It’s that time of the year! The Black Friday Cyber Monday (BFCM) season is just around the corner. Consumers are eagerly waiting to make purchases. eCommerce stores are busy planning deals and discounts.
For online stores, BFCM is the biggest season to make great sales (2020 saw $5.1 billion of sales globally!). Every eCommerce store will try to out-do the other by offering huge discounts.
In this sea of offers, it’s easy for your BFCM discounts to get lost. And so, you require a good strategy to secure your sales.
One such strategy is pre-orders.
Let’s take a deep dive into how you can secure maximum sales with the help of pre-orders.
But first, what is a pre-order?
Pre-order is a marketing tactic where you can allow shoppers to place orders before you actually stock the product. It benefits both the brand and customers. As a brand, you can assess the customer interest in the product and secure sales. Customers get the opportunity to buy the product before others can.
We’ve often seen the craze for placing pre-orders for iPhones and how every shopper wants to be the first to get their hands on it. But not just for product launch, pre-orders can be used in many other situations. You can set up pre-orders when:
- You’re about to launch a new product
- A product is out-of-stock and you’d be restocking it
- When entering a new market
- Before the start of a sale. For example, before the BFCM sale
How to boost pre-order conversions for your BFCM deals?
Set up a BFCM pre-order page
You might have planned to offer the most competitive BFCM discounts, but unless your customers get to know about it, your discounts aren’t going to convert to sales. This is why you need a BFCM pre-launch page.
Call it pre-order, coming-soon or pre-launch, it’s a dedicated page where your customers can find information about the upcoming BFCM deals – products, brands, discounts and offers.
But you might wonder why create a whole new page and what are its benefits. By having a pre-orders page, you can,
- Get a running start to your BFCM marketing plan
- Build an audience much before the sale begins
- Assess customer desire early on and collect feedback, too
- Secure sales before the sale begins
Here’s an example from a BFCM landing page.
Pro tip: Have a year-round BFCM page. It will help bring traffic from search engines, provide an opportunity to shoppers to sign up to your newsletter, subscribe to your BFCM promotional communication via various channels, and get to know about your BFCM deals in advance.
Give early bird offers with pre-order
A study on the psychological and physiological effects of discounts and offers shows that deals help release a hormone called oxytocin, which is related to happiness and reduced stress levels. This explains why early bird offers of all kinds do well for eCommerce stores.
For BFCM, you can offer your customers more in addition to the ability to pre-order your products. Here are some offers you can consider:
- Offer pre-orders with early bird offers
- Freebies with pre-orders
- Free delivery or discounted shipping – 80% of customers buy more because of free shipping
- Faster deliveries – 50% of customers tend to spend more when deliveries are faster
- Reward points to your loyalty program members
- Allow local, curbside pickup to make it more convenient for shoppers
Here’s a pre-order discount offer example:
It’s human psychology – when we see other people buying something or sharing positive reviews, we tend to feel left out and want to buy the same products. You can make use of this fear of missing out (FOMO) for your Shopify store BFCM pre-orders.
Show social proof to improve BFCM pre-order sales. Here’s what you can do:
- Showcase the number of people interested in the BFCM deals. For example, 240 people are looking at this product
- Display the number of pre-orders already placed
- Show the number of products left in stock
- Include a countdown timer
Promote pre-orders within your loyal customer base
Loyal customers are those that trust your brand, products, and have been buying from you for a long time. Because they trust you, they’re more likely to buy from you during the BFCM pre-order phase. However, you’ll need to encourage them to buy.
How? Nudge them to per-order through the various channels that you use to communicate with them:
- Plan a pre-order email campaign to target these loyal customers
- Create personalized SMS campaigns to target different customer segments
- Use Facebook Messenger to share your BFCM pre-order promotional messages
- Include web-push to reach out to them on the web
Promote pre-order through your newsletter
81% of marketers say newsletters are one of the most impactful forms of marketing for them. So, why not use it to promote your BFCM pre-order sale? But there are many factors that you’ll need to get right.
Let’s look at how you can promote pre-orders through your newsletter correctly.
