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Last-Minute Tips for Black Friday + Cyber Monday Success

In episode #150 of the Joy Joya Jewelry Marketing Podcast, I discuss 10 last-minute optimization tactics if you’re planning on participating in Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday, and Giving Tuesday weekend, which I’ll refer to in this episode as the commonly-used acronym BFCM.

If you’re in the camp of wanting to offer your customers a special treat ahead of the holidays or just want to throw your brand name in the “hat” of participating in the holiday spirit, then this episode is for you.

Of course, there’s a lot of preparation and planning involved to get to BFCM successfully, and most of that logistical stuff, including planning out how and when you can fulfill orders, should have been executed already.

This episode is all about the last-minute things you can do to make sure you’re in tip-top shape and ready to roll, so customers aren’t abandoning their carts and changing their minds. Check out the transcript below.

0:00
Hi, I’m your host Laryssa Wirstiuk. Through this podcast, I aim to empower and inspire jewelry entrepreneurs and professionals, so they can thrive while adding more beauty to the world. I’m passionate about digital marketing for jewelry brands, and I’m excited to share my passion with you. As we all know, jewelry is joy, so I’ll gladly seize any opportunity to talk about it.

0:26
This is episode #150, and today I’m going to discuss some last minute optimization tactics if you’re planning on participating in Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday and Giving Tuesday weekend, which I’ll refer to in this episode as the commonly used acronym, BFCM. If you’re in the camp of wanting to offer your customers a special treat ahead of the holidays, or just want to throw your brand name in the “hat” of participating in the holiday spirit, then this episode is for you. Of course, there’s a lot of preparation and planning involved to get to BCFM successfully. And most of that logistical stuff including planning out how and when you can fulfill orders should have been executed already. This episode is all about the last minute things you can do to make sure you’re in tip top shape and ready to roll. So customers aren’t abandoning their carts or changing their minds.

1:29
But before we get to the solid gold of this episode, I’d like to take a moment to remind you that this podcast has both audio and video components. So you can either listen on your favorite podcast platform or watch on YouTube by searching Joy Joya. I love creating this content as my act of service to you my awesome listeners. And you can support the podcast for free by taking the time not only to subscribe, but also to leave a rating and review on iTunes which helps other jewelry dreamers find me too.

2:03
Also, as a side note, I’m giving away six Amazon gift cards: four $25 ones, one $50 one, and one $100 one. To enter to win one of these gift cards, just visit joyjoya.com/survey. And please complete a 10 question survey about this podcast. That’s it. Just visit joyjoya.com/survey and tell me your thoughts about your listening or viewing experience. Then you’ll be in the running, and I will really appreciate your insights and feedback.

2:38
Let’s discuss some recent news related to jewelry or emarketing. Each week I share my thoughts about three relevant articles, and you can get those links by visiting joyjoya.com/signup. Once you’re on the VIP list you’ll receive our weekly digest filled with new episode announcements.

2:58
According to an article from MediaPost, Signet jewelers is trying to work its way into the try at home jewelry space by launching a new program with their Vera Wang engagement ring styles. The new service that they’re offering costs $200 and covers a kit that includes three center stone settings, three ring mountings, a ring sizer, and bands in both rose and gold tones. Customers get to try the rings for seven days before making the return. With this new service, Signet is really trying to demonstrate that they’re on the forefront of how consumers want to shop with all the convenience of technology. This really just goes to show that the lines can blur between brick and mortar and e commerce, and consumers want to be shopping somewhere in between where they can be doing their own research privately while also experiencing the goods in real life and know that they can tap into the support of a real person when needed.

3:58
Next, according to JCK, they recently reported that more jewelry businesses are actually entering the industry than leaving which is great news for the industry as a whole showing that it’s healthy and thriving. However, this news can be challenging for independent jewelry brands because the competition is fierce, and consumers obviously have more choice than ever before. In q3 of this year, the Jewelers Board of Trade showed that 125 new jewelry businesses were formed in North America, that’s 101 retailers, 10 wholesalers, and 14 manufacturers. This is in stark contrast to the general pattern in recent years, which showed more jewelry businesses leaving the market than entering it. It’ll definitely be interesting to see if this trend continues moving forward and how new brands will navigate the market saturation and set themselves apart from the competition.

