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Ah, it’s that time of the year again. When every third LinkedIn connection with the term ‘eCommerce’ or ‘influencer’ in their bio would overnight turn into experts on how you can make the most of the upcoming Black Friday/Cyber Monday sale.

As the days close in, you’ll find them sharing content around everything from stale tips repackaged as underutilized growth hacks to profound stats they found on the first link they clicked on Google search. They’ll tell you how doing a pre-hype event on Instagram will bring in 100k unique daily visitors to your online store, or how doing a contest will make all your social media followers rush to your store and run it out of stock, you get the drift.

Sure, not all the content you’ll come across is crap – but you’d have to use a pretty strong filter to differentiate fluff from the actual stuff. And when it comes to luxury brands, the line between what works, and what doesn’t, can get even more tricky to place.

People out to buy luxury goods and services aren’t the usual run of the mill shoppers. Even though they’re high intent, you can’t just go for the hard sell. Luxury brands need to display a certain level of sophistication and offer a shopping experience that truly matches the worth of the product they’re selling.

So, most of what you’ll find on the topic of acing BFCM from an online sales perspective is totally irrelevant (for the lack of a stronger word, it’s bullshit). This is why we decided to put together a no fluff, no bullshit guide to getting more sales during this BFCM, dedicatedly for luxury brands. Read on to learn the ins and outs of how your brand can achieve the same.

Getting Your Luxury Brand To Grab A Piece Of The Sales Pie

When it actually comes down to the business of making this year’s BFCM sale a success for your luxury brand, there’s a three-phasal strategy you want to be aiming for: efforts you need to put before the sale, during the sale, and after the sale (yes, we’ll get to the why of it soon enough). For the sake of a better understanding, we’ll tackle each of these phases one after the other. Let’s get started then, shall we?

Well Begun Is Half Done: What You Need To Do Before The Sale

Also, the early bird gets the worm, right? To get a head start on your competition, here are some of the ways you can proceed with your BFCM sale strategy:

1. Create A Dedicated Landing Page On Your Store

The very first step in your journey to acing the sales is to create a dedicated Pre-BFCM webpage on your website. Consider this the central hub of all your promotional activities going forward, and would serve as the de-facto place for your inbound traffic to learn more about your offerings.

Here, you would want to showcase your brand exclusives that would be going on sale for the first time, never-before-seen deals, and more. Since consumers who shop luxury brands are already high on intent, make sure you’re capturing the demand you’d be generating because of it, asking people to drop in their email, and following up with them to keep them abreast with the latest updates. Make sure you add a cute little countdown timer to the sale day on this page, always helps with generating excitement!

2. Invest In Paid Social For Your Campaign Launch

Just to be clear, BFCM is huge. Each year, it breaks records to clock the biggest shopping day not just in the United States and Canada, but around the world. As millions of merchants prepare for the day, there’s only so much consumer attention you can capture. With the sheer volumes of campaigns being launched across categories, one strategy that can surely help you stand out in all the noise is to start with your launch as early as possible, and not later, when all channels are choked with an influx of advertising dollars and whatnot.

By investing in social media ads at this point, you have the competitive advantage of being the first to create awareness into your audiences’ minds, so later, when they’re making considerations for their purchase, your marketing funnel hits the bull’s eye, without fail. Another important thing to note here is that setting up your retargeting pixels now will save you a lot of time, money, and efforts later on – so you can focus on better things, no?

3. Capture Search Intent By Running Targeted Ads

eCommerce has completely reshaped how consumer journeys work. According to one statistic[1], more than 50% of online shopping journeys start from the search engine. And now with the rise of Covid retail shopping has taken a hit, even luxury shoppers are bound to look the online way. In order to capture this intent, consider running targeted ads on the major search engines – Google and Bing.

Also, while you’re doing this, make sure you’re adding a remarketing pixel to your pre-launch landing page we talked about above, so that you can create top of the mind awareness. However, given how direct luxury shopping is, make sure you’re not underselling your products or overselling your promise in any way, whatsoever.

4. Optimize Your Online Store For Conversions

Now this is the most important bit you need to nip in the bud for your BFCM sale campaign – making sure your online store is leak proof, without any points of frictions for your shoppers. This is where Conversion Rate Optimization, or CRO, comes into play. No matter how much traffic you generate for your online store, but if your shopping experience is broken, you’re not just leaving money on the table, you’re losing it even further.

There’s a plethora of resources you can find online on how to go about it, but if you really wanna do it the right way, you might want to call in some experts. The former might or might not work for you, but will surely take more than just your money – your time. However, taking help from eCommerce expert consultants from an agency like Motif will help you fix your store’s UI/UX, conversion, and other issues once and for all. Make sure you choose the wiser of the two.

Making The Long Haul Worth It: What To Do During The Sale

Now that you’ve reached the most crucial time of the season, it’s imperative for you to play your cards right, or else, lose to your competition (and you know how fierce it is out there). During the sale, you’d need to segment your efforts between on store and off store activities. Let’s have a look at each of these in detail.

