Black Friday: Strong Start Online, Quiet Offline

Black Friday shopping began with fewer people lining up at stores. This suggests that retailers may have offered early discounts and that online shopping has taken over. According to CNBC , there were fewer shoppers in the shops as Black Friday shopping started. Spot checks revealed that there were fewer shoppers this holiday season, as retailers started offering discounts earlier than normal to compensate for the shorter holiday season. According to Adobe Analytics data, the holiday shopping season is starting well online. At 9:59 a.m. ET this morning, $600million had been spent online. This represents 19.2 percent year-over-year growth. The holiday season is showing 14.9 percent YoY growth. Between 11/1 and 11/28, $57.2 billion was spent online, which represents a comparable* rise of 16.0 percent YoY. The YoY growth calculation is made using an additional week from 2018, since Thanksgiving falls on a Tuesday this year.

Total Retail’s View: This slow start at brick-and mortar stores on Black Friday morning is indicative two trends. One, more shoppers prefer to shop online from their homes and not have to queue up in store. Black Friday is becoming an online shopping event similar to Cyber Monday, with many deals available online that match those in-store. Two, retailers are launching holiday deals more frequently in November, which is de-emphasizing Black Friday’s importance as the start of the holiday shopping season.

Source: https://www.mytotalretail.com/article/black-friday-off-to-strong-start-online-quiet-offline/

Black Friday Online Sales Up a Record 43%

Black Friday was the second most popular online day, with $7.40 billion spent by its end. The $7.40 billion figure represents a 43 percent increase year-over-year. The average order value for Black Friday was $168, a record setting figure that rose 5.9% year-over-year. Adobe also released the following holiday results:

  • To pick up their goods, consumers flocked to brick and mortar stores. C Click-and-Collect Orders increased 43.2 percent over the previous year, which is a sign that online and offline retailers are successfully bridging these two markets.
  • Black Friday was a record-breaking day for mobile shopping with sales of $2.9 billion from smartphones. A smartphone accounted for 39% of all ecommerce sales, an increase of 21 percent over 2018.
  • Other smaller retailers saw success too, with nearly quadrupling revenue compared to the average day last month and a 140 per cent increase in sales between Thanksgiving and Black Friday. Although small retailers were more successful than large retailers in getting customers to add products to their carts (13 per cent better on mobile and 51 per cent better on desktop), large retailers were 60percent better at convincing consumers to make a purchase on the desktop.
  • Cyber Monday will be the biggest online shopping day in American history. It is expected to generate $9.4 billion in sales and increase 18.9 percent year over year.

BlackFriday broke all mobile shopping records with $2.9 billion in sales through smartphones alone,” stated Taylor Schreiner (principal analyst, head of Adobe Digital Insights). “Shoppers were buying almost 41 percent more online than they did in stores when they went to pick up their purchases,” said Taylor Schreiner, principal analyst and head of Adobe Digital Insights.

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Total Retail’s Take: Does this mean that we won’t see people running around the mall trying to grab the hot holiday item of the year on Black Friday? It seems so. The foot traffic in malls and stores across the U.S. over the holiday weekend was not as strong this year, ShopperTrak (a division at Sensormatic Solutions) reported. Comparatively to last year, the number of shoppers who visited physical stores on Thanksgiving Day as well as Black Friday fell by 3 percent. While there was a 6.2% decline in Black Friday traffic compared to 2018, there was an increase of 2.3 percent in Thanksgiving Day traffic. There was also a slight shift in in-store traffic from the beginning to the end of the week into Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday. This dispels the notion that in-store visitors are moving away from the holiday and more into November.

Brian Field, ShopperTrak’s senior director of global retail consultancy, stated that Black Friday is still the busiest day to shop. Consumers still enjoy shopping in physical stores during holidays. Retailers are looking forward to a successful holiday season, with eight of the 10 busiest shopping days yet to come, including Super Saturday which falls on Dec. 21.

Source: https://www.mytotalretail.com/article/black-friday-online-sales-up-a-record-43/

What’s in store? Gen Zers

Gen Z, the generation born after 1997, is the first generation to be digitally native. They are the most tech-savvy generation ever to walk in a mall. We asked 20,000 Americans about their shopping habits in malls to celebrate National Mall Walking Day, which was held on October 8. We were surprised by the results and you may be, too.

Our research revealed that 90% of shoppers visit malls across all generations, with 60% visiting the malls monthly and almost 20% visiting weekly. This mall-walking group is led by Gen Z, believe it or not.

We often think of Gen Z as preferring digital shopping over brick-and-mortar. Our data shows that Gen Zers are the most frequent shoppers to malls, with 39% visiting them monthly, as opposed to 22% for baby boomers. Nearly 44 percent visit more than five malls per month, allowing them to enjoy “IRL” experiences and a break from social media.

However, this discovery does not change the fact that Gen Zers still rely on their smartphones when shopping in-store . This trend can be capitalized by retailers using a variety modern mobile strategies, such as BOPIS (buy in-store, pick up online) and push notifications for new releases and deals, which encourages in-store shoppers to engage with the retailer.

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Our data showed that 52 percent of shoppers are seeking experiences in shopping. Pop-ups, installations and even lounge areas can be implemented quickly to encourage shoppers of all ages to go to the mall more often. This experience shines brightest at the Mall of America in Bloomington, MN. It covers 4.6 million square feet. Although not all malls can accommodate an amusement park or a large mirror maze, it is possible to attract mall visitors of all ages by following MoA’s lead and enhancing mall with a focus of exciting experiences.

Malls and retailers can evolve as consumers continue to rely on technology. The world’s youngest shoppers will continue to shop in stores and spend their money at the counter, thanks to more mobile-friendly and Instagram-worthy experiences.

Source: https://www.mytotalretail.com/article/whats-in-store-gen-zers/

Sephora will open 100 stores in 2020

Sephora is a major retailer with big growth plans at a time many other retail stores are closing their doors. The beauty retailer is owned by Louis Vuitton parent company LVMH. will open 100 stores by 2020. This is the largest expansion of its real estate, more than double its store growth in 2019. This growth will not be limited to shopping centers. Sephora’s next set will have fewer stores than the existing 5,500, and it will span approximately 4,000 square feet. The company will place a greater emphasis on hair care and fragrances, two areas where it claims to have seen great growth.

