With BFCM fast approaching, it’s time to get your operations in order so you can take full advantage of some of the busiest days in the eCommerce calendar. And if there’s one thing you need to make the most of this lucrative season, it’s the right tools in your tech stack. From payment processing to personalization, here’s your guide to the essential toolkit for holiday success.
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Before we dive in - we know that every eCommerce business is different, and there’s no ‘one size fits all’ to building your perfect tech stack.

That said, there are some areas you can’t really afford to ignore if you want to put in a competitive effort this BFCM:

  1. eCommerce Storefront
  2. Check Out Experience
  3. Payment Processing
  4. Subscriptions
  5. Reviews and UGC
  6. Personalization
  7. Customer Support/Helpdesk
  8. Email Marketing
  9. SMS Marketing
  10. Inventory, Shipping and Logistics
  11. Loyalty
  12. Insights/Attribution

1. eCommerce Storefront

It goes without saying that your eCommerce storefront is the foundation of your BFCM operations. It’s where customers make their final ‘to buy or not to buy’ decision, so it needs to showcase your brand and products effectively, ensure a seamless shopping experience, and stand up to the surge in traffic you’ll see over BFCM.

Now chances are you’re already set on the product you use for your eCommerce storefront, but if you are looking to make a last minute change there’s a few key things to keep in mind.

What to look for:

  • Customization: customizable themes and templates that allow you to create a unique and branded storefront aesthetic. 
  • Responsive design: responsive and mobile friendly design so customers get a friction free experience whatever device they shop on.
  • Product management: user friendly tools for adding, organizing and managing product listings.
  • Performance optimization: the ability to scale and maintain fast loading times, even during BFCM traffic spikes.

Our recommended solutions: Shopify, BigCommerce. 

2. Check Out Experience

BFCM creates a sense of urgency that makes consumers a little more impatient than usual. That means you need a highly efficient, user friendly check out experience to prevent cart abandonment and boost conversion rates.

The goal is to make the transaction process as swift and stress-free as possible for customers to enhance your BFCM sales performance.

What to look for:

  • Guest checkout: reduced barriers to completion with the option to check out without creating an account.
  • Auto-fill and address validation: features that automatically fill in shipping and billing information and verify addresses.
  • Cart editing: tools that allow customers to easily edit cart items, quantities and shipping options from the checkout page. 
  • Progress indicators: a clear display that shows customers how many steps are left in the checkout process.

Our recommended solution: BoldCommerce, Address Validator

3. Payment Processing

This part of your tech stack needs little explanation - the sheer volume of transactions that occur during BFCM demands a robust and secure payment processing system.

Again, it’s all about reducing cart abandonment with a swift, secure and efficient customer experience. 

What to look for:

  • Payment methods: a solution that caters to different customer preferences with debit/credit card, digital wallet and mobile payment options. 
  • International capability: if you serve a global customer base, it must support multiple currencies and be able to process international transactions.
  • Scalability: it should be able to handle high transaction volumes without downtime or performance issues. 
  • Security: a top priority is of course to make sure your solution is Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) compliant.

Our recommended solutions: Shopify POS, Recharge.

4. Subscriptions

There’s a lot of ways to capitalize on BFCM after the event, and if your products suit, a subscription model is one of them.

Customers appreciate the convenience, cost savings and personalized experience subscriptions provide, and with a subscription solution in place you can secure ongoing revenue, reduce customer churn and capitalize on the long-term value of your BFCM shoppers.

A good solution will allow you to design subscription plans that suit your products, easily manage recurring payments, and promote retention with effective engagement techniques. 

What to look for:

  • Flexibility: various subscription models such as monthly, yearly or customizable options to suit different customer needs.
  • Customer Experience: a user-friendly and intuitive interface for customers to manage their subscriptions, including pause, cancel and modify options.
  • Churn reduction: features that help reduce subscriber churn like customizable cancellation processes and reactivation campaigns. 
  • Trial periods and discounts: the flexibility to offer free trial, special discounts or promotional pricing during BFCM to attract new subscribers

Our recommended solution: Rebuy

5. Reviews and UGC

An effective review solution is a must for a lot of reasons over BFCM.