5:00
Finally, an article from Think With Google. So hey, all you small business owners out there. Consumers want to shop with you this holiday season. According to a Google commissioned survey conducted in August, 60% of US consumers who are planning to shop for the holidays this season are going to do so at local small businesses. If you’re a small business listening to this podcast right now, you should emphasize this fact in your marketing. You probably assume that most of your customers and followers already know that about your business, but incorporating it into your messaging can really trigger that recognition with people. I really liked this one email campaign I got yesterday from jewelry brand Natalie McMillan. Side note, she has a really fun and casual tone in her emails that helps her express her personal voice. So she wrote quote, “If you plan ahead, you can support someone whether it’s me or someone else with a small biz. When you buy from them, you literally help them pay their rent or buy their kids school supplies. Without planning, we all fall victim to the Amazon trap and support Jeff Bezos”. It was a really nice personal reminder. And I encourage all the small business owners out there to remind your followers and subscribers early and often that they too, can support a small business by shopping with you.

6:30
As I mentioned, if you want to get the links to the articles I share in this segment of the podcast, you can become a Joy Joya VIP by visiting joyjoya.com/signup. Okay, so what are some last minute things – 10 to be specific – you can do to prep yourself for your enticing BFCM promo? And how can you make sure your customers actually convert? Instead of abandoning their carts and choosing something else? Over your shiny and sparkly products? I will share my 10 tips.

7:07
Number one. Abandoned cart email, do you have one in place? A lot of brands do. If you’re on a Shopify store, Shopify has a prebuilt abandoned cart email. But when was the last time you actually tested or looked at your abandoned cart email? I bet it’s been a while, and I don’t blame you, it’s easy to forget about those email automations. So take a look at your abandoned cart email. What can you do to make it more expressive of your brand? What can you do to make it more enticing? Or to actually get someone to click back and reconsider their abandoned cart? Can you adjust the timing of when that abandoned cart email is sent? Can you adjust the subject line? Can you make it more dynamic in general? Take a look at that abandoned cart email because I bet that you have abandoned it and haven’t looked at it at a while.

8:06
Number two, analyze your website with a fine tooth comb. This is the time to really make sure you don’t have any broken pages, that images are all loading, that your page load speed is acceptable, that everything is also working on mobile devices as well as they’re working on desktop. Again, just like with the abandoned cart email, it’s easy to kind of neglect your website and let things break without even realizing it. It happens to the best of us. If you don’t have a full time developer managing your site, these things just happen. So how’s your mobile experience? Is there a search feature on your site that actually works? Do you have alternate product views and on-model photos on your product pages? Are your product descriptions robust? Is all your pricing correct? Are all the specs on the products correct? Anything you can do to improve that ecommerce experience will put you in a better position at the last minute when those BFCM sales matter.

9:14
Number three. Make sure your website is merchandised for holiday. And that includes both the main website navigation, the homepage, maybe even your product pages. So when I say merchandised, I like to kind of explain it this way. If you only had a brick and mortar store, and I think some of the listeners probably do. I think you would probably decorate it for the holidays, you would put some great gifting options in a certain display. Maybe even in your window, you would have some festive touches throughout the store. That’s called merchandising. You also need to be doing that on your e commerce site. So whether that means creating a Shopify collection of your gift guide pieces, or gifts under $500, or gifts for mom, or things to wear to the holiday party. Whatever it is, however you want to group those products that makes sense for holiday, have them clearly displayed in the main navigation, have certain photos taken for those different collections to kind of bring them together, incorporate some holiday themes into your imagery, maybe add graphics or pops of red or green where it’s appropriate to. Please do not go overboard with this, there’s a way to make it look tasteful and a way to make it look tacky. I just took a peek at the David Yurman site to see what they have in store for the holiday. And they have this really beautiful, animated kind of video hero image on their homepage, with Central Park and snow actually falling, not actual snow, but a video of snow falling on the homepage. So kind of bringing in that winter holiday cheer. Making customers really feel that emotional resonance of holiday so that they’re in in the right mind space to buy.

11:17
Number four. Make sure you are priming your social media followers and email subscribers for any sort of BFCM messaging promotions that you’re going to be sending out. So do that by mentioning your plans early. And often. You may even want to consider including some kind of countdown timer, in a preview email, on your Instagram Stories, even on your website. It’s a kind of create a sense of anticipation, and to get people ready. And maybe they will even mark their calendars to remember to shop from you so that they don’t forget. I know I’ve gotten a few preview emails and even postcards from brands that I really like about when their sales are going to be starting in November. And I didn’t want to forget, so I even made calendar reminders for myself. So create that sense of urgency so that your true fans will take the time and effort to remember to come shop with you.

