We at TheGenieLab work with our clients a month or two before the Black Friday and Cyber Monday event to shore up eCommerce stores with various features, enhancements, or procedural updates to have a smoother and more effective campaign. If you need to discuss any of the items below – give us a shout at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Every year, Black Friday and Cyber Monday are some of the business stress points of most eCommerce businesses where the big marketing event has to be prepared, fine-tuned, and ready to take on new heights for sales and logistics. Black Friday Cyber Monday (BFCM) is going to reach a new height this year due to COVID-19 lockdowns in place in several countries as the flu season kicks in and the cases rise around the world. After having to deal with the government restriction, rules and regulations, BFCM is coming soon – so what’s new, and how you can best prepare for this event?
6 App Categories identified by Shopify
Shopify has gone through its Shopify App store to identify key areas that might assist your business in your preparedness for BFCM. The App categories are as follows:
- Meeting your customers online
- Effective BFCM marketing campaigns.
- BFCM Inventory.
- BFCM Customer Experience.
- In-person BFCM Sales.
- Shipping, Delivery, and Returns made simpler.
Meeting your customer online
With the COVID-19 in 2020, the shift to purchase online has jumped significantly. With this in mind, Shopify has reported that 60% said they purchased more during the pandemic period than before with 6% purchasing online for the first time ever. As retailers shifted their focus to online sales, some augmenting their capabilities if they had an eCommerce store, but for some, it might be a new experience. Some of these Apps will help you to meet your customers online and where they are shopping for goods or services that you offer.
- Instant Search+ and Filters (https://apps.shopify.com/instant-search) – this is an App that cleverly helps clients to find the products that they are looking for with features such as custom filtering, search autocomplete, and product recommendations.
- Add Announcement Bar (https://apps.shopify.com/add-announcement-bar) - Allows you to promote your BFCM messaging in focus from the moment your clients arrive, including COVID-19 and shipping policies and terms.
- Heyday Sales and Support Chat (https://apps.shopify.com/heyday) - Using AI (Artificial Intelligence) in your arsenal of tools can greatly assist you with automated support responses, directing clients to FAQs and How-to content.
- Bulk Discount Code Generator (https://apps.shopify.com/bulk-discount-generator) - Avoid coupon abuse with one-time-use discount codes to enhance your loyalty programs, Email campaigns or enticing clients via Email acquisition campaigns.
- Facebook Messenger App (https://apps.shopify.com/facebook-chat-1) - Get live chat into your online store. Live chat software operates through the Shopify API, giving you the ability to deliver better customer service. A live chat widget is easy to use for website visitors, and can even enable text messaging to your mobile device.
Effective BFCM marketing campaigns
There are a lot of Apps being used by your competitions that try to garner your customer’s attention, so the real challenge is how can you be made to stand out so as to have your ads be clicked for your BFCM campaign? Making it easier to deploy, manage and get in front of your clients is half the battle, allowing you to focus on the promotion, messaging, marketing collateral to be inserted into the App.
- Octane Al Quiz, Messenger, SMS (https://apps.shopify.com/octane-ai-messenger-marketing) – This App allows you to create a unique experience by creating quizzes, manage and launch Facebook and SMS ads as well as conversational ads. This is a one-stop marketing App worth taking a look at.
- Shoppable Instagram & UGC (https://apps.shopify.com/foursixty) – How to insert your User Generated Content (UGC) back into your store to share their experience with your product as visual testimonials on the home page, emails, and even at the checkout (reducing abandoned carts) – this App will rock your Instagram feed by cloning it into your marketing space/shop.
- Tone SMS Cart recovery (https://apps.shopify.com/personalized-sms-marketing) – This App will allow you to text customers for them to re-engage with your brand with the addition of AI-enhanced agents that will make the conversation more genuine.
- Promo Video Maker (https://apps.shopify.com/personalized-sms-marketing) - Generate videos easily for promotional, messaging, instructional, or store navigation without having to obtain a degree in Filmography. All you have to do is enter text and give it a few details and the App will pull the content together and it delivers it for Web, Instagram, or your marketing campaigns.
- Shopify Email (https://www.thegenielab.com/post/shopify-email-marketing) - As we have made an article on the great capabilities of Shopify’s native feature, we have referenced it here where it makes it easy to get your logos inserted, images, or products added into your managed Email campaigns.
With disrupted supply chains in 2020, vendors across the globe have been challenged with inventory management. BFCM will only enhance the strain and thus being extra careful with your stock take, and availability in your store will ease the stress.
- StockBot Stock Alert (https://apps.shopify.com/inventory-alerts) – The app is a straight-up plug-and-go, monitoring all your products for low-stock levels so that you can focus on your replenishments in plenty of time.
