We’ve pulled together our top 10 tips for pre, during and post BFCM. From ad creatives to campaign analysis, tick off the pointers to finish the year strong, and start the next one even stronger.
Standing out among the chaos is one of the biggest challenges of the BFCM period. With thousands of ads screaming for attention, the ones that offer social proof are more likely to cut through the noise.
Social media ads: design campaigns around UGC. Feature customer photos and videos showcasing your products in action and highlight the number of positive reviews and ratings in your ad creatives to build trust.
Google Ads: if you want to stand out in search get yourself a Google Seller Rating. When you do, stars will be displayed in your Ad campaigns, adding those all important trust signals that overshadow the competition.
You’ll need to meet certain requirements here - including at least 100 company reviews collected through a Google Licensed Partner, with a minimum rating of 3.5 stars.
PRO TIP: if you’re short on company reviews, reach out to past customers with a Review Booster campaign.
A discounted price or promotional offer does not a conversion make. To convince customers to buy this BFCM (or more specifically, to buy from you), your product pages need to sing.
Product images: of course you want high quality professional images but consider complementing these with UGC galleries. This helps sell a product based on an experience rather than a discounted price alone.
Product reviews: these should be prominently displayed so the customer doesn't have to search for them. For a real punch, try installing the Review Nuggets widget. This lets you publish persuasive snippets of review text next to your ‘Buy’ button and is incredibly effective.
To put some stats to it, it’s driven a 20% uplift in conversion rates for our client ROOKIE Baby. Sign up for our free trial today if you want to increase your conversion rates.
Product descriptions: are these generic, lifeless descriptions or do they sell the features and benefits your customers value? Mine past review content using REVIEWS.io’s AI Insights tool to understand what a product’s key selling points are, and highlight them.
Here we’re talking about things like site speed, navigation and checkout. Everything needs to be bang on point to keep customers engaged. Of course this is important all year round, but it’s critical over BFCM when there’s increased traffic and new visitors to impress.
Site speed: just a 0.1 second improvement in site speed yields an 8.4% increase in retail conversions. Do a speed audit and fix anything that’s slowing you down (FYI our dynamic review widgets are built to be lightning fast with little impact on loading times).
Navigation: make sure this is intuitive and user friendly, with logically organized menus and filters.
Checkout: streamline the checkout process to minimize friction and cart abandonment. Think about things like payment options and guest checkout, and resolve any issues that might deter customers from completing their purchase.
PRO TIP: install the Session Replay and Analytics widget to record and watch user sessions - identify common issues and fix them pre BFCM.
With so many other boxes to tick, this one is easily overlooked. But BFCM is a golden opportunity for review collection. To make sure you collect as many as possible, and that they paint a positive picture, you need a robust strategy in place.
Timing: this is key. You need to leave enough time for a customer to receive and experience a product, so consider how many days you want to allow before a review request is triggered (accounting for possible delays in delivery).
Follow ups: schedule automated follow up emails at intervals (e.g. 14 days and 30 days) to remind customers to leave a review if they haven’t already.
Collect UGC: incorporate requests for user generated content, encouraging customers to share photos and videos of their product experience.
Mitigate bad reviews: be transparent with customers about potential delivery delays. This sets realistic expectations, which means there’s less chance of a customer leaving a bad review if their order is delayed.
It’s also a good idea to increase customer support availability during BFCM. Think live chat, email and phone as well as self service options like FAQs and order tracking tools. Get proactive with customer service and you’ll see more positive reviews as a result.
If there’s one thing you can guarantee over the BFCM period (other than a headache) it’s high purchase intent. When a customer lands on your site they’re there to shop, so it’s the ideal time to tempt them into spending that little bit more.
Personalized recommendations: use AI powered tools like Nosto to suggest complementary or higher-priced products based on each customer’s browsing and purchase history.
Product discovery: make it easy for customers to discover products of interest by publishing dynamic shoppable UGC galleries on product pages. Shoppers can click on an image to see review content and explore the featured product with ease.
BFCM isn’t just an opportunity to make more sales - it’s also a chance to collect more data. Post-purchase surveys are a great collection method because they allow you to gather targeted data on the BFCM experience directly from the customer, which you can then use to optimize any future holiday campaigns.
Customize your BFCM surveys to focus on things like:
PRO TIP: if you run a loyalty program, offer points for surveys to encourage participation.
If you’ve checked off point number 3, you’ll have put a decent effort into perfecting the on-site experience. And if you followed the pro tip, you’ll also have installed the Session Replay and Analytics widget. That means you can monitor user sessions across the BFCM period.
Because you might well find that customer behavior changes during a sale.
What do they click on? How do they read a product page? If they abandon their purchase, where do they drop off? The more you know about how customers shop over BFCM, the more you can improve your site for better conversion rates.
PRO TIP: check out the Session Analytics tab in your REVIEWS.io dash for digestible metrics and recommendations on how to improve product pages.
Post sale, move your focus to retention and maximizing the LTV of every customer gained across BFCM.
Personalized communication: leverage data collected during BFCM, including zero-party data from surveys and reviews, to personalize your relationship with each customer. Tailor your marketing messages based on their preferences, past purchases and behavior.
Cross-sell and upsell: continue using personalized recommendations to cross-sell and upsell to existing customers. Encourage them to explore additional products that align with their interests.
Loyalty programs: if you run a loyalty program, ensure that members are consistently engaged. Notify them of their points balance, upcoming rewards and exclusive deals.
Customer support: maintain high-quality customer support and engagement efforts beyond BFCM. Offer proactive assistance, address customer inquiries promptly and provide excellent service to foster long-term loyalty.
Referred leads have a 30% higher conversion rate than leads generated through other marketing channels (and a 16% higher LTV to boot). With that in mind, a referral campaign is the ideal way to leverage the goodwill you’ve generated over BFCM for cost effective and profitable customer acquisition.
Reward both parties: whatever discount or offer you run, award both the referrer and the referred party to create a win-win situation.
Segment your audience: identify which of your BFCM customers are most impressed with your brand (like those that have left 5* reviews). These customers are likely to be your biggest advocates, so target them specifically with your referral campaign.
Make it easy: provide tools like referral links and social media sharing buttons that make it easy for your customers to refer others.
Leverage multiple channels: promote your referral campaign via social media, your website and post-purchase communications (both email and SMS). The more visibility you give to the campaign, the more referrals you're likely to generate.
After the dust settles, take the time to conduct a thorough review of your campaign’s performance. Conduct a thorough review of your campaigns performance with AI Insights, REVIEWS.io's sentiment analysis tool. Merchants can analyze what worked well, identify recurring issues and pinpoint areas you can improve on for future campaigns.
We’ve put this in the ‘Post BFCM’ section but for maximum value here, plan ahead.
We recommend adding BFCM specific questions to review requests using the Review Attributes feature. This means you’re more likely to capture data that’s both insightful and actionable. Once your reviews are in, use AI Assistant to mine the data and extract those insights for you.
PRO TIP: for a guide on how to put this into action, check out our post: How to Optimize Your BFCM Strategy with AI Sentiment Analysis.
If you’re an existing REVIEWS.io customer you already have all of the tools mentioned at your disposal. Just give us a shout if you need any help setting them up.
If you’re not a REVIEWS.io customer, why not take advantage of our no tie rolling monthly contracts? You’ve got nothing to lose and a lot of BFCM value to gain. Try our free 14-day trial today.