Ready, set, BFCM: five winning strategies you can implement right now

(Source: Klaviyo)

As the annual Black Friday Cyber Monday (BFCM) shopping season nears, it’s not too late to review strategies to optimise sales during this key annual retail festival. 

A recent report from Klaviyo and Qualtrics shows that despite current economic challenges, 52 per cent plan to spend the same amount online this upcoming BFCM than they did last year – and 15 per cent plan to spend more. Furthermore, one in two consumers surveyed said they would complete their holiday shopping entirely or mostly online this season and a further 32 per cent equally in-store or online.  

Enter Klaviyo – an intelligent marketing automation platform with the tools to help retailers optimise their BFCM success. Last week, Klaviyo shared five ways retailers can use email and SMS to boost their BFCM sales

This week the company shares five winning strategies that retailers can implement – right now – to optimise customer engagement and sales during this crucial upcoming peak retail season. 

1. Create your BFCM coupons

Coupon codes – sent by email or SMS – can create a sense of excitement among customers, making them feel recognised and rewarded for their interest in a brand. Following best practices in the creation of codes and the message surrounding them can optimise the customer experience. 

Retailers that use static coupon codes are advised to build a code using BFCM-related terms, such as BLACKFRIDAY10 for a 10 per cent discount, for example. If you are using dynamic codes, be sure to upload enough codes for the number of people you plan to send them to. On Klaviyo’s platform, retailers will see a warning if there are insufficient codes available when scheduling a campaign.

Retailers with brick-and-mortar stores are advised to create a barcode for coupons, sent via email and scannable at checkout. 

For optimal impact, codes should be front-and-centre of any customer messaging.

2. Review your schedule of email and SMS communications 

By now, most retailers should have started on their pre-sale build-up marketing, including countdowns. But for those who have not — it’s not too late! 

Klaviyo recommends tailoring early access deals for VIP customers to optimise their engagement. The Klaviyo platform allows retailers to schedule campaigns well in advance of when they should be sent. 

In the ideal BFCM campaign, pre-sale build-up emails and countdowns are best scheduled a week or more ahead of the festival week, with early access deals sent to VIPs in the days before. 

Black Friday is the time to send the first major sale launch communication – including any in-store focus if applicable, followed up by teasers for any Cyber Monday deals over the weekend. Cyber Monday offers an opportunity for a second major sale launch, primarily focusing on online deals.

Many retailers have discovered in past years that BFCM does not end at midnight on Monday. ‘Giving Tuesday’ offers a last chance for customers to save on BFCM discounts and/or promote giving back initiatives – for example, “15 per cent off today’s proceeds go to a specific charity”.

To help retailers plan for the shopping festival, Klaviyo has created a helpful guide in the form of a BFCM content calendar.

3. Use push notifications to highlight deals to customers

Push notifications can be an invaluable way to communicate with customers who have installed your brand’s app, displaying on mobile lock screens.

Klaviyo’s platform enables push notifications, an invaluable personalised tool for creating urgency for sales, special offers, or new product drops, as well as encouraging customers to revisit abandoned carts. They’re also great for rebuilding relationships with inactive users.

4. Review your strategy for abandoned carts 

Do you have an extra carrot to entice customers who abandoned their carts without completing the transaction? Klaviyo’s solution can automatically reach out to customers who have left a site without completing a purchase, an excellent tool for offering an extra incentive or time-limited discount to encourage customers to return to the site and check out. 

Another useful tactic might be to offer those customers the chance to add the product they did not purchase to a wish list so that they can revisit later. 

Additionally, BFCM is an ideal time to incentivise shoppers to review their wish list by highlighting how much they’ll save if they buy before the end of the BFCM season. 

5. Prepare for real-time reporting and alerts

Constantly monitor and evaluate customer responses to your BFCM email and SMS promotional executions to stay on top of your campaign performance. BFCM is an intense period for all retailers and customer behaviour can be impacted by many factors. For example, bad weather is likely to encourage many consumers to stay home – where they may be more inclined to shop online. 

Klaviyo recommends implementing automated reporting and alert systems that notify you of any significant changes or anomalies in your data, all easily achievable within the Klaviyo platform. 

Last-minute checklist

While BFCM is looming on the horizon fast, it is still not too late to take action to review and optimise your campaign strategy, explains Jia Lee, senior content marketing manager at Klaviyo.

“A good place to start is to review last year’s BFCM season and see how your company fared. Look for trends and learn from previous successes and failures. Avoid what did not work last time and focus on what worked to see if there is a way to expand on that strategy or make it even more effective this year round.”

She also advocates establishing benchmarks and targets and making sure this year’s strategy is clear and carefully recorded for analysis ahead of next year’s BFCM. 

For retailers wanting to make the most of the upcoming BFCM season, Klaviyo has created this helpful last-minute checklist.

Klaviyo (CLAY-vee-oh) powers smarter digital relationships, making it easy for businesses to capture, store, analyse, and predictively use their own data to drive measurable, high-value outcomes. Klaviyo’s modern and intuitive SaaS platform enables business users of any skill level to harness their first-party data from more than 300 integrations to send the right message at the right time across email, SMS, and push notifications. Innovative businesses like Frank Green, Saba, Budgy Smuggler, Who Gives A Crap, and more than 130,000 other paying users leverage Klaviyo to acquire, engage, and retain customers – and grow on their own terms.