It’s coming up to the retail event of the year, with shoppers wading through a sea of too-good-to-miss deals and offers.
So, what can you do to make your too-good-to-miss offer rises to the top?
Nigel Murdoch, Senior Retail and eCommerce Specialist at MessageMedia, has seen hundreds of BCFM campaigns launched in his time. Because MessageMedia’s comms platforms can be linked with everything from the cart to the communications, he also gets to see how each campaign has performed.
The most successful, says Nigel, are ones that support their amazing offers with a great customer experience. Here’s his advice on how to do that.
Get to (really) know your audience
It’s easy to think of your audience as one homogeneous group. But drill down a little, and you’ll notice that your buyers fall into different groups, with each group buying similar products and motivated by the same things.
These groups will likely be made up of similar kinds of people, too – women with young children who buy your lunchboxes and waterproof bibs, or grandparents who go for the cute-but-less-practical cuddlies and booties.
There are many ways you can slice and dice your audience – from location and socio-economic level to life stage and gender. Getting your head around these is the crucial first step in any market activity. For BCFM, it’s all about the offer. So segmenting your database according to these groups and designing communication to suit each will make sure they pack a punch.
Have a few LOLs
Once you understand your customers, you’ll have the freedom to make jokes, share offers and use language that will be most relevant to each group. When most of your competitors are sending out dry, generic messaging, this gives you a real advantage.
Nigel says that takes bravery but it’s the key to real cut-through – and getting those carts checked out. That’s especially important if you’re using SMS to contact customers.
“It’s an informal communication tool that you use to text your mates about going to the pub,” he says. “So when reaching out to people, it’s important to speak on their level. Find something that connects you to your audience.”
Pop up at the right time
Armed with your segmentation, you should also think about your audience’s state of mind and where they will physically be when they receive your message. Are you better to reach out to people when they’re just settling in at their desks at work? At 5 o’clock when they’re thinking about that first evening drink?
A good place to start is in your website data – when are your peak activity times? This will give you a clue as to when your audiences are in the right place – both physically and emotionally – to think about buying from you. Those are your golden moments when a perfectly timed nudge from you will get buyers into your store, credit cards in hand.
Nigel points to some data MessageMedia pulled from its clients’ Shopify accounts during last year’s BCFM period.
“Across all the sites, cart abandonment was sitting at about 70% – that’s two of every three people,” explains Nigel. “Clients who had SMS integrations and sent tailored messages saw a 26% recovery rate.”
Hit them back, stat
Customer service can also give you a competitive edge during BCFM. Many smaller retailers make the mistake of hiding behind emails or web forms. If customers have a question or an issue, that’s enough of a barrier for them to give up on your site entirely.
Nigel says setting up automated messaging and SMS chatbot functionality is easier than most people think. Customers can ask questions on their desktops or mobiles, which seamlessly shift to SMS conversations.
“Just having that reassurance that someone is going to get back to you, and you don’t have to sit by your computer waiting, makes a huge difference,” he explains.
Similarly, you can set up systems that make it simple to connect and communicate with your shoppers on their prefered platforms, all managed at your end from a single portal.
“Whatever you can do to make your customers’ lives easier will maximize the number of online conversions.”