12:27
Number five, if you have any really strong, and I hope you do have any really strong customer service or customer experience, points of differentiation, now is the time to really milk them, emphasize the heck out of them. So what are some things that I’m talking about? Do you offer easy and free returns? Emphasize that. Do you have extended returns for the holiday? Emphasize that. Do you have beautiful holiday packaging? Boom. Make sure people know about that. Can you ship with gift wrap and a gift card? Make sure you’re telling people that. Do you have fast and free shipping? Yes, make that front and center. Can your customers pay in installments? Heck, yes. Tell people about that. Anything that will make your customers life easier, especially at this honestly a very stressful time of year. That’s got to be noted and communicated in your messaging. And also, make sure all your customer service policies are clear. So that if someone is concerned or they’re nervous about ordering from you, they can easily find an answer to something in an FAQ or on a product page. And speaking of product pages, make sure all of these great incentives are emphasized right on the product page. So if you have free shipping and free returns, make sure that is clear on every product page even next to the Add to Cart button. It’s just another layer of something that will inspire confidence in the customer so that they’re not abandoning their cart. You don’t want to make your customer doubt the purchase for even a moment. You want to keep them moving forward in the journey.

14:16
Number six. Make and share that Holiday Gift Guide. If you haven’t already, I really think everyone should have a holiday gift guide. Again, as I mentioned, this time of year can be very stressful for people. I know I’m struggling to try to figure out what to buy people, and it’s not that I don’t care or that I don’t know them but it’s just that my mind is so jammed up with so many things all the time that it’s hard to wrap my head around any detail. And I think a lot of people feel that way. So a Holiday Gift Guide can really offer suggestions. Maybe make someone think of a person that they weren’t going to shop for but then they see something that they know that person will love. It’s a must. And it can be a central anchor point for your content so that you can pull from it for your other marketing materials, you can share it in an email campaign or on social media, definitely get that gift guide put together if you haven’t already.

15:18
Number seven, test your own e-commerce checkout process. You may need to play some test orders or have a friend or family member do a fake checkout. Does anything feel confusing in that checkout process? Or even slow? Are there too many steps? Are there any snags, especially test this process on a mobile device.

15:42
Number eight. If you don’t already do this with your email marketing strategy, you want to make sure that you resend the emails to people who don’t open them. At this time of year, we’re getting so many emails, people are distracted, overwhelmed, they’re missing things. They’re just deleting things. They’re like, Oh, my goodness, too many emails. But if you resend to people who don’t open, maybe you tweak the subject line just a little bit, you can potentially catch them at the right time and maybe stand out from the noise or maybe something about the new subject line resonates with them a little more than the previous subject line did. So don’t just give up and say nobody opened my email, resend it to people who didn’t open, and I guarantee you, at least some of those people will open it the second time you send it. You may even want to have different sets of email. So segmenting out people who click or who spend time on the website, and maybe send them a follow up that really emphasizes great gift ideas or even self gifting purchases, just to really remind them that you are available and you are ready to ship and you are ready to bring some sparkle and dazzle and holiday cheer into someone’s life.

17:02
Number nine. Emphasize a sense of urgency. So of course, if you’re doing a promotion for BFCM that’s only going to be for a limited time, maybe it’s going to be for a day, maybe it’s going to be for the whole weekend, maybe it’s going to have a different time frame, whatever it is, you really want people to know when the promotion ends. And this is another good place to do a countdown, have a countdown timer on your website, share a countdown timer in your emails. Because time passes super quickly, and few days might go by and people might think, Oh, dang, I meant to buy that. But now the promo’s over and I would have rather purchased this at this price. Or I would have rather have taken advantage of this promotion or whatever it is. And it just happens people forget about stuff. So creating that sense of urgency. And it doesn’t even have to be urgency around time. Maybe you only have a limited stock of something. Or maybe people need to order by a certain date in order to ensure the delivery date, whatever it is make sure that you’re emphasizing that sense of urgency for your followers.

18:19
And finally, number 10, be accessible, whether that is implementing a live chat tool on your website or even having like a texting line for customers, or having a phone number prominently displayed on your website. Make your customer service really easy to access so that customers they may not actually end up reaching out to you but just the fact that they know you’re there in case they do need help or something goes wrong or they have a question will inspire confidence in them and make them feel more comfortable about completing the purchase.

18:59
What did you think? I’m wishing you all the best of luck with your holiday sales, but I know you don’t even need luck because you’re going to rock it since you are all super prepared. You can always email me laryssa@joyjoya.com. If you love this podcast, please share it with a friend who’d appreciate it as well. And don’t forget to subscribe as well as leave a review on iTunes. To purchase a signed copy of my book jewelry marketing joy, visit joyjoya.com/book for all the information.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai