Aside from Christmas, Black Friday & Cyber Monday are two of the biggest dates on our calendar in Q4, with Thanksgiving kicking off the holiday season with 5 days of madness.
With some good planning, product reviews and resolute tips, you can benefit from that madness and take Black Friday & Cyber Monday in your stride, to create hundreds of brand advocates and see your bottom line boom.
Holiday commerce is big business. Christmas is the time for travelling, feasting, absorbing ourselves in the festive atmosphere, but most of all, giving. Everyone is looking for the perfect gift, more importantly they're looking for it at a great price. Black Friday & Cyber Monday (BFCM) mean individuals can do both.
During BFCM, people deviate from their normal shopping habits due to the mammoth savings and spend in places that wouldn't normally catch their eye, helping businesses increase their customer-base. This also means individuals can afford to be a lot more picky, so making sure your business stands head and shoulders above the rest is imperative.
People begin their wish list research in October, with some even ticking things off their shopping list before November rolls around. So now is the time to take action for Black Friday & Cyber Monday.
I needn't drive home the enormity of these figures, so let's get down to some planning.
The first port of call is to know exactly what you want to put on offer, how much you want to discount it by, and what other deals you can promote during this time. Knowing the reasons behind BFCM shopping is vital.
These are the top 5 reasons shoppers take part in the 5 day event:
1) There is an inherent drive to take advantage of BFCM2) Individuals want gifts3) They want the top-shelf good stuff4) They want it affordably5) And they want to purchase with ease
So plan to discount your more expensive or luxury items, and make those deals something shoppers haven't seen all year. If they could get 40% off in August, there's nothing special about what you're offering now - they're likely to shop elsewhere.
Exclusivity creates urgency, something already instilled by the 5-day-only event. To maximise on the time-limit of BFCM, you could also integrate a count-down timer on-site. Build up to the event and press the temporary nature of your great offers, instilling urgency to grab a deal before time runs out.
Don't just focus on your high-end products, you can also promote and discount other items you're trying to clear or may not be as popular the rest of the year. Because the drive is so great to make the most of BFCM tradition, people will still want to cash-in.
Another way to help determine deals is to listen to your customers throughout the year. To find out your customer's thoughts and opinions you can ask them for a review. Collecting reviews gives you a wealth of insight on your products and services, so if you've got your review strategy in place you've already got a head start.
Customer feedback Reviews enable you to establish strengths in your products, service and customer buying journey for you to reinforce and build upon. If you know what your customers love, it can be utilised in your BFCM deals. When The Tight Spot started collecting product reviews with REVIEWS.io, their customers were calling out for more colours. The Tight Spot listened, and brought out a fall line.
You can easily get started with product review collection using REVIEWS.io's Review Booster. Harness the power of previous sales by reaching out to those customers and asking them for a review. This review injection will give you a great foundation to establish trends before Black Friday & Cyber Monday, after which you'll see a surge of reviews putting you in great stead for Christmas.
Other options If you're a service-based business or don't really come under the shopper criteria umbrella, you can still gain from Black Friday & Cyber Monday. Use this time to offer free or discounted trials, or run free shipping in the lead-up to and during BFCM.
The most important thing to remember for all businesses is to make sure your deals and offers, whatever their nature, are easy for shoppers to access and pay for. Time is short, especially as Black Friday & Cyber Monday themselves fall on working days. People want to get gifts at the click of a button without having to dig deep into your site.
If in-store, individuals need to know instantly which items are on offer so they can make a b-line to what they need, rather than traipse around trying to find an assistant or be sorely disappointed when they get to the checkout.
Overall give your customers what they're after, reduce friction, and try and think outside the box to shape the event, deals and offers you provide to your business' needs and demographic.
With your deals and discounts established you need to make sure your content is up to spec. Educate your readers to your offers and promotions, create some hype for the upcoming event. If you prepare your customers for the savings that lie ahead, they'll pencil your business in as the place to shop.
Having Black Friday & Cyber Monday holiday-based content enables your business to rank in the listings, increasing your visibility. This visibility can be enhanced tenfold through visual validation. I'm talking about stars, and stars come from reviews.
