A big welcome to Velstar, who are joining us for this guest blog.
Velstar are a Shopify Plus Partner Agency, whose 20+ ecommerce experts offer design, development, and growth services.
They have a proven track record in delivering ipaas provider outstanding ecommerce solutions, so we’ve asked them to provide advice for stores preparing for Black Friday Cyber Monday (BFCM).
Without further ado… take it away Velstar!
BFCM is the biggest opportunity for ecommerce brands to make a lot of money and scale quickly.
Despite the lockdowns and worldwide economic hardship, last year was the most successful BFCM to date. In fact, $5.1 billion in sales was made by Shopify merchants between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, which was a 76% increase from last year. With that in mind, there will be more pressure than ever before on merchants and their partner agencies to ensure that 2021 is even better.
In the months and weeks leading up to the big weekend, merchants will lean on partner agencies to support their businesses with campaigns, handling the increased customer demand and creating new ways to sell more.
Here’s four tactics that we use at Velstar to manage the busy period successfully and ensure that our clients leverage the opportunity to generate significant results.
Proactive and prioritise
For every merchant, BFCM is a highly stressful time, particularly for newer brands who have not taken part in BFCM before. The best way to manage this and expectations is to start planning as early as possible. In recent years, this has meant that we reach out to clients as early as July and August, so if they’re not planning, they at least think about it. This gives them the best possible chance of prioritising the most effective strategies on the build up to BFCM.
All too often, merchants get asked ‘is your store prepared for BFCM?’ But the level of preparation required depends on a merchant’s individual business needs and key focuses. Instead of asking brands this question, at Velstar we deep-dive into data and dissect what needs to be done in order for a client to achieve their BFCM goals. We prioritise, are realistic, and help our clients make the right decisions for their business.
Going beyond BFCM
Once the mania of BFCM has ended, many merchants think it’s time to sit back and relax, but there’s still work to be done. There’s a bunch of new customers that brands have acquired over the cyber weekend, and it’s our job as a partner agency to help clients make sure those customers stick around.
The key is to prolong the BFCM buzz and continue to re-engage customers long after BFCM has ended. Tactics such as leveraging an effective email marketing campaign, implementing a loyalty program or enticing customers back with a post-BFCM campaign are all ways to help our clients overcome the BFCM slump and keep them top of mind. We make it our priority to be proactive in our approach and continually innovate to help our clients stay one step ahead of the curve.
Analysing and reflecting
Throughout our clients’ BFCM campaigns we track everything, using tracking pixels, analytics and heat maps. This allows us to analyse, reflect, and adjust our strategy, so we can continually improve the results achieved YoY.
During the time leading up to BFCM, a lot of changes are made to a client’s store to ensure it’s fully optimised for the big event. This means we have to constantly test every change we make and measure the impact these changes are having on customer experience and ultimately conversions. Also, as best practice we always backup our clients’ stores (hourly), so if in the event something goes wrong on cyber weekend, they can easily restore their data and avoid any downtime.
Getting ready for BFCM in 2021
Whether you need help to optimise your site or take your marketing efforts to the next level, get in touch with Velstar’s team of Shopify experts and we’ll help you scale this holiday season.