The question now is how to capitalise on your BFCM success and turn it into long term profitability.
Even before the second lockdown was announced, we’d predicted a BFCM period of epic proportions. With buying habits shifting online, the year’s most anticipated sales promised - and delivered - a huge opportunity for eCommerce retailers.
So now the dust has settled, where do we go from here?
From a survey on a selection of eCommerce retailers, we’ve seen more review submissions everyday throughout November than there were on Black Friday 2019. This proves just how much eCommerce has grown during the pandemic.
In terms of Black Friday itself, in the week following, review submissions were up 88.7% on last year. For context, the increase from 2018 to 2019 was just 12.4%.
Of course, much of this is likely down to the exponential growth of online retail, but with more customers on your radar than ever before, now’s the best time to focus on review collection. With a well timed gentle nudge, you can encourage customers to write a good product review that acts as a form of social proof for future shoppers - giving them greater insight into your brand and what it has to offer.
If you’re still fulfilling orders, get your review invite polished and ready to send to the customer when they’re at their happiest. Essentially, when they’ve received their item and had time to experience it. Time your invite to land when they’re most likely to respond, like in the evening or over the weekend.
If you’ve got a backlog of completed orders, it’s not too late. Our review booster is an easy way to push invites out for all past purchases.
You may also want to consider that a lot of products bought over the BFCM period will be Christmas gifts, and the customer will have limited experience of the item itself. Try tailoring your strategy to allow for both product and company reviews.
An influx of reviews brings the chance of both good and bad feedback. There may be a lot to work through, but make time to do just that.
Respond to negative reviews with care and consideration. Use them as a chance to show excellent customer service at work with a proactive approach and clear communication. This helps build trust, letting prospective customers know you’re reactive as a brand, value the consumer, and go the extra mile to solve any issue they may have.
It’s not as crucial to respond to positive reviews, but it’s always worth making that extra effort to acknowledge them. It proves you really do care about the feedback you get, and that consumer opinion is important to you.
This has been a common problem throughout the pandemic, and with a huge increase in orders over BFCM, delivery issues are to be expected.
If you do encounter delays take control by communicating as effectively as possible, keeping customers up to date with their order status. Also make contact details and complaints procedures clear so the customer takes the right approach instead of leaving a negative review over an issue that could have been easily resolved.
As an example, take CarMats.co.uk. As a brand focused heavily on company reviews, it uses a custom email template that gives the option to leave a review, or contact the company directly for support if needed.
Asking Ash, founder of CarMats.co.uk, how they went with the recent BFCM weekend they said:
BFCM was huge — massively up. Was expecting maybe 800 orders, which was optimistic, but ended up doing double that, it just went bananas with the demand.
As well as getting your customer service up to scratch, a personalised, authentic approach is key at this time of year.
Customers’ inboxes are inundated with transactional emails, abandoned cart emails, delivery updates and, of course, review requests. As a result, we see a huge increase in unsubscribes from review invitations in the week following BFCM.
To avoid this, make it personal and provide content that’s relevant to the customer. Embed existing feedback of the specific product in your campaigns, particularly for abandoned cart emails and review requests.
There are multiple tools available for marketing communications but when it comes to authenticity, Klaviyo in particular gives you personalisation super powers. Klaviyo integrates seamlessly with REVIEWS.io, positively strengthening your email campaigns to increase revenue and CTR, and keep customers engaged with your communications.
The current threshold for Google Seller Ratings sits at 100 verified reviews of a 3.5 rating or above, received within a 12 month period.
Reviews generated through BFCM sales may well take you over this count. And if they do, you’ll get stars in organic search and paid Ads, boosting your online visibility and building greater trust.
In boosting your review collection, you’ll now have a library of authentic, user generated content you can use across all your marketing activities - both in the run up to Christmas and beyond.
This kind of social proof gives real credibility to your brand. It shows how well you perform in terms of customer service, and gives in-depth insight into your products, allowing customers to make an informed decision on whether or not to do business with you.
By turning authentic reviews into branded social content, you can engage customers on a deeper level, using banners across all your social platforms to generate new business based on trust and transparency.