With Black Friday and Cyber Monday now in the rearview mirror, the question for e-commerce brands is: now what? While the holiday season is far from over, the largest retail discount events of the year have come and gone.
But just because BCFM is over doesn’t mean that brands can’t continue engaging with their new customers. Actually – it’s the opposite! With the right strategy, Black Friday can quickly become the beginning of an ongoing customer journey.
How? Customer retention.
The focus over Black Friday and Cyber Monday is typically on customer acquisition – we see brands lowering product prices to convince an influx of prospective customers who are on the fence about purchasing.
But what happens if these Black Friday shoppers only purchase once and never again?
This is where customer retention comes into play. Brands who give their customers reasons to come back can quickly begin to build brand loyalty and a community of advocates.
What is customer retention?
Customer retention is when customers purchase products from your brand again and again. It’s an approach to the customer lifecycle that focuses on building loyal customers who make repeat purchases, rather than focusing solely on attracting first-time customers.
Customer retention is a powerful thing. It can make or break an online business, especially beyond the holiday shopping season where the stakes for customer lifetime value are high.
Why customer retention matters in e-commerce
Customer acquisition is expensive. In retail, it’s about $10 per customer – which can quickly add up. The good news? Once a customer purchases from your brand, it’s much easier to get them to buy again. In fact, 60-70% of customers who’ve purchased once before will click that ‘buy’ button again, whereas only 5-20% of new customers will do the same.
Repeat customers typically spend more. Every time a customer purchases a product from your brand, it increases the likelihood that they’ll make another purchase in the future. And the best part is that the second (or third!) purchase will almost always have a higher average order value (AOV).
Repeat customers become brand advocates. The most loyal customers are the ones who have good experience after good experience with your brand. And, that’s not all – they’ll tell others all about it. With over 90% of consumers trusting friends and family more than advertisements, your repeat customers could quickly become your best marketing tool!
BFCM: In numbers
It’s no secret that Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals get customers in the door.
- In 2021, 47 million shoppers purchased products over BFCM (and that’s just from Shopify-powered stores!)
- In 2022, over 80% of retailers planned to offer Black Friday and/or Cyber Monday promotions.
But what happens after the initial purchase? A study by Statista found that shoppers aren’t always happy with their Black Friday hauls.
- Almost 70% of Gen Z shoppers regretted their previous Black Friday purchases.
- 1 in every 3 shoppers returns their Black Friday purchases!
Not only that: consumers are growing increasingly skeptical of brands and their BFCM tactics.
- 21% of consumers are skeptical of discounted prices, believing that retailers inflated value in the weeks before Black Friday.
BFCM, customer retention, and the post-purchase experience
It’s clear that BFCM is still going as strong as ever. Even if customers are returning products or regretting purchases, Black Friday Cyber Monday is still a great way for emerging e-commerce businesses to introduce their brand to an entirely new audience of consumers.
The game-changer for brands lies in how they approach their Black Friday marketing strategy.
Are they focusing solely on customer acquisition, without a thought to the post-purchase experience? If that’s the case, BFCM shoppers could end up purchasing a single product for a discounted deal – never to shop at the brand again.
Or, are brands focusing on customer retention and what happens after that ‘purchase’ button is hit? Are they offering personalized communication, branded packaging, or sample products to surprise customers?
Instead of focusing solely on customer acquisition, brands can develop a customer retention strategy, revamp their post-purchase experience, and make sure their newest customers have a reason to come back again and again.
Without further ado, here are 5 tips to keep your customers coming back again – even when the BFCM buzz is gone.
5 tips for retaining customers beyond BFCM
1. Send personalized texts
If you don’t already have an SMS strategy, now is the time to implement one! Consumers are constantly checking their phones (and their texts) which makes SMS marketing one of the most reliable forms of communication with existing and future customers.
Taking your SMS marketing to the next level with personalization is the perfect way to keep your Black Friday customers coming back for more. Try recommending products via text that are similar or relevant to your customer’s browsing history. They’ll be more likely to open your text and start another buying journey.
2. Develop a UGC strategy with micro-influencers
Almost 40% of online shoppers lean heavily on influencer reviews when purchasing products. There’s a certain power that social media influencers hold over their followers – and brands should be accounting for this during the holiday season.
With in-store shopping, customers can easily try products, feeling the weight and texture as well as seeing the color in real-time. With online shopping, it’s not so easy. Pictures and descriptions can be deceiving! Leveraging micro-influencers for user-generated content (UGC) will help boost not just Black Friday sales, but year-round sales as well.
3. Offer a loyalty program
No matter the type, loyalty programs have one thing in common: they incentivize customers to buy from a brand more than once. The different configurations of loyalty programs are virtually endless, and it’s up to the brand to understand what perks and benefits customers might like to see. For example, repeat customers can either rack up points for discounts or gain access to exclusive ‘VIP’ benefits, like free shipping and a lengthier return window.
4. Invest in fulfillment marketing
When a customer orders a product, they will always unpack and inspect their new merchandise (unless, of course, it’s stolen or lost on the way to their doorstep). This means that the unboxing experience is one of the only guaranteed interactions in the post-purchase stage!
Fulfillment marketing takes this otherwise ‘normal’ experience of unpacking a product and makes it so much more engaging and fun. Branded packaging provides a cohesive brand experience from online to offline, marketing inserts like QR codes or coupons encourage customers to do more shopping, and sample products surprise and delight customers with a small gift.
5. Explore building a social media community
In 2022, consumers are on social media at all times of the day. And, guess what? If they’re not actually shopping through these channels – they’re researching different brands. 75% of online shoppers use social media to look up brands!
A brand’s social media presence is essentially an all-in-one guide to new customers. Do they have a hefty amount of followers and engagement? Are they utilizing highlight reels for FAQs, UGC, and more? Are the comments positive? Or are their followers complaining about long delivery times or damaged packages?
Shoppers researching ecommerce brands before and after BFCM will be asking these questions and more to make sure they’re making the right choice this holiday shopping season.
Want to explore more Black Friday customer retention marketing strategies?
Check out Episode 27! The Sippin’ and Shippin’ crew takes a deep dive with Clearco on how brands can drive sales year-round, retain customers, and crush those revenue goals.