With the cost of living on the rise, online shoppers are laser-focused on finding good deals this holiday season.
In a survey by PwC, 91% of Canadian shoppers cited price as a key factor in their holiday purchasing decisions – and an overwhelming number indicated they are planning to hunt for low prices on Black Friday.
For ecommerce store owners, this means a “business as usual” approach to Black Friday could likely lead to missed opportunities. You don’t have to slash prices dramatically in order to boost Black Friday sales – but putting some extra thought into your marketing campaigns, shopping experience, and customer service will help you stand out from the competition.
In this article, we’ll go through five online sales-maximizing strategies well worth thinking about as we head towards Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and the holiday shopping season.
Tailor your Black Friday marketing strategies
Holiday shoppers are individuals with different needs and motivators. That means that no matter how beautifully crafted your marketing materials are, they’re unlikely to resonate with all your customers equally.
A better way? Take a look at your customer data. Use your CRM solution to segment your customer lists according to demographics, behaviour, and shopping habits. Then, tweak your Black Friday campaigns to speak to each group individually.
Here are just a few examples of what you could do with your insights:
- Loyal customers – Offer them early access to holiday discounts or a “sneak preview” of new items.
- Large-order customers – Hype up volume-based discounts such as “Buy two, get one half off” to customers who order in bulk, or tiered discounts to those with a high average order value.
Nearby customers – If you’re planning any Black Friday events at your physical stores, invite customers who live in the neighbourhood. Frame the experience in a way that shows you value your community.
Learn more about personalization in marketing.
Get personal over live chat
If you aren’t already using a live chat solution, the holiday period is a great time to start.
Holiday-season customers are more likely to need support with online shopping. For example, they may have questions about shipping times or the terms of a promotion. Or, they may experience technical issues due to high traffic on your site or a glitchy promo code.
Live chat is a highly efficient way to serve customers. Unlike phone agents, chat agents can serve multiple customers at once and exchange links and attachments during the chat instead of having to follow up.
However, live chat can be about more than just resolving customer service issues. It can actually help you make sales by creating a personalized, rewarding shopping experience.
If you use ChatSO, you can reach out directly to customers with tailored messages based on their shopping behaviour or purchase history. These messages can be initiated by human agents, or be automated (based on customer triggers).
During the chat, you can see all your customer’s data and recommend products he or she is likely to be interested in. To really entice a purchase, generate a custom coupon right in the chat window.
Not only does this approach make online sales more likely; it makes otherwise passive online customers feel actively engaged with your brand, which can help cinch their loyalty.
Read more about how live chat can help you engage customers and grow your business.
Optimize your website
Black Friday sales are your chance to impress new customers, potentially turning them into lifelong fans. If your online shopping experience is sub-par, even customers who stick around long enough to make a purchase might be reluctant to come back.
Make your products easy to find with clear, hierarchical menus. Use language intuitive to customers throughout your site elements and product descriptions. Keep your checkout experience clean with minimal distractions and surprises.
Don’t forget about phones and tablets! In 2022, over 70% of Black Friday traffic came from mobile devices. If your site is hard to navigate on a small screen, frustrated customers may give up and shop elsewhere.
Read through our 15 Ecommerce Website Design Tips and spend some time on your own website, getting a feel for what you can improve. Better yet, ask friends and family outside your industry for their honest feedback.
Create a sense of urgency or scarcity
FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) is very real – and it makes us more likely to buy.
Black Friday customers are bombarded with offers, and they’re hunting far and wide for the best online deals. Creating a bit of pressure can help keep them from wandering away.
So, how can you create a sense of urgency or scarcity for your ecommerce customers? Here are a few examples:
Countdown clocks – Add a digital clock face to your home page that ticks down to the end of your promotion.
Limited-time offers – In your marketing messaging, emphasize “this weekend only” deals.
Shipping cutoffs – Emphasize that customers must “Order by [date] to get it before [holiday]”.
Stock limits – Add messaging to product pages to alert customers of low stock levels (“Only a few left!”).
Launch a customer loyalty program
It’s well-established that retaining repeat customers is more cost-effective than converting new ones. Customer loyalty programs are a highly effective strategy for keeping customers engaged with your brand. In fact, 69% of Canadian consumers belong to at least one loyalty program.
During the holiday season, online retail customers are actively looking for deals and extras. This is a great time to impress them with a loyalty program that offers immediate rewards (such as a signup discount) as well as long-term perks.
An added benefit of loyalty programs? You tend to collect more customer data, as customers create accounts, build wishlists, and generally spend more time engaged with your store. This data can play a major role in your future marketing and sales efforts.
To get started, check out our article on loyalty programs with examples of effective ways to structure and promote them.
Black Friday - Your springboard to a successful online store
By planning out the details of your Black Friday marketing strategy and customer experience, you’ll not only make more online sales over the holiday months.
You’ll enhance your brand reputation, impress your new and existing customers, and set the stage for growth beyond the holiday shopping season.