Whether you’ve been planning your BFCM 2020 promotions for months or are hoping for a last-minute miracle, our guide will prepare your e-commerce store for a profitable Black Friday Cyber Monday (and don’t forget Giving Tuesday!).
We’ve already covered the best practices you should follow for a successful BFCM; in this post, we’ll discuss additional ideas to help your brand resonate with past and potential customers during 2020 a.k.a. the epitome of turbulence and uncertainty.
3 Tips for a Memorable and Impactful BFCM 2020
1. Be vulnerable
This is no time to be subtle, vague, or try to appeal to the masses. Now is the time for you to hone in your brand’s passions and what you stand for.
What do you and your employees believe? What changes have you made and why? How are you navigating life right now? How can you be impactful and make your customers care?
Now more than ever, as the pandemic continues to unfold into the busiest time of the year, you should share your story. Vulnerability is always risky and at the same time — as vulnerability researcher Brene Brown is known for saying — it is necessary for connection.
Make space to share your struggles, to show your audience that you see them and what they’re going through, that you have a sense of humor (or whatever quality is on-brand for your company). Selling is vital to your business, but it’s not everything. Take the time to crack a joke on Twitter, share a meme on Instagram, or run a thoughtful poll on Facebook to engage your fans and show your brand’s humanity.
Forging a stronger connection between your brand and your audience is more powerful than lower prices, free shipping, or a new shiny product launch. Get real.
2. Authenticity Rules
Vulnerability also calls for authenticity; you can’t have one without the other. So how can your brand be authentic and impactful? Focus on a cause personal to your company that your customers can wholeheartedly support …and go all in.
For example, conscious apparel brand Kotn plans to donate 100% of its profits from BFCM to building schools in Egypt, where they source their cotton — this is partly how they’re supporting their mission to improve quality of life for the global community. A promotion like this can be run using Shop for Good’s % of Sales campaign, which allows a store to donate a fixed dollar amount or percentage of their proceeds for specific products or entire orders.
Another example: purposeful apparel brand Ivory Ella ran a Donate for Discount campaign for 48 hours during Giving Tuesday 2019 where they offered a 25% discount and a free tote when customers donated $10 to Save the Elephants (read the case study here):
Additionally, Ivory Ella donates 10% of net profits to this nonprofit year-round as part of their dedication to promoting a sustainable business model, eco-friendly manufacturing, the spread of knowledge about elephants, and charitable giving. Giving has helped Ivory Ella increase their AOV by 18% and one particular campaign even lifted cart conversions by 65% in 24 hours.
Also for Giving Tuesday 2019, bold cosmetics brand Dragun Beauty ran a Donate for Discount campaign. They offered customers the ability to save 20% on their order when donating $5 to Dragun Beauty’s selected nonprofits (Los Angeles LGBT Center, Point Foundation, and The Trevor Project):
Cause marketing campaigns like these are a vibrant opportunity to let people know the story behind the pieces you sell, the story behind the creation of your products, and why your products matter beyond their immediate use. It’s a chance to showcase how a shopper’s purchase will extend beyond your brand and impact other parts of the community or the world.
With the world catching fire and a global pandemic taking hold of life as we knew it, people want to know their choices have meaning. As a result, more price-conscious shoppers are now aligning their purchases with their values and essentially voting with their dollars. How can they make their dollars count when they shop at your store?
And remember that you don’t have to give up a part of your proceeds to be impactful or show your customers you care. Instead, you can try campaigns like Shop for Good’s Round-Up and Donation Tiers, both of which invite the shopper to donate as part of their purchase on your Shopify store. These give-back campaigns democratize giving, as they allow brands of all sizes to partake in philanthropy — without giving away any of their proceeds.
3. Shift your angle
Millions of people have lost their jobs, even their homes. While the economy has picked up since lockdown, some foresee another slump. Given the circumstances (on top of spiking Covid-19 infections as of late October 2020) it’s insensitive to tell people to buy right now.
So what’s an e-commerce store owner to do? Again, cause marketing may be the answer.
Linking holiday shopping to a greater cause assuages anxiety because it provides the customer with greater meaning and a sense of belonging to a cause (or multiple causes).
According to a Shopify survey, 80% of Shopify Plus merchants who are participating in BFCM plan to only offer online sales, while 20% plan to embrace a hybrid approach. Most brands will offer some type of discount for BFCM, and most will provide a blanket discount on all items.
Everyone and their grandmother is running a sale for BFCM. And of course — that’s what Black Friday in particular is all about. But here’s the thing:
“Black Friday pricing has been in effect pretty much since the beginning of April. Discounts have been an everyday occurrence instead of an event,” according to a PYMENTS report.
So how are you supposed to motivate people to shop at a time like this?
Good news: making giving back part of your impactful BFCM strategy during giving season is a no-brainer — and a potentially very profitable one at that. Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Giving Tuesday (the Tuesday after U.S. Thanksgiving) are all exemplary holidays to use a campaign like Shop for Good’s Donate for Discount for a unique feel-good, gratitude-centered sale so very fitting for the giving season.
Alternatively, if you don’t wish to donate a portion of your proceeds or to run a sale at all (or if you wish to add cause marketing to your existing sale), you can align your company values with your promotion by launching a Donation Tiers or Round-Up campaign on your store.
Many brands run campaigns like these year-round inviting shoppers to donate whenever they shop and, throughout the year, brands see higher engagement and cart conversions because people want to do their part. So let them. And they’ll remember that they did good thanks to your brand, which will instantly elevate its reputation and influence on your ideal customers.
It’s always nice to put your money where your mouth is — but during a global emergency when people are looking for meaning and connection? It’s vital. It’s a gamechanger. It’s a way to lead in a time of chaos.
Whether you choose to employ one or more of Shop for Good’s seven ways to give back or choose another way to make a difference this giving season, join us and our thousands of brand partners in doing good.