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6-point Checklist to Win Sales on BFCM

6-point Checklist to Win Sales on BFCM
Here we are again! The most fruitful and joyous, but also most stressful season of the year - Black Friday.
According to Shopify, in 2017, more than $1 billion retail was collected by Shopify merchants - and holiday shoppers spent even a few times double that amount during the four-day season. To shoppers, it is about sales and excitement. But to merchants, it is a careful 6-point checklist to reach there.

1/ Prepare early

WHAT: According to National Retail Federation, 40% of holiday shoppers set off their quest for holiday shopping by the end of October - which means right after Halloween! November is crammed with more than 30%, and only around 20% of late birds wait until December to shop.

Is that enough to make you wanna jump to your store and put some decoration up?


HOW: It’s never too early to get ready for the biggest shopping season of the year. Start pondering, something like:

  • Is the inventory stocked for increased demand?
  • What was the highest number of last year?
  • What if we outgrow this year?
  • Is the SEO good enough for us to be on first page?
  • Can my store handle a leap in traffic?

If you’re a new player, don’t worry we got your back, just follow the steps and you will do great; but if you’re familiar with the season, the first thing you should do while thinking about these question is to look into last season’s sales, understand what aced the game and what went wrong. Once got that sorted out, you need to stock in for the event immediately.

Also, you can begin to kick off some hype around your campaign. Send some sneak peaks of discounts or deliver a surprise note - enough to spice up their curiosity and make them stay on edge for the big sale.

2/ Ensure “Mobile First” experience

WHAT: Shopify reports that during 2017 BFCM, mobile usage nearly doubled that of desktop. As a result, mobile sales made up for 64% of overall sales, an increase of 10% year-over-year. Thus, make sure your store has a mobile-first experience, where all actions are quick, easy and intuitive.


Image Source: Shopify

HOW: Find answers for the following questions:

  • Is the site mobile responsive? (all pages - I repeat, all pages please)
  • Can the customer easily navigate on their mobile devices?
  • Can the customer easily buy a product on their mobile/ipad, and still the experience is as good as using desktop/laptop?

The good news is, you can all apply these standards using PageFly page builder. With the use of the Device switcher, you can easily check the performance of the page on various mobile types, from most popular (iphone 7, iphone 6s, etc.) to least (Samsung).

3/ Create a shocking offer

WHAT: During BFCM, all brands have a doorbuster sale that attracts an enormous volume of customers to the store. The reason behind this is to create a chance for customers to visit the store and thus likely to pick up some items beside the offer.


Image Source: SellerSmith

HOW: Determine which deals or discounts you will run and to which products you want to apply them to. You can start with your most popular items. Make the design stand out.

Find out which type of message that catches the most attention. There are 3 games that we are familiar with:

  • “BOGO” - Buy one get one
  • “50% off” - Percentage discount
  • “Save $100” - Cash saving

You can use them interchangeably to test out which one is the most effective. They can actually be the same value - but the impression they give are vastly different.

Plus, eliminate all obstacles that prevent the shoppers from a successful purchase. According to the National Retail Federation, 9 in 10 shoppers reported that previous purchase hesitation can be killed off if merchant use the following:

  • 64% Free shipping
  • 50% Limited-time offer
  • 33% Ability to buy online and pick up in store
  • 25% Free gift with purchase
  • 24% Helpful customer service

Extra tip: Spare some space for a last-minute deal. There are always last-minute shoppers looking for good deals then, and they are eager to spend a big bucket of money. These people are in a hurry, so remind them with some irresistible pop-ups to cross-sell or up-sell.

4/ Win your social channel

WHAT: During this busy time, presence is everything. You disappear for 1 day, the customer doesn’t remember you. 29% of merchants believe that social channels is a priority, according to a recent survey by SaleCycle. According to NRF, shoppers can’t ignore the temptation to browse through social channels for present inspiration.


