How to make BFCM gains last all year long
You’ll spend days, no, weeks planning, prepping, and launching your Black Friday Cyber Monday sales and marketing strategies to get people to your once-a-year deals. Taking advantage of the busiest holiday shopping week of the year is crucial for many ecommerce businesses.
But here’s what you don’t want to happen.
You drive tons of new customers to your website with irresistible discounts and on-target messaging. And then they all disappear.
Sure, they were happy with your products, but they were there for the deals, and any goodwill you built up during the sale evaporates once the shopping season is over.
What happened? And what can you do to keep it from happening to you?
Our BFCM Consumer Trends Report 2023 has tons of insights into how to make the most of the holiday shopping season, but now you’re ready to think beyond the revenue spike.
Here are some long-term strategies to keep BFCM customers engaged and buying well into the new year.
What’s the big (BFCM) deal?
Let’s set the BFCM stage. In our survey, virtually all respondents (99%) are at least somewhat likely to shop during BFCM, with 67% saying they are highly likely.
Around 71% of surveyed shoppers said their budget fell between $100 and $500 last year, with 45% saying their 2023 budget will remain the same. That’s a lot of buying power going into one concentrated week.
Shoppers are also excited about snagging BFCM deals this year. A whopping 97% of respondents reported feeling some level of excitement, with 42% saying they’re excited to a large extent.
With stable budgets and holiday-shopping excitement, we can confirm that BFCM 2023 is the best time of year to capture new customers.
Case in point, shoppers aren’t sticking to their tried and true brands when shopping the sales. They split their attention (and likely, dollars) between brands they already know and love and new brands they haven’t tried before.
Just 28% only buy from brands they love, which means the other 72% are open to buying from new brands. The data shows that BFCM is a great time to capture new customers for your brand.
So, how do you keep those new customers buying once the sales end? It’s time to take a look at your retention strategies—before BFCM is upon us.
Retention tips to employ DURING Black Friday Cyber Monday
The moment shoppers grace your website, you should be ready with retention tactics. It makes sense, right? Even as you capture customers’ attention to make the first sale, you’re preparing them to make the next.
Take a look at these strategies you can implement now to keep customers coming back well after BFCM.
Ensure your customer experience is on lock
Every interaction with new customers is a make-or-break moment for your brand. The overall customer experience—from navigating your ecommerce store to your checkout process and beyond—plays a critical role in whether customers return.
They won’t come back if they’ve had a poor experience.
Pay extra attention to these touch points to ensure your customers have a dynamite experience.
1. Create a frictionless online shopping experience
Some things are non-negotiables for the modern shopper. A fast-loading mobile website, for example, is a must for 9 out of 10 shoppers.
Test your loading time with Google’s PageSpeed Insight, and look for ways to improve your loading time on both mobile and desktop.
2. Streamline the checkout process
Customers might be willing to go through a long-winded checkout process for the deal of the lifetime, but it might keep them from coming back for more. 44% of surveyed shoppers have abandoned their carts because of a long or slow checkout process.
[could also pull 44% stat or highlight it in some way visually]
Be transparent about shipping and product costs, and tighten up your mobile checkout experience. Collect only the absolutely necessary information and keep clicks or taps between “add to cart” and “submit payment” below 10—any longer, and you could lose customers’ attention before they complete their purchases.
Consider offering guest checkout and integrating easy pay options like Shop Pay, Apple Pay, or PayPal. An easy checkout process may not earn new customers, but a good one will certainly retain them.
3. Prevent shipping mishaps
Ensure, to the best of your ability, that any physical products arrive when you say they will. While shipping is primarily out of your control, do what you can on the fulfillment side to get products out the door as quickly as possible.
Don’t forget to pay attention to packaging. Find that balance between minimal/sustainable packaging and packaging that protects products from being damaged in transit.
4. Offer an easy return process and top-tier customer service
BFCM shopping often comes with higher returns, so it’s another touch point to show off your customer service. At a base level, make sure your return policy is prominently displayed and easy to understand.
Ensure customer service is friendly and easy to navigate. Provide several ways to reach out, like email, SMS text, and live chat.
Promote email list, SMS, and push notification sign-ups
Attention marketers: don’t miss out on any opportunity to gather contact information for your email, SMS, and mobile push notification lists. Since you’ll be attracting new and returning customers alike, give them the opportunity to connect with your brand and catch new sales down the line. Thoughtful marketers will be building their lists to launch their full BFCM campaigns in November and beyond.
Here are a few ways to generate new signups.
1. Offer discounts
A simple discount code is the most straightforward (but often most effective) way to encourage list signups. Since your customer is gearing up for BFCM sales, consider offering a once-a-year stackable discount that will work with your other promotions. You can also consider free gifts with purchases to help boost signups.
2. Share a sale sneak preview
Promise a sneak peek of upcoming BFCM sales so shoppers can plan accordingly. It’ll also help you boost excitement and anticipation. In fact, 92% of surveyed shoppers feel at least some level of anticipation over BFCM shopping. Tap into that feeling by offering a sale preview to anyone who signs up for your lists.
3. Promise free shipping
Shipping costs are a significant reason why shoppers abandon their shopping carts. According to the report, 69% of those who abandoned their cart did so because of high shipping costs. That makes it a great incentive—especially to have it in hand when BFCM rolls around.
