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12 strategies to prepare your Shopify store for the holidays

Laura Brisson · October 28 2022

In spite of many economic challenges over the past year, online shopping is still at an all-time high with no signs of slowing down. The holiday season, and Black Friday + Cyber Monday specifically, are the perfect opportunity for you to take advantage of this surge to boost sales and end the year on a high note! To compliment our BFCM theme prep checklist, we chatted with some of our key Partners to gather their top strategies to help you optimize your Shopify site in preparation for what is anticipated to be another record-breaking season.

Rewind

BFCM means frantic planning, price adjustments, banner updates, new apps and a whole slew of other changes happening to your store. Don't leave yourself open to unwanted mistakes or issues that can cause downtime equaling lost sales. Rewind is here to keep you safe, let us be the 'Ctrl Z' or magic 'undo' button for your store so you can make changes in peace!

Enjoy a more laid back BFCM without worrying about crashing your store or hesitating to make changes out of fear with our Big-Freaking-Common-Mistakes-Proof Bundle (available until November 25).

Videowise

Typically, shoppers do a lot of research and measure the credibility of an online store before buying. Despite the time-sensitive nature of the BFCM sale, shoppers still follow this process. But, if getting all the information about your products and trusting your brand is time-consuming, they are likely to drop off and wander off to a store that gives that context faster.

The right videos on your product pages will allow your shoppers to fully understand your product and see if it's the best fit. Videos showing how to use the product, styling them, or even talking about their benefits can give shoppers all the information they need to make that purchase decision without having to leave your product page.

Get even more tips on how to use video to increase conversions here.

Design Packs

Provide your customers with a hassle-free holiday shopping experience this year. Put together a gift guide page for your Shopify site that shows different gift categories. You can create collections for categories like “Gifts under $20”, “Gifts for Grandparents”, “Gifts for thrill-seekers”, and “Gifts for little ones”. You can then use these landing pages in your email and social marketing campaigns to drive additional traffic to your site.

If your theme doesn't come with pre-built landing page templates, Design Packs offers three unique templates to get you started!

Skio

BFCM is the most important selling weekend for many eCommerce merchants. It's an exciting (and chaotic!) time of year. As you finalize your BFCM strategy, consider how to incorporate a subscription element to your offer to ensure you continue to reap your efforts well beyond BFCM.

Our favorite way to do this is by making it easier for visitors to opt-into your subscription offer by removing steps (and clicks) throughout the customer journey.

To help with this, we've made it easy to generate direct-to-checkout permalinks that you can include on ads, landing pages, and email & SMS campaigns. This way, you can use these links to drive customers to a pre-loaded checkout, skipping over steps like Collections Pages, Product Pages, and Cart Pages.

BFCM is all about creating the shortest path to delight, and these one-click checkout links are a great way to maximize your subscription program this holiday season.

Customer Fields

BFCM typically results in an influx of new customers, so it's important to focus on retaining those customers and turning them into loyal customers. One of the easiest ways to do this is also free - make sure you have customer accounts enabled (accounts should be optional, not required).

There are many benefits for customers creating accounts on your store such as faster checkout and order history/tracking from the customer account page. For an advanced tactic, consider using Customer Fields to collect your customer's birthday so you can run birthday promotions. Birthday campaigns have one big advantage over BFCM they work year round!

Omnisend

The 2022 holiday season will be long and, due to economic factors, uncertain. But there's good news. Winning the season doesn't require a sophisticated and complex overhaul of your marketing strategy. By focusing on consumers' holiday shopping journeys, brands can send relevant, timely messages to their customers via their preferred channels, and increase their share of holiday wallets.

To maximize sales during the holiday season, we recommend introducing SMS into your marketing strategy. SMS adoption has been growing for several years and is up 47% through the first half of 2022. It's now an essential marketing channel for brands, especially during the holidays. Last holiday season, brands sent 39% more SMS messages than the year before. Expect this trend to continue in 2022. If you're not already doing it, begin collecting mobile numbers on your email pop-up forms.

A bonus tip: add texts to your automated email workflows. Automated SMS messages convert 350% better than scheduled campaign SMS messages.

Sezzle

While offering Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) payment options at checkout is helpful, it's critical to push multiple mentions of it throughout the buyer journey. This holiday season, consider adding banner ads, product display page messaging/widgets, and insertions to abandoned cart emails to ensure your shoppers know about your flexible payment options!

ShopCreatify

The last thing you want to do to your customers is confuse or frustrate them with difficult user flows. By streamlining the user's journey you'll remove these points of friction and your customers will easily find what they're looking for and experience an enjoyable engagement with your brand.

To optimize the usability of your store, start with an analysis of its current state, define the improvements needed, and then implement them according to best practices. Check out more tips for getting your site BFCM ready!

Task Husky

One of our favourite holiday promotions is the 'Gift with Purchase' promotion, which has been mastered by the perfume and cosmetics industries. They do it brilliantly. Not just at the holiday, but several times per year they kick-start sales by selling their main products at full price and offering a bonus collection of sample-size products. Often, customers have to make a minimum purchase to qualify and that minimum purchase amount is usually just below the large size of the core product customers have to buy the big one to get the "free" gift.

Not only does this spur sales, it also gives their customers a psychological incentive to try different products. Another spin on this that we've seen work well is offering a free gift card with a minimum purchase, which ensures they'll come back to shop with you again!

Conjured Referrals

Referral marketing is one of the most powerful tools you can use to scale your brand. In fact, shoppers referred by a friend are 10x more likely to make a purchase. Here are some more statistics to consider as you ramp up for the season:

  • Word of mouth is the primary factor behind 20-50% of purchasing decisions.

  • Customers acquired through referrals have a 37% higher retention rate.

  • You can expect at least 16% more in profits from referred customers.

  • 92% of consumers trust referrals from people they know.

  • Referred customers convert at a rate that's 30% higher than leads generated from other marketing channels.

Referral programs synergize well with BFCM season, because shoppers are already asking friends and family for recommendations on the best finds, offers, or discounts along with suggestions on what could make for a "perfect gift."

When rolling out a referral marketing program, above all else, your approach should always come from a place of authenticity, promoting true brand loyalty, expanding your reach, and fostering meaningful relationships with existing customers for greater LTV.

Tools like Conjured Referrals make it simple to build the perfect customizable referral program for your brand and your product or service. This will help ensure your referral program brings in new customers while building loyalty with existing ones.

Opinew

In this competitive e-commerce landscape, any opportunity to scale through the BFCM season is a gift best not left unopened.

90% of customers who bought online said they looked through product reviews before adding a product to their basket. If you don't have any reviews in your Shopify store, here are 4 quick ways to get reviews quickly to kill it with great social proof during Black Friday Cyber Monday:

Setting Up Review Request Automations For Customers

Review requests are ways for you to request reviews from your customers. You can do it via email, SMS, and QR codes.Every time a purchase is made, a review request will be sent, one way or another (or via several ways) depending on how you set it up.

Offering Coupons in Exchange For Reviews

Offering coupons in exchange for writing reviews is one of the best things you can do for your customers to improve the conversion rate of your review requests it as much as doubles the likelihood of customers leaving a review. Incentives always win!

Put it all in customer service

Customers want to give back when they are happy with a product and or service and they know that reviews matter. Care about your customers and offer them good customer service so that they feel inclined to write reviews for you. It's simple. You put good things out there and good things are going to be coming back.

Looking to get product reviews for your Shopify store? Check out Opinew