Here’s a checklist of five essential aspects of the shopper experience that retailers need to win on Black Friday.
Black Friday/Cyber Monday is the busiest and most lucrative time of year for most online retailers. In 2021, Cyber Week (Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday) generated a total of $33.9 billion in online spending.
But brands can’t just sit back and wait for sales to pick up, as BFCM breeds fierce competition. Retailers must do everything they can to differentiate themselves from retail giants like Walmart and Amazon.
If you’re a retailer who thinks deep discounts and short-term strategies will work, think again. There are smarter ways to deliver strong digital experiences that engage and convert. Here’s a checklist of five shopper experience essentials you need to win Black Friday.
1. Personalize the experience to attract and convert
A generic and unique shopping experience is no longer enough. Customers want hyper-relevant product recommendations that fit their personal preferences. It’s the only way to participate and convert this Black Friday.
For regular customers, personalization is especially key. They have already told the merchant their preferences based on past buying patterns and expect to receive messages and offers to match. According to Forrester, Target used data from the 2021 holiday season to better understand its customers and personalize offers from its Circle loyalty program. This resulted in an $8 to $10 increase in promotional basket size compared to bulk offers.
Other merchants can learn from Target. Just because you have a great deal on men’s dress pants doesn’t mean you should push everyone. Instead, send buyers offers on items they’ve previously shown interest in.
2. Communicate offers clearly through merchandising
The purpose of online marketing is simple: show the right product to the right buyer at the right time. Merchants must display and organize products in a way that makes sense to their customers. They must also clearly communicate their offerings to ensure messages and campaigns are kept up to date.
Even before Black Friday, shoppers will be on the lookout for the best deals. Whether merchants are running a 50% off sitewide discount or a series of category flash sales over the Black Friday weekend, they need to ensure that all assets, from homepage banners to product page badges, are eye-catching and aligned with your overall marketing. strategy.
3. Test in advance with secret shoppers
Black Friday is a critical shopping holiday with a lot of online traffic. Merchants need to make sure they don’t miss out on any potential sales due to glitches or technical issues.
To confidently prepare for the holidays, retailers need to test, test, and test again. First, they must perform a full site audit. This reveals any gaps in the user experience and points out improvements that need to be made, including fixing any common website issues. After that, e-commerce teams can ask friends or family members to browse the site and buy a list of products as “secret shoppers.” They can uncover user experience challenges that can be addressed before it’s too late.
4. Aim for long-term loyalty
Long-term loyalty is worth much more than an annual increase in sales. Merchants need to focus on how to convert Black Friday shoppers into repeat customers who keep coming back.
To optimize first-time buyers’ customer lifetime value, merchants can consider:
- Provide an incentive at checkout to join a loyalty program or subscriber list.
- Share a discount code that can be redeemed on a subsequent order.
- Sending a follow-up email with recommendations based on your first purchase.
Creating a seamless shopping experience that’s easy and enjoyable builds lasting loyalty from the holidays and beyond.
5. Create a seamless checkout process
The checkout process is one of the biggest pain points of the ecommerce shopper experience. This is critical, especially given that the average ecommerce shopping cart abandonment rate is 70%. During BFCM, the feelings of urgency and annoyance that come from a slow checkout process increase. Any unnecessary steps, forms, or fields annoy customers and reduce conversion.
Merchants can streamline the checkout experience by supporting autofill, being upfront about shipping fees and other additional charges, making customer support accessible, and accepting multiple payment options. An easy checkout process results in easy conversions that reduce buyer frustration and lower bounce rates.
If someone abandons the checkout process, merchants have the opportunity to remind the customer about their abandoned cart. That’s where email comes in. And not just any email, but an email with personalized recommendations. Using shopper behavior data, merchants can offer personalized recommendations to shoppers that drive them to complete the transaction.
Black Friday is fast approaching, which means now is the time for eCommerce merchants to optimize sites for shoppers. Once these five essential elements of the shopper experience are in place, retailers can prepare online stores and launch BFCM campaigns that will outperform the competition, upsell, and upsell this holiday season and beyond. .
As a result of Peter’s servant leadership and entrepreneurial spirit, Searchspring has been named to the 2021 Inc. 5000 list of the fastest growing companies in the US.