There’s a lot of noise within the eCommerce space surrounding how to prepare for Black Friday in 2021 but what happens after Black Friday? In this post, we will explore ways to maintain a unique shopper experience post Black Friday to increase customer retention and extend customer lifetime value.
We won’t go into the nitty-gritty details of how Covid19 has caused major shifts in purchasing behaviors, as you probably already know all about this. But one new behavior we are seeing isn’t on the customers’ side, but the retailers’. In an effort to keep in-store consumer traffic low, retailers are rethinking the holiday shopping tradition and are positioning eCommerce as a key part of the holiday strategy. What does this mean? Well, it means the competition for online sales just increased this season. Given your business model is already digital, your focus shouldn’t just lean towards capturing the initial buy but also enhancing your digital framework to set up a unique experience that extends the relationship and generates repeat customers. Let’s review a few tips that can help you accomplish this.
1. Be service driven
Driving customer loyalty heavily revolves around the brand providing top-notch customer service. In fact, 93% of customers are more likely to be repeat customers due to excellent customer service. In an age where so many brands are fighting for the attention of online buyers, your biggest differentiator is going to be your customer experience strategy.
Let’s be honest, an increase in customers visiting your site during and after Black Friday can delay many aspects of your digital strategy such as shipping, delivery, and even website performance. Although these factors are often out of your control, how you communicate this to your customer is not. Knowing this, you should have a communication strategy and plan in place to combat any negative sentiment delays can bring. Make sure you are responding to customers in a timely manner that is cohesive to the brand and aligns with your brand's overall customer service strategy.
Omnichannel Customer Experience
Your customer service strategy may include a wide range of channels from email, live chat, social media, and SMS. When having multiple support channels, being consistent and unified will be key in creating a positive experience for your customers. Customers love knowing that they are communicating with actual human beings, so having an omnichannel approach that incorporates personalization will be beneficial in that unique customer experience after Black Friday. In the past, the term personalization usually meant there would be challenges for scalability but now with platforms like Gorgias merchants are able to build and manage a customer-first approach that leans heavily on personalization and quick response times.
2. Provide meaningful upsells/cross sells
Retailers with a physical location leverage the checkout zone as a way to generate impulse purchases. As a consumer in a sneaker store, your last-minute shoelace purchase may seem like a mindless pickup but to the retailer, it's intentionally and even strategically positioned at the point of sale. Retailers know that once a customer makes it to the checkout line they are fully committed to the purchase. This means they are more likely to act on buying additional goods as they get closer to checkout. Generally speaking, big retail companies do their research. They understand the basic needs of their most common customer and meet them at the end of their purchasing journey to deliver it.
The eCommerce checkout experience holds the same power as that of a traditional retail space. Optimizing your cart and checkout pages will increase units per transaction as well as AOV (average order value). Let's take a look at a few upsell strategies.
Traditional Upselling + Cross-Selling
Commonly confused, upselling and cross-selling are both focused on providing more value and benefits to customers. An upsell strategy will lean more towards driving a customer to a higher-priced item than that in which they are already prepared to purchase. Cross-selling, on the other hand, is geared towards introducing items that could be complementary to the product the customer is intending to purchase.
Post-purchase upsells are offers a customer sees after making a purchase but before they exit the store. This is usually presented with a pop-up page that allows the customer to navigate through potential purchases without having the burden of having to reinsert payment details. UX principles can be leveraged when building your post-purchase page, assuring the customer experience best represents the brand.
There are apps and platforms dedicated to enhancing the user experience while promoting products through upsells and post-purchase upsells such as OrderBump. A combination of knowing your consumer and tracking data is key in this sales technique and is going to be a driver in delivering successful products. For a merchant like Slick Products, they were able to generate 2x monthly revenue while leveraging the Upsell app.
3. Learn from the data
Holiday traffic presents challenges from a data analytics perspective. Specifically, the volume and intention of consumers during the holiday season does not match the rest of the year. That said, this challenge does not mean that there isn't critical information to be gleaned.
- Marketing budgets are often heavily expanded during the holiday season, and may also include additional channels that aren’t normally included in marketing spend. Increased traffic and consumer motivation still require consumer awareness and interest to lead to conversion. Proper analytics setup will allow attribution to show where you saw the best results. This can give insight into particular campaigns or channels which pulled consumers into a purchase funnel, which may indicate where funds should be allocated even after the holidays.
- Not all data is numerical. Oftentimes we focus on aggregated metrics and forget or devalue qualitative data, such as surveys, usability tests, or screen recordings. During the increased traffic period, there will potentially be very robust browsing behavior content and reviews that can help find friction points in purchase journeys such as inability to find desired products, missing information, or last-minute objections that need to be overcome.
Now that you have some tips under your belt it’s time to put them to action. As you continue to prepare your eCommerce space for the holiday season remember that having a successful Black Friday strategy doesn’t just lean towards generating quality campaigns.
A strong Black Friday strategy is one that plans past the initial purchase and builds optimization strategies to scale for the future while in return, keeping those first time Black Friday shoppers coming back. If the thought of revising your digital framework seems overwhelming, don’t worry, that’s what agencies like Vaan are here for. Vaan partners with various brands in designing and building technologies that enhance your digital properties and prepare you for the future of online consumer experiences.
Happy selling and good luck during this holiday season!
Author: Logan Alphin, Vaan