Ecommerce Life | November 12, 2020

9 tips to prepare your Shopify store to BFCM 2020

9 tips to prepare your Shopify store to BFCM 2020
9 tips to prepare your Shopify store to BFCM 2020
Every fourth quarter of the year is the most profitable for most e-commerce businesses. The reason for such a leap is Black Friday & Cyber Monday – the biggest shopping period that starts on Friday after Thanksgiving. This year sales growth is expected to be particularly high due to the pandemic and closure of offline stores. Millions of people worldwide go online, which is good news for ecommerce entrepreneurs since they have a great chance to make money during the holiday period.

You should also keep in mind that a huge influx of potential clients also means high competition among sellers. You need a well-thought strategy to work successfully and earn money. In this article we will touch upon the ways to stay ahead of your competitors and prepare your online store for sales season.
Every fourth quarter of the year is the most profitable for most e-commerce businesses. The reason for such a leap is Black Friday & Cyber Monday – the biggest shopping period that starts on Friday after Thanksgiving. This year sales growth is expected to be particularly high due to the pandemic and closure of offline stores. Millions of people worldwide go online, which is good news for ecommerce entrepreneurs since they have a great chance to make money during the holiday period.

You should also keep in mind that a huge influx of potential clients also means high competition among sellers. You need a well-thought strategy to work successfully and earn money. In this article we will touch upon the ways to stay ahead of your competitors and prepare your online store for sales season.

1. Determine dates to target

First, you need to highlight the main dates of the upcoming sales period to plan advertising campaigns and prepare creatives. No doubt Black Friday and Cyber Monday are the main dates of the pre-Christmas period. However, you should also remember there are other holidays throughout the whole three-months period.

When planning sales strategies, keep in mind that transport companies and suppliers may change their work schedule and dates of delivery, return policy. If you work with fulfillment centers or a dropshipping agent, contact your partners to clarify working time for the upcoming holidays to avoid negative consequences due to workload.
1. Determine dates to target
First, you need to highlight the main dates of the upcoming sales period to plan advertising campaigns and prepare creatives. No doubt Black Friday and Cyber Monday are the main dates of the pre-Christmas period. However, you should also remember there are other holidays throughout the whole three-months period.

When planning sales strategies, keep in mind that transport companies and suppliers may change their work schedule and dates of delivery, return policy. If you work with fulfillment centers or a dropshipping agent, contact your partners to clarify working time for the upcoming holidays to avoid negative consequences due to workload.

2. Plan your marketing strategy

Next, you need to decide which offers you will show in your advertising campaigns and on the main page of the site. For example:

  • a discount of the original price or a fixed discount in $X*;
  • free shipping;
  • discount when buying a certain number of goods;
  • buy one & get one free (BOGO);
  • the so-called Flash Sale - a short-term sale up to 2 days;
  • holding contests like giveaway and other events;
  • promotional codes;
  • loyalty programs, etc.
Always think about your customers and remember the way you present a sale is often more important than the discount itself.

After you make up your mind which offers to set, you need to focus on the products on sale – best sellers or new products. You also need to decide which marketing channels you want to use for your campaigns: Facebook & Instagram Ads, Google Ads, Pinterest, Tik Tok, influencers, emails, push notifications etc.

Before launching ads, carefully study Facebook ad settings to put your money to good use and minimise the risks of blocking your account. If you encounter difficulties in setting up advertising campaigns on Facebook (including permanent blocking of advertising accounts) you can always contact us for professional advice.
2. Plan your marketing strategy
Next, you need to decide which offers you will show in your advertising campaigns and on the main page of the site. For example:

  • a discount of the original price or a fixed discount in $X*;
  • free shipping;
  • discount when buying a certain number of goods;
  • buy one & get one free (BOGO);
  • the so-called Flash Sale - a short-term sale up to 2 days;
  • holding contests like giveaway and other events;
  • promotional codes;
  • loyalty programs, etc.
Always think about your customers and remember the way you present a sale is often more important than the discount itself.

