Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales are known to set new sales records for brands. In 2020, Adobe Digital reported ecommerce sales of $10.8 billion at the end of Cyber Monday, breaking records of past years. In 2021, the total sales amounted to $10.7 billion, keeping Cyber Monday the biggest day of the year for online shopping.
According to NRF, the holiday season makes up for about 20% of total annual retail sales.
While the entire holiday season sees an increase in demand, Black Friday comes out on top with 108 million shoppers planning to shop on Black Friday and 62.8 million shoppers planning to shop on Cyber Monday.
So, what does this mean for your brand?
Apart from high revenue and a lot of backend activities, Black Friday and Cyber Monday help you acquire new customers via your marketing campaigns and discounts. However, the caveat is that most of these new customers only make a one-time purchase and never return.
It’s not because they’re unwilling to spend money post-holiday: around 65% of shoppers show the intent of post-holiday purchases.
The reason: not enough attention is given to these new customers to keep them coming back for more.
As an ecommerce brand, you’re in a unique position to use the extensive customer data you have at your fingertips to retain this new set of customers and drive profitability.
The question is, how do you do that and stand out from your competitors who might be trying the same?
Here are four practical strategies for customer retention post-Cyber Monday and Black Friday sales.
#1: Relevant Product Recommendations
Once a customer has made their first purchase, you need to keep them in the loop so that they remember your brand and the experience they had with you. If you’re implementing email marketing and SMS marketing already, you’re a step ahead.
You can leverage the new influx of customer contact details you have and suggest relevant post-purchase recommendations.
But how do you recommend the right products at the right time? By using the existing data of your current customers.
You can analyze the Purchasing Journey of your existing clients – how they’ve placed orders in the past, what their second order was, and how the second order complemented the first order and so on.
For example, a skincare brand working with Peel was able to analyze the purchasing journey of their customers which gave them insight into this useful information:
They formed Audience cohorts and were able to find out what particular orders were placed in the successive orders. This also goes beyond the second order. It analyzes if the time period between first and second orders made the customers more likely to become loyal customers.
Based on this information, you can create timely and relevant email and with product recommendations that have been proven in the past. Audiences makes it extra convenient to run these marketing experiments by allowing you to push your Audience lists directly to email and SMS platforms like Klaviyo and Attentive.
Next, create seasonally appropriate product bundles for the customers to use together. For this, you can do Market Basket Analysis, an important set of product analytics, to promote the data-backed combos.
If that sounds like a lot of hours spent in front of spreadsheets and tracking down orders, Peel has just made it easier for you. As much as Market Basket Analysis is important, it takes a considerable amount of time for sales analysis and past order tracking. With Peel, you can do it with a single click:
Based on how your product combos have performed in the past – specific to seasons – you can choose the bundles to promote to the new customer segment you have.
#2: Create a Balanced Outreach Cadence
As the above customer retention strategy shows, outreach is key to getting new customers in the loop and keeping up brand recall.
But the key to outreach is timing.
If your new customers start getting bombarded with sales-y emails from a brand that they’ve just subscribed to, they won’t want to be in the loop for long. Worse, if the emails contain generalized product recommendations that the customer can’t benefit from, they’ll go for the “unsubscribe” button straight away.
Timing and personalization win over frequency and generalization. You need to place your emails strategically and identify when the customers are most likely to buy.
Again, you can use the data from your Purchasing Journey analysis with Peel. It tells you the average time between orders, which lets you send the right marketing message at the right time.
#3: Don’t Neglect Customer Experience
While you’re focusing on specific actions like personalization and marketing, don’t forget the building blocks of your brand – customer service and an excellent customer experience.
From asking for feedback and reviews to acting on any of their issues quickly, your customer service will drive customer revenue. Research backs this up too: 93% of customers are more likely to order again from a brand after a positive customer service experience. 68% of consumers are even willing to pay extra for a brand with a reputation for good customer experiences.
Not only that, the cost of a bad experience is just too high: 80% of customers would switch to a competitor after more than one bad experience.
This means not just sending a few emails asking for feedback, but actively trying to make the experience better for a customer. For example, Jones Road Beauty uses active hearing and response on social media channels to address any grievances:
Or take the example of ClickUp, which uses the platforms to interact with its users too, which is an extension of its brand personality:
You need to go above and beyond and make these seemingly small actions a priority. You can also introduce newsletters that are informative and engaging to keep your customers in the loop. For example, Beardbrand has a series of newsletters that provide their customers with a deep dive on beards and beyond:
#4: Build Audiences, Nurture Relationships
The goal with your outreach marketing shouldn’t be to get a certain number of clicks or opens. Blanket emails all saying the same thing, not personalized based on data and behavior, sent to thousands of contacts, will only lead to a high unsubscribe rate. Not to mention that it’s SO 2017... Instead, you need to use marketing channels to build relationships with your audience and nurture them.
Now, while you can segment and build lists with any email and SMS marketing tool, you need to go a step further and analyze the lists in more detail. With the Audiences tool in Peel, you can use several filters at once to identify a customer that matches certain attributes. For example, you can identify customers who have:
- Applied a certain discount code
- Purchased in the last three months
- Purchased once
- Ordered a specific product
- Have a certain lifetime value
- Ordered in a specific time window before that (before the three months)
Such hyper-targeting makes your messaging incredibly personal and leaves the customer with a sense that you’re not using cookie-cutter bulk discounts to win them over. It makes them feel as though they have the opportunity to buy from a company that’s actually trying to serve their needs. Which we all should be doing!
What’s more, with Audiences, you can track real-time growth, broken down to customers by day:
Retention is the new Acquisition
You have to prepare a customer retention strategy for Black Friday & Cyber Monday. The brands that are winning the most are those who are building relationships with their customers which leads to long-term value and growth.
We’ll be dropping more tips, tricks, and strategies for making the most of BFCM for your ecommerce brand. Stay tuned! And if you want to ramp up your preparation, check out the 5 things you can do to prep your data - in Shopify and in Peel to get ready for Black Friday & Cyber Monday.