Total Retail’s View: There are some positive brick-and mortar retail news that is a welcome addition to the industry. In recent years, beauty has been one the most successful retail categories. This is due to the success of Ulta and other online retailers like Sephora and Glossier. Sephora plans to capitalise on this momentum by expanding its stores in suburban areas and urban centers. The role of physical retail has been changing with the rise of omnichannel fulfillment programs like BOPIS (buy online, pick up in store) and Ship from Store (ship from store). Sephora believes that customers will continue to shop in-store with Sephora because of the services and experiences it offers. The numbers show that they will, at least so far.

Source: https://www.mytotalretail.com/article/sephora-open-100-stores-2020/

WHAT IS THE METAVERSE?

Even though the Metaverse may not live up to the fantasies of science fiction writers, it will likely produce trillions of dollars as a new computing platform and content medium. The Metaverse, in its full vision, becomes the gateway for most digital experiences. It is also a key component of all physical experiences and the next great labor platform.

It is obvious that being a key player, if you don’t call it a driver, in such a system can be of great value. While there isn’t an “owner” of the Internet, nearly all the top Internet companies are among the top 10 most valuable publicly traded companies on the planet. The Metaverse may be a functional “successor”, but with greater reach, more time spent and more commercial activity. There will likely be more economic upside. The Metaverse will offer the same variety of opportunities as the web, with new companies, products, and services able to handle everything, from payment processing to identity verification to hiring, content creation, security and so on. Many incumbents today are likely to be pushed aside.

The Metaverse, more broadly speaking, will change how we allocate and monetize our modern resources. As the scarcity of real-estate and labor waned , developed economies transformed over time. The Metaverse will allow potential laborers to take part in the “high-value” economy through virtual labor. We’ll see more shifts in the places we live, how we use our infrastructure, and who does what tasks as consumers shift to virtual goods, experiences, and services. Take, for instance, ” Gold Farming“. Soon after the in-game trading economies were established, many “players”, often in higher-income countries and employed by larger companies, would spend their day collecting digital resources to sell inside or outside of the game. These sales were usually to West-based players with higher incomes. This “labor”, while it is often repetitive and menial and only limited to a handful of applications, will continue to grow in value and diversity as the Metaverse.

CHAPTER 3 – BUILDING THE MEETAVERSE

To make the Metaverse work, it will need a multitude of new technologies, protocols and companies. It won’t be created immediately; there won’t be a “Before Metaverse”, nor “After Metaverse.” It will emerge slowly over time as various products, services and capabilities combine and merge. It is helpful to consider three essential elements that must be in place.

One way I think of these three areas is from a procedural perspective, using the Book of Genesis. First, one must create the universe (“concurrency architecture“), then one must define the laws of physics (“standards” and protocols”), then fill it with worthwhile and evolving content (“content”) that resists selection pressures. God doesn’t create or design the world like a miniature model. He allows one to expand on a mostly empty tableau. (

Learn more:

Concurrency Infrastructure

The technology is not available at the foundational level for hundreds of millions of people to share a synchronized experience. Take Fortnite‘s 2019 Marshmello performance. The event was witnessed by an astonishing 11MM people. They did not perform the feat together. There were actually more than 100,000 Marshmello concerts, each one slightly out of sync, and the number of participants was limited to 100. Epic could probably do more today than this, but not into hundreds of thousands, let alone millions.

The Metaverse requires infrastructure that is not currently available. Furthermore, the Internet was never intended for this kind of experience. It was created to transfer files between computers. The Internet’s underlying systems revolve around one server communicating with another server or an end user device. Today, this model is still in use. This model continues today. Text chats were the first pseudo-synchronous program. However, you are still pushing static data to a server in order to pull the most recent information when/where/how/as required. The Internet was not designed to allow for continuous (or persistent) communication. Nor can it be used for persistent communication that is synchronized in real-time with countless other people.

The Metaverse is more like video conferencing or video games to operate. These experiences are possible because they use persistent connections to update one another in real-time with a level of accuracy and precision that other programs don’t usually need. They don’t have high levels of concurrency. Most video chat programs can only handle a handful of people. Once you reach 50, you will need to broadcast a broadcast to your viewers rather than sharing a two-way connection. These conversations do not have to be live, and they are not.

This is why battle royale is so popular in video games. It’s not possible to play with other players live. Some games that have the highest concurrencies, like Second Life and Warcraft were around for over twenty years. However, these games essentially spoofed the experience through “sharding” and dividing users into different “worlds”, and servers. Eve Online can have over 100,000 players technically, but they are divided across different galaxies (i.e. Server nodes. A player can only interact with a handful of other players at a time. Travelling to another galaxy requires disconnecting from one server to load another. The game can narratively “hide” this by forcing players to run at light speed to cross the vastness. The system was slow to a crawl when Eve Online reached battles that involved hundreds of players. This was because the gameplay mechanic relied on ship-based, large-scale combat. These slowdowns would not have been possible if it were a fast-twitch game like Rocket League and Call of Duty.

Many companies have been working tirelessly to resolve this problem, including the Improbable. This is a huge computational challenge that challenges the fundamental design/intent behind the Internet.

Standards and Protocols, and Their Adoption

Standards and protocols are the basis of how the Internet works today. These include file loading, visual presentation, communication, graphics, data, etc. These include everything from consumer-recognizable .GIFs filetypes to the websocket protocol that underlies almost every form of real-time communication between a browser and other servers on the internet.

A wider, more complex and resilient set of S&Ps will be required for the Metaverse. We will need to reduce the number of standards we have and create a smaller set for each function due to interoperability and live sync experiences. There are many image file formats available today, such as.GIF and.JPEG. While the web is built today on open standards, a lot of it is proprietary and closed. Although they use similar technologies, Amazon, Facebook and Google are not designed to be integrated into each other. Just as Ford’s wheels don’t fit on a GM chassis, so are Google and Facebook. These companies are also resistant to sharing data or cross-integrating their systems. These moves may increase the overall value and utility of the “digital economic”, but they also reduce their network effects, which are extremely valuable, and make it easier for users to move their digital lives around.

It will take years and be extremely difficult. The more interoperable and valuable the Metaverse, the harder it is to reach industry consensus on topics like data security, data persistence and forward compatible code evolution. The Metaverse will also require new rules to control censorship, communications, regulation enforcement, tax reporting, prevention of online radicalization and other challenges we are still grappling with.