After you make up your mind which offers to set, you need to focus on the products on sale – best sellers or new products. You also need to decide which marketing channels you want to use for your campaigns: Facebook & Instagram Ads, Google Ads, Pinterest, Tik Tok, influencers, emails, push notifications etc.

Before launching ads, carefully study Facebook ad settings to put your money to good use and minimise the risks of blocking your account. If you encounter difficulties in setting up advertising campaigns on Facebook (including permanent blocking of advertising accounts) you can always contact us for professional advice.
Choose products to scale

3. Choose products to scale

By the holiday season, Facebook advertising is becoming more expensive, so you are likely to spend more on testing products. To avoid this, test as many products as possible in advance and select those that you will scale from November till the end of December.

Make sure you select and test suppliers for reliability. If you work with AliExpress, you should better choose suppliers with the highest rating to prevent a huge number of returns and not go into the red. Our recommendation is to work with dropshipping agents who can ensure high quality goods and fast delivery times.
3. Choose products to scale
By the holiday season, Facebook advertising is becoming more expensive, so you are likely to spend more on testing products. To avoid this, test as many products as possible in advance and select those that you will scale from November till the end of December.

Make sure you select and test suppliers for reliability. If you work with AliExpress, you should better choose suppliers with the highest rating to prevent a huge number of returns and not go into the red. Our recommendation is to work with dropshipping agents who can ensure high quality goods and fast delivery times.

4. Optimize your online store

For the holiday season, your store must be pre-tested to ensure it is working correctly.

Your email newsletter, posts in social networks, sponsored posts will direct your audience to your website. This what you should pay special attention to:

Site speed. One second delay in loading your website can result in a 7% loss in conversion. Use GTmetrix to check how fast your site is loading. It shouldn't take more than 3 seconds to load.

Navigation. Well-designed site navigation allows customers to quickly find what they need. Ask your partners, friends, or family members to browse your store to check if it is user-friendly. Take their feedback into account to improve your navigation or website layout. As a rule, advertising directs to the product page. Therefore, it is important to make sure that when a person visits the landing page and clicks the "Add To Cart" button they go to the cart page. Avoid using breadcrumbs and place upsells and collections of other products only at the very bottom of the page after reviews, especially if you have a General store.

Checkout process. The most important part of your website is the checkout page. Go through the checkout process yourself to make sure it's fast and easy. We also recommend not to add the company name, use autocomplete data, make the Shipping and Billing addresses match by default, insert actual delivery times, use a payment system that does not imply a transition to another site during the checkout process (for example, Stripe).

Usability on mobile devices. Mobile shopping is gaining the upper hand in e-commerce. If you notice something that needs improvement, make changes immediately to avoid malfunctions when traffic is low. Pay special attention to the product page.

Make sure your customers can easily find information about your store, products, shipping, return policies. Check if the information is up-to-date on pages:

  • Descriptions of goods and prices;
  • Shipping & Delivery, Refunds & Returns;
  • Contact us page;
  • About us page;
  • Track your order;
  • FAQ page.
Pro tip: review the apps you are currently using. If you come across something that you haven't used for a long time, delete it. Any software installed slows your site down.

Any tool you decide to try, install it beforehand to test it and evaluate its effectiveness.
4. Optimize your online store
For the holiday season, your store must be pre-tested to ensure it is working correctly.

Your email newsletter, posts in social networks, sponsored posts will direct your audience to your website. This what you should pay special attention to:

Site speed. One second delay in loading your website can result in a 7% loss in conversion. Use GTmetrix to check how fast your site is loading. It shouldn't take more than 3 seconds to load.

Navigation. Well-designed site navigation allows customers to quickly find what they need. Ask your partners, friends, or family members to browse your store to check if it is user-friendly. Take their feedback into account to improve your navigation or website layout. As a rule, advertising directs to the product page. Therefore, it is important to make sure that when a person visits the landing page and clicks the "Add To Cart" button they go to the cart page. Avoid using breadcrumbs and place upsells and collections of other products only at the very bottom of the page after reviews, especially if you have a General store.

