The countdown has started, but there’s still time to optimise your Black Friday, Cyber Monday (BFCM) ecommerce strategy.

With this BFCM on track to be the biggest yet, online spending is predicted to significantly increase as more and more consumers shop online. To help you refine your plan and get ahead of your competitors we are hosting an exclusive BFCM blog series with our technology partners.

This week, we interview Marketing Executive of LoyaltyLion, Alison Murtagh to discuss how merchants can make the most of loyalty this BFCM.

 

 

Last year, Black Friday Cyber Monday (BFCM) was the biggest yet, so why is it important that ecommerce businesses plan ahead for BFCM in 2020?

According to Forbes, Covid-19 has accelerated ecommerce growth by 4-6 years. As more people turn to online shopping and brick-and-mortar stores take to the internet, ecommerce competition is getting fierce. And with the online market expanding, we’re on track to have the biggest BFCM weekend yet.

Retailers must have a plan of action for BFCM if they want to get noticed. And they’ll need to stand out if they want a successful sale weekend. The best way to do this is with a solid strategy. Consider what promotion you will run and how you will execute it across all your marketing channels. 

Start planning early. If you want to get an edge over your competitors, organise the promotion now. Work your way backwards from the BFCM weekend and leave no stone unturned when making consumers aware and excited about what you’re going to offer.

 

How do you expect COVID-19 to impact customer loyalty during BFCM this year? 

We’ve been through a lot this year and shoppers are looking for brands that are authentic and empathetic to shop with. A McKinsey report found that more than 75% of consumers have tried new brands, places to shop or methods of shopping so far during the pandemic. This creates a lot of opportunities for brands to nurture and delight their new customers into becoming loyal and having a higher lifetime value. 

Over the BFCM weekend, every store will be offering discounts and other promotions. But, if you can show genuine heart and soul throughout your branding, website and messaging, this will help you connect with shoppers on an emotional level. For example, pet food brand, Edgard Copper, offers members charitable rewards such as donating to a dog shelter to appeal to their customers’ hearts. 

Emotionally connected customers spend more and this will make all the difference in securing loyalty this BFCM.

 

With repeat customers spending three times more than new customers during BFCM, what can merchants do for their returning customers?

Make your returning customers feel valued over the BFCM weekend. They want to know that you recognise and appreciate their continued custom. BFCM is a great opportunity to show your loyal customers that you value them.

Run a loyalty promotion such as double or triple points all weekend for your members. Your loyal customers will see value in this as they know they are likely to repeat purchase and use these points later. 

Also, show your most loyal customers you care about them by offering them something exclusive. This could be early access to the sale or member-only products and discounts. Pacifica Beauty offers perks like these to their higher-tiered members.

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Shoppers love VIP treatment. Do this to delight your customers over BFCM and connect with them further.

 

How can merchants build long-term relationships and encourage the loyalty of new customers during BFCM?

Entice first-time customers during BFCM to return to your store with an immediately redeemable discount or reward post-purchase. Reach out to these customers with a message on how to redeem the offer when you typically expect a repeat purchase. Make it clear, easy and worth the customers while in order to maximise the chance of a successful second order.

Also, encourage new customers to join your loyalty program throughout the buying journey. Some of the most effective ways to get sign-ups is including information about your loyalty program in post-purchase communication and on-site banners. Express the benefits of becoming a loyalty program member so customers can immediately see the value and want to sign up. You can also award points for account creation to help seal the deal.

Signing up to your program is an important step in creating loyal customers. Points for purchases and other actions encourage customers to engage with your brand and reap the benefits. It also allows you to offer a more personalised shopping experience. Displaying friendly welcome messages and product recommendations make customers feel known and appreciated. A loyalty program opens up a range of communication opportunities too. After a customer joins, you can send personalised messages and emails with exclusive offers, points balances, rewards reminders and more.

 

What kinds of rewards have been receiving the best engagement recently?

Our research shows that 66% of consumers are motivated by experienced-based rewards. And, 79% said being able to unlock exclusive benefits makes them loyal. We have seen that many merchants have been adding experiential rewards to their program recently. For example, giving members access to exclusive sales or events. Fashion brand, Never Fully Dressed, offers access to “Secret Sales” for their most loyal customers.

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Swimwear brand, Cupshe, also offers experience-based rewards to their program members. For instance, Cupshe offers early access to sales to all of their loyalty program members, however, they also provide access to exclusive member events for their most loyal customers, who are at the top two tiers. 

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Offering exclusive experiential rewards to your loyal customers, like Never Fully Dressed and Cupshe have, gives them a new and exciting way to experience and engage with your brand. 

This has been a particularly successful loyalty tactic in the past months as consumers are becoming desensitized to discounts alone. It’s important to offer some distinctive loyalty rewards to capture your shoppers’ interests and entice them back to your store

 

What are LoyaltyLion’s top tips for a successful loyalty strategy during BFCM? 

Our top tip for a successful loyalty strategy over BFCM weekend is to communicate the presence of your loyalty programs and the benefits it offers throughout the shopping experience. Include it in your BFCM announcement emails, display a banner or pop-up on your homepage and include points totals on the product and check out pages. We’d also suggest encouraging account creation in your post-purchase emails.

And if you really want to drive customers to engage with your loyalty program, include bonus points or rewards exclusive to members. This encourages shoppers to create an account rather than using a guest checkout where they’ll miss out on perks.

Use these tactics to implement a loyalty strategy that runs alongside your promotion to turn one-time BFCM shoppers into repeat customers.

 

Last year, what brands were smashing customer loyalty during BFCM?

In 2019, we saw lots of brands utilise their loyalty program over BFCM. One of the best was the fashion and apparel brand, Lively. They offered customers who purchased during their event a free “Cyber Pack” that included goodies such as a travel pouch and socks. The pack was available for one day only and got shoppers excited to buy so they wouldn’t miss out. 

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As well as this, they offered double points for purchases to loyalty program members. They included this in their Cyber Monday email to encourage people to spend with them. It also served to advertise the program to non-members to drive them to sign up.

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Another merchant who included their loyalty program in their BFCM last year was Mirenesse. They gave their loyal customers early access to their Black Friday sale.

This helped to cement the rhetoric that loyal customers are rewarded with special treatment and exclusive benefits.

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It’s been found that for 64% of retailers, shoppers acquired during BFCM have a lower lifetime value than shoppers acquired at any other time of the year. How do merchants increase customer loyalty after BFCM?

It’s a fact that shoppers during BFCM are looking for bargains. There are lots of stores offering discounted prices and for people looking to get ahead on their holiday shopping, this can mean big savings. However, this means that many shoppers tend to purchase over BFCM and not return. 

Combat this with a re-engagement strategy. Reach out to your BFCM customers in the lead up to the holiday period with an immediately redeemable reward. People will be shopping during this season regardless. Make them an offer they can’t refuse so they shop with you over your competitors. 

As well as this, make sure you’re communicating about the benefits of your loyalty program. Encourage shoppers to sign up so you can offer them perks that will keep them returning. Once they become a member, remind them that they can earn points via following you on social media or engaging more with your brand. This will help you to engage with your customers between purchases and keep reminding about your store.

 

If you need support this BFCM or simply want to hear more about LoyaltyLion then get in touch with our team of Shopify Plus experts today!

 

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About LoyaltyLion:

LoyaltyLion is a data-driven loyalty and engagement platform that powers ecommerce growth. A loyalty program is about more than points and rewards. It is about unlocking real insights to increase customer lifetime value. With LoyaltyLion, you can build a better understanding of what drives longer-lasting customer relationships, and use those insights to connect and accelerate your existing marketing efforts. Proven to increase retention and spend, LoyaltyLion is trusted by thousands of fast-growth ecommerce merchants worldwide.