If you’re reading this, chances are you've been searching for proven Black Friday Cyber Monday (BFCM) customer retention strategies, or you want to better understand how to keep new BFCM customers.

Well, look no further—we found a marketing expert who has spent decades creating high-impact eCommerce shopping experiences for Shopify merchants.

Louis Thomspon of East Side Co. shares his abundant knowledge and practical tips to turn shoppers into repeat buyers NOW.

What are your observations for BFCM 2022?

Louis: We see a couple of different approaches from brands.

1️. Few eCommerce brands actively do not participate and discuss why they're not participating.

2️. Some DTC stores heavily push during this time. Few brands even start slightly early to cut through the noise, pushing a series of offers over the period instead of a single offer during a time when the acquisition cost has gone up.

Generally, it's an excellent time for eCommerce brands because it feels like everyone has an opportunity to get something out of it and put together the right deal with the right messaging.

Help people figure out why (your product is) exciting etc. Cut through the market noise, and get in there sooner—you must be prepared in advance.

So, I think we'll see many brands trying to use this time to bring Customer Acquisition Costs (CAC) down and get as many sales as possible in a short period. But I think, by and large, we'll see similar trends that we have seen over the last couple of years.

When should brands start working on customer retention strategies?

Louis: Customer retention isn't something that exists for particular seasons; it must always be ON. Your Black Friday Cyber Monday retention strategy should be in place at all times; full stop.

If you don't have a plan in place to retain customers, like a loyalty program, post-purchase emails, or more branded newsletters, among other things, it’s time you think about it now.

During BFCM, you are dealing with a pool of newly acquired shoppers.

However, because you're acquiring them very quickly, it does not necessarily mean that they like your brand—they're buying based on product and price at the time.

As an eCommerce brand, you must start laying the ground for a relationship to flourish from this point on.

It's about creating a consistent shopping experience throughout every customer’s journey, and building a rapport with them after purchase—that's the secret to customer retention.

BFCM Customer Retention Checklist 2022

So, how to you operationalize customer retention? Use this checklist to make sure you're addressing all of your potential brand touchpoints:

Be Consistent

Starting from the first message sent to the customer till the last, communications should be consistent. Communicate value to customers to ensure they get the most out of your product.

Reward Loyalty

Reward loyal customers through special discounts, value-adding content, or added value when they purchase.

Think Outside of The Box

Think beyond loyalty programs—based on your domain, craft an omnichannel communication strategy spanning emails, and social media profiles, among other customer-brand touchpoints. Ensure communications are as personalized and specific as possible. Regarding frequency and how to deploy strategy, that would change based on the industry.

Leverage Automation

Set up an automated communication flow segmented to different groups of customers. Automate with fairly simple decision trees— for instance, if the customer does this, then send them down a particular route. If they do something else,  send them down another route. It all starts with planning beforehand.

Be Patient

Do not try to instantly cross-sell and upsell customers.

Effective Marketing Automation & How to Cross-Sell + Upsell

Louis: If somebody purchases your product, you've got the standard transactional emails that might go out or other information-based emails containing delivery or shipping information.

It's essential you also focus on creating a strategic marketing-based email flow.

For instance, if you're a vitamin brand or a consumable, the three biggest reasons that someone's not going to repurchase are:

  1. They either have too much of the product or aren't taking their daily vitamins. So when it comes to the time to replenish, they still have some left.
  2. They are not happy with the quality of the product, which is an opportunity for you to get feedback or,
  3. They don't want to spend more money.

Ideally, with marketing-based email communication, the goal would be to ensure they get the most out of the product. Talk about what the product does, and coax the customer to finish the vitamins.

If they're not eating the vitamins or continuing their subscription because they don't like it, have a conversation and ask why. Try & get feedback.

When it comes to repurchasing or cross-selling and upselling, they've seen a lot of value in your product from the day of purchase. Here, email communications should come in handy to reinforce the value and worth of your product. The next step would be to get them to your social media platforms or your website to consume more value-adding content.

Email marketing and, potentially, SMS marketing combined are potent tools to continue the conversation with customers.

Any brand examples nailing the customer retention strategy today?

💡 Louis: Gymshark is a great example.

They have utilized influencer marketing, paid marketing, content marketing, in-person events, pop-ups, and PR—everything is A+ during Black Friday Cyber Monday season.

The brand started very small, selling T-shirts out of a back bedroom/ garage.

Today, they are very much up there with the big players in the fitness apparel space. So, they're excellent guys to look into in terms of their content and branding values. Their content particularly stands out during sales season—just a good overall brand.

Watch the complete conversation, here: ⬇️