Have you prepared for the biggest shopping season of the year — Black Friday and Cyber Monday (BFCM)?
Traditionally, Black Friday was for brick-and-mortar stores and Cyber Monday was for online stores. But with the omnichannel approach and shift to online, these lines are becoming more and more blurred. In 2019, Cyber Monday started to upstage Black Friday revenues. Cyber Monday surpassed the sales of Black Friday in the US in 2019, totaling $9 billion, according to Adobe Analytics.
Consumer behavior has changed, where people are relying more and more on eCommerce. As BFCM is coming soon, make sure your online store is well prepared. In this article, we’ll recap how Black Friday weekend went in 2020, what to expect from this year and how Judge.me can help you make your store stand out.
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Despite the significant growth of eCommerce, customers are unlikely to abandon physical stores. Instead, they expect to be able to shop both offline and online. Buy-online-pick-up-in-store (BOPIS) and buy-online-return-in-store (BORIS) have become more popular during the COVID-19 pandemic.
With the increased competition online, every online retailer is fighting for attention during Cyber Week (the five days between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday). This can be especially difficult for small businesses. Standing out is harder than ever and requires innovative marketing ideas, premium customer support, and smooth web operations to please customers.
BFCM sales in 2020 in the US topped all previous records. The Cyber Week has become one of the busiest shopping times of the year, crucial for both the economy and the retailers.
Black Friday takes place on the day after Thanksgiving, marking the start of the holiday shopping season. Retailers tend to start discounting one week ahead of the actual Black Friday.
BFCM sales in 2020 exceeded expectations. With brick-and-mortar shops closed and more people shopping online, sales for Cyber Monday in the US alone topped at $10.8 billion, a 15% growth compared to 2019. Black Friday sales done online were a bit lower at $9 billion.
What’s to look for in 2021?
After a record-breaking 2020, it is hard to predict the growth rates for this year’s BFCM. When everyone has got vaccinated, lockdowns and stay-at-home orders can become a thing of the past. Shall this change affect the growth rate of eCommerce?
Maybe. But BFCM sales have expanded from a day to a week, and eventually to a whole month. Large retailers like Amazon, Walmart, and Target have released early Black Friday campaigns, some already in October. In the meantime, more businesses are joining the field, online as well as offline retailers. So, a new sales record is not impossible.
In an online shopping landscape, it is hard to earn and maintain consumer trust. As opposed to brick-and-mortar retail, people are unable to see or touch the products.
Therefore, finding ways to showcase your products as accurately as possible is crucial.
Besides adding exhaustive product descriptions and top-quality pictures or video content, customer reviews can be of great help.
Nowadays, everything revolves around feedback. More and more consumers rely on testimonials when making purchase decisions. 92% of people read online reviews before purchasing. 72% have said positive reviews increase their trust in a business, research by BigCommerce found.
Customer testimonials are the perfect measure to establish trust and show a deep connection between your brand and your customers.
Let’s see how you can boost sales during BFCM with more social proof by using Judge.me.
Build a long-term relationship with reviewers through loyalty programs and coupons
Big sales events such as BFCM are great for gathering valuable customer feedback due to increased website traffic. Loyalty programs and coupons are a great way to reward your customers for taking the time to submit a review and encourage them to re-purchase from your store.
With Judge.me Coupons, you can predefine rewards conditions in your settings. For example, set a minimum customer rating eligible for a reward. After a customer has submitted a qualified review, Judge.me will send an email with a coupon code to that customer.
You can personalize your incentives even more by integrating Judge.me with a reward app. We will notify the integrated app to send rewards when the submitted reviews meet the predefined criteria.
Redecorate your storefront and display customer reviews
Contrary to popular belief, running an eCommerce store isn’t easy. More than just setting up a website, it requires care and constant attention in order to make sales. Did you know that only 22% of businesses are happy with their conversion rates? One thing that can help with conversions is displaying your customer reviews on your webshop. When too many BFCM discounts are presented in front of customers’ eyes, good customer reviews might be the only factor to help them make a purchase decision. There are several ways to best display your reviews, and Judge.me can help.
Exhibiting top reviews can help you win the trust of your visitors, and more reviews are better than just one. More than half of online shoppers have said to read at least four reviews before deciding on a purchase.
With Judge.me Reviews Carousel, you can create a carousel to showcase your top product reviews and place it anywhere on your web store for customers to scroll through. You can choose among six carousel themes and customize them with a free plan.
