The year 2020 has been unlike any other we’ve seen before. Companies around the globe have had to find a way to grow even during these uncertain times. As a software or SaaS company, you don’t have to worry about how you’re going to accommodate shoppers safely in your store this Black Friday and Cyber Monday (BFCM). But you do have some other things to worry about. Your site and app will probably experience traffic spikes that you will only see during BFCM.
With increased traffic comes increased sales—something every business owner wants. But it’s not that simple. In order to drive the quality traffic that turns into sales, there are some things you need to do first.
Here are some of our foolproof tips to make this year’s BFCM a success.
1. Create your holiday marketing plan.
The first step in creating a holiday marketing plan is deciding what holidays you want to promote. Will Black Friday be your first big push? Or will you start this season’s promotions with a Thanksgiving sale? Regardless of what holidays you choose, make sure you have enough resources to execute successful campaigns. Then you can start working on the specifics:
- Goals and objectives
- Marketing tactics and channels
- Promotional calendar
2. Personalize communication across all channels.
Everyone hopes for a traffic boost during BFCM, but you want to make sure you’re getting the right type of traffic. One of the best ways to increase quality site traffic is through personalized marketing. When we think of personalized marketing, we usually jump to customized email blasts that insert a customer’s first name and features items they’ve viewed in the past. Still, personalized marketing, or one-to-one marketing, is so much more than that.
Personalized marketing allows you to deliver individualized messaging across all channels— email, social media, paid search, on-site ads, etc. using advanced data collection, analysis, and automation technology. Yep, the process is automated. Which means you just need your designers, copywriters, and coders to create a few templates, the data will fill in the holes, and you can enjoy the benefits of a seamless, customized, and comprehensive holiday campaign.
3. Brag about your benefits.
Before you do anything, develop an offer that makes shoppers want to buy from YOU. What differentiates your software or service from your competitors? And remember, focus on benefits. Customers want to know how your product or service can help them, not just the solutions or features you provide. For example, you can emphasize your:
- Superior uptime
- Unparalleled customer service
- Excellent security
- Unique features
4. Craft your offer.
Once you’ve decided on your benefit statement(s), you can determine what you’re going to offer your audience on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Will you offer the same deal on both days or target different audiences with different deals for each event? Regardless of what you choose, here are some additional offers to consider:
- Referral deals and coupon codes
- free add-ons or upgrades
- Free trials
If you feel limited by one-day sales, consider extending your sale to start before and end after Black Friday/Cyber Monday and make it a three-day event. Believe me, your customers won’t complain about the longer sales.
5. Scale up your support.
This applies to both customer service and your site’s backend. Be sure to increase customer support availability during BFCM. That means having agents available from 11 PM EST the Thursday before Black Friday through 11 PM EST on Cyber Monday. Even if you don’t experience any outages due to increased traffic, you will still experience increased customer questions that need answers quickly.
When it comes to your site, be sure to increase your server and database capacity. In general, online stores usually see about 2x their regular traffic during BFCM. To avoid any outages or slow loading speeds, be prepared to handle a 10x increase in server load. That may sound excessive, but the peace of mind and happy customers will be worth the cost.
There’s an easier way for those who don’t want the headache of added staffing and servers. To cut down on staffing, FastSpring manages all order-related customer support. That means that if a customer has a question about their purchase, needs to update their billing info, or cancel their order, they contact FastSpring directly, which saves you time and money. FastSpring also handles all fulfillment, so you don’t have to worry about your site crashing due to spikes in order volume. We do all the heavy lifting so you can enjoy the weekend!
6. Plan for the worst … or find a partner to help you succeed.
It’s better to be safe than sorry, right? Don’t expect that a weekend of increased traffic, sales, and inquiries will go off without a hitch. Be prepared by asking yourself the following questions about your app and site:
- What would happen if my site crashed or my app went down?
- Are we capable of handling 10x more traffic tomorrow?
- What is the minimum downtime if our servers are overloaded?
- Do we have a backup plan if we experience outages?
But, there is an easier way to prepare for the holidays. Instead of doing all of the heavy lifting during the busiest sales weekend of the year, you can let someone else worry about the logistics—someone like FastSpring. You can relax knowing that an all-in-one ecommerce platform has your back from check out to customer service to fulfillment and beyond. So leave the hard work to a trusted partner, and actually enjoy the holidays.
When it comes to having a successful Black Friday and Cyber Monday, it’s all about preparation. You need to prepare the right messaging, the right deal, and the right amount of support. And while we hope everyone experiences a smooth and profitable weekend, it’s more important than ever to be prepared for this year’s holiday season. Whether it’s by strengthening your site or bringing on an ecommerce partner, you’ll be glad you were ready for any kind of situation this Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
For more on how to set up your store for success this holiday season, check out our 2020 Holiday Playbook!