Checkout process. The most important part of your website is the checkout page. Go through the checkout process yourself to make sure it's fast and easy. We also recommend not to add the company name, use autocomplete data, make the Shipping and Billing addresses match by default, insert actual delivery times, use a payment system that does not imply a transition to another site during the checkout process (for example, Stripe).

Usability on mobile devices. Mobile shopping is gaining the upper hand in e-commerce. If you notice something that needs improvement, make changes immediately to avoid malfunctions when traffic is low. Pay special attention to the product page.

Make sure your customers can easily find information about your store, products, shipping, return policies. Check if the information is up-to-date on pages:

  • Descriptions of goods and prices;
  • Shipping & Delivery, Refunds & Returns;
  • Contact us page;
  • About us page;
  • Track your order;
  • FAQ page.
Pro tip: review the apps you are currently using. If you come across something that you haven't used for a long time, delete it. Any software installed slows your site down.

Any tool you decide to try, install it beforehand to test it and evaluate its effectiveness.

5. Email marketing

Email remains one of the most effective ways to reach your customers. 72% of people who shop online in the United States prefer to receive news from brands via email. In addition, it is advantageous and can be easily tracked. Make sure you prepare your audience for each holiday, including abandoned cart emails to get the most out of your email marketing.

Make your emails informative and concise. On average, the reading time for emails is only about 11 seconds.
5. Email marketing
Email remains one of the most effective ways to reach your customers. 72% of people who shop online in the United States prefer to receive news from brands via email. In addition, it is advantageous and can be easily tracked. Make sure you prepare your audience for each holiday, including abandoned cart emails to get the most out of your email marketing.

Make your emails informative and concise. On average, the reading time for emails is only about 11 seconds.
Posts on social networks

6. Posts on social networks

The most popular social media advertising channels are:
  • Instagram;
  • Facebook;
  • Pinterest;
  • TikTok.
In order to understand which type of content gets more attention, study your audience's behavior and pay particular attention to the peaks in user activity and the most performing content and then decide which social media channels will work best for your brand. Keep in mind that less is more. Find the one that works and focus your time and effort to promote it.

When creating advertising posts, remember that each channel is used for slightly different purposes. While TikTok is rapidly gaining popularity, it will only work to target a younger audience since 60% of TikTok users are under 30.
6. Posts on social networks
The most popular social media advertising channels are:
  • Instagram;
  • Facebook;
  • Pinterest;
  • TikTok.
In order to understand which type of content gets more attention, study your audience's behavior and pay particular attention to the peaks in user activity and the most performing content and then decide which social media channels will work best for your brand. Keep in mind that less is more. Find the one that works and focus your time and effort to promote it.

When creating advertising posts, remember that each channel is used for slightly different purposes. While TikTok is rapidly gaining popularity, it will only work to target a younger audience since 60% of TikTok users are under 30.

7. Create visual materials

Curiously, people remember up to 80% of what they see and only about 20% of what they read. Therefore, if you want to stand out from the crowd during the sales season, create engaging content for your marketing campaigns in advance.

Depending on your plans, you may need to create a visual for:

  • Product catalog;
  • Email campaigns;
  • Social media posts;
  • Shop banners;
  • Pop-ups;
  • Ad creatives.

You can find free content on Pexels, Unsplash, and Pixabay.
7. Create visual materials
Curiously, people remember up to 80% of what they see and only about 20% of what they read. Therefore, if you want to stand out from the crowd during the sales season, create engaging content for your marketing campaigns in advance.

Depending on your plans, you may need to create a visual for:

  • Product catalog;
  • Email campaigns;
  • Social media posts;
  • Shop banners;
  • Pop-ups;
  • Ad creatives.

You can find free content on Pexels, Unsplash, and Pixabay.

8. Schedule your email campaigns

It does not matter how entertaining and engaging your content is, it can easily be lost in gigabytes of content during such a busy season as BFCM. This is why it's especially important to post your content at a time when you can reach the largest audience.