- Inventory Planner (https://apps.shopify.com/inventory-planner) - By looking at your supply and demands of your stock, it will use the data trends to prioritize your suppliers and orders so as to when to place them.
BFCM Customer Experience
The Black Friday and Cyber Monday customer experience is key to your conversion, brand, and repeat customer business. A lot goes into your business every year, and the BFCM season is a highlight of your promotional and pre-Christmas season engagement with your clients. Engaging with your customers is difficult time-wise when you are focused on so many aspects of your operation. Yet, your engagements with your execution are the measures that customers have come to expect. Here are some Apps that can help you deliver that fine balance.
- Glow Loyalty Points and Rewards (https://apps.shopify.com/glow-loyalty) - To make it a memorable and returning experience for customers, this seamless app will assist you to reward them with their loyalty and interest.
- Shopify Ping (https://www.shopify.ca/ping) - Use the built-in App to keep in touch with your customers, respond to their questions, and have that personal touch. This client engagement is key in converting browsing clients into customers
- Limespot Personalizer (https://apps.shopify.com/limespot) - This clever little app can uplift conversions up to 28% by looking at product trends/client-profile when an arriving visitor reaches your store and offering relevant and personalized recommendations.
- Bold Product Options (https://apps.shopify.com/product-options) - To consolidate product offerings that have variations in size, configuration, colors, or applications (additional add-on options) – this app allows you to bring it all in one product page, making it simpler for the customer to see everything that’s relevant to that product in one place.
In-person BFCM Sales
With the major shit to Online Shopping in 2020 due to the Pandemic, additional considerations must be taken when it comes to “local” yet online-based transactions, product pick-up, and overall delivering a safe and convenient experience. Curbside Pickup has been a big component for local shops to keep serving their communities, with Shopify measuring a 31% uptake of this method for the first time with their stores.
- Genie Store Locator Map (https://apps.shopify.com/retailers-map-app) - For a Multi-location chain of stores, this app is very helpful in showing your locations, and store availability.
- Sesami: Appointment Booking (https://apps.shopify.com/sesami) - To ensure that clients can visit during the pandemic, avoid over-crowded and frustratingly long lines, this app gives you the ability to have customers flow in an orderly fashion so that time management and a fair method is in place for everyone to do their business.
- Reserve In-Store (https://apps.shopify.com/reserve-in-store-by-fera) - Especially useful for local retailers. This App allows you to reserve items in the store so that when you arrive for your appointment, you have not wasted your time. You can then pick the items up, pay for them, and off you go.
- Curbside Pickup Guru (https://apps.shopify.com/safe-curbside-pickup) - For local online purchases where you just need to pick up the goods to avoid shipping charges or do a drive-through scenario, this app comes in real handy in managing that customer process.
Shipping, Delivery, and Returns made simpler
With a successful BFCM, the pressure shifts to your operations/logistics on delivering goods to customers. The greater your sales success is, the larger that pressure builds. In order to reduce the pressure, as well as keeping the customer experience high, the following apps are worth considering for your customer support, aside from a ticketing system.
- Shopify Local delivery (https://apps.shopify.com/local-delivery) - This apps allows you to have a local delivery option on your checkout page. It provides delivery status and allows drivers to access optimized routes and post dates.
- Easyship – All In One Shipping (https://apps.shopify.com/easyship) - Getting access to over 250 courier services with added savings of up to 70%, is a no-brainer. You get quotes for an inclusive look at shipping costs, with courier fees, taxes, and duties.
- Parcelify (https://apps.shopify.com/parcelify) - This helps you automate your shipping options with rules set via product information such as Tags, Types, Collections, and SKU’s. Based on those filters, you can display the rule and cost or hide it.
- Returnly Returns and Exchanges (https://apps.shopify.com/returnly) - for everything that requires managing an item coming back for swapping out or restocking, this app will manage it.
Conclusion: Black Friday and Cyber Monday are going to be spent at home for many of us that are going to be under some kind of Covid-19 Lockdown. Aside from the basics which you would have already covered such as setting up your payments to accept all the various credit cards, using a countdown timer for your promotions, and ensuring customer satisfaction by engaging with your customers on your products and services. Even with relaxed regulations, BFCM can benefit from a convenient, safe, and practical shopping experience. Shopify has an amazing platform, but the apps are key in getting that lifesaver that’s needed during the peak sales season. We hope at TheGenieLab that your BFCM is stellar and that you and your business serve your clients well.
For additional information or assistance for your store, see "Web Development with Shopify Stores".