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All Things Shipping | November 3, 2021

5 Ways Online Sellers Can Get Ahead of Black Friday and Cyber Monday

Retailers have long appreciated the American traditions of Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Black Friday is a tradition of irony. On Thanksgiving, consumers give thanks for what they have and eat themselves into a food coma, only to awake the next morning and race to various stores to buy your products.

Consumers know the cycle all too well which is why so many have turned to e-commerce sites to buy their gifts. But, just as retail stores can be flooded with people, e-commerce sites can also get overwhelmed on Cyber Monday. The impact of COVID-19 has only accelerated this trend.

Whether you’re a seasoned e-commerce merchant and have lived to tell the tale of BFCM or are preparing for your first go around, these holidays present some unique challenges this year. This is especially the case when it comes to Black Friday and Cyber Monday shipping.

With that in mind, some of the top brands in the e-commerce space have shared their thoughts on how to conquer the holidays this year with the BFCM Post Purchase Playbook. Below, we share a few key takeaways from the playbook.

Prepare Your Website For Influx of Visitors

One of the first things that should be on your agenda when prepping for BFCM should be ensuring that your site is capable of handling the increase in traffic as well as ensuring the information customers are seeking is readily available.

This is similar to how retail stores will rearrange their inventory and place certain items in strategic areas of their store.

Identify the parts of your website that will have the most impact such as your FAQ section. This way answers to questions regarding returns or warranties are answered before visitors make a purchase.

Also, be sure to document your findings this year such as identifying the most trafficked pages. This is so that you have more data to help you prepare your website for next year.

Familiarize Yourself With Carriers to Optimize Black Friday And Cyber Monday Shipping Operations

Accepting orders and generating sales is only half the battle. The other challenge lies in shipping those orders out to customers.

The first order of business when it comes to this process is familiarizing yourself with which carriers are best suited to help meet your goals. Diversifying your carrier mix will help to ensure your ability to ship out to customers regionally, nationally, and internationally.

You’ll also need to take into account price increases during peak season as well as shipping timelines. Knowing these factors and presenting this information to your customers will help in setting expectations and building trust.

Shippo allows you to compare and choose shipping rates from the most carriers all in one platform. It integrates with your workflow to simplify, organize, and track the shipping process during BFCM.

Sign up for free today to instantly improve your carrier mix ahead of Black Friday and Cyber Monday shipping.

Turn Your Customer Support Center Into A Personal Shopping Experience

We’ve all been in a situation where we’ve needed help finding something inside of a store. We look for the people wearing name tags and they help guide us through the store until we ultimately buy what we came there for.

Having live chat support visible and readily available for visitors of your e-commerce site can work in a similar manner and help drive sales during Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Live chat paired with a Helpdesk using aggravated customer data allows your customer support team to create an even more individualized experience for your online visitors and guide them to the purchase they came to make.

Create An Unboxing Experience Worth Sharing

For customers of your site, the buying experience isn’t finished at checkout. Instead, unboxing your product is their final interaction with your business and it’s your final chance to leave a lasting positive impression. But, this final step can be utilized in various ways.

First, many of the items people are buying during BFCM are going to be gifts that they give away the following month for Christmas. By creating packaging that’s already ready for gifting, you’ll create a customer experience that’s in line with their goals.

You can even leverage the unboxing experience into a larger marketing campaign. This could be done by incentivizing your customers to share their unboxing experience on social media for an exclusive offer.

You can even take other steps to create an unboxing experience worth sharing such as including a QR code on your package that leads directly to your social media pages or by including personalized notes.

Feature a Customer-Centric Return Policy For Black Friday and Cyber Monday Shipping

Preparing for returns comes even before the purchase. Put yourself in the shoes of your customers. Would you be more willing to buy from a site if you knew you’d be able to return it? The answer is yes.

With that in mind, you’ll want to be sure to craft a return policy that is visible and clear to the customer early in their shopping experience. This could come in the form of a banner on your homepage, written on each product description, answered early on in your FAQ section, etc.

You might even want to consider extending the return policy a little past the holiday season. If the customer is able to spend more time with the product they may feel more inclined to keep it.

Also, with many people traveling during the holidays and carriers being closed on certain days, it may make it easier for the customer to return your product.

On that note, Shippo also allows you to print out return labels at the same time as shipping labels so that you can include them in the package before you send it out. Actions that make the customer’s experience easier help to increase loyalty with your brand.

To learn more about how to prepare your e-commerce site for Black Friday and Cyber Monday shipping as well as other holidays, visit our holiday shipping center.

Hasan Nabulsi is the Content Marketing Manager at Shippo.

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