Encourage mobile app downloads
Mobile apps are changing the BFCM game. Not only is it a stellar tool to capture even more BFCM revenue, but they’re also powerful retention drivers. So, encouraging mobile app downloads before and during peak season shopping can help promote long-term sales.
Here are some strategies to drive mobile app downloads.
1. Offer in-app discounts
Everyone loves feeling like they’re in on a secret. Offering an exclusive app discount while everyone’s hunting for the best BFCM deals will attract attention and generate downloads. Directing customers to your app will help you elevate your brand experience and create a community within the app. Valuable discounts will build the kind of brand loyalty money can’t buy.
2. Share early access to sales
Early access is a big driver during BFCM. Who doesn’t love to be first in line? Much like when encouraging list signups, offering early sales access can catch your customers’ attention. It capitalizes on FOMO—shoppers want to catch deals before they’re gone.
3. Sell app-exclusive products
Promote some app-exclusive items with links directly to an app download to generate buzz and excitement. The thrill of being the first to grab new and exclusive products will encourage downloads and keep customers locked into your sales ecosystem for the long term. They’ll also be more inclined to browse your app regularly in search of new exclusive items.
Embrace personalization for max retention
When everyone is “spraying and praying” for their BFCM sales strategy, you should lean into personalization. That outdated one-size-fits-all approach no longer meets consumer expectations. It often leads to overwhelm—when everything is discounted, nothing is discounted.
Instead, personalize offers and sales for the best results.
1. Give VIP customers better deals
If you’re giving a newbie customer and your VIP customer the same 15% discount, you’re not providing a VIP experience. Single out your VIP customers with better deals. Offer tiered discounts (such as 10% off $50, 15% off $100, 20% off $200, etc.) to encourage higher average order values while rewarding customers who are willing to spend more. A free gift with purchase is also an excellent way to celebrate frequent customers.
2. Tailor content, pricing, and discounts
Shoppers are easily overwhelmed by the deals on BFCM. Instead, leverage customer data to whip up personalized discounts and incentives. For example, a younger shopper may be uninterested in your skinny jeans selection (they’re out—haven’t you heard?), but they’ll be all over your latest biker boots. And your Baby Boomer customers are more likely to be shopping for a gift than for themselves.
Tailoring the deals means you’ll make the shopping experience easier and more enjoyable across the board.
3. Consider the customer journey
Sending intricate, tiered discounts might turn off brand-new customers, while a customer who’s lapsed in sales might need a bigger push. Include the customer journey while segmenting your lists, and share discounts accordingly.
Introduce a loyalty rewards program
Loyalty programs are still a hit for consumers across the board—and getting them to sign up now is a big incentive to stick around.
According to a survey conducted by Yotpo, 53% of shoppers say a loyalty program would make them continue shopping from a brand. And their brand loyalty survey found that loyalty programs influence over 83% of shoppers to buy again from a brand. Loyalty programs also gamify the shopping experience and turn shopping into a fun challenge—complete with prizes!
Promote your loyalty program during BFCM so shoppers have a chance to rack up points during their holiday shopping. After the season, they’re more likely to return to take advantage of their accumulated discounts or cash-in freebies.
Post-BFCM retention tips
BFCM is a whirlwind, but the key to retaining the new customers you’ve gained comes after. While a high return slump after the holidays is normal, it’s no time to rest on your laurels.
You need to dive into post-sale retention strategies to keep the new customers you’ve acquired.
1. Show new customers that you get them.
Personalization drives new sales and keeps your customers coming back for more. People yearn for personalized experiences. According to Yotpo, feeling like a brand knows them influences 82.5% of surveyed shoppers to buy again.
That’s right—more than 4 out of 5 shoppers are more likely to stick around if they feel seen and recognized. Continue showing them you know what they want with segmented messaging and personalized offers.
Take a look at the chart for some more strategies from Yotpo’s survey.
2. Respect their inboxes (and their preferences)
BFCM may have been a heavy email/text/push notification period, but now’s the time to scale back slowly. The key is not to go silent on your customers—but to soften the language and frequency. Take cues from their preferences.
We know from our survey that Gen Z respondents are sensitive to too many messages during BFCM, so we expect a similar trend moving out of the holidays. They reported they were more likely to unsubscribe during BFCM than the rest of the year at more than double the rate of their Boomer counterparts. Pay close attention to unsubscribes and scale back accordingly.
3. Build a community
Now that you’re not constantly pushing BFCM messaging, you can do a little more brand and community building. Leverage channels like social media and your mobile app to share more information about your brand and cultivate an audience. Solicit user-generated content, host online events, or drop exclusive content. Giving your audience a place to engage can work wonders for retention.
4. Give customers a little TLC
Some customers will inevitably drop off whether you’re selling products or a subscription service. The key is not to panic—and provide a little aftercare. Build a cancellation flow that includes a reason-for-leaving survey, popup prompt codes, and a plan for future re-engagement. Just because they leave you doesn’t mean they don’t love you.
5. Be visible
The end of BFCM doesn’t mean you get to go into hibernation. Consider ways to remain top-of-mind for your customers. For example, a mobile app provides valuable visual real estate on your customers’ phones. It’s like an always-on billboard.
Turn BFCM profits into yearlong success
You put so much energy and effort into perfecting your Black Friday Cyber Monday sales, and you don’t want it all to disappear when your sales have run their course. The real trick is capitalizing on that revenue spike and reaping the benefits all year long.
Want to dive deeper into consumer insights? Take a look at our comprehensive 2023 BFCM Consumer Shopping Trends Report.