6 Things Your Brand Should Do Before the BFCM Rush
Winter is coming and it brings the Mother of all rushes. Prepare accordingly!
It is time to start. Gather your supplies. Do all your prep.
What are we talking about? Not the zombie apocalypse, but something much, MUCH worse: the Black Friday to Cyber Monday period (or BFCM, for short).
This period is the best of times (because “money money money money….MONEY”), but it is also the worst of times (because of extra work and extra angsty customers). So here are a few things you can do to make it all a bit smoother:
1. Make inventory decisions early
You need to know which products you want to promote, and which ones are likely to be in high demand, as early as possible. This is particularly important if you need suppliers to source or manufacture your inventory — a lot of suppliers are working above capacity during the pandemic, so they will need some leeway to get your products ready on time.
You should also perform an ABC analysis to identify your top products. A products are your best sellers, and make up around 80% of your revenue, while C products only contribute around 5% of your revenue. During BFCM, you have the opportunity to really promote your A products with some tempting (but reasonable) discounts, and you can also sell off dead stock and free up the warehouse space occupied by your C products.
2. Be smart about how you organize your orders
During the BFCM rush, it will become a lot more difficult to get all the orders to your customers on time. But it is not impossible, if you prepare adequately:
- Your most popular products should be easily accessible for quicker picking and packing.
- During the BFCM, you should consider hiring more people to help you fulfill and ship on time.
- To avoid any errors, you should be in constant communication with your fulfillment and local delivery staff. You should also keep your customers well informed of any potential changes.
- Have your orders organized in whichever way allows you to process them more quickly.
3. Stand out with something UNIQUE and WILD
Have you ever walked into a store due to a “SALE” sign? During BFCM, you can get a rush of customers to your store by offering an INCREDIBLE, and LIMITED-TIME BFCM offer. Sorry about all the caps, but IT IS JUST SO EXCITING!
You may even want to consider making the offer so good that you don’t make any money on it. Now THAT is the kind of deal that will guarantee you increased traffic and clicks. Some retailers have a hard time implementing this “loss leader” strategy, especially if their finances are already tight.
But as with any business, having an eCommerce store means that you HAVE to think about the long-term: would you rather make a few dollars from a one-time customer, or breakeven (maybe even *GASP* lose a bit of money) with that same customer…but knowing that they had such a great buying experience that they come back again and again?
In chess, it is perfectly acceptable to lose a piece or two, even the queen, if that means you get to checkmate your opponent. In the same way, your end game should be to create long-lasting relationships with loyal customers, because THAT is what will make your store successful in the long run. Losing a few dollars in the process is an acceptable, smart move.
On top of that, once the customers are in your store to check out the sale, there is a chance that they will pick up other items.
Here is another BLOG we wrote with 3 easy ways to keep customers for life.
4. Make your loyal customers a top priority
If you know your metrics, then you will know that loyal customers who give you repeat sales are often the ones that contribute the most to your balance sheet. This is why it is of the UTMOST importance for you to reward those customers (yes, we use “utmost” for emphasis. It has the utmost appeal).
Give them a chance to access a sale earlier, or offer them an exclusive sale. In short — give them your BEST deals.
Additionally, you should advertise these exclusive offers on your site. This will go a long way towards getting emails from shoppers, as they will want to get in on the action.
5. Convert one-time buyers into returning customers
There are many, many ways to do this, and most of them are quite easy. It can be something as simple as staying active on social media, coming up with limited-time promotions, or sending them a post-sale email with a code included for a discount on their next purchase.
6. There WILL be shipping delays - let your customers know!
Shipping delays for BFCM this year should not be discussed in terms of “IF” they will happen — because they 100% will — but rather in terms of “how bad” they are going to be. Thanks to Covid, the holiday rush, and staffing shortages, expect orders to take up to 13 days longer to ship.
You can’t do anything about this, but what you CAN do is keep your customers in the loop about potential delays. In fact, not only can you do that, but you MUST. This will minimize the negative impacts usually associated with delayed shipping, and will prevent any nasty reactions.
We recommend sending them an email to inform them, and if you have no idea where to even start writing something like that, don’t worry! As always, here at Nice we’ve got your back, so here is a pre-made template you can use. Feel free to tinker with it and adjust it to your voice and vision. Hope it helps!
There is a lot to get excited about as the Black Friday — Cyber Monday rush gets close. But as Uncle Ben said “with great excitement comes great preparability”. He wasn’t the best with words, that guy, but you still get to be Spider-Man for this paragraph, so overall that’s probably a win.
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