The Black Friday period signals the start of the holiday season, as shoppers hunt for presents at knock-down prices. For businesses much planning goes into capturing this search traffic for businesses, but how do you keep your newly gained customers once the big event is over?
With the right strategy, you can turn casual Black Friday shoppers into loyal and long-lasting customers. This post discusses seven steps you can take to drive customer retention and achieve sustainable growth for your eCommerce business.
Let’s dive in.
7 Strategies to Retain Customers After Your Black Friday Sale
1. Encourage account creation
Customer accounts provide important insights into customers’ preferences and spending habits, but many Black Friday shoppers skip account creation, preferring to check out as a guest.
That’s not to say you shouldn’t offer a guest checkout option一you don’t want to put potential buyers off, after all. But you can encourage more people to create an account by making it more accessible.
For instance, on your order confirmation page, add a box that buyers can tick to create an account with the details they used to check out as a guest. You could also include a link to create an account in your order confirmation email.
You might even want to provide an incentive, like a discount or free shipping, with their next purchase when they sign up.
2. Simplify the checkout process
A simple and fast checkout process is a great way to entice Black Friday shoppers to come back. Its' also a useful tool to get customers to tell others about your store as well.
Long forms and multiple screens will put buyers off, especially in a hurry. So, make sure you’re only asking customers for essential information. Also, provide various payment options, such as credit or debit cards, PayPal, etc.
One way to simplify the checkout process is to offer accelerated checkout methods like Apple Pay. Since they use customer information that’s already stored, they could also encourage shoppers to create an account.
3. Be open about your returns policy
If an item is a Thanksgiving or Christmas gift, it may have to go back after the holidays, so make sure your return and exchange policy extends to the beginning of the new year. Your returns policy should establish the following:
- Which items can be exchanged or refunded
- The time limit for returns
- Who's responsible for the cost of returning items
- What form refunds are in (for instance, store credit or cash)
You could download a template from an automated document solution to ensure your returns policy is clear. Make sure you compare various options before settling on one. For example, look into the price and features of Adobe Sign vs. DocuSign or DocuSign vs. PandaDoc.
You should clearly state your returns policy on your website, including your checkout page. You could also include a link to this in your order confirmation email.
4. Follow up with personalized emails
Email is one of the best customer retention channels as it involves direct communication with buyers. You’ll already have your customers’ email addresses from when they checked out. It will present an excellent opportunity for personalized follow-up emails.
Your order confirmation email is your first opportunity to make an impression on your Black Friday customers, so make sure it's valuable. For instance, include tips on how to get the most from their new product or recommend a relevant product based on their purchase.
You could also give customers a personalized discount, like 10% off their next order. After all, discounts and offers are the most popular type of email with consumers.
You might want to use your email marketing tools to set up an automated email workflow—ensure you’re not bombarding customers with communications, or they'll unsubscribe from your mailing list.
5. Ask customers to share their experiences
Ask customers to rate their Black Friday shopping experience as part of your email flow. It will give you valuable insights for next year and show customers you value their opinions, which is a great way to increase retention.
Also, ask customers to share their experience with others一for instance, on social media and review sites. This engagement helps spread the word about your business and encourages more people to try your brand. Over three-quarters of consumers have bought a product before due to someone’s recommendation.
You could also share customer testimonials and reviews on your social media channels and website, but make sure you ask permission first.
6. Send offers and discounts year-round
Customers expect offers around the Black Friday period, but to keep them hooked, you should send personalized deals throughout the year. There are plenty of other holidays to celebrate, such as Easter, New Year, and the school summer break.
You could also have monthly or quarterly sales or VIP sales for loyalty program members—make sure it ties in with your brand’s values and image.
You can surprise customers with discounts and other rewards like free delivery too. Be sure to include a time limit to encourage customers to act fast.
7. Invite customers to join your loyalty program
Rewarding customers for their loyalty is one of the best ways to build long-term relationships with them. So, during Black Friday, be sure to promote your loyalty program. Your program could involve a banner during checkout, an email, a post on social media, etc. Explain how your loyalty program works and how it will benefit customers.
To make signing up more attractive, you could offer an incentive, like an exclusive discount or double points for new members.
Turn Black Friday into a long-term avenue for growth
The Black Friday period is one of the busiest times of the year for retailers, but even once it’s over, you can turn it into a long-term avenue for growth by following the tips outlined in this article.
Consider using tools to streamline and improve efficiency to support your Black Friday growth strategy. From accounting software to online document solutions offering waiver agreement templates, these will make it easier for your business to scale as you capitalize on your newfound success.
Yauhen Zaremba - Director of Demand Generation
Yauhen is the Director of Demand Generation at PandaDoc, an all-in-one document management tool for almost all documents, including this PandaDoc indemnity agreement sample. He’s been a marketer for 10+ years, and for the last five years, he’s been entirely focused on the electronic signature, proposal, and document management markets. Yauhen has experience speaking at niche conferences where he enjoys sharing his expertise with other curious marketers. And in his spare time, he is an avid fisherman and takes nearly 20 fishing trips yearly.