Best time to send emails

Based on data from 14 different studies it is best to send emails on:

  • Tuesday;
  • Thursday;
  • Wednesday.
Recommended time:

  • 10 a.m;
  • 8 pm;
  • 2 pm;
  • 6 a.m.
Best time to post updates on social media:

  • Facebook: Mon – Wed at 12 pm;
  • Twitter: Mon – Wed at 12 noon or 1 pm;
  • Instagram: Tue, Thu, Fri at 12 p.m.
No doubt, different audiences require different approaches. We have given the approximate time for sending letters.
8. Schedule your email campaigns
It does not matter how entertaining and engaging your content is, it can easily be lost in gigabytes of content during such a busy season as BFCM. This is why it's especially important to post your content at a time when you can reach the largest audience.

Best time to send emails

Based on data from 14 different studies it is best to send emails on:

  • Tuesday;
  • Thursday;
  • Wednesday.
Recommended time:

  • 10 a.m;
  • 8 pm;
  • 2 pm;
  • 6 a.m.
Best time to post updates on social media:

  • Facebook: Mon – Wed at 12 pm;
  • Twitter: Mon – Wed at 12 noon or 1 pm;
  • Instagram: Tue, Thu, Fri at 12 p.m.
No doubt, different audiences require different approaches. We have given the approximate time for sending letters.
Communicate urgency and rarity

9. Communicate urgency and rarity

Since BFCM orders are predominantly impulse, you need to use various tools to make customers buy the product now.

We recommend showing on the product page:

  • Countdown the discount expiration time;
  • Number of users viewing the page (use the Fera app for this)
  • Low stock notification.
Other helpful tips:

1) Run ad campaigns in advance.

Try to make a large number of sales already before Black Friday and Cyber Monday, no matter how many subscribers you have. The safest bet is to announce the sale to your audience the week before Black Friday. Keep in mind you should be creative!

2) Send abandoned cart emails.

An effective email marketing strategy does not imply constant interaction with a customer. Here again less is more.

Sending emails to those who have abandoned the cart is easy and simple with the Abandonment Protector app. For only $ 8/month you will get a wide range of functions. One of them is customer return. We recommend sending a sequence of 3 letters:

1 – remind about an abandoned cart, after 5 minutes
2 – remind + give a promo code for 10%, after 6 hours
3 – remind + give a promo code 15%, after 19 hours

With this application, you can recover up to 25% of orders. The percentage depends on the quality and style of writing and the body of the letter. Furthermore, with the SMSBump app, you can send SMS or use both options together or separately.

3) Keep the client in every possible way.

Ensure that your offers do not end on Cyber Monday. During such a busy period, your potential customers are almost flooded with advertisements from dozens of stores, so they may well miss your offers.

This is why you can get your "last chance" mailing after the main sale period. If possible, offer them an additional discount of 10% or more and make sure you use retargeting campaigns.

If you stick to the above-mentioned tips, you can expect a significant increase in traffic during the BFCM period. That might well be a problem if a flow of customers visit your site and quit it due to the error like long loading.

If you do not have your store yet, you have a unique opportunity to get a high-quality website. Regardless of the niche, we conduct thorough analytics and weekly update product matrices. Your store will only have relevant products presented.

With our help you will get a set up dropshipping store with:

  • Custom built Shopify store for you as a platform to begin your dropshipping business immediately
  • Premium paid theme ($180 worth) to maximize conversion rate
  • Naming, logo, favicon, banners and products photos designed
  • Up to 15 well researched products from one niche
  • High-converting product descriptions
  • Up to 500 product reviews for social proof
  • All apps and features installed and configured
  • All required pages set up (About Us, FAQs, Returns, Shipping, Terms of service, etc.)
  • Step-by-step Shopify guide
  • Facebook Ads strategies
  • 7-day mentorship to help you launch your store

Furthermore, our partners give our customers a special discount to connect Stripe payment system. Thus, you get an optimized online store ready to generate orders.

