Undoubtedly the biggest shopping event of the year, Black Friday Cyber Monday (BFCM) is a staggering weekend for sales. In 2019, Shopify merchants collectively made over $2.9 billion USD in sales solely over the weekend.
Traditionally, BFCM has kicked off the Christmas shopping season with hordes of eager customers flooding shop doors from as early as 5 am. This year, however, shoppers are more likely to shop online than in-store, for obvious reasons (our research showed that only 31% of consumers intend to visit physical store locations)
This doesn’t have to be bad news. 2018 was a record-breaking year for ecommerce retailers, bringing in $6.2 billion in online sales, growing by 23.6% compared to the previous year. Overall, online sales are soaring this year as customers adapt to a new way of making purchases.
Even in previous years, compared to a normal sales day, online traffic has increased by up to 220% on Black Friday and 155% on Cyber Monday. With this deluge of traffic, this is the perfect moment to attract new customers to your business and welcome them into your brand world. Do this right, and you’ll be able to retain them for longer than just the BFCM weekend – and, in time, make them loyal followers of your brand.
Tried and trusted methods to attract new customers to your business for BFCM
With a flood of web visitors over the BFCM weekend, you’re unlikely to have a better opportunity to attract new customers to your business. Only 25% of people won’t open retail brand emails during BFCM20. Meanwhile, more than a third (39%) plan to spend more time on social media to browse deals. With potential customers eagerly standing by their email and social media accounts, these are key places to implement an impactful acquisition strategy.
Encourage guest shoppers to become members through email marketing
Make your BFCM email offering more compelling than the competition with loyalty offers. Send customers emails that show them the clear benefits of getting involved with your program so they can see what they’re missing out on by not signing up.
The environmentally-conscious beauty brand, Farmacy, offers a 20% sitewide discount for members only. This makes members feel valued and promotes a sense of urgency to shop within the timeframe provided. Find out more about Farmacy’s loyalty program in the LoyaltyLion Hall of Fame.
At the same time, it’s used as a recruitment tool to bring in new loyalty program members:
During our April 2020 sales, we saw a 14% growth in our loyalty program members.
Grace Huan, Senior Director of Ecommerce at Farmacy
Advertise the benefits of your program using social media
You can’t expect people to join a loyalty program if they don’t know it’s happening or why it’s so great! Incentivize customers to follow you on social media and then frequently showcase your loyalty program in your posts, stories, highlights or reels.
Your social media followers are more passive than customers, and they may not have shopped with you before. It’s your job to get these social media followers onto your site and signed up by enthusing about the perks of your loyalty program.
Online lingerie store Black Limba is a great example of how to effectively execute a campaign on social media to drive interest in loyalty program sign-ups. On their Instagram Stories, they had a countdown timer ticking down to the launch date. They also posted stories to educate customers on how to earn points. (Instagram Stories has over 500 million daily users and 62% of people say they have become interested in a brand after seeing it on Stories.)
Around the launch of the “Limba Collective”, the brand also introduced the program in a post on their Instagram feed. Shoppers were excited and asked questions about the program, which Black Limba answered. In their answers, they also hinted towards the perks to garner excitement. Check out the LoyaltyLion Hall of Fame to hear more loyalty strategies directly from Black Limba.
The power of customer referrals and reviews
Never underestimate the power of customer advocacy for acquiring new customers to your store.
Referral marketing builds trust in your brand. When people have had a good experience, they like to let their friends and family know about it. This creates a sense of trust between your business and your potential customers. In fact, 92% of customers trust recommendations from people they know. While 74% of consumers identify word of mouth as a key influencing factor in their purchasing decisions. More specifically over the seasonal sales this year:
- 38% of the shoppers we spoke to said they will refer friends over the seasonal sales
- 36% said they would act on a friend’s recommendation
Referrals are a more cost-effective channel for acquiring new customers, especially over BFCM, as the recommendation comes from someone the customer trusts and they end up spending 200% more on average
So, how do you encourage referrals? Motivate more customers to refer their friends by rewarding them loyalty points or money off every time they make a successful recommendation. A “Give 20%, Get $20”deal where both the referrer and the referred benefit, is a win all around.
Skincare brand Manuka Doctor executes their referral strategy brilliantly. In the brand’s navigation menu, there’s a clear “Refer-a-friend” button, immediately tempting curious shoppers to click. When they do, they’re shown a landing page that shares the benefits of making a referral and the steps to complete the action.
Manuka Doctor’s referrals are also beneficial for all parties. The referred shopper gets 15% of their first order if they buy through a referral link. In return, the advocate gets £10 of loyalty credit.
This mutually beneficial approach has brought 15K new visitors to Manuka Doctor’s site – 1,000 of whom have converted into new customers
Reviews are just as important to acquire new customers over BFCM. 88% of people trust online reviews written by other customers as much as they trust recommendations from personal contacts such as friends and family.
Try collecting and displaying honest reviews of your products or services in as many places as possible. You can do this on social media, by add an integration to your website or even encourage people to leave reviews on Google Business.
New, curious shoppers can use them to make decisions about your product or brand. And, particularly over the sales period, they’ll be reading feedback from real people that feels authentic and trustworthy.
Motivate more customers to leave reviews by rewarding them with loyalty points every time they leave feedback. You could even send out emails to your members showing them they’ll get points for completing the activity.
Annmarie Skin Care is one example of a brand that has executed this well. They have integrated their loyalty program with the reviews platform, Okendo, to reward customers 200 points for a review. Under each product listing, they then display the star rating.
When customers click through and read the reviews, they see how the product works on different skin types. Reviewers can also leave a photo review and pick the “effectiveness” and “scent” of the product. The brand has gained 3,084 reviews as a result.
Rewarding reviews means that Annmarie has huge volumes of social proof to replace the in-store experience. It guides customers to make a choice (instead of a sales assistant helping). Plus, the images and “scent” sliders help shoppers almost try the product, without in-store testers.
Transform casual BFCM shoppers into loyal customers
This year, turn the surge in online traffic around BFCM into loyal, returning customers. Attract new customers to your business by utilizing email and social media to nudge customers into signing up for your loyalty program. Leverage existing customers by transforming them into brand advocates through reviews and referrals.