Black Friday and Cyber Monday bring out a flood of deal hunters. But how can you turn your newly acquired shoppers into loyal, long-term customers? We asked six eCommerce experts to share their best BFCM advice.
1. Create an unforgettable unboxing experience
“We are seeing brands spend more time focusing on… their brand! From custom unboxings to even creating custom rules on their subscription products (so they include special VIP products, freebies, or promotional inserts with discount codes to use on future purchases to increase LTV and ultimately lock in subscription customers for longer periods of time).
“Creating an unforgettable unboxing experience can help your brand stand out from the competition and leave a lasting impression (what else has a 100% open rate?). ShipBob’s Customization Suite has been a huge hit among our 7,000 customers (around 40% of our customers use some form of customization!) such as:
- Incorporating custom packaging (custom boxes and mailers), with packaging preferences set at SKU-level
- Customizing how inventory is prepared for customers (and even expediting fulfillment with ready-to-ship kits)
- Making receiving a package feel like receiving a gift by including special add-ons and inserts
- Having customers add customizable gift notes or heartfelt notes to their recipients when checking out (we’ve seen really sweet examples, from bridesmaids thanking those who will be standing by their side, to mothers who miss their children who live states away)
“A lot of logistics-related tools that increase conversions also go hand-in-hand with retention, such as two-day shipping and badging and estimated delivery dates shown pre-checkout on Shopify stores product pages. Delivering on that fast delivery promise can go a long way in remembering speed for a future purchase.”
2. Lead with subscriptions
“Consumers want value, especially in uncertain economic times. Use this fact to your advantage with subscriptions. Subscriptions are typically paired with discounts from 5% to 15% off, making them more valuable than one-time purchases. The benefit to your brand is that subscribers have a greater customer lifetime value (CLV). For instance, Equator Coffees’ subscribers’ CLV is five times higher than their non-subscribers.
“Ordergroove recommends you take these steps to turn deal hunters into subscribers:
“Add subscription messaging to your packaging: During the holidays, you never know if a customer is buying your product for themselves or as a gift. Include subscription messaging with your packaging to ensure that if it is a gift, the recipient will know there is an easy way to repurchase their new present.
“Segment your customers by purchased product: Determine which product has the highest conversion rate for subscriptions. Send subscription messaging through email or SMS to your customers who bought this product during the duration of your sale. We recommend a three-stage messaging campaign.
“Your first communication should focus on the value the customer will receive if they subscribe. Don’t just hint at it; show them. If your product costs $20 and you offer a 10% discount for monthly subscribers, that’s $24 a year that they’ll save.
“The second communication should focus on convenience. Emphasize that subscriptions give shoppers back time and make their lives easier. They never have to worry about running out of dog food for diapers at inconvenient times.
“The final message should focus on the experiences. Highlight the unique aspects of your subscription experience. Do your subscribers receive early access to products? Will they receive exclusive content? Can they access an exclusive community or attend an event?
“Default to subscriptions: We encourage brands with subscription offerings to default to subscription in their checkout. This is because subscriptions should be the best way to purchase from your brand in terms of value and experience. Our data shows that defaulting to subscriptions can increase enrollment by as much as 200%.
“The critical thing to remember is that you don’t want to trick shoppers into a subscription. Use messaging that explains to shoppers that subscriptions are the best and most valuable way to purchase your product. Show them how much money they’ll save by subscribing. Most importantly, reassure shoppers that they can cancel their subscription at any time.
“Another best practice we encourage brands to adopt is to match their holiday discount and subscription enrollment incentive. Becoming a subscriber should be the best way to shop with your brand. By offering a larger discount to non-subscribers, you’re cannibalizing your subscription program and potentially driving down CLV. If you can’t do this, find a way to drive subscriber loyalty. You can send handwritten notes thanking them for subscribing or give them a surprise gift with purchase.”
3. Find ways to drive brand allegiance
“A deal hunter is motivated primarily by price. A loyal customer is motivated primarily by product fit and how your brand makes them feel. The challenge is shifting the deal hunter from price motivation to product and brand allegiance.
“Here are ideas that might help drive this shift:
- Stay away from offering deals or discounts. This will only reinforce a price-centric motivation and will begin to associate your brand with discounts as your differentiator.