- Your newsletters might be sent out once a month or once a quarter. Depending on that, plan your BFCM pre-order strategy much in advance so that you can include it in the newsletter
- Make sure you highlight the benefits of pre-ordering in the newsletter – make it more enticing for your subscribers to purchase during the pre-order phase
Collaborate with influencers to promote BFCM pre-orders
Influencers are individuals who demonstrate expertise and knowledge on a particular subject or industry. By collaborating with influencers in your industry, you can get the word out about your BFCM offers and increase sales.
Here are some tips to get your influencer collaboration right:
- Look for industry-specific influencers
- Consider micro-influencers – quality over quantity. Celebrity influencers might be overrated
- Choose influencers on the basis of how well their audiences align with your buyer persona
- Make your influencer strategy unique by creating a special offer for your products compared to asking them to simply give a shout-out
Run social media ads to promote pre-orders
With almost 4 million active users of social media worldwide, if you’re not including social media in your BFCM marketing plan, you’d be at a loss. Social media ad impressions have been going up by 20% year after year. This means running social ads to promote pre-orders can help you reach out to a larger audience and increase your pre-order sale.
Some tips to help you ace your social media ads for BFCM pre-orders:
- Include video in your social media ads strategy
- Make your ads stand out with great copy and visuals
- Keep you social ads messaging clear
- Highlight the discounts, deals, and benefits in your social ads
Run ad campaigns on the web
BFCM is a great opportunity for consumers to grab good deals. And so, they tend to start looking for deals through online search engines. This is a lucrative opportunity for you to get your BFCM deals found and seen.
Few points to keep in mind for your BFCM search ads:
- Start your paid ads much in advance, continue through the BFCM period
- Keep tracking your BFCM pre-order ads performance to optimize them
- You can run Google ads, Bing ads, display ads, remarketing ads, among others
- Your ads should have it all – attractive visuals, great offers, and catchy copy
- It’s better to hire an ad expert if your in-house team doesn’t have the know-how
Retarget and remarket to your recent visitors
Your Shopify site would be seeing many new visitors everyday. But 95% of these visitors might have left your site without buying anything. That doesn’t mean you lose them forever. You have to bring them back to your store via remarketing and retargeting.
Let’s understand how remarketing and retargeting are different.
- Remarketing helps you reach shoppers that have already visited your website via other marketing campaigns
- Retargeting helps you reach shoppers that have already shown interest in your product through paid advertising
Here’s what you can do:
- Remarket and retarget your most recent visitors (at least of the last 3 months before BFCM)
- Retarget visitors by sharing offers on the products for which they showed interest
- Retarget visitors on social media and through search ads
- Make retargeting and remarketing campaigns impactful with offers, discounts and by triggering FOMO
Be available to shoppers via live chat
BFCM is a busy time, not just for Shopify store owners and marketers, but also for shoppers. They’re busy making purchases and finding the best deals. So while shoppers struggle to make purchase decisions; as a store, it is your responsibility to make it easy for them to make decisions and to purchase.
The solution: be there for them via live chat. Always. Use a live chat feature to answer their queries, recommend products, share information about new deals and discounts, and nudge them to make more purchases. It’s a great way to increase AOV of customers.
Make it easy to place a pre-order
Every eCommerce store would be trying hard to boost sales during BFCM. Discounts might go off the roof. (40 to 50% is the average discount during BFCM). In this frenzy, how can you ensure enough conversions for your pre-orders?
Customers have hundreds of options for buying one product. As a brand, you have to make it easy for them to place a pre-order on your site. How do you do that? First, you’ll need a tool to help you. Appikon Pre-Order is one of the most popular pre-order tools for Shopify stores. Here are some ways the Pre-Order app can help you:
- The app helps you set up the pre-order buttons and features on your product pages
- You can include as much information possible about the product so that it’s easy for customers to make their purchase decision
- Have a live chat feature on your pre-order page so that shoppers can get their doubts cleared
- The app helps you set up discounts and deals for your products
Here’s an example of an iPhone pre-order page with comprehensive product information and easy buying buttons.
How should you go about BFCM pre-orders?
To make the most of your pre-order strategy for BFCM, start early. Plan at least three to four weeks ahead of the BFCM sale day. This will give you enough time to plan your pre-order strategy, decide the discounts, and put all the tools in place such as Appikon Pre-Order. What is more, you can even monitor and assess the performance and optimize, if needed. But all this is possible only if you start early.