If you already own a store and want to upgrade it, we can review your site and write a thorough report highlighting the strengths and weaknesses of your store. We will also provide a step-by-step action plan to fix all the errors and give useful advice for developing your project.

For any questions, you can always contact us on Telegram (@ecomtodaysupport).
9. Communicate urgency and rarity
Since BFCM orders are predominantly impulse, you need to use various tools to make customers buy the product now.

We recommend showing on the product page:

  • Countdown the discount expiration time;
  • Number of users viewing the page (use the Fera app for this)
  • Low stock notification.
Other helpful tips:

1) Run ad campaigns in advance.

Try to make a large number of sales already before Black Friday and Cyber Monday, no matter how many subscribers you have. The safest bet is to announce the sale to your audience the week before Black Friday. Keep in mind you should be creative!

2) Send abandoned cart emails.

An effective email marketing strategy does not imply constant interaction with a customer. Here again less is more.

Sending emails to those who have abandoned the cart is easy and simple with the Abandonment Protector app. For only $ 8/month you will get a wide range of functions. One of them is customer return. We recommend sending a sequence of 3 letters:

1 – remind about an abandoned cart, after 5 minutes
2 – remind + give a promo code for 10%, after 6 hours
3 – remind + give a promo code 15%, after 19 hours

With this application, you can recover up to 25% of orders. The percentage depends on the quality and style of writing and the body of the letter. Furthermore, with the SMSBump app, you can send SMS or use both options together or separately.

3) Keep the client in every possible way.

Ensure that your offers do not not end on Cyber Monday. During such a busy period, your potential customers are almost flooded with advertisements from dozens of stores, so they may well miss your offers.

This is why you can get your "last chance" mailing after the main sale period. If possible, offer them an additional discount of 10% or more and make sure you use retargeting campaigns.

If you stick to the above mentioned tips, you can expect a significant increase in traffic during the BFCM period. That might well be a problem if a flow of customers visit your site and quit it due to the error like long loading.

If you do not have your store yet, you have a unique opportunity to get a high-quality website. Regardless of the niche, we conduct thorough analytics and weekly update product matrices. Your store will only have relevant products presented.

With our help you will get a set up dropshipping store with:

  • Custom built Shopify store for you as a platform to begin your dropshipping business immediately
  • Premium paid theme ($180 worth) to maximize conversion rate
  • Naming, logo, favicon, banners and products photos designed
  • Up to 15 well researched products from one niche
  • High-converting product descriptions
  • Up to 500 product reviews for social proof
  • All apps and features installed and configured
  • All required pages set up (About Us, FAQs, Returns, Shipping, Terms of service, etc.)
  • Step-by-step Shopify guide
  • Facebook Ads strategies
  • 7-day mentorship to help you launch your store

Furthermore, our partners give our customers a special discount to connect Stripe payment system. Thus, you get an optimized online store ready to generate orders.

If you already own a store and want to upgrade it, we can review your site and write a thorough report highlighting the strengths and weaknesses of your store. We will also provide a step-by-step action plan to fix all the errors and give useful advice for developing your project.

For any questions, you can always contact us on Telegram (@ecomtodaysupport).
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Useful links

ecomlife.pro/services – prebuilt dropshipping stores, Shopify store development, store review, video editing and other services.

@shopifyeasy – our fast-growing Ecommerce & Dropshipping community.

@ecomtoday_en – information channel with useful articles and topical news.
Useful links

ecomlife.pro/services – prebuilt dropshipping stores, Shopify store development, store review, video editing and other services.

@shopifyeasy – our fast-growing Ecommerce & Dropshipping community.

@ecomtoday_en – information channel with useful articles and topical news.

In our Ecommerce Community, we unite everyone who shares an interest in selling items online and wants to enhance knowledge in this area.
In our Ecommerce Community, we unite everyone who shares an interest in selling items online and wants to enhance knowledge in this area.