Although the establishment of standards involves actual meetings, negotiations, debates, standards for the Metaverse will not be established in advance. The standard process is more messy and organic. Meetings and opinions can change on an ad-hoc basis.

To make a meta analogy of the Metaverse, think SimCity. The “Mayor”, i.e. In ideal circumstances, the “Mayor” (i.e. player) would design their mega-metropolis and then build from day one. As in real life, however, it is not possible to just build a city of 10 million people in the game. Start with a small community and then optimize it for its needs (e.g. You start with a small town and optimize for it first (e.g., where are the schools, roads, utilities, etc. You build around it as it grows. Sometimes you will need to tear down or replace “old” sections. Other times, only when there is a problem (insufficient power supply) or a disaster (a fire). However, unlike SimCity there will not be one mayor. Their desires and motivations will often clash.

We don’t know what the Metaverse will require, nor how existing standards will be transferred over. It is important to think about how Metaverse emerges and not only around any technological standard.

The On-Ramp’ Experience

The standards for the Metaverse cannot be simply “declared”, so consumers and businesses will not accept a proto-Metaverse just because it is available.

Take into account the real world. A mall that can accommodate a hundred thousand people, or a hundred shops does not necessarily attract a single customer or brand. To meet existing commercial and civilian needs, “Town Squares” are created organically from existing infrastructure and behaviors. Any place of worship, whether it be a bar, basement or park, museum, or merry-go round, is visited because of what or who is already there and not because it is a place in itself.

Digital experiences are no different. Facebook, the largest social network in the world, failed to succeed because it declared it would be a “social networking” but rather because it started as a campus hot or not, and then evolved into a digital yearbook, photo-sharing, and messaging service. The Metaverse must be “populated”, not just “populable”. This population will then fill this digital world with content and things to do.

Fortnite is not a videogame or interactive experience. Fortnite started as a game. But it quickly became a social space. Its users log in not to play, per se, but rather to connect with their virtual and real world friends. In the 1970s and 2010s, teenagers used to come home from school and spend three hours on the phone. They talk to each other on Fortnite but not about Fortnite. They talk about movies, school, sports, news and other topics. Fortnite does not have an IP or story – the plot is how it happens and who is there.

Fortnite has also been rapidly evolving into a platform through which brands, IP and stories can express themselves. This includes the live Marshmello concert last year. These examples have expanded rapidly since. Star Wars released a short clip of the highly-anticipated film in Fortnite, as part of an in-game audience interactive event. This included a live mocap interview and a live mocap with J.J. Abrams. This event was explicitly mentioned in the film’s opening minutes. Weezer created a custom island for fans where they could listen first to their new album while dancing with other “players”. Fortnite also has several “limited-time modes” that feature the likes Nike’s Air Jordan or Lionsgate’s John Wick movie series. These “LTMs” can transform Fortnite into a miniature virtual world. This allows the player to change the look, feel, and items of the game. This includes the universe of Borderlands, Batman’s hometown in Gotham, as well as the old west.

Fortnite, which is one of few places where DC and Marvel’s IP intersects, is a good example of this. In Gotham City you can wear the costume of a Marvel character while interacting with people wearing NFL uniforms. This has never happened before. It will be crucial to the Metaverse.

A whole sub-economy has been created on Fortnite where players can create (and monetize!) their own content. This could be as simple as digital outfits (“skins”) and dances (“emotes”), or more complex. It has quickly expanded to create new games and experiences with Fortnite’s engine, assets and aesthetics. It includes simple treasure hunts to immersive mashups of the Brothers Grimm and parkour culture to a 10-hour scifi story that spans multiple dimensions, timelines. Actually, Fortnite‘s Creative Mode feels almost like a protometaverse. A player can load their avatar, which they use in all Fortnite-related activities. Once they land in the lobby, they have access to thousands of “doors”, (i.e. Space-time rifts allow players to travel to thousands of worlds, with as many as 99 other players.

This speaks to Donald Mustard’s longer-term vision for the game. Fortnite may not be the Metaverse but it is close in spirit to one and it is obvious how the “game” might eventually support one.

https://www.matthewball.vc/all/themetaverse

Black Friday Emails: 9 Super Creative Examples To Inspire Your Own (+Free Swipe File)

Over the BFCM weekend, your customer’s inbox will be as full as a belly after thanksgiving dinner.

And as an ecommerce merchant, that’s a problem. Because with so many folks competing for your customers’ attention, it’s easy for your deal to slip under the radar.

So the question is: How can you make your Black Friday emails stand out? Because between design, copy, and tactics, there sure is a hell of a lot to consider.

Well, in this post, I’ll share 9 of the most unique Black Friday email examples I’ve seen. You’ll get ideas and best practices to help guide you through the process.

By the end, your brain will be humming with inspiration, and you’ll be ready to build your best Black Friday email campaign ever. Plus, I’ve included a Black Friday Email swipe file with over 30+ emails to fuel your creativity.

Let’s get to it!

1. The Tension Builder – Tinker

Sometimes what makes your Black Friday email stand out isn’t the email itself, but the tension you’ve built in the days leading up to the sale.

Here you can see how watch brand Tinker creates a buzz around their offer by teasing their audience with a mysterious outline of a new product.

Black Friday Email Example

The copy and design are laced with intrigue, teeing up their Black Friday email to stand above the rest by piquing their audience’s curiosity.

This approach so powerful because it creates a mental itch that needs to be scratched. And the only way to scratch it is? Yup, you guessed it: to open your BFCM email.

🔑Key Takeaways:

  • Humans are a naturally inquisitive bunch. Use curiosity to drive engagement in your BFCM email campaign.
  • Keep your message crystal clear by using simple designs and eliminating wordy blocks of text.

2. The Preliminary Reveal – Google

In contrast to the tension-generating email above, this pre-Black Friday email from Google comes right out and shows shoppers the goods before the sale goes live.

Black Friday Email Example

This ‘preview’ approach is great if you’re selling higher-ticket items because customers may need more time to consider their purchase.

For example, slamming a 15% discount on a $1000+ purchase into their inbox on Friday morning mightn’t be enough to convince them your offer is worth it.

But garnering interest earlier in the week gives you customers the space to think about your products and increases the likelihood they’ll buy when deals go live.