What You Need To Do On Your Store

1. Highlight Savings On Your Product And Checkout Pages

The number one reason consumers defer all of their big purchases until BFCM is the same: deals, and look forward to it every year, without fail. Hence, it becomes kind of obvious to optimize the product, checkout and other pages on your online store to highlight the savings they’re making on their purchase.

Apart from making people with already high purchase intent sure about their decision, it also entices the unsure ones to be convinced, for their brains automatically calculate the potential loss if they were to buy it once the sale is over. So, doing this becomes kind of essential during the BFCM sale weekend, no?

2. Add An Option For Shoppers To Subscribe For Restocking Alerts

In case you’ve not heard of the term ‘Restocking Alerts”, you sure as hell would have seen it in action on one or the other online store. These are simply the automated messages which your shoppers can subscribe for, in case they’d like to be informed when an out of stock product comes back in your inventory. Does ‘Notify Me’ on Amazon ring a bell?

For your luxury online store, give your shoppers an option to subscribe to restocking alerts. Especially given how during the BFCM weekend, when the demand is higher than supply, there are instances of buyers ending up getting frustrated when they couldn’t get their hands on something they were looking forward to buying. By adding one, you could also keep a tab on how much you’re selling and make your inventory decisions accordingly.

3. Display Product Recommendations For Up-sell And Cross-sell

This one is a no-brainer, given how this is one time of the year every shopper is going all out with their purchases, so why should your luxury brand not go above and beyond in seizing this opportunity?

This is where product recommendations fit right in. In addition to showing your customers what they are interested in, you go a step ahead and show them how they could make their purchase better with a complementary product.

If you don’t already have product recommendations on your online store, now would be the best time to have them configured. And if you already do, just make sure you optimize them for efficacy, relevance etc. Nowadays, given the plethora of eCommerce personalization solutions out there, you can get up and running in a matter of hours.

4. Create Fear Of Missing Out By Strategically Implementing An Exit Intent Pop-up

Let’s face it: exit intent pop-ups can be intrusive, but if you know how to use them the right way, you’ve hit the jackpot. Especially given that you wouldn’t want to come across as pushy, there’s only one way you could get away with using an exit intent pop-up (and even benefit from it). And that’s when you use it to remind your shoppers that the deal is for limited duration only.

By using messaging that is subtle yet impactful, make sure you tell them that the deals and prices they see now is only till the sale is live, and once it is not, they’d be paying a whole lot more, and who likes that, right?

Again, thanks to the tons of website customization options out there, you can deploy one on your store on the fly, and even get them to match your brand and design guidelines without any additional help from your design team.

5. Inspire Urgency Using A Countdown Timer

While an exit intent pop-up will help you generate urgency when your shoppers are bouncing off of your store, having an omnipresent countdown timer somewhere on your website (preferably in the header), will be like a soft signal to the minds of your shoppers, and trigger them to make a purchase faster. Apart from having a countdown timer for the BFCM weekend, you could play around to have them set up for specific deals and offers.

Given that you’re a luxury brand and won’t be going huge on the discounts, people still tend to overthink their purchase. So, it becomes all the more important to have a countdown timer at as many places on your website as you can. Also, make sure to get creative with it and find ways for it to gel in well with your brand!

6. Simplify Your Checkout Flow (Especially For Mobile)

Okay, this one is something which can not be overstated, no matter how many times you’re told about it. Optimizing your checkout flow is the most important aspect you need to be focussing on while you’re running your BFCM sales. Surely, you can try doing it before the sale, but given how the shoppers’ behavior during the sale is eccentric to say the least, you’d want to make sure you’re optimizing it for the right moment.

You might wanna go ahead and watch recordings of your visitors browsing your store when they usually make a purchase (there is softwares for it, just search for a visual behavior analytics tool), see heatmaps, and more to identify the points in their journeys that are causing friction.

Once you have some insight, make sure you go ahead and make your checkout flow as simple and intuitive as possible, and not just from a website point of view. Take into consideration the different platforms and devices your shoppers would be using. Just to put things in perspective, 40% of all sales during BFCM 2019 were from a mobile device.

7. Leverage Your Thank You Page For More

Since the number of orders you’d be getting during the sale days would be considerably higher than your store’s average, so is the opportunity for you to optimize your website for higher sales. Another piece of your online store which you can take advantage of (and would definitely be lurking in plain sight as of now), is your thank you page.

By default, for most online stores, this page contains details of the order which the buyer just placed with you, which makes sense. However, there’s so much more that you can do on this page, but right now we’ll focus on only what you can do to improve your sales.

Remember the cross-selling and up-selling bit we talked about earlier? The one with the product recommendations? Make sure you embed it here to entice your shoppers to explore more of what you have to offer. Apart from keeping people engaged on your website, it will also help in reducing bounce off which would naturally have happened since the buyer reached a dead end on your original thank you page.

What You Need To Do Off Your Store

While we just took a deep dive into the activities you need to do on your online store, here’s what you need to do off of it.

