Don’t kick your feet up for Thanksgiving just yet – the biggest shopping weekend of the year is almost here! Last year, Shopify merchants around the world collectively made over $1.5 billion in sales across Black Friday/Cyber Monday weekend, so it’s no wonder everyone takes BFCM so seriously every year.
If you want to make sure your business is ready for next weekend, then check out these 10 last minute tasks you can do right now for a successful Black Friday/Cyber Monday.
1. Make a Backup
Black Friday weekend is the worst time for your store to go down, but if it does you need to have a backup ready and waiting to go. Your store going down comes with the risk of losing potential customers, so save yourself the headache and get that backup sorted with Rewind. Rewind makes it easy to back up your store’s data, plus they’ll even make backups of other tools you might use like QuickBooks.
2. Go through your customer journey
This is your final opportunity to make sure there is as little friction as possible in your customer journey. Especially on Black Friday weekend, customers are looking to snap up bargains as fast as they can before they lose out, so if your buying and checkout process causes any confusion or slows people down they’re more likely to give up. Go through it yourself first, taking note of any areas where you could improve or be clearer. If you can, ask friends to go through the process and ask them for their feedback so you get a fresh perspective on your site.
3. Create a customer service troubleshooting guide
Any number of things can go wrong during Black Friday/Cyber Monday weekend for customers - a code doesn’t work because they’ve mistyped, shipping isn’t calculating correctly, etc. And in the heat of trying to get those great deals you’re offering, they’ll need some pretty snappy responses from your customer service team.
Make a list of your most common customer service inquiries both year round and over the course of last year’s BFCM. Prepare responses to each of these inquiries, as well as processes for how to progress inquiries in different circumstances. Give this to your team ahead of BFCM weekend, and they’ll be able to handle most inquiries that head their way in a manner that’s both prompt for the customer and has little impact on anything else your team has to do.
4. Dress up your site and social media accounts
Making a visual impact with your store for the deals you have for Black Friday is so important to how people interact with your store over the weekend. Make sure it’s clear to anyone currently visiting your site or social media that BFCM is coming and what you’ve got planned to create a bit of excitement. Over the weekend itself, make sure you change up what banners and images are appearing so that it shows the most up-to-date offers, especially if you’re planning to do a different offer on different days across the weekend. Post on “live” platforms like Instagram and Facebook Stories to show what people are currently buying, what deals you’ve got on, and what’s selling fast to get people excited and create a sense of urgency.
5. Create BFCM specific collections & gift guide blogs
Shopping over BFCM is predominantly about buying gifts for the holidays, so seize the opportunity to inspire your potential customers with gift guide blogs and temporary collections on your site. It could be as simple as “Gifts for Dads” or “Gifts for Chefs,” etc. These are collections you can keep after BFCM and into the rest of the holiday season and can promote through email marketing and on social media. An easy way to promote these collections on social media is to create some gift guide blogs for your site to give people inspiration. These are good not just for content but for SEO when people simply search for gift ideas rather than specific products.
You could also take advantage of customers who end up buying something for themselves with some collections focussed on them, e.g. “Treat Yourself!” or “How about a lil somethin’ for yourself?”. In 2018, over half of shoppers said they planned to buy themselves something over BFCM!
6. Double check your automated email marketing flows
Email was the highest converting channel for Shopify merchants in 2018, and it’s also one of your most valuable tools to automate some of the marketing process for BFCM so you can focus on other tasks. Here are a couple of tips to get you started revising your workflows:
- If you haven’t customized your abandoned checkout flow, now’s the time to do so, especially if you’re running a promotion for BFCM. It’s a really great opportunity to really drive home the scarcity of the available offer and promote additional products.
- Make sure your welcome series is set up to welcome all of the new customers visiting your website for the first time. You can use these to promote other offers you might have going on or showcase products they might like.
7. Check or setup tracking pixels
There’s no point running promotions or ads on social media or Google if you can’t track their success. Making sure your tracking pixels such as your Facebook Pixel Google event tracking, and Hotjar are set up and functioning correctly before BFCM means afterwards you can get valuable data about conversions and traffic as a result of your ads, and allow you to retarget customers over the rest of the holiday shopping season.
8. Make sure people know when something’s back in stock
A customer doesn’t just stop wanting a product because it’s sold out, so instead of leaving them disappointed get them signed up for a back in stock notification. Even if the product doesn’t come back into stock before BFCM weekend is over, they can still be notified and give you more sales opportunities throughout the holiday shopping season and beyond. As an added bonus, you can give customers the option to subscribe to your mailing list when they sign up for a restock notification, so you’re building out your email marketing audience at the same time.
Need a good app to help? Check out Back In Stock here.
9. Check over and schedule your social media content
There’s enough to do over BFCM weekend without worrying about what’s going up on social media. Schedule regular content for over the weekend, and then have some additional content prepared for certain situations, for example if a popular item goes out of stock, or if an offer is no longer available.
If you’ve already got everything scheduled, have one last look over and try to spot any gaps for additional content.
10. Showcase your social proof
Are you making the most of customer reviews? 77% of consumers read reviews before making a purchase and over BFCM weekend is no different! You can showcase your positive reviews in a number of ways, but the easiest now this close to BFCM are:
1 - Make sure they’re visible and clear on product pages.
2 - Pick a few glowing reviews to include as part of your email marketing and social media campaigns for key products.
3- Include social proof in your social media advertising campaigns around BFCM, showcasing both the offers you’ve got and select reviews for products included in the offer.