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🔑Key Takeaways:

  • Sending multiple emails in the build-up to BFCM helps keep your brand top of mind
  • For higher-ticket items, customers may need more time to consider their purchase
  • Use dynamic retargeting to follow-up with customers when BFCM arrives

3. The Early Access – Eve Sleep

As we mentioned in the introduction, with hundreds of emails assaulting your audience’s inboxes on Black Friday itself, standing isn’t easy.

But by sending early access in the week leading up to Black Friday, you can capitalize on the increased appetite for spending while avoiding the torrent of competing offers.

That’s precisely what mattress retailer Eve Sleep did last year. Instead of making their customers wait until Friday to claim their offer, they grant early access mid-week.

Opening up your Black Friday offer early allows you to pick up buckets of opens, clicks, and sales before the big rush begins.

To add exclusivity to this kind of email, you might consider opening your BFCM deals to VIP customers only. Adding a reason for granting early access will encourage shoppers to take action.

🔑Key Takeaways:

  • It’s easier to grab attention on Mon-Thurs of Cyber Week.
  • Opening up your offer to a segment of loyal shoppers ensures none of them miss your offer in the heat of the moment.
  • Low-key GIFs can make your email pop.

4. The Multi-Channel Approach – Nuheara

With over 400 million emails being sent out on Black Friday, you’ll stand the best chance of engaging with your list by taking a multi-channel approach.

One way to boost your uptake is by getting out of your subscribers’ email and into their SMS. Why? Well, SMS boasts a whopping open rate of 98%. Plus, over 90% of the SMS message you send will be read in under 3 minutes.

Audio brand Nuheara used this Black Friday email last year to push subscribers onto their SMS list in advance of the big day.

SMS Black Friday Email Example

By stepping away from the hyper-competitive email inbox and moving to SMS, Nuheara ensures interested subscribers don’t miss out on a great deal.

You can also encourage subscribers to follow you on social media in the days leading up to the big day. That way, while other brands are only hammering email, you’ll be able to reach your audience across multiple touchpoints and boost the chances of making a sale.

🔑Key Takeaways:

  • Attention is the gateway to your customer’s wallet. Relying on email alone means customers may miss your message among the flurry of offers.
  • Coordinate your email, SMS, and social channels to ensure maximum engagement

5. The Soothing Balm – Aesop

Black Friday is renowned for being a frenzied affair. With the sudden barrage of offers merchants fling at consumers, it’s easy for one huge discount to melt into the next. It can be hard to hear anybody when everyone is shouting the same thing.

That’s where cosmetics brand Aesop takes a different approach to their BFCM marketing campaign. Their Black Friday email is memorable precisely because of its understatement. There are no ‘rock-bottom’ prices or ‘one-off deals’ to be found here.

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Unique Black Friday Email

Instead, Aesop uses a calming color scheme and copy that appeals for calmness amid the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. The beautiful design allows their products to come to the fore and do most of the talking.

It’s a message in stark contrast to what we’ve come to expect of Black Friday. By tapping into the feeling of pressure, many of us feel at this time of year, Aesop has crafted an email that reads like a relaxing mental message. And that just so happens to be the same feeling they want you to have when using their products.

 

🔑Key Takeaways:

  • Dial-in your copy and design to appeal to your ideal customer
  • Huge discounts aren’t a requirement – Free shipping can be enough to entice customers to buy
  • Put your products center-stage in your email

6. The Good Cause – Everlane

Increasingly, there’s a growing trend of conscious consumerism growing around the world. More folks are opting to shop with companies that hold similar values to their own.

Everlane runs a unique Black Friday campaign each year known as the Black Friday Fund, in which they donate a portion of profits to a non-profit or charitable organization. Last year, the brand is planning to donate $300,000 to help fight the use of single-use plastics and marine pollution.

While this is an honorable thing to do in its own right, the research shows it’s also good for business.

For example, according to a study in the Journal of Consumer Research, consumers perceive products from socially conscious brands as being superior to those with average levels of social consciousness.

Consumers perceive products from socially conscious brands as being superior to those with average levels of social consciousness.

What’s more, supporting a cause your customers care about can boost brand loyalty, enhance your reputation, and indirectly drive more sales. So, if you haven’t already, think about how you can incorporate a charitable element into your Black Friday campaigns.

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🔑Key Takeaway:

  • Supporting a cause your audience cares about is good for the cause and good for business too.

7. The Anti-Deal – Cards Against Humanity

While we can’t promise you many sales, one way to get noticed is by taking inspiration from Cards Against Humanity’s Black Friday Email.

For the last few holidays, they’ve run crazy campaigns that showcase their disdain for excessive consumption. One year they sold actual bull shit in boxes, and last year they ran a hilarious 99% OFF parody deal site.

In this email form a few years back, instead of offering customers a discount, they gave their subscribers the opportunity to give them $5 in return for, well, nothing.

While you’re unlikely to break your sales records using such unconventional tactics, Cards Against Humanity gets buckets of free media coverage for their stunts. And while that’s probably not their intention, it is nonetheless useful for growth.

The key here is that Cards Against Humanity has created a campaign that’s bursting with brand appeal. Just like their product, their black Friday promotions are risqué and somewhat offensive.

🔑Key Takeaway:

  • Build a Black Friday email campaign that matches your brand’s personality. Your brand integrity is always more important than short-term profits on the day.

8. The ‘Don’t Miss Out’ – reMarkable

Black Friday is all about scarcity and urgency. Carnage-filled scenes in department stores across the country are a testament to that.

Tapping into these collective feelings of undersupply is a powerful tactic that reminds customers they need to act now. Once you’ve launched your initial email, it’s a good move to send an email similar to this one by digital notepad brand reMarkable:

How effective are these types of emails? Well, Experian found that emails conveying a sense of urgency had at least 14% higher open rates and 2X the transaction rates compared to standard promotional emails.

Experian found that emails conveying a sense of urgency had at least 14% higher open rates and 2x the transaction rates compared to regular promotional emails.

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reMarkable conveys urgency by using a countdown timer. Other approaches would be to show the customer how many items are left in stock or set-up an offer where there’s only a limited number of discounts to claim.

Of course, it goes without saying that scarcity works best when it’s genuine. If customers catch wind that you’re misleading them, you’ll do much more damage to your business than a few quick sales can cover. So always keep things above board.