Increase visibility, traffic & engagement Collecting reviews in the lead-up to Black Friday & Cyber Monday makes your products and services stand out from similar offers with no stars to their name. Consumers can see from the get-go the level at which you're operating, and thus the quality of your products.
You're on the shopping list.
Review stars alongside your listings help boost visibility and drive traffic to your website, which is exactly what you want in the BFCM furore. With an increase in traffic, keep your deal-hungry shoppers on-site by displaying product reviews on your individual product pages.
Reviews are choc-full of peer-based information that can't be found through product specifications alone. Armed with the information they need, shoppers will be more engaged with your brand and needn't shop around further. Product reviews mean shoppers can make meaningful purchase decisions and snap up your great BFCM deals.
To get those product reviews on-site you can use one of the many Reviews.io rich-results friendly widgets. With a product review widget on your website you can display your reviews for all your shoppers to see. It's these widgets which will enable those great review stars to shine through in any organic listings, putting you front and centre.
Optimise your ads Another shopping list you can bolster through reviews is Google Shopping. During Black Friday & Cyber Monday it'll be an all out war for Google Shopping listings. Make sure you've added your special offers, optimised your bids, and got those great star ratings under each one. Once again, product reviews enable your business to be the #1 contender during BFCM.
This may also be the time to consider launching a new product. Don't forget, everybody is shopping during this season and many look at shops and items they wouldn't normally use. During the heightened search period and visibility, BFCM is the perfect platform to put out something new for your business to then capitalise on.
Collecting reviews during such a big spending period is an ideal opportunity to get stars in your Google Ads as well. As with organic listings and Google Shopping, stars in your Google Ads, known as Seller Ratings, strengthen your visibility and consumer confidence in your brand. To see stars in your Google Ads, you need to collect reviews with a Google Licensed Review Partner, such as REVIEWS.io.
You need 100 verified company reviews in a 12 month period in one country to qualify for Seller Ratings. With such an influx of sales during BFCM, you'll easily hit that target, giving you a great foothold for Christmas and beyond.
It's all come down to this - 5 days of non-stop sales. Your deals are in place, you're on people's shopping lists, you're leading the listings with your reviews - so make sure all the hard work you've put in pays off during the main event.
Technical support It's important your website is up to the task of having a huge onslaught of traffic during this time, so make sure your technical team are doing everything they can to avoid and minimise any downtime, as well as optimise site speed. If shoppers have to wait for deals to load, the search becomes tedious and slow, eating up their precious time. You should consider shopper time as your time, and as we all know time is money.
It doesn't matter if your offers beat other businesses - if shoppers are left waiting and frustrated, they'll be happy to jump ship just to grab an available deal which they can do so there and then. Running things smoothly keeps shoppers on-site rather than searching with a competitor.
Don't forget to keep whatever you advertise on your website mobile-friendly as well. As stated, mobile accounted for over 60% of shopping visits from Thanksgiving through to Cyber Monday, with mobile alone reaping in $2 billion's worth of sales.
Customer support It's important to note that during this time you should also have a contingency plan for any issues that do arise. Customer support can help make or break your sales during Black Friday & Cyber Monday. If shoppers questions, complaints, or concerns aren't addressed quickly, why waste time with your business when they can get a similar service with the desired outcome elsewhere?
This also results in high rates of cart abandonment. During the frenzied sales of Black Friday & Cyber Monday, a streamlined buyer journey is crucial - shoppers need everything at their fingertips.
Once again, reviews offer an abundance of information which shoppers can garner, and help reduce discarded baskets and the load for your customer support teams. You can stay on top everything your customers are saying by monitoring and managing reviews within the REVIEWS.io Timeline.
Notifications and alerts can be set to make sure problems don't escalate, turning unhappy customers into brand advocates, a chance for you to expand your customer base in the lead-up to Christmas.
Don't passively let Black Friday & Cyber Monday pass your business by, get proactive and drive customers to your store and thrive this season.
Know what your customers want to shape the perfect deals, prepare in the weeks leading up to BFCM, and power through the main event.
To find out more about how to help your business grow through reviews, visit our website, alternatively, call a member of our team today and we can get you ready for Black Friday & Cyber Monday.