Published reviews boost credibility and trust, and give shoppers the confidence to buy at a time of increased risk. In fact a whopping 74% of shoppers say that reviews influence their online purchase decisions over BFCM. They’re also a great source of marketing content, with customer photos and videos showcasing authentic product experiences.

And of course, you can benefit from increased sales by collecting more reviews and UGC to  enhance your reputation. Ultimately, a good review solution will allow you to leverage trust to maximize conversion this BFCM and beyond

What to look for:

  • UGC collection: tools that enable automated collection of reviews and ratings as well as images and video reviews.
  • Publication options: features that allow you to curate and highlight the best customer experiences - on-site, on your socials and in email campaigns. 
  • Customization: make sure you can customize the look and feel of review widgets to suit your store design and branding. 
  • Google licensed partnership: a solution that shares reviews with the search engine so your BFCM reviews contribute to your Seller Rating.

Read How Nakie Sells The Product Experience Through Review Driven UGC ⬇️

6. Personalization

There’s fierce competition for custom over BFCM, and if you want to win you’ll need to create a shopping experience that stands out.

Personalization leverages customer data to suggest relevant products, offer targeted promotions and create a more enjoyable shopping journey, significantly enhancing customer satisfaction and loyalty.

With a personalization solution in your BFCM tech stack, you can stand out in a crowded marketplace, boost conversion rates, and ensure that customers receive offers and recommendations that resonate with their unique preferences.

What to look for:

  • Customer segmentation: the ability to segment your customer base based on criteria like demographics and behaviors. 
  • Personalized recommendations: seamless product discovery with on-page and search recommendations based on browsing and purchase history. 
  • Cross-sell and upsell recommendations: relevant suggestions for additional purchases to increase AOV.
  • Dynamic content: tools that enable real-time personalization with dynamic content that changes based on customer profiles and actions. 

Our recommended solutions: BloomReach, Nosto.

7. Customer Support/Helpdesk

Data suggests that on average, eCommerce merchants see a 20% spike in helpdesk tickets during BFCM. With increased inquiries, order tracking and a host of potential issues, it’s definitely time to up your customer support game.

A reliable solution streamlines customer communication, centralizes support requests, and provides real-time assistance. Fast, effective support enhances customer satisfaction and trust, making it a key component of your BFCM tech stack.

What to look for:

  • Multi-channel support: various communication channels for customer inquiries including email, phone, social media and live chat.
  • Automation: tools for handling routine tasks like email categorization, auto-responses and routing tickets to the right support agents. 
  • Customer history: access to customer purchase history and interactions to enable personalized support. 
  • Collaboration: tools that allow agents to share information easily and collaborate on complex issues.

Our recommended solution: Gorgias.

8. Email Marketing

Email campaigns are still the most effective way to promote deals, engage customers and drive sales throughout the event, as well as the best way to nurture long lasting relationships in its aftermath. 

A good email marketing solution allows you to segment your audience, create and send personalized emails and schedule campaigns to align with BFCM events, while features like automation, A/B testing and analytics help you optimize your email strategy -  improving open, click-through and overall conversion rates.

What to look for:

  • Easy campaign creation: user-friendly email templates, drag and drop editors and customizable elements for on brand engagement.
  • Segmentation and personalization: the ability to send targeted and relevant content by segmenting your email list using customer data.
  • Automation: tools for creating email flows for BFCM promotions and offers, cart abandonment, order confirmations and personalized recommendations.
  • Dynamic content: the ability to add content to emails that updates based on customer preferences, like shoppable UGC galleries.

Our recommended solutions: Klaviyo, DotDigital

9. SMS Marketing

While email marketing focuses more on the long game, SMS marketing is a direct and immediate way to capture attention and make sure your BFCM messages don’t go unnoticed.

A good SMS marketing solution allows you to send time-sensitive promotions, flash sale alerts and order updates directly to a customer’s mobile device. 

Features like segmentation and personalization enhance the relevance of your messages, while timely reminders and limited-time offers through SMS can drive urgency and boost conversion rates.