 

🔑Key Takeaway:

  • Scarcity and urgency are two powerful cognitive biases that you can use to drive more sales on Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

9. The Extended Sale – Forever 21

In recent years, online retailers have been extending their BFCM campaigns beyond the traditional Friday to Monday limits. And with analysts predicting that consumers will have more disposable income to spend this year, it’s a tactic that could help you mop up a nice chunk of additional revenue.

But you can’t just go and say to customers, “I know we ended the sale yesterday, but here’s another!”. You’ll just end up like the boy who called wolf. Instead, you need to frame your offer in a way that provides a reason for why it’s happening.

Case in point: Forever21. The fashion retailer extended their 2019 sale by positioning it as an extra chance for VIP customers to pick up a special deal. This intelligent positioning totally changes the feel of the campaign from “They’re trying to get as much money as possible from me” to “Wow, a special offer just for me?”

Black Friday Email Idea

This type of email could be even more potent if it was personalized and showed the customer’s name along with some product recommendations.

If you don’t want to extend your campaign, you could simply try sending out abandoned cart emails that allow shoppers to pick up their order at the same BFCM price.

What Black Friday Emails Will You Send?

Black Friday is a brilliant opportunity to finish your year on a high. And at the heart of every Black Friday marketing strategy is a reliable email campaign.

Between designing your emails, crafting the copy, and everything else, building a great Black Friday email can be a little daunting. Hopefully, these Black Friday email examples have provided you with the inspiration you need to reach your most ambitious Q4 goals.

If you’re eager for more inspiration – check out some of the 30+ Black Friday Emails in our free swipe file now 👇

Article source : https://www.reconvert.io/blog/black-friday-email-examples/

 

Open-To-Buy Retail Planning: How to Plan Inventory Budgets Using the OTB Formula

An open-to-buy plan is a purchasing budget for future inventory orders that a retailer creates for a specific period. It helps a retailer stock the right amount of the right products at the right time by showing the difference between how much inventory is needed and how much is available.

Having a solid handle on your inventory is the best way to guarantee you’ll always have enough stock on hand to meet demand. Excess inventory, or too much of the wrong product, can slow your cash flow and reduce profits, especially if you’re forced to mark items down. It’s this supply and demand imbalance that causes retailers to lose out on an estimated $568.7 billion in out-of-stock items.

At the same time, underbuying a product can result in missed sales opportunities, hurt your profit, and damage the customer experience. When products are out of stock, just 27% of shoppers go to a retailer’s website or return to the store to purchase the item when it becomes available. The majority will look in another store or skip the purchase entirely.

Creating an open-to-buy plan can help retailers decide how much inventory to buy or manufacture while keeping cash flow positive. This guide shares how to create one for your retail store.

 

What is open-to-buy?

Open-to-buy (OTB) is an inventory management strategy that helps retailers calculate how many products they need to buy. This includes physical inventory on hand and in transit, as well as any outstanding orders.

An OTB can be calculated in units or dollars, but is usually calculated in terms of cash, as there are variations in costs between products. OTB plans are also incredibly flexible—apply one to a single product category, a department, or across your entire retail business.

When to use open-to-buy planning

OTB planning is an inventory management practice used by all types of businesses, though it’s especially useful for retailers selling large numbers of SKUs—like fashion and apparel brands. You can plan merchandising budgets for future items based on historical data of how well products in t-shirt, shoes, and purchase categories have sold.

Because of this, some retailers strategically spend only a part of their OTB budget so they can take advantage of special buys. Your manufacturer might give discounts on summer products when the season ends, for example. A higher OTB budget here means you can capitalize on low-cost items in preparation for next summer.

The Charming Bench Company sells garden furniture to customers year-round, yet partner Chris Campbell says the main advantage of an OTB merchandise planning process “is that we can plan on seasonal buying trends.”

“In September and October, we know that pricings for summer patio furniture drop and we can expect an influx of buyers taking advantage of these deals in preparation for when they’ll be enjoying time outside again. We therefore make sure, earlier during the year, that we will have enough stock to meet these demands.”

Now that you have a better grasp of the concept behind an OTB plan, here’s a look at how to calculate OTB, along with definitions of some of the terminology involved.

Read more :

The open-to-buy formula

The open-to-buy formula will help you create forecasts for your OTB plan. The values in your open-to-buy are projections, so they may not be perfectly accurate. But a sensible way to check your numbers is if your actual month-end inventory is within 5% of your prediction.

💡 PRO TIP: Ready to leave your spreadsheets behind? To see your ending inventory, view the Month-end inventory snapshot report in Shopify admin.

Here are definitions of terms used in the OTB formula:

  • Planned beginning of month inventory: How much retail inventory (in dollars) you expect to have at the beginning of the month.
  • Planned sales: How much retail sales (in dollars) you forecast during a given month.
  • Planned markdowns: A projection of product markdowns (in dollars).
  • Planned open-to-buy dollars: The dollar amount that you have available to buy more inventory at the end of the month.
  • Planned end-of-month inventory: A forecast of balance inventory (in dollars) at the end of the month. End-of-month inventory carries over to become the beginning-of-month inventory for the next month.

The OTB formula looks like this:

Planned sales
+ planned markdowns
+ planned end of month inventory
– planned beginning of month inventory
= open-to-buy (OTB)

Here’s an example of an open-to-buy plan for a single month:

$15,000 (planned sales)
+ $350 (planned markdowns)
+ $25,000 (planned end of month inventory, October 31)
– $30,000 (planned beginning of month inventory, October 1)
= $10,350 OTB 

How to calculate your open-to-buy at cost

Initial markup (IMU) is the calculation used to determine the retail price of an item in your store. For example, if you have a wallet that costs you $15 to make or to purchase at wholesale, then the IMU is the measurement of how much you mark up the wallet when you sell it to the customer.

If your IMU is 75%, you would use this calculation to determine your retail price: cost or wholesale price / (1 – IMU %) = retail price.

  1. Convert the markup percent into a decimal: 75% = 0.75.
  2. Subtract it from 1 (to get the inverse): 1 – .75 = 0.25.
  3. Divide the wholesale price by 0.25.
  4. The answer is your retail price.

For example: $15 (cost or wholesale price) / (1 – 0.75) = $60 (retail price)

While your initial retail price must cover the cost of the product and the selling expenses that are associated with the item, remember to factor less obvious costs into your retail price. Consider covering a portion of your business’s day-to-day overhead, such as the cost of your website each month and marketing. You want to be left with some profit, right?

