customers or previous website visitors, offering enticing deals delivered directly to their inbox.
Additionally, send a teaser email to your current subscribers to pique their interest in your upcoming discounts. When the time comes to send your first sales email, you'll have a captivated audience eagerly awaiting your deals.
3. Prepare your support team.
With the surge in traffic during the holiday shopping season, an increase in customer service demands is likely. While you can meticulously plan, there will always be buyers facing unique issues or situations. The pressure of Black Friday can be intense for both sellers and customers, so ensure your team is well-prepared to provide friendly and helpful assistance, no matter the circumstances.
Consider implementing a HelpCenter live-chat feature on your website, allowing customers to ask questions in real-time while shopping. This can enhance their shopping experience and alleviate any concerns.
For further insights on delivering exceptional customer service during the Black Friday holidays, check out this article.
4. Create a clear return policy.
Black Friday often prompts impulsive purchases, leading to potential refund requests. A clearly defined return policy can be your ticket to sealing a sale, a critical consideration during the holiday season when shipping delays can heighten customer apprehension, particularly for international or gift purchases.
To stand out and alleviate customer concerns about returns, consider extending your return window, a simple yet effective strategy for small businesses.
Discover top practices for creating an excellent return policy for your eCommerce store here.
5. Provide added value.
As a small business owner, matching the discount levels of larger brands might be challenging. However, there are alternative ways to draw in customers by offering:
- Double loyalty points;
- Gift cards with every order;
- Additional perks;
- Complimentary gift wrapping services, and more.
These additional incentives can set your business apart and create a unique, appealing value proposition for customers.
In order to get the most out of Black Friday, customers need to be aware of the deals. The pre-hype had to be created through social media and email marketing. Schedule your content in advance as you are likely to be busy on this day.
Getting the most out of this holiday season requires hard work, but it's also an exhilarating time. We hope that this comprehensive Shopify BFCM checklist has given you useful insights for the upcoming holiday season and positioned you for success.
If BFCM 2023 marks your first sales period, approach it as a valuable learning experience. Stay motivated, set realistic goals, and remember to enjoy the journey.
Wishing you a joyful Black Friday holiday and the best of luck!