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Your Ultimate BFCM Preparation Checklist for Shopify Success

October 03, 2023
As the calendar approaches the holiday season, anticipation for Black Friday builds with each passing day. Data from 2021 sets the stage: Shopify merchants achieved an average cart price of $100.70 during BFCM, and peak sales for all Shopify merchants skyrocketed to a staggering $3.1 million per minute.

These statistics aren't just numbers; they're a preview of the immense potential waiting to be unlocked on Black Friday. To help you get ready for the biggest shopping event of the year, we’ve crafted a list to boost your sales.

1. Crafting Irresistible Discounts and Deals

In the fast-paced world of retail, crafting irresistible discounts and deals is a skill that can make or break a business. Whether you're a small boutique or a major online retailer, the importance of planning and organizing discounts and deals in advance cannot be overstated. In this section, we will delve into the significance of meticulous planning, the need for a comprehensive marketing strategy for Black Friday, and the recommendation to offer rewards to customers with positive interactions.

The Power of Advance Planning:

65% of US shoppers indicated they would make their holiday purchases before BFCM.
One of the fundamental aspects of creating irresistible discounts and deals is thorough advance planning. Rushing into last-minute offers can lead to hasty decisions and potential mistakes. Here's why meticulous planning is essential:
  • Maximize Profit Margins: Planning in advance allows you to carefully select which products or services to discount without compromising your profit margins. This strategic approach ensures that your discounts serve your business goals.
  • Inventory Management: By forecasting demand and stock levels ahead of time, you can prevent overstocking or understocking issues. This helps you maintain customer satisfaction while minimizing losses.
  • Effective Communication: Pre-planned discounts enable you to craft compelling marketing materials, ensuring that your messaging is clear, consistent, and tailored to your target audience.
  • Comprehensive Loyalty Program: BFCM attracts a surge of new customers seeking irresistible deals. However, without a retention strategy in place, these one-time shoppers may disappear after the weekend. A comprehensive loyalty widget, like Ako Loyalty, not only attracts new customers but also retains them. By offering VIP Tiers, exclusive rewards, and personalized incentives, you can encourage BFCM shoppers to return long after the sales frenzy subsides.

2. The Black Friday Challenge:

To stand out in the crowded marketplace during this shopping event, a comprehensive marketing strategy is essential.
  • Early Promotion: Start promoting your Black Friday deals well in advance to create anticipation among your audience. Teasers, sneak peeks, and countdowns can build excitement and increase customer engagement.
  • Multi-Channel Marketing: Utilize various marketing channels, including social media, email marketing, paid advertising, and influencer partnerships, to reach a broader audience. Consistency across these channels is key to building brand recognition.
  • Exclusive Perks: Consider offering exclusive perks to early-bird shoppers or loyal customers. This can include early access to deals, special bundles, or personalized recommendations based on their shopping history.

3. Rewarding Positive Interactions:

Customer interactions are the lifeblood of any business. Rewarding customers for their positive interactions goes beyond discounts and deals and can foster lasting relationships:

  • Loyalty Programs: Implement a loyalty program that rewards customers for repeat purchases, referrals, and engagement on social media. These rewards can range from discounts and freebies to exclusive access to events or products. Ako Loyalty App is your go-to tool for rewarding your customers. It lets you elevate the customer experience through a range of features, including point-earning rules, VIP tiers, membership renewals, and referral rewards.

  • Engagement Recognition: Acknowledge and appreciate customer feedback and positive interactions on social media, your website, or through email marketing campaigns. A simple thank you can go a long way in building goodwill and trust. Klaviyo revolutionizes email marketing with its unique approach. Its integrations seamlessly connect your data across your entire tech ecosystem, enabling precise targeting and personalization for your email campaigns.

  • Personalized Offers: Leverage customer data to tailor discounts and deals to individual preferences. Personalization not only boosts sales but also makes customers feel valued and understood. Product Discount, a top-rated app by Bold, offers a unique blend of features that make it a must-have for the upcoming shopping event. With Product Discount, you can effortlessly create site-wide sales or apply pricing discounts to specific products based on brand, collection, or type—no more hassle with coupon codes. Plus, you can schedule sales and send notifications to your customers with an engaging countdown clock. By mastering these elements, you not only boost sales but also cultivate a loyal customer base that keeps coming back for more.

4. Getting Ready for Black Friday Traffic Peaks

Throughout the Black Friday and Cyber Monday (BFCM) season, your online store is bound to experience a significant uptick in traffic. Prepare your store to ensure a successful sales event. Emphasize preparation, conduct final checks, utilize Shopify apps, and optimize page speed for a seamless shopping experience to increase sales, increase trust, and prevent downtime.

1. Final Checks and Shopify Apps:

Streamline your preparations:
  • Manage inventory and prevent stock issues.
  • Optimize for mobile shoppers.
  • Utilize Shopify apps for efficiency and data analysis.