To figure out your OTB at cost, multiply the OTB value by the initial markup. If your initial markup is 75%, for example, your open-to-buy at cost is $10,350 x 0.25 = $2,587.50.

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The benefits of open-to-buy planning

Optimal stock levels

Managing inventory is one of the biggest challenges for retailers of all sizes. There’s a sweet spot between:

  1. Having too much inventory. With too much inventory, you lose money by keeping items in expensive storage or distribution centers—or worse, they become unsellable if they’re kept in storage too long. A food retailer that has unsold meat sitting in storage for two months is a recipe for disaster.
  2. Having too little inventory. “Sorry, this product is out of stock” is a phrase you never want your retail team to have to say to customers. But inventory shortages happen, with complete stockouts costing retailers $1 trillion every year.

OTB planning, however, helps retailers find the middle ground between bloated and sparse inventory levels. You’ll know exactly how much inventory you have and how much you’ll need for the upcoming period, giving you a clear budget to spend on purchase orders for new products.

If you have more inventory than you need, you are wasting money, space, and personnel dedicated to caring for that inventory. If you have variation, inventory can end up lost, damaged, or hidden, which can result in less stock and unsatisfied customers.

More flexible inventory

Unlike quarterly or yearly inventory replenishment, most retailers do their OTB planning on a monthly or weekly basis. Your budget will change accordingly, giving you the flexibility to order more (or less) inventory on any given week or month.

Let’s put that into practice and say you’re planning to do a last-minute pop-up shop in your local area next month. You’ve already done your quarterly inventory planning without factoring in the extra stock you hope to sell at the event. By doing an OTB plan the month prior, you know exactly how much inventory you need to order—both in terms of SKU quantities and the dollar amount you have to spend.

Identify trends

When managing inventory, it’s safe to assume that there’s always more than meets the eye. What seems like an obvious trend isn’t always as accurate as you might think.

We can see this in action with fashion retail stores. It’s obvious t-shirt sales would spike just before summer, right? But OTB planning research shows that trend starts to accelerate earlier than you’d expected—throughout April you see increased t-shirt sales.

Going without an OTB plan altogether means you’d get to April and not have enough inventory to cater to the shoppers buying t-shirts earlier than expected.

Not only that, but creating an OTB plan factors in sales and promotions. Retailers lose $40.2 billion when their marketing departments don’t communicate upcoming sales or promotions with their supply chain team. Inventory falls short; customer experiences are ruined. Shoppers don’t get the amazing deals they were promised if there’s no stock available to buy.

OTB planning takes all of those factors into account. You’ll see upcoming flash sales and year-round seasonal patterns, like Black Friday and Cyber Monday, when planning your inventory budget. The result? No stockouts during peak sales seasons.

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Prevent overspending

OTB not only helps you better plan inventory purchases, but it’s also a financial budget that can help you tighten your belt.

For example, you might have a total of $100,000 tied up currently in your retail inventory. Creating an OTB plan can help you carefully manage retail merchandise across your business for the year. As a result, this kind of planning can help you find “slack” in your inventory investment budget. Even a 10% cost-savings in this example means you’d have an extra $10,000 to invest elsewhere.

The limitations of open-to-buy

It’s not ideal for staple items

Staple items are products that customers rely on your store to stock. A grocery store’s staple items are bread, milk, and eggs. Staple items for a brick-and-mortar store selling home decor might be the plush throws you’re known for.

Regardless of what these staples are, it’s important to have them well-stocked at all times. OTB planning may not be the best method for staple items, since there’s a risk of losing order quantity discounts. Buying $300 worth of bestselling inventory every month won’t give you a volume discount. A $2,000 order every six months might.

The supply chain industry is also in limbo. Shipping containers are gridlocked and there’s a shortage of HGV drivers in some countries. Ordering your inventory one month in advance—using OTB planning—leaves you exposed to risk. Should something go wrong, you don’t have much time to fix it before shoppers visit your store for staple items and leave empty-handed.

Inventory budget should be set well in advance, as inventory purchasing should begin no later than one month prior to opening to account for potential shipping delays and merchandising needs adequately.

It needs to be supplemented with other metrics

An OTB retail plan takes only six metrics into consideration. However, inventory management and financial planning is like a machine with several cogs. You might run into problems if you’re not looking at the bigger picture.

Supplement your OTB plan with other metrics that could impact those you’re using in the OTB formula. That includes:

  • Order cycle time. Also known as lead time, this shows how long it takes for a product to be acquired, manufactured, shipped, and sold. OTB planning isn’t the best budgeting method for inventory with longer order cycles because of its short-term forecasts.
  • Inventory carrying costs. How much does it cost to keep your inventory in storage? If your planned end-of-month inventory is costing $3,000 to store but is only worth $3,500 in sales, consider cutting down your OTB budget.
  • Demand forecast accuracy. You have sales data to go off when predicting future sales. But unpredictable and unavoidable things happen (take COVID as the most extreme example). When OTB planning, look back over previous predictions to see how accurate your forecasts were.
  • Inventory shrinkagePlanned and predicted inventory are totally different from your actual inventory count. Stock can go missing for many reasons, including employee theft, return fraud, or admin errors. OTB planning doesn’t take shrinkage into consideration, meaning your predictions could be inaccurate.

How to create your own open-to-buy plan

Ready to create an OTB plan for upcoming stock replenishment? Here’s how to set an OTB budget that works for your retail store.

1. Know your inventory turnover

Part of creating an OTB budget involves planning inventory turnover—a calculation that measures how fast you sell through inventory and need to replace it. The quicker a retailer “turns” its inventory, the more it will need to buy or make in a year.

Calculate your inventory turnover using the following formula: Sales / inventory = turnover rate.

For example, if you sold $50,000 worth of product and had $25,000 worth of inventory, then your inventory turn would be $50,000 / $25,000 = 2. You turned over your inventory two times during the given time period.

Most retailers don’t set turns at the same level for every product or category, since it’s common for products to sell at different speeds. With the right open-to-buy plan, you can manage your product categories and stock levels by planning inventory turns for each.

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2. Run the financials

OTB planning doesn’t have to be anything complex. Many small- to medium-sized retailers plan their OTB month-to-month, but for businesses with high spikes in seasonal sales, try creating a weekly OTB plan.

