Planning Q3: The Countdown to Black Friday

With Black Friday Cyber Monday being a crucial peak season for many brands and merchants, it's essential to start planning early to ensure success during this highly competitive period. We'll explore different aspects where you can be proactive starting in Q3 so you can lay the foundation for a successful holiday season.

Specifically, we'll focus on how to:

  • Build your marketing infrastructure
  • Maximize revenue leading up to the holiday season
  • Make your brand stand out during BFCM

This blog recaps Q3 Countdown Webinar: Ready, Set, Prep for BFCM.

Build your Marketing Infrastructure

To make the most of this busy shopping season, it's essential to not only have your marketing infrastructure in place, but have it fine-tuned. From conversion rate optimization to personalization and customer engagement, we’ll share strategies to help you lay the groundwork for a successful holiday season.

Building a Strong Foundation with SEO and CRO

One of the foundational elements of your marketing infrastructure is ensuring solid alignment between search engine optimization (SEO) and conversion rate optimization (CRO). By creating quality content that drives traffic to your website, you set the stage for effective BFCM campaigns. It's crucial to identify key keywords that resonate with your target audience and mirror them in your onsite messaging through tools like JustUno or other communication channels. Additionally, engaging your customers and learning about their preferences through surveys can provide valuable insights to shape your holiday campaigns.

Early Planning and Infrastructure Investment

The earlier you start planning for BFCM, the better prepared you'll be to capitalize on this major shopping event. Begin laying the groundwork and investing in marketing infrastructure as soon as possible. Leverage personalization platforms like LimeSpot to enhance customer experiences. By allowing sufficient time for personalization algorithms to understand your customers, you can offer tailored product recommendations. Implementing tools such as to capture email addresses and mobile numbers should be done well in advance to gather valuable customer data for segmentation and targeting.

Data-driven Decision Making and AB Testing

To optimize your marketing efforts for BFCM, data-driven decision making is paramount. By capturing and analyzing customer data in CRMs and email and SMS platforms, you can gain insights into customer behavior and preferences. Utilize the time leading up to BFCM to conduct AB testing on your website using tools like Lucky Orange. Large traffic volumes during this period provide an ideal opportunity to validate hypotheses and make data-backed changes to optimize conversion rates.

Perform a Website Traffic Audit

No website is perfect, and performing a website traffic audit prior to the busy season can provide valuable insights. Use tools like Lucky Orange or Google Analytics to analyze your traffic sources, visitor engagement, and ad performance. Understanding where your traffic is coming from and what visitors are engaging with allows you to optimize your marketing spend and create a great first impression for new visitors. Even small changes can make a significant impact on your e-commerce website's conversion rates and overall revenue.

Enhance Customer Support with Live Chat

In the absence of in-person sales associates, online stores face the challenge of providing immediate customer support. Adding a live chat feature to your website can bridge this gap and offer real-time assistance. Engaging with customers through live chat helps address their concerns, answer questions, and prevent potential bounce rates. By being proactive and responsive, you can improve customer satisfaction and increase conversions during the BFCM period.

Maximize revenue leading up to the holiday season

As the holiday season approaches, businesses often focus on maximizing revenue during the peak shopping period of Q4. However, Q3 should not be overlooked as a valuable opportunity to drive revenue and set the stage for a successful holiday season. 

Utilize Q3 as a Testing Ground

Q3 provides a prime opportunity for businesses to test out strategies and optimize their operations. By experimenting with different approaches, such as using post-purchase upsell apps like CartHook, businesses can not only generate revenue during Q3 but also gain valuable insights into customer preferences and behavior. This knowledge can then be used to ramp up revenue during the holiday season.

Implement Loyalty Programs

Establishing a loyalty program during Q3 allows businesses to build customer engagement and encourage repeat purchases. By incentivizing customers with points and rewards, businesses can foster loyalty and create a strong customer base. Loyalty programs can generate revenue during Q3 while also laying the groundwork for increased sales in Q4 and beyond.

Run Surveys to Understand Customer Preferences

To ensure that businesses are meeting customer expectations and offering products and experiences tailored to their needs, running surveys is highly recommended. By simply asking customers about their preferences, shopping lists, or desired holiday season offers, businesses can gather valuable insights. Customers are often willing to provide this information, as they want to engage with brands they trust. These surveys can shape business strategies, product offerings, and promotional campaigns.

