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Cecilia Beard
Senior Content Writer @ Yotpo
September 7th, 2022

Beat the Post-BFCM Blues: 8 Strategies to Retain Holiday Shoppers

Your post-BFCM strategy is just as important as your pre-BFCM strategy.

Table Of Contents

Black Friday and Cyber Monday inevitably attract one-time shoppers incentivized by heavy discounts. But, after the dust settles on this year’s BFCM, more businesses hope to make lifelong brand enthusiasts out of their holiday shoppers.

As customer acquisition costs continue to climb, retention plays are the key to success this holiday season. Not only is the likelihood of selling to an existing customer up to 14x higher but also increasing customer retention rates by 5% increases profits up to 95%, according to Bain & Company and HBR. Additionally, BFCM presents brands with the unique opportunity to interact with many new customers, so it’s time to make the most of this sales cycle.

Post-purchase, brands have to offer customers a clear reason to return. Whether it’s loyalty perks, excellent customer service, or personalized communication, BFCM retention comes down to top-tier customer experiences with your brand.

It’s never too early to start planning your post-BFCM strategy, especially considering how many holiday shoppers are purchasing even earlier this sales season. According to InMobi, holiday shopping starts in July with Prime Day and lasts through the latter half of the year. Rather than scrambling to put together your post-checkout plan, get ahead of the curve with these 8 retention-driving strategies.

Encourage shoppers to sign up for your loyalty program

Throughout BFCM and beyond, brands should take advantage of the slew of shoppers entering their sites and stores and promote their loyalty program. Retention comes down to providing shoppers with clear value for their purchase, and loyalty does just that.

Whether they’re earning points for purchases or redeeming perks, customers get even more from your brand as loyalty members. Accenture reports that customers who belong to loyalty programs generate between 12-18% more incremental revenue growth per year than those who do not participate.

Promotion is the first step. Make sure BFCM shoppers are aware of your program and encourage sign-ups with exclusive offers, like double-point campaigns. Promotion can take many forms, including SMS, email, social media, and banner ads. Increased promotion leads to increased engagement and CLTV down the line.

These promotional messages should clearly explain how the program works and what benefits customers can expect from joining, like exclusive access to sales, free shipping, and VIP-only offers.

Brands should also take advantage of the Black Friday shopper spike and run BFCM-specific loyalty campaigns to encourage sign-ups, like point multipliers on holiday purchases, exclusive to program members.

Emphasize subscriptions to make repeat purchases easy

Retention strategies aren’t just applicable to new customers; you should also focus on extending the CLTV of infrequent and product-specific customers during the holiday season. Brands can establish recurring revenue by encouraging BFCM shoppers to sign up for product subscriptions.

Shoppers who buy replenishable purchases — skincare, beauty products, food and beverages — during Black Friday and Cyber Monday are excellent candidates for subscription sign-ups. You can also target shoppers who leave good reviews on these products specifically for your subscription model.

Offer loyalty points to incentivize giving subscriptions a shot. Or use SMS campaigns to educate high-intent customers about the benefits of signing up for subscriptions. You can also offer BFCM-exclusive subscriptions to encourage sign-ups, like limited edition holiday products.

Celebrate your brand mission

Many brands champion a cause during BFCM, like charity partnerships or sustainability initiatives. Today’s consumer is looking for more than just a good product, and brands advocating for charities, communities, or organizations are much more likely to attract customers with similar values. In our State of Brand Loyalty 2022 report, over 84% of global respondents said they are more inclined to buy from a brand whose values align with their own.

It’s important to communicate these achievements to shoppers. For example, let customers know how many pounds of carbon they sequestered by choosing slower shipping times or how much they raised by donating their loyalty points. These mission-focused values resonate with shoppers long after BFCM ends.

Capitalize on post-purchase feedback

Last year, almost 180 million people shopped during BFCM, meaning brands have a lot of opportunities to collect customer feedback. Your reviews are an unmatched source of data you can leverage down the line to market to customers more effectively. Make the review process hassle-free by asking customers about their post-purchase experience via SMS. Customers don’t have to navigate to your site or sort through crowded email inboxes — they can easily leave feedback with just a few keystrokes. As a result, review requests sent via SMS see a 66% higher conversion rate than those sent via email.

With such an influx of feedback, brands can better understand customer sentiment about their products and shopping experience and collect powerful user-generated content on-site. Brands should also consider capturing information about gift-giving during the review process. This can be as simple as filtering reviews for those including “gift.” By deciphering who customers are purchasing for, brands can re-target customers more effectively after the holiday season ends.

Prepare for post-purchase issues — and plan accordingly

During the holiday season, communication is critical, especially as supply chain delays and order anxieties loom. To handle these issues with care, brands should embrace a more personal communication channel that customers can opt into: SMS. Texting with shoppers empowers brands to communicate with shoppers quickly and transparently about changes to their orders. Then, rather than wait for issues to arise, brands can reassure customers before chaos ensues.

Send customers messages about their orders in real time, including order confirmations, shipping updates, subscription notifications, delay notifications, and more, to ensure they’re aware of every step of the fulfillment process. These personal communications like SMS are essential for building trust and keeping customers coming back, even if delays occur.

If issues arise, SMS is the perfect solution to smooth shopper woes and offer loyalty perks, like discounts and free shipping.

Make customer support informed & personal

After checkout, brands’ CX strategy should focus on personalized outreach and unifying shopper data across solutions. Black Friday and Cyber Monday are stressful experiences for many shoppers. Returns, delayed shipping times, out-of-stock products — these issues can deter customers from returning if they’re handled impersonally. So while top-notch customer support is important year-round, BFCM shoppers are especially delicate.

According to Epsilon research, 80% of consumers are more likely to purchase when offered personalized experiences. Delivering connected customer experiences starts with sharing data across solutions and creating a unified view of your shoppers. Customer support agents should recognize customers and deliver experiences throughout their purchase cycle. “Consumers don’t reach out to a brand to tell them that they’re doing an amazing job; they’re reaching out because they have an issue or would like to raise something,” says Jade Cameron, Head of Customer Support at LSKD. “My team really looks at every conversation as an opportunity to create an advocate.”

Whether your support team is speaking to a VIP loyalty member or texting product recommendations to a first-time customer, they should:

  • Act on customer data quickly
  • Treat shoppers as a person rather than a segment
  • Maintain on-brand, tailored support throughout customers’ shopping experiences

Keep your brand top-of-mind through organic social

As consumers shift toward online and mobile-first shopping experiences, they also have more options at their fingertips, resulting in an increased willingness to switch between brands based on convenience or price. While businesses were once able to allocate acquisition resources relative to cost, market uncertainty over the last year disrupted their paid search and social budgets.

Shoppers are prone to jump from one brand to another if they don’t hear from you, but paid social outreach isn’t always an option in our current climate. Organic social keeps your brand top of mind without driving your marketing budget through the roof.

Encourage holiday shoppers to follow your social media channels to keep your customers engaged well after BFCM. With consumers spending an average of almost five hours daily on their mobile devices and nearly 150 minutes on social media, social engagements remind shoppers to make a purchase.

Don’t let your holiday shoppers go cold

While many brands spend months prepping for BFCM itself, brands of the next decade recognize the equal importance of a post-BFCM strategy in our current eCommerce climate. So don’t let your shoppers go cold; talk to our retention experts today to get your post-holiday strategy underway. Want to talk more about BFCM? Let’s chat.

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