Last updated on November 14, 2023

Jessica Hulett
Content Manager, Brand @ Yotpo
September 6th, 2022 | 5 minutes read

This year, get your money’s worth on Black Friday — by giving your first-time customers a reason to come back.

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Black Friday / Cyber Monday 2022 is still a big question mark for most eCommerce brands. Is inflation going to rise or fall? Will consumers shop in-store or online? Are shoppers going to be looking for low prices or quality goods? In a time of deep uncertainty for the industry, it’s important for brands to double down on what they can control — their relationships with their customers.

A recent Yotpo survey of 2,000 consumers found that more than 51% are spending less due to news about the economy. That’s the bad news. But there’s good news: more than 82% of them said they will still buy from their favorite brands.

Brands that want to win Cyber Week and beyond need to go into it with a retention strategy already in place. You’re going to be paying a premium for all of your new shoppers, and you can’t afford to not capitalize on that spike in activity. Focus on turning every first-time customer into one for life, and you’ll be able to weather market fluctuations, rising CACs, and anything else the economy throws at you.

Why retention is so important right now

The single biggest mistake that brands make during BFCM is assuming that “if you build it, they will come.” Give them deep discounts, access to limited-time perks, and purchases will follow, right? Yes, but you also need to give them a reason to come back.

Customer acquisition is expensive, especially during BFCM. In fact, research shows that it’s about 13% higher during Cyber Week. And that’s on top of the fact that CAC has been on a steady upward climb for years. If you’re going to shell out the big bucks to bring in new shoppers on Black Friday, you want to make sure you’re getting your money’s worth.

“Whatever brands do post BFCM, it’s really important they don’t just see it as a one-off event that gains loads of sales and customers,” says Paul Rogers, Co-Founder of eCommerce agency Vervaunt. “Communicating with these customers post-sale and keeping them engaged with the brand is key.”

An acquisition strategy for BFCM is only one piece of the puzzle. If you want to get the most out of your marketing, you’re going to have to focus just as much — if not more — on retention. And that means going beyond post-purchase. It means laying the foundation for building long-term relationships with your new customers before the holiday shopping season kicks off.

The best ways to drive retention post-BFCM

Brands should use all of their available channels to boost retention, but there are three that are proven winners for strengthening customer relationships and growing CLTV: SMS marketing, subscriptions, and loyalty programs.

SMS marketing lets brands meet their customers where they are

In this time of omnichannel everything, brands need to be everywhere that customers are. And where are they? On their phones. That’s why SMS marketing is so effective, especially for BFCM. Customers don’t want to miss out on time-sensitive Black Friday deals and offers — and the immediacy of texting means they won’t. Plus, SMS allows you to keep customers engaged between purchases, so your brand is always top of mind. Here are just a few ways that you can use SMS to boost retention:

  • Offer exclusive perks and discounts only for SMS subscribers.
  • Create personalized, automated flows for cart and browse abandonment.
  • Send updates about order status and loyalty points.

Subscriptions provide long-term value to customers and brands

Subscription offerings are a win-win for customers and brands alike: customers get the ease and convenience of having things they order regularly replenished, and brands get a predictable, recurring revenue stream and repeat customers.

And subscriptions work for more products than you think. Lifestyle brand Jill & Ally recently launched the Crystal Candle Club, a subscription box that includes a candle and limited-edition matchbox, as well as access to exclusive promotions and perks.

During BFCM, offering shoppers discounts or perks for signing up for subscriptions nets you repeat customers rather than one-off purchases. You’ll not only get a predictable revenue stream, but a chance to engage with customers on a regular basis to deepen their connection with your brand.

Loyalty programs are the MVPs of retention

Treat your Black Friday customers like VIPs — and keep them coming back for more — with a loyalty program. Yotpo research shows that loyalty programs make the majority of global shoppers (60%) more loyal to a brand. But not all loyalty programs are created equal. By funneling shoppers into your loyalty program pre-BFCM, you’ll be able to keep them engaged long after the deals expire. Here are some ways to ensure that you’re maximizing your program before, during, and after BFCM:

  • Reward the actions you want your customers to take, whether it’s uploading photos with customer reviews or subscribing for SMS.
  • Offer exclusive BFCM rewards or double points to loyalty members.
  • Incentivize referrals to lower your acquisition costs during BFCM and get more high-quality leads.

The key to a successful post-BFCM strategy is providing your customers with experiences that bring people back to buy again. If your brand is laser-focused on turning every first-time customer into a repeat one, your BFCM acquisition costs will be money well spent. Learn how Yotpo can help your brand boost retention before, during, and after Black Friday / Cyber Monday.