You can start by creating a six-month open-to-buy plan in a spreadsheet. For each product you’re forecasting inventory budgets for, add the following rows for each month or week:

  • Planned sales
  • Planned markdowns
  • Planned end of month inventory
  • Planned beginning of month inventory
  • OTB dollars

Take this financial planning off your plate with open-to-buy software like Inventory Planner. The app pulls your Shopify ecommerce and POS data to forecast inventory and create budgets for restocks.

3. Sense-check your predictions

Over time, you’ll learn and adapt your OTB plan each season or year based on your unique business’ sales and markdown history. But regardless of which method you chose, make sure you carefully review each number and ask yourself if it’s realistic before you put your retail OTB plan into operation.

Example open-to-buy plan

Unsure what an OTB plan looks like? Alexis Damen shares an example OTB plan a fashion retailer might use over the Christmas period.

Peak shopping months—December and January—have higher planned sales, hence why the OTB budget for those months is higher. February’s OTB budget is even higher to account for depleted inventory in the months prior.

Six month OTB plan

Using open-to-buy planning for your retail store

Each year, countless retailers have to close up shop due to mismanaged inventory.

Use an OTB plan to stop going under or over budget. Know your inventory turnover, run the formula, and sense-check any predictions by comparing them against previous sales data. It’s a great starting point to creating accurate retail merchandise budgets.

Article source: https://www.shopify.com/retail/open-to-buy-plans

How to set up local pickup in Shopify POS

Now that you know what local pickup is and how it helps unify your online and physical stores with click-and-collect order fulfillment, it’s time to set it up for your Shopify store. Read this Help Center article for a step-by-step walkthrough, or watch the tutorial video below.

 

 

How to fulfill local pickup orders

For a visual walkthrough of how to fulfill in-store pickup orders in Shopify POS, watch this tutorial video.

 

 

Use local pickup to deliver ultimate convenience to shoppers 

One of the main challenges retailers face is unifying their online and in-person channels and letting shoppers use whichever mix is most convenient to them—but merchants who deliver on that expectation of multichannel convenience stand to reap the benefits.

While delivery options like BOPIS and curbside pickup were popularized during the pandemic restrictions, they’re two fulfillment options that are expected to increase in popularity because of how convenient they are.

Local pickup helps your online and retail stores complement one another and leverage each other’s strengths, resulting in a unified shopping experience for your customers and a straightforward fulfillment process for your retail teams.

Article source : https://www.shopify.com/retail/local-pickup

WooCommerce Product blocks allow you to integrate content and commerce

WooCommerce and WordPress have long offered the benefit of combining content and commerce. WooCommerce 3.6 introduces eight new product blocks, which allow you to insert products on any page or post in your store.

This means that store owners no longer have to show products only in the product archive or on product pages. They can seamlessly integrate commerce and content across all their stores, on any page.

Note: WooCommerce 3.6’s new product blocks require store owners to have WordPress 5.0 installed.

There are eight new product blocks to choose from

Gutenberg introduced a new user interface in WordPress 5.0 that allows store owners to choose from a variety of predetermined groups and create a custom list with hand-picked products for display on any page or post.

img alt=”There’s eight new product blocks.” src=”https://woocommerce.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/woocommerce-blocks.png?w=650″/>

This interface provides a preview of the selection once it is published. Store owners can adjust the order and layout to fine-tune the appearance.

The store owner can organize the layout in a certain number of columns and rows, and order products by newness or price.

The first WooCommerce products blocks was released as a feature plug to allow extensive test, but with 3.6 it will be integrated into WooCommerce core. Here is a breakdown of all eight new product blocks:

  • Featured Products: Choose and display one product in a new, high-impact format. You can adjust the text alignment, hide/show the price and description, add color overlays, change the button call to action, set a custom height and override product photographs.
  • Hand-picked, individual products: Display products of your choosing in a grid.
  • Bestsellers/top-rated: Display a grid of your best-selling products, filterable by category.
  • Latest products: Show a grid with your newest products. Filterable by category.
  • Products on Sale: Display a grid of products for sale, filterable by product category.
  • Products that have specific terms or attributes: Show any products which have been given a particular term or multiple attribute terms.

Or Add all your products to any page, or post in the store!

Learn more:

Theme authors can customize

Customization is key with WordPress and WooCommerce. The product blocks allow theme authors to customize the display and number of rows and columns.

The Featured Products Block allows theme authors to control product description, price and height as well as overlay color for the background image, button colour, link color, and other details.

Google Shopping Ads – Must

How can people find products today?

How can you locate the product you are looking for? How do you begin? Continue reading if you answered yes to any of these questions with Google.

What is Google Shopping?

Google Shopping allows merchants to have their products displayed when customers search for them on Google. Shopping ads are more eye-catching than traditional Google Search text ads. They include a product picture and other useful information. This provides shoppers with a preview that will help them make purchasing decisions as they search.

Why use Google Ads by Kliken to promote my store?

Google Shopping is not for everyone. These are the essential requirements for getting started.

  1. You can have both a Google Ads orGoogle Merchant Center account.
  2. Complex product feeds with detailed data about the products you are advertising.
  3. An account in Merchant Center that is connected to Google Ads.
  4. To get your campaign approved, you will need to have a deep understanding of the policies for Google products and websites.

Instead of spending time and effort creating a WooCommerce store from scratch, we offer a seamless, automated solution! Google Ads powered By Kliken lets you create a Google Ads campaign and manage your marketing from an online store.

How to Get Started – The Easy Way

Installing the Google Ads powered By Kliken plugin on your WordPress site is a simple way to get started. After installation, you’ll be able to complete the account setup and then jump into creating your first campaign. We don’t require merchants to set up their Google Shopping campaigns.

Learn more:

It is easy to create a Google Shopping Campaign. These are the steps to follow:

  1. Targeting – Tell us who you want to see your ads.
  2. Categories – Choose the categories/products that you wish to advertise.
  3. Preview – View your campaign and view a sample ad.
  4. Purchase – Choose a monthly budget that suits you.

We’ll take care of all the hard work after you have purchased your campaign. Automated bidding allows you to maximize your marketing efforts and shows you how much sales you have generated for each campaign. This will allow you to clearly see your return on your investment. Our team is available to answer any questions you may have.

Relax and enjoy the results!

