Black Friday is over, and retailers everywhere are breathing a sigh of relief. Most of your orders have been dispatched, your marketing campaigns have wound down, and you can start to focus on pushing seasonal sales as Christmas approaches.
But the work doesn’t completely stop there—now is the time to take advantage of all those new leads and give your sales a quick boost.
Read on for a few handy ways to capitalise on your Black Friday sales surge.
Keep your customer service strategy sparkling
You already know the value of a good experience for ecommerce success. Great onsite UX, stellar content mapped to each stage of the customer journey, useful and relevant marketing campaigns, and so on all count towards this.
But with Black Friday behind us, what matters now in terms of experience is customer service. A good experience with your complaints and community management teams is essential for sparking and nurturing lasting customer relationships.
Naturally, this should always be an essential part of your ecommerce strategy, particularly in this fraught year. But now is the time to step it up and ensure your customer service strategy stays on-point to handle any follow-up queries your new customers might have.
Stay on top of your customer conversations and make sure nothing slips through the cracks.
Your customer relationship management (CRM) tools are essential here: HubSpot, Zoho, Mailchimp, and so on. Shared inboxes are excellent for following-up on threads, and many tools provide collision detection to prevent multiple people replying to the same ticket.
It’s also worth creating a set of template replies to queries to speed up response times. Craft some boilerplate copy to quickly use for common questions, and make a list of new queries that crop up this year to inform your strategy for next year.
Of course, you already know what makes for stellar and sparkling customer service. What matters is keeping your existing strategy tight and ensuring each customer you interact with over this period leaves happy.
Follow up on sales with a tempting coupon code
All those new leads filling up your pipeline are more than just a sale—they’re also a chance to schmooze, seduce, and win over with some tantalising incentives.
Nothing fosters repeat custom quite like an attractive post-purchase goodie, and the best incentives are those that are simple, encourage repeat custom and, ideally, are cost-effective for your business (i.e. no expensive freebies).
Enter the humble coupon code.
Simple, flexible (they work for most niches), and easy to implement, coupon codes are great for nurturing post-purchase loyalty. And with 68% of consumers believing in their efficacy as a loyalty generation tool, coupon codes are the perfect post-Black Friday boost for your brand.
Following your new shoppers’ Black Friday purchases, send an email thanking them for their custom, leaving a 7-14 day gap to give them time to receive and use their purchase. As a thank-you, throw in a little coupon code giving them a certain percentage off their next purchase.
This taps into that post-purchase glow and encourages your new shoppers to purchase with you again. Plus, with Christmas hurtling towards us at an alarming rate, these coupons give you an opportunity to tap into seasonal sales too.
There are countless people out there who leave their Christmas shopping to the last minute—some out of laziness, some due to time constraints, and others because they simply love the sheer exhilarating thrill.
But regardless of the reason, a well-timed follow-up email with attached coupon code provides an easy solution for their last-minute present-buying woes. Coupon codes really are the (ahem) gift that keeps on giving.
Ensure your returns policy is simple and on-point
Returns are a natural part of ecommerce—if you own an online store, your customers will return a purchase at some point.
Indeed, return rates for products bought online are around 25% (compared to just 8% for items bought on the high street).
Plus, research by Barclaycard found that 30% of shoppers deliberately buy too much, with the aim of returning unwanted products. Further to that, a not-insubstantial 19% of people confessed to buying more than one version of the same product with the same intention, particularly (but by no means exclusively) when it comes to clothing—it’s often easier to buy the same t-shirt in different sizes than try to guess the arbitrary sizings of an apparel brand.
This is particularly pertinent in terms of Black Friday—with the pressure of time-sensitive deals and perceived scarcity of offers, shoppers are far more likely to buy in bulk and return later.
Evidently, you can assume that your customers will be returning products as well.
Yes, this is a headache for your ecommerce brands. But it’s also an opportunity to encourage repeat customers as well.
If your returns policy is too complex, too drawn-out, or just too difficult to use, those new customers you’ve won aren’t likely to shop with you again. While serial returners are a hassle, those customers that continue to buy from you are worth pursuing.
Firstly, keep it simple. That means no multiple pages or drawn-out processes—keep the returns form onto a single webpage (if processed online), or make paper returns forms easy to understand and fill out where applicable.
A good returns policy is a prosaic part of your ecommerce strategy—but an essential one. If it caused problems this year, take steps to ensure any returns for next year’s event go smoothly.
The tips above are just a few ideas for giving your Black Friday sales figures a quick and easy boost. Of course, as the proverb goes, the best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago, and the second best time is now. If you need a hand with your Black Friday ecommerce strategy for next year, get in touch—we’ve got you covered.