Need more inspirations? Have a look at some real examples of Reviews Carousel here.
Storefront notifications integration
Storefront notification is excellent for a sales uplift during your Cyber Week campaigns. It’s a good way to stimulate curiosity and fear-of-missing-out in your visitors when they are scrolling through your page and not sure where to go next!
By using a storefront notification app integrated with Judge.me such as AVADA, Fomo, and ProveSource, you showcase your latest reviews as pop-ups on the storefront. This can help you boost revenues by customizing your pop-ups and encourage visitors to buy more products during the sales campaigns. What is more, carefully designed pop-ups are proven to boost conversion rates up to 10%!
Page builders integration
If you want to go even further with customization, you can also integrate several Shopify page builders. Apps like PageFly, GemPages, or Zipify offer automatic integration with Judge.me, so you can display your Judge.me star ratings easily while redesigning your store or landing pages.
Customization is a great idea to stand out from the competition during the Cyber Week sales. You can achieve a more sleek page design even through small adjustments.
Expand your reach via social media
With the rise in social media usage and third-party review platforms, your customers won’t only turn to your eCommerce store for reviews.
So, where are they searching the most?
Customers like to research products over social media before purchasing. In 2020, 42% had used social media platforms for product research. Younger consumers are accustomed to this behavior. According to one research, 16 to 24-year-olds conduct more product research over social media than on search engines.
Therefore, it is so important to showcase your customer reviews on your social media channels and use the power of influencers to vouch for your products.
Automatic social push of reviews
With Judge.me Social Sharing, you can showcase and distribute your store reviews automatically on your social media pages.
As time is limited during busy sales events like Black Friday, Automatic Push does the work for you. On Facebook or Twitter, you can automate review sharing based on predetermined criteria. You can set the exact conditions of when, where, and how the reviews will be distributed. For example, you can set a minimum star rating, opt for reviews with pictures only, or share only verified reviews.
If your Facebook page has got more than 2000 likes, the Facebook Reviews tab will allow syncing the page from your Review Widget directly with your Facebook page.
Work with influencers to promote your store
Social commerce is increasingly driving more online sales. Over the BFCM weekend in 2020, 1 out of 10 visits to store websites came through social media.
Therefore, you shouldn’t forget the power of influencers who can share opinions about your products. Despite controversies, one study found that nearly half of respondents (49.3%) had made a purchase based on the influencers’ recommendations.
User-generated content (UGC) is growing in popularity. 96% of consumers have said they don’t trust traditional ads anymore, making UGC a great alternative to build trust. For example, by having influencers posting pictures of them wearing the pieces of clothing you are selling, you can give customers a better understanding of how your products look in real life.
Judge.me recommendations page
With a dedicated Judge.me Recommendations page, you have another channel to showcase organic, unbiased, and genuine UGC. By working with influencers, you can urge them to share their feedback and ratings of your products on their Judge.me recommendations page, with affiliate links and discount codes to purchase the products on your eCommerce site.
Help customers find you easier via search
Did you know you can boost SEO with your customer reviews? By adding a Google rich snippet, you can improve your visibility on Google search results. Rich snippets come in different forms, like recipe, movie, or events snippets, with review snippets being the most popular.
During sales events, you have to make sure your shop is discoverable out of endless pages on Google. Review rich snippets can help you stand out and attract more visitors to your site, thus increasing traffic. However, with none or limited coding skills, rich snippets can be tricky to implement.
Google rich snippets
Judge.me SEO rich snippets will make your life easier. All you need to do is turn on review snippets in settings, then these snippets will be added automatically to the search results of your product pages – as simple as that!
Ensure your store is fast during high traffic times
BFCM and the time around it can be the most stressful time for online retailers for several reasons. One of them is that extremely high traffic can cause a website to crash or decrease the overall loading speed. Website crash and slow loading speed equal lost customers and lost sales. Judge.me is one of the lightest review apps for Shopify, so rest assured that your review widgets will still work properly during peak season.
With sky-high competition online, especially during Cyber week, positive customer reviews can help your eCommerce store stand out.
Customer reviews benefit both large and small retailers and provide crucial information and value to your customers. Several online retailers have been using customer reviews to encourage purchases and create instant credibility, especially during high traffic sales events like BFCM.
Now it is time for you to get on board and Judge.me can help you with several ways to showcase your customer reviews to potential customers. After all, customers trust other customers, and genuine reviews are way more trustworthy than any ad.