Needless to say, the year 2020 has been a cluster. Businesses are feeling it. Families are feeling it. Individuals are feeling it. We're feeling it too. Our strategy hasn't been all that unique. We're taking it day by day, one project at a time, one small businesses at a time.
We imagine your last few months as a business have looked somewhat similar; tackling new challenges and new questions as they arose, facing the unknown on a daily, even hourly basis. You've been working to keep it all going in the right direction, while also facing personal challenges with health, mental health, family, education, and countless other disruptions in tandem.
2020 has passed by in a blur and here we are - Black Friday Cyber Monday (BFCM) season is upon us, though it's all feeling a little weird and unfamiliar this time around.
So, we've got some strategies for how to think a little different about this BFCM and get through it all in one piece.
Let's start with probably the most important thing we want to stress this BFCM; Ask for help.
Depending on where you live, your lockdown measures, and your government regulations, it may or may not be safe or possible to interact with your colleagues, employees, or your support network.
We know from experience, that a small business is supported by a network of people including mum, dad, friends, and more. It can be tough to get through this time of year without them.
Finding new ways to ask for support is critical this year, so think creatively.
If you do have people in your support bubble who can take on some of the load and help you out, ask them! If there are ways people can support you virtually, let them know how they can, whether this is by sharing your products on social media, or adding great reviews to your site. There are all kinds of ways we can get support as small businesses owners, and also support the businesses we care about.
One of the major considerations as we enter BFCM and the holiday shopping season is customer support.
More sales mean more customers and more deliveries of your product or service. It also means more customer questions, issues, and complaints.
While you can't control the types of requests that are going to come in, there are some things you can do to be prepared and make your life easier, like being proactive with your customer support.
Have an FAQ page on your website? If not, now is a great time to add one. Think of the typical questions you get asked, or those that come up again and again, and flesh them out in your FAQs. Having resources at the ready can save you time and energy when dealing with an increase in questions.
Another great tip is to think of how to want to gather reviews and feedback from customers once BFCM is over. How do you plan to follow up with customers and find out about their experience with you? Using automation and other tools can be a great way to maintain communication with these individuals. If you don't have these kinds of workflows set up, now is a great time to work on that.
I feel like we probably give this advice every year, but it's great advice, so here it is again. Keep it simple!
There are countless promotions you could run on your store, with different combinations, offers, and discounts. It's easy to want to throw everything out there and offer multiple promos simultaneously - bundles, BOGOs, free gifts, exclusive items, heavily discounted items, it's all a bit overwhelming.
Not only is setting up, maintaining, a promoting multiple offers a headache for you, it's also confusing for your customers. A clear offer or two that is spelled out for your visitors often works the best as opposed to trying to do it all, and failing at doing it all well.
Since BFCM is right around the corner, time is also of the essence. For some specific promotion ideas and how to implement them asap, read this article by our friends at Out Of The Sandbox!
While Shopify is super user-friendly, and there are lots of resources to help you where needed, there may come a point where you need to call in some expert help or guidance.
If you're looking to have something custom coded or need help configuring a complex app on your store, there are many Shopify Experts available to help you. Depending on your needs and your budget, you can find talent that specializes in your area. Find expert help here.
If you need more help getting organized for BFCM, Shopify has loads of amazing resources on blog posts to give you ideas and guidance.
Here are a few to get you started:
We're all booked up for the rest of 2020, but are booking projects into Spring 2021! Have a project you want to chat about? Get in touch with us here!
Earlier this year Shopify launched the Shopify App Challenge. The brief, create an app that helps solve a challenge amplified by COVID-19, but that would also have staying power beyond the pandemic crisis. We knew, without a doubt, that we wanted to be a part of this challenge. So, our small team set to work building our second public Shopify application, Recipes.