We're quickly approaching BFCM (Black Friday, Cyber Monday), the biggest ecommerce shopping season of the year. It’s a month of sales crammed into 5 days. It’s a year of planning. It can even represent the majority of yearly revenue for a brand.
Sounds stressful? It doesn’t have to be.
With less than 90 days till BFCM, it’s still possible to optimize your website to improve SEO, revenue per session and conversion rates. All without having to edit code, redesign the site, or go headless.
If you’re not sure where to start, we’ve selected our 3 favorite ways to help maximize your BFCM experience so that you can maximize sales without the headache
Shopify notes that customers are expecting “jaw-dropping” offers on fan-favorite products to create buzz and attract customers. With so many brands offering their best deals, the best way to cut through the noise is with a clear offer. Too many exceptions, restrictions or requirements left customers frustrated; if a customer can’t understand your offer, they’ll shop at a brand where they do.
One beauty brand I've worked with also found that it was critical to make sure that the BFCM promotion was their best promotion of the year. This offer should be more enticing than other offers your brand has had earlier in the year.
A great example of a unique promotional offer is from British luxury fashion brand, Represent, which offered a great discount, but also included a new product launch. By coupling a discount with a highly-coveted new launch, Represent was able to create a unique sales proposition that helped them stand out during a competitive time.
How did they accomplish that? Represent let loyalty members know ahead of time about the new product launch, which drove buzz before the sale, and then made sure to remind their customers about the new product launch the day of Black Friday. This encouraged customers to come back to shop and feel like they were getting an incredible offer.
A compelling BFCM offer can be as simple as the biggest discount of the year, or it could be a two part offer, similar to what Represent did. The critical part is that the offer is clear and there’s no confusion - we do not recommend having multiple exclusions, more than two parts to the offer (we’ve seen brands have different promos for different categories), or having an offer that’s smaller or equivalent to promotions from earlier in the year.
What’s most important is that the offer is compelling, and unique to BFCM. Here’s some offers we recommend:
When shopping in-store during BFCM, it’s easy to create a great customer experience with store associates, sale signs, and more. When shopping online, the “in-store experience” can be achieved digitally as well. Creating a dedicated BFCM sale landing page, and dedicated BFCM creative make it as easy as possible for customers to find the promotions helps stressed out shoppers who may feel overwhelmed by all of the BFCM noise. A simplified user experience helps customers get through the checkout process faster, leading to more conversions and revenue.
When customers land on the site, the sale should be easy to find, and we recommend simplifying the user experience, and making it as easy as possible for customers. As part of a 3-fold strategy, Blenders Eyewear created dedicated Black Friday and Cyber Monday websites that featured their top promotions with dedicated creative.
Making it easy to shop can make a huge difference on the site, and we’ve provided some examples of easy to follow homepage banners below:
We don’t recommend “hiding” your sale in the navigation or making the sale accessible only via ads or email - this creates friction and confusion in the buying process, which can impact BFCM sales. Alternatively, we recommend having a dedicated sale page, this way customers can easily find the sale from the homepage or navigation; and customers who come via email or ads will have a landing page where they can shop. The easier you make it for customers to shop, the more likely they’ll convert.
Our top pick? Start by improving site speed (and yes, you can do this quickly). Even a 0.1s site speed increase can increase AOV by as much as 9.2%, which can mean thousands more in sales for brands. Customers are also the most sensitive to site speed during pre-checkout; if you want customers to convert, we recommend optimizing your site speed.
For one brand, they were able to increase conversions by 7.7% and increase revenue per session by 9.3%, just by improving site speed right before the holidays! Other benefits of site speed include a decrease in bounce rate, making BFCM ads more efficient, as well as improved Core Web Vitals, which can improve SEO rankings. With so many competing offers, ads, and stores to shop one, a faster site helps customers move through the purchasing journey more quickly, ultimately leading to more conversions and revenue.
To improve site speed, we recommend taking a scientific approach that will allow you to hypothesize, make changes, and test and optimize the site in a standardized manner. We recommend the following:
Don’t have the dev resources at the moment? Here’s some easy optimizations to try:
Optimizing site speed can quickly become daunting and expensive, which is why we built Render Better, an automated solution to site speed that can be installed in a day. Best of all, it doesn’t require a developer, so you can spend that dev time on other BFCM prep instead.
On average, Render Better customers experience 23% faster site speed on their site, and up to a 18% conversion rate improvement. Learn more about the success customers have had with Render Better here.
We want to empower your team to have a successful BFCM, and believe armed with these last minute changes before the holidays, you’ll be able to improve conversions and revenue.
To review, key ideas to a stress-free BFCM (both for you and for customers) is: