Last year over Black Friday/Cyber Monday (BFCM), Americans spent $6.79 billion on online shopping alone. That's an increase of almost 17% over 2015! E-commerce has become a major part of one of the biggest shopping weekends of the year, and we’re here to make sure you’re prepared to get a slice of that digital pumpkin pie.
1. Explore Shopify’s Black Friday/Cyber Monday Toolbox
Shopify is your best friend during the holiday season; they’ve gone and prepared a number of resources that will help you get prepped, primed, and ready for action. Black Friday and Cyber Monday are BIG days online, and if you’re a small business it can be tough to know where to start. They can help you prep your store, help with marketing, and give plenty tips on how to boost your presence so that your time during BFCM is a success.
2. Prepare Your Email Marketing
So, your site’s prepared, you’ve went through the toolbox, what next? Make the most of your subscriber list! If someone’s signed up to receive emails, then the chances of them being interested in BFCM deals on your site are much higher than on social media or other forms of advertising.
You can prepare your emails in advance and schedule them to send at specific times throughout the day, but make sure you’re being strategic! Plan in advance your email strategy for BFCM; you can find some great tips over at MailChimp (including some graphs we love geek out over).
3. Announce and Make Clear Your Cut-Off Times
You can cut your customer service workload by a tonne by simply making sure your cut-off and delivery times are clear on your website and social media channels. Do Cyber Monday deals end at a specific time? What times will orders be shipped after Black Friday? Are you closed at all?
All these questions will undoubtedly get asked, or prevent unhappy customers who miss out on deals if the cut-off times aren’t clear. Simply make sure this information is somewhere visible on your site, and then make a bold graphic for social media. Schedule this to go out once the day before Black Friday, twice on the day, once the day after, and twice on Cyber Monday. That way, no one can argue they didn’t know!
4. Take Advantage of Abandoned Cart Automation
If you're on the Shopify plan or greater, you have access to one automated abandoned cart email that can be sent out to your customers who add a product to their cart but don't complete the sale. On the Basic Shopify plan? Want to send more than one email? MailChimp offers free email automation for up to a series of three emails - just sync your Shopify store using the MailChimp for Shopify app, and then follow MailChimp's very simple automation steps and you'll be up and running in less than 15 minutes. Abandoned carts are lost money, especially during a time when your customers are browsing several websites, looking for the best deal. Don't let your potential customers forget about you!
5. Check Your Page Speed
This one’s really important because back in 2016, 40% of consumers asked said that they’ll leave a page if it takes more than three seconds to load, and 79% said that if a site performs poorly that they’re unlikely to ever visit again. And with 30% of online purchases taking place on mobile devices, it’s even easier for people to move on if you’re not up to speed.
Using tools like Google’s PageSpeed test and GTmetrix can help you to identify what pages are causing your site to slow down, especially on mobile. Top tip: the biggest culprit is usually images on your site so if you find that’s the case then get ahead of the game and start some image optimization. We’ll be covering this in a later blog, but for now A Better Lemonade Stand has this great guide.
BONUS: On Shopify Plus? Automate Your Sales Using Launchpad
There’s no reason to manually set up your sales if you have tools available to you to automate the process! Flow lets you schedule a sale on any number of products or a collection of products, it can publish products for you, and you can even switch your theme for the duration of a sale. Think making minor visual changes to your theme (such as changing out a Slider image or updating some text) to reflect a Black Friday/Cyber Monday sale.