Image source: NRF

HOW: Choose the channel carefully so you can catch the attention of your customers up notch. It’s important to go extra creative this time, but there are some golden rules that you should stick by:

  1. Choose the most engaged channel: By now, you should have an idea of which channel is the most crowded place of your business. Is it Youtube, Facebook, or Instagram? You will be tied up during BFCM, so pick one only to focus all of your energy (and ads money) on it. If you are confident that you can handle one well, pick another one, and that’s it. Make these two your gold mines.
  2. Define your goals and metrics (aka, a measurement for success): “What do you mean goal? I want more sales of course.” - You may be thinking. Yes, eventually, everything should be converted to sales (cha-ching!). But before cha-ching can happen, make sure that the customer takes each step successfully. Everything would be easier if you think from the final goal backwards: before he/she hits the Confirm button to buy, he/she must select to add the item to cart; before that, he/she must choose the item; before that, he/she must be in the landing page, or collection page, etc. Get the idea?

By actually mapping out smaller goals of your customers, you can understand their experiences and then measure the success of each stage to improve it anytime you need. Also, define the success metrics of each goal. Pageviews, click rate, or something else? Google Analytics can help you a great deal on this, if you are ready for an insightful use of sales funnel. Let’s discuss more about this later.

  1. Create landing pages for the campaign: The more groups of target audience you have, the more landing pages you should create for BFCM. For example, if you sell baby clothes, how are you gonna promote cute princess dresses in the same page as superheroes costumes and animals overalls? Plus, parents who want to buy cute princess dresses are likely to buy a tiara too, don’t they? The same for superheroes - maybe they would want a mask?
  2. Schedule the posts wisely: Will you have posts every day, or one every 12 hours, or one every 2 days? What are the time frames that your target audience most active? What type of content that best catch their attention? Image, video, game?

5/ Make sure your email marketing is on point

WHAT: In 2017, Shopify reported that they had the highest conversion rate for email at 4.29%. SaleCycle also got email as the second most popular way to promote BFCM, with Black Friday emails outgrew daily emails by 52.5%.


Image Source: Shopify

HOW: First, prepare different segments of shoppers. Some sample segments can be:

  • Seasonal shoppers from last BFCM
  • VIP customers - those have spent a specific dollars or purchased a certain amount of times.
  • Category shoppers - those who are interested in a campaign that features a specific product line and related products.
  • Product browsers - these people have checked out the product but for some reasons haven’t purchased. They need a real push to make a purchase, so they understand that it doesn’t matter how many emails they have received, this is the best deal of the year.

Then, start scheduling the email chain that you will send out. They can be

  • Sneak-peak of the biggest sale: Start teasing your customers so they can’t stop looking out for the announcement.
  • Kicking off BFCM campaign: Send details of the sale ahead of time to existing subscribers, and an official email when the hunt begins!
  • Exclusive deals: Save these for the top or VIP list. Don’t forget to make it “half-naked” on social channels so it can draw great attention.
  • Last reminder: Remind subscribers with some last-minute deals to some birds that are looking for good bargains. Remember to build in scarcity where possible.

6/ Provide excellent service

WHAT: Dropoff reported that 78% of holiday shoppers are more likely to buy when same-day delivery is included, and Salesforce confirmed that 85% of their holiday orders offered free shipping. Also, more than 6 in 10 holiday shoppers having bad experience never return to the brand later.


HOW: Since BFCM shoppers are more stressed and rushed than at other times of the year, having hassle-free shippings and returns make shoppers’ lives much easier.

Plus, no matter how carefully you have planned for this, something can go wrong. Make sure that your service is ready to take on this crazy challenge, even that’s the 11:59 PM on Black Friday. It’s good to be there, but it’s great to be there instantly when the customer has some little issues. If you are not having Kit installed on your store yet, do give it a try. It’s a virtual assistant that helps with marketing and running your Shopify store in general, and integrates with a hand full of apps.

7/ Let numbers talk

WHAT: A feeling that this year is winning over last year is not enough. You need data to show you that. Start using tracking tools, such as Google Analytics and Shopify Reports, to have those numbers. If you want to go one step deeper, consider using heat maps or advanced user tracking services. Note that these additional tools can reduce the loading speed of your site and may conflict with other apps that you are using, so stay alert.


HOW: Start setting Google Analytics early on to get familiar with it. It can give you great insights about customers that you’ve never thought of.


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