What to look for:

  • Segmentation: as with email marketing, you should be able to segment your subscriber list using customer data to allow for personalization.
  • Automated messaging: the ability to automate messages for things like cart abandonment, limited stock notifications and review requests.
  • Scheduling: tools for scheduling campaigns to be sent at specific times or dates to fit with your wider BFCM strategy. 
  • Two-way messaging: the ability to use shortcodes and keywords that enable customers to subscribe, opt-out or interact with your SMS campaigns.

Our recommended solutions: Attentive, Klaviyo, DotDigital.

10. Inventory, Shipping and Logistics

Because of the increased order volume over BFCM, it’s essential to be on the ball with stock and delivery management. If you’re not, you risk losing customers and earning yourself a poor reputation.

A robust inventory, shipping and logistics solution helps with real-time tracking of stock levels, so you don’t oversell on popular products. 

It also streamlines the order fulfillment process, automates shipping label generation and provides real-time shipment tracking, helping to prevent shipping delays and improving customer satisfaction

What to look for:

  • Inventory management: tools for real-time tracking of inventory levels, alerts for low stock, and the ability to easily manage product listings.
  • Shipping options and notifications: multiple carriers and methods, with rate calculation so customers get accurate costs, and tracking information to keep them informed.
  • Returns management: tools to efficiently handle returns, exchanges and refunds with automatic inventory updates. 
  • Forecasting: historical sales data and analytics to help forecast inventory needs and minimize the risk of stockouts.

Our recommended solutions: Shipbob, Sendcloud.

11. Loyalty

This is an essential part of an eCommerce tech stack if you want to build lasting customer loyalty during BFCM.

When you implement a loyalty program before the event, you can offer exclusive discounts or early access to members, significantly boosting sales and reinforcing existing relationships. Meanwhile, a loyalty program offered to BFCM customers gives them an incentive to return, increasing their LTV.

An effective solution will offer features for creating custom loyalty programs, tracking engagement, and turning your best customers into brand advocates. 

What to look for:

  • Customization: the ability to create bespoke programs including points based and tiered models, and to apply custom earn rules.
  • Personalized communication: emails and notifications that keep customers informed about their loyalty status, rewards and exclusive offers.
  • Redemption at checkout: tools to support the application of discount codes and promotions directly within the checkout for maximum customer convenience.
  • Referral and affiliate marketing: the ability for customers to refer friends and family, or to earn a commission for every sale generated through their unique referral code.

Our recommended solution: Influence.io.

12. Insights/Attribution

To extract maximum value from your BFCM campaign, you need to learn and adapt as you go. This is where insights and attribution software stakes its claim in your tech stack.

These tools provide data and analytics to track the performance of various marketing channels, helping you attribute sales and ROI to specific campaigns, channels or touchpoints and identify which strategies are driving the most conversions. 

By using this data-driven approach, you can optimize your marketing spend and adjust your strategies in real-time to maximize return on investment during the BFCM period.

What to look for:

  • Multi-channel tracking: the ability to track customer interactions across various marketing channels including social media, email, paid advertising and organic search. 
  • Performance metrics: access to data such as conversion rate, ROI and customer acquisition cost for each marketing channel.
  • Conversion attribution: the ability to apply models like first-click, last-click and multi-touch to understand how different touchpoints contribute to conversions. 
  • Journey mapping: tools that allow you to see the customer journey and gain insights into the typical paths to purchase.

Our recommended solution: TripleWhale.

The Key to a Powerful BFCM Tech Stack is Seamless Integration

All of these solutions have standalone benefits, and each plays its own role in a successful holiday campaign. But it’s integration that will turn your tech stack into a BFCM powerhouse. 

When you choose tools built to work together you ensure that data flows effortlessly between them. That means you can streamline operations through automation, make highly informed decisions and vastly improve the customer experience.

For example, with loyalty, reviews, email marketing and customer support all seamlessly connected, you can create a cohesive and personalized customer journey that drives engagement and ultimately leads to greater profitability. 

So when selecting products to add to your BFCM toolkit, be sure to prioritize integration to unlock the full potential of your tech stack.

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