- Focus on making them feel special and appreciated. This can be done with a handwritten note of thanks, for example. For a more scalable alternative, a typed note is fine as long as it is personalized to both the buyer and the product purchased (maybe at least a handwritten signature!).
- Share social proof with selected reviews touting the value of the purchased products. If personalizing each order with specific product reviews is a challenge, at the very least, include customer praise for the company itself.
- Provide reassurance with a strong customer satisfaction policy and an easy-to-use returns program.
- Include an element of surprise that fits with your brand. Random candies included? A branded sticker? A poem of affection for your products?
- Provide access to supplemental information of value, such as educational videos about the product. Ideally, this would be product-specific content, but again, if that’s not possible, at least some high-quality, brand-reinforcing video content will work. A simple QR code can lead the customer to your desired online content.
- Follow up after the order has been fulfilled. Timing will vary based on your product, but the follow-up should assess satisfaction with the order process, order delivery, and product experience. Asking for a review is also an essential component of this follow-up. To help increase the chances of getting a response, provide a variety of ways for them to share their feedback with you – email, text, voice recording, phone call, web form, etc.”
4. Combat cart abandonment with multiple payment methods
“Cart abandonment is a year-round problem — with 65% of shoppers discarding their carts at checkout. However, considering that 2022’s peak holiday season occurs against a challenging macroeconomic backdrop, the damaging impacts of cart abandonment will be amplified for retailers on Black Friday & Cyber Monday. Deal hunters are more likely to abandon their cart if their preferred payment method is unavailable. While credit cards remain popular in the U.S., consumers use many other payment methods that vary by local market, such as iDeal in the Netherlands or KNET in Kuwait. Understanding these local payment methods is critical to personalize the checkout experience and maximize conversion for loyal shoppers during peak season.”
5. Leverage first-party data
“Consumers expect D2C brands to offer their best promo codes on Black Friday and Cyber Monday and will be scouring the internet for the best deals. You can get the most out of the sales event (and increased traffic to your site) by ensuring the data you collect aids your long-term growth.
“The Littledata crew recommends leveraging first-party data captured from your website’s new visitors. Accurate tracking will allow you to build an audience in Google Analytics worth retargeting. Complete attribution will allow you to segment those who might have viewed a page, visited the cart but didn’t check out, or even bought an item with a personalized campaign. This fuels making the right data-determined decisions for increased ROI.
“We are excited to see how brands leverage this time of year to tell their brand story, incentivize purchases, and for those who use Littledata to capture a vast amount of data going into 2023.”
6. Focus on personalization, subscriptions, and retention marketing
“With brand loyalty at an all-time low, harnessing the power of personalization, subscriptions, and retention marketing can help brands convert and retain customers long-term. This three-fold strategy can be used in various ways to maximize customer lifetime value and establish a relationship, resulting in more frequent purchases and increased brand loyalty.
“1. Collect as much data as possible when visitors enter your site to serve them personalized products and content throughout their user journey. Onsite personalization is proven to maximize conversion efforts nearly tenfold. Providing a personalized experience will engage your users and allow for a memorable onsite experience, and thus, is more likely to create a loyal customer.
“2. Offer limited-time subscription offers for customers who sign-up during BFCM. Some examples of offerings that we see with optimal results are:
- A. An additional % off subscriptions for a limited time
- B. A free product added to the bundle, only if you subscribe during that time frame
“3. Remind your customers to come back to your site by implementing a retention marketing campaign that is segmented, targeted, and personalized. By segmenting your audiences and understanding who they are, you can serve personalized content and products that are most relevant to each core segment. By importing data from your personalization platform to your ESP, you can leverage important data from customers’ on-site shopping behaviors and ensure you are providing the most personalized experience available.
“If your business is not in the subscription space, leveraging the onsite and retention personalization strategies mentioned above will still help you retain and increase your loyal customer base and ensure your subscriber list is filled with high-intent purchasers.”
Each month, Ordergroove asks experts to share their opinions on eCommerce, Relationship Commerce, or subscriptions. If you have a question for our experts or want to be considered for inclusion in future blog posts, email us at [email protected]