Build an Email List and Engage on Social Media

Q3 presents an excellent opportunity to focus on building an email list. Promotions, deals, and new product releases during Black Friday and Cyber Monday can be optimized by leveraging an email list. Encouraging customers to sign up for newsletters or providing incentives for subscribing allows businesses to nurture loyalty and establish direct communication channels. Similarly, engaging customers on social media platforms can help businesses build brand awareness, stimulate word-of-mouth marketing, and create a buzz leading into the holiday season.

Strategically Target Cart Abandonment and Exit Scenarios

By strategically addressing cart abandonment, exit scenarios, and browse abandonment, businesses can make the most of the traffic coming to their websites. Tailoring experiences and offers based on visitor behavior and engagement can significantly impact conversions and revenue generation. Leveraging tools like Lucky Orange can provide insights into visitor behavior and help businesses optimize their websites accordingly.

Stratify Discounts and Identify High Lifetime Value Customers

Rather than offering a blanket discount throughout Q3, businesses can experiment with different discount levels targeted at specific customer segments. By analyzing the data and understanding what discount levels drive conversions, businesses can fine-tune their strategies and optimize ROI. Additionally, identifying high lifetime value customers and high lifetime value products is crucial. By aligning these two factors, businesses can maximize revenue and create long-term customer loyalty.

Make your brand stand out during BFCM

Black Friday is a highly competitive time for merchants, with a lot of noise and fierce competition, especially from e-commerce giants like Amazon. In order to ensure your brand stands out and attracts customers, it's crucial to employ effective strategies. 

Simplify the Checkout Process and Improve Customer Experience

One key aspect of differentiation is making the checkout process simple and efficient. Customers should not encounter any obstacles or complications when trying to make a purchase. Complicated shipping procedures or unfavorable return policies can drive customers away. By offering streamlined checkouts, quick shipping, and customer-friendly return policies, you can provide a seamless experience that differentiates your brand from competitors.

Understand Your Audience and Tailor the Experience

To stand out against the competition, it's essential to understand your target audience and what motivates them. Different customers have varying preferences, whether it's high-quality products, fast shipping, a diverse product line, or other factors. By thoroughly understanding your customers' interests, you can create a tailored experience that caters to their needs and desires.

Explore Unique Marketing Channels and Partnerships

In the digital age, there are numerous channels available for merchants to set themselves apart. The experts suggest exploring platforms like TikTok to launch engaging campaigns and create unique content that resonates with your target audience. Additionally, forming partnerships or collaborations within your industry can help expand your reach and attract new customers. Standing out in various marketing channels and engaging with your audience will make your brand more memorable and increase visitor interest.

Leverage Tracking Pages and Personalized Emails

Utilizing tracking pages and personalized emails can significantly enhance the customer experience and increase brand engagement. Customers often check tracking pages and transactional email updates frequently, especially during the holiday season. By providing up-to-date tracking information and sending personalized emails related to their orders (transactional emails), you can keep customers informed and engaged with your brand. This attention to detail and communication will differentiate your brand from competitors and create a positive impression.

Conduct Customer Research and Adapt

Continual customer research is crucial for understanding their preferences and needs. Gathering data and feedback from customers regularly will help you stay up-to-date with their changing expectations. Additionally, monitoring competitors' strategies and adapting accordingly can give you a competitive edge. By consistently learning about your customers and staying ahead of the curve, you can offer a unique and tailored experience that sets your brand apart.

Offer Customer Support via Phone and Live Chat

In an era dominated by online shopping, providing human interaction can be a significant differentiator. One way you can do this is by making your phone number or contact information easily accessible on your website. Having a real person available to assist customers via phone or live chat during the busy Black Friday period can enhance the customer experience and boost conversion rates. Offering personalized assistance and quick problem-solving will leave a lasting impression on customers.

By employing the strategies and tactics laid out here, you can start to prepare for the holiday season now, set your brand apart, all while earning revenue in the ramp up to Q4. Remember, the key is to continuously adapt and improve and you’ll have a standout BFCM season!

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