2. Stress Testing and Speed Optimization:

For a smooth shopping experience:
  • Conduct stress tests to identify weaknesses.
  • Optimize page loading speed for faster access.

5. Update and Improve Your Storefront: Your digital face to the world

Your online storefront is your digital face to the world. Regularly updating and improving it is not just a good practice; it's essential for staying ahead. Adding "coming soon" pages and interactive landing pages, and highlighting how a seamless shopping experience plays a pivotal role in customer retention, will help you increase your sales. Some things you need to consider are:

Eye-Catching Visuals and interactive Elements:
  • Use high-quality images and graphics to showcase your products or deals.
  • Consider adding banners or sliders with compelling BFCM messaging and countdown timers to create a sense of urgency.
  • Add interactive elements like product configurators, quizzes, or virtual try-ons to engage customers.

Mobile Optimization:
  • Ensure your storefront is mobile-friendly, as many shoppers browse and shop on their smartphones.
  • Test your website's responsiveness and usability on various mobile devices.

"Coming Soon" Teasers:
  • Build anticipation by teasing upcoming deals or product launches with "coming soon" pages.
  • Collect email addresses from interested customers to notify them when the deals go live.

Customer Reviews and Testimonials:
  • Showcase customer reviews and testimonials to build trust and credibility.
  • Encourage satisfied customers to leave reviews and share their experiences.

Customer Support:
  • Provide easily accessible customer support options such as live chat, email, or a dedicated BFCM hotline.
  • Prepare customer support teams for increased inquiries during the sale period.

Social Proof and FOMO (Fear of Missing Out):
  • Showcase recent purchases or live visitor counts to create a sense of urgency.
  • Use social proof and scarcity tactics to encourage immediate action.

Email Marketing:
  • Build and segment your email list to send targeted BFCM promotions.
  • Craft compelling email campaigns to keep customers informed and engaged.

Analytics and Monitoring:
  • Continuously monitor your website's performance using analytics tools.
  • Identify any issues and address them promptly to ensure a smooth shopping experience.

6. Optimize Site Navigation for a Seamless Shopping Experience

Optimizing your store can be a game-changer, especially during peak seasons when your website traffic surges. We recommend consolidating your Black Friday promotions and underscore the importance of streamlining the checkout process.

1. Optimize Site Navigation:

Streamlined site navigation is the foundation of a positive shopping experience. Here's how to do it:
  • Clear Menus: Ensure your main menu is organized logically, with categories that make it easy for shoppers to find what they're looking for. Use straightforward labels and avoid jargon.
  • Search Functionality: Implement a robust search bar that allows users to search by keywords, product names, or categories. Include auto-suggest features to aid in product discovery.
  • Filters and Sorting Options: Provide advanced filtering and sorting options, allowing customers to refine their product searches based on price, size, color, and more.

2. Gather Black Friday Promotions Effectively:

Consolidating Black Friday promotions on one page is crucial for clarity without overwhelming visitors:
  • Dedicated Landing Page: Create a dedicated BFCM landing page that showcases all your promotions. This page should be easily accessible from the main menu or through a prominent banner.
  • Segmented Sections: Organize promotions into clear sections, such as "Discounted Categories" and "Limited-Time Offers." Use visual cues like banners and icons to highlight each deal.
  • Filtering by Discount: Allow customers to filter products by discount percentages, helping them quickly find the best deals that match their preferences.
  • Featured Products: Highlight a select few top deals or bestsellers on the homepage or within relevant categories to grab customers' attention.

3. Streamline the Checkout Process:

The checkout process should be hassle-free to minimize cart abandonment and maximize conversions:
  • Guest Checkout: Allow customers to complete purchases without creating an account, offer a "guest checkout" option.
  • Social Login: Consider implementing social login options. Allowing customers to sign in or create accounts using their social media profiles simplifies registration, reduces friction during checkout, and speeds up purchases. With Ako's free social login feature, you can streamline registration, enhance checkout, and improve the overall purchasing experience.
  • Progress Indicators: Clearly display the steps in the checkout process, such as "Cart," "Shipping," "Payment," and "Review." Progress indicators help customers understand where they are in the process.
  • Saved Information: Offer the option to save shipping and payment information for returning customers, making subsequent purchases quicker.
  • Multiple Payment Options: Provide a variety of payment options, including credit cards, digital wallets, and other popular payment methods.
  • Mobile Optimization: Ensure that the checkout process is mobile-friendly for shoppers using smartphones or tablets.

Crafting irresistible discounts, preparing for surging traffic, optimizing your storefront, and streamlining the shopping experience are your keys to success. It's about meticulous planning, comprehensive marketing strategies, and rewarding positive customer interactions. Think of your online store as your digital stage, where updates, interactive elements, and mobile optimization captivate your audience and boost sales.

Remember that an easy and enjoyable shopping journey, with optimized navigation and a hassle-free checkout process, can be a game-changer.

With this checklist, you're not just preparing for Black Friday; you're preparing for success. Get ready to make this year's Black Friday your best one yet! Happy selling!

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