1. Retarget Shoppers From Your Pre-BFCM Campaign

Now is when all the groundwork you laid weeks ago will reap its benefits. By setting up campaigns to retarget shoppers who had previously shown interest in your sale (your retargeting pixel on the landing page you created will help you here), you can get them to finally put all the intent into action and go ahead to make a purchase.

Bringing in this traffic will surely give you higher return on your investment on your usual campaigns, since this is more targeted to people who are already warm enough. And now, since you already have something tangible to offer, which is your actual products, it will be easier for your audience to decide if it’s worth their bucks, and reach a conclusion faster.

2. Send Email Reminders To Your Subscriber List

Email serves as one of the tried and trued channels for you to promote your sale events. Although, you would have sent them promotional campaigns leading up to the weekend, during the sale is the best time for you to double down on the same. Even if you haven’t been using email in the rest of your campaign, you can send them one now and not seem out of sync.

Since email gives you the creative liberty to induce the fear of missing out in your shoppers’ minds, make sure you give them a glimpse of what they’d be missing out on if they do not act now. For better results, you can try personalizing them based on the shopper attributes for each individual shopper you have captured.

3. Run Social Media Ads For Trending Products, And More

If there’s one channel which is going to make and break brands during the sale is social. Naturally, you’d want to be the one in the former category, so it becomes obvious that you do it right. Up until now, you’d been running ads on social to promote your brand and the sale, but going forward, you can focus more on the live aspect of the sale, sharing more of what’s trending, selling the most, so on and so forth.

By enticing your target audience with products that they always wanted to buy, at a discount or coupled with a deal, gives you the best oppurtunity for them to be converted. While you’re at it, make sure you use the good ‘ol methods of persuasion to seal the deal for you.

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4. Keep The Lights On For Your Search Ad Campaigns

While the sale is running out and about, search is one channel which will always remain the first point in the purchase journey for most of your high intent buyers. Which is why, you have to keep the lights on for your search ad campaigns, and capture the good share of the pie.

Even if it costs you a bit more than usual, you’d not want to let this opportunity go to your competition, since this is more than that. And for your brand to remain profitable in the long term, you have to ensure that you first establish your luxury brand as the first choice in your audiences’ minds.

One thing to note here is that throughout your paid ad campaigns’ journey, you have to continually optimize your ads based on their performance for messaging, copy, creative, and more, just so that you are being judicious with your budgets.

5. Leverage SMS Marketing To Create Urgency

There’s a reason why low touch channels such as SMS do great for luxury brands. Just like how luxury buyers prefer sophistication, a lack of intrusion, and the likes, SMS marketing is also discreet, under the radar, and direct. And what better time for you to put it to use than now!

Oh, and the best part? It’s inexpensive, and you’re targeting people who are already your customers, or have decided to engage with your brand. So, the potential is kind of huge. However, make sure your messaging is crisp as well, otherwise you’ll just be another message that they send directly to their trash as soon as they receive it.

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6. Bring Back Browse And Cart Abandoners Through Web Push

Talking of inexpensive marketing channels with a tremendous return on investment, if you haven’t yet explored web push notifications for your luxury brand’s online store, you’re literally doing your bottomline a disservice.

Given how cart abandonment is perennial, and is sure to be a bone of contention for you during this season of BFCM, you can make sure to fix the leaking bucket which comes in the form of window shoppers who abandon your store at one or the other stages – browse, search, cart page, and elsewhere.

With the abundance of free tools out there (to some great premium ones with advanced features), you can get started within minutes and bring back lost traffic and opportunities to your online luxury store.

7. Run Targeted Campaigns Through Facebook Messenger

Another underutilized (and even underknown) engagement channel is Facebook Messenger. Did you know how easy it is for you to target your people who visited your store, while they’re using Facebook? With something called Facebook Messenger Marketing, you can achieve this by just setting it up once, and do it seamlessly anytime for any number of your shoppers.

The best part of using Facebook Messenger is that it makes your brand more human, since people usually use Facebook and Messenger for leisure in their personal lives. And boy, is it huge! With more than 2Bn users, it surely is as big as it gets.

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There’s A Pot Of Gold At The End Of The Rainbow (But With A Caveat)

So, as we said in the beginning of the guide, whosoever told you that you’re going to be able to bag a million dollar in sales without the hard work or spending the big bucks was honestly talking plain bullshit, right to your face.

As a luxury brand, you will need to make the efforts to stand out, offer deals that are catered to the needs and wants of your audience, and offer exceptional products and after-sales service. There’s definitely a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow waiting to be grabbed, but there’s more to your luxury brand than just getting BFCM right. Unless of course, you want to lose customers to the competition, in which case it’s perfectly okay.

Once you’re done with the razzmatazz of Black Friday/Cyber Monday, you’ve got to keep the customers whose money (and hearts) you won to be kept in touch with, uphold the quality promise of your brand, and assist them at every step of the way. Happy selling!