You can now watch the campaign live and relax! You can modify settings, such as the categories that you are advertising or which Google Product Category you wish to display. You can make most product changes directly in your store since all campaign and ads information are pulled from your store. You can change the price of a product from WooCommerce. We’ll sync it to your ad.

We provide stats that will help you make informed business decisions. We will provide you with the usual campaign stats like clicks, impressions and costs. We’ll also show you conversions, which are clicks on ads that lead to sales. This will allow you to see if your marketing is effective. This data can be accessed at all levels, from the campaign level to the individual products or categories.

Google Shopping Ads Available Today

Google Ads powered By Kliken is the best tool to promote your products to shoppers. Are you worried about ads being disabled when products are out of stock? We will keep track of the inventory of your products and remove your ad when it is out of stock. Do you need to change a product title? You can do this directly in your store and we will update the ads.

French VAT Fraud Prevention Acts: How to Certify invoices with WooCommerce

If you are based in France, and have an online WooCommerce store, you may need all invoices and credit notes certified.

You are probably asking yourself these questions:

  • Why is it necessary to certificate invoices and credit notes?
  • These rules do they apply to me?
  • What can I do to ensure that I am in good standing?

We have the answers.

What is the purpose of having my invoices certified

French VAT Fraud Prevention Law – Article 88 of Finance Act ndeg2015-1785 – requires that certain merchants use a “secure cash register system” or software.

This law was created to stop people hiding their income and reduce VAT fraud which amounts to 17 billion Euros per year.

What is a “cash register software or system”? Here is the government definition:

A cash register software system is a computer program that stores and records payments in exchange for goods or services.

Simply put, it’s any software system that issues sales transaction documents such as invoices or credit notes or sales receipts.

These four rules are required for any payment register software or system to be certified and compliant.

  1. Inalterability : Payment operations data are recorded and stored but cannot be altered.
  2. Security Data is encrypted and returned to France’s Administrative Fiscale. Guaranteed to be in its original condition.
  3. Retention/Conservation: Data must be kept for six years with annual, monthly, and daily closures.
  4. Archiving Data is stored and classified by date and made easily readable by Administration personnel as part of a control.

Software certified by Infocert ( /NF525 certificate), LNE, Laboratoire national de metrologies et d’essais (a government agency) or self-certified systems can be used.

Sanctions and compliance control

certification is required to verify compliance with your cash register system. Your systems can be checked by the Administration Fiscale at any time, and without notice.

You’ll be penalized EUR7,500 for each software/system that you fail to provide a certificate or attestation. You have 60 days to comply. If you don’t, you will be penalized EUR7,500. You will be fined EUR7,500 and you will have to comply again within 60 days. This can make certification difficult.

Who is responsible for following the VAT Fraud Prevention Law

Let’s begin at the beginning. You need to understand how this law affects you.

If:

  • All prices are subject to VAT
  • You can sell products or services to customers that are not subject VAT, such private individuals.
  • A cash register system is used or software.
  • Register payment transactions
  • You can accept other payment methods than credit cards or transfer payments via a bank or credit institution.

This excludes self-entrepreneurs and professional as well as B2B businesses that only sell to professionals. You are affected if you have customers that are VAT-exempt and customers that aren’t.

To double-check that you are complying with the VAT fraud prevention laws you have the option to use an online test by the French government.

WooCommerce allows me to comply with the law.

This anti-fraud law is applicable to brick-and mortar stores as well as eCommerce websites. You will need to certify credit notes from orders placed on your WooCommerce website if you meet the conditions.

An extension for WooCommerce , which provides an external certification solution, simplifies things.

Kiwiz uses blockchain technology to authenticate invoicing documents. It is 100% compliant with the VAT antifraud law because it combines security, inalterability, and archiving.

Learn more:

Kiwiz is not a cash register software. It’s a certification brick that enables the payment software (in this instance, WooCommerce), to be secure and in compliance. It creates invoices from your eCommerce store.

How do you get started?

You will need to subscribe to one their plans to get started with Kiwiz certification Here’s how it works:

  1. Go to Kiwiz.io/prix to choose the plan that corresponds to your monthly transactions.
  2. Download the Kiwiz extension directly from WooCommerce.com Marketplace.
  3. After signing up for a Kiwiz plan, you will receive an email with the credentials to configure the extension.
  4. Start creating your invoices.

Kiwiz’s subscription plans are based on the number of transactions you make each month. Certification never ends. You will be charged more if you process more transactions than your monthly allowance. You will automatically be charged for a lower volume plan if you process fewer transactions than the monthly limit.

You have 30 days to test the service for free, and you can cancel anytime during that period.

Are Discounts not your thing? Cyber Monday: Alternatives

There are the daily tasks of running your business. You also have vacations to plan and other visitors. You are cleaning up and finishing household projects. You might not be thinking about the holiday sales season right now.

“Late November seems so distant. You might be asking, “Do I really need to plan for that?” Answer: The answer is yes, especially if you don’t believe that selling prices or discounts make sense for your company. It will take some time to come up with innovative ways to increase sales and attract customers. So start now.

It’s crucial: Hundreds and millions of people will shop online on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. This could translate into billions of dollars in sales.

Last year, in the middle of the pandemicgrowing at a faster rate than it has been since the 1980s. This happy news is combined with consumer excitement about normal life, it’s easy for us to see an even greater jump in this year.

It is important to plan for Cyber Monday and Black Friday. What if you are unable to offer deep discounts and sale prices in order to attract customers? There are other options.

Cyber Monday: How to get the best deal without any discounts

First, why not simply have a traditional sale?

There are many businesses and stores that offer major discounts. Your 40% discount deal could be overlooked during the holiday season. It is more difficult than ever to find a way to inspire potential customers.

Discount sales are not appropriate for all businesses. Some stores emphasize the importance of not discounting high-end merchandise. Smaller stores have often tight margins, and can only discount five to ten percent. This makes it difficult for them to compete with larger shops.

Other organizations may offer services or products at a fixed price, but this is not necessarily a bad thing. If you are selling $10 gift certificates to raise money for climate change efforts, it doesn’t make sense to reduce the price to $5. You’ll have to come up with a better way to sweeten the pot.

These are other options if you’re struggling to be noticed or if it doesn’t make financial sense to hold a “mega-sale” for your company.

Learn more:

1. Give a portion of your profits to charity

Studies have shown that 86% Americans prefer companies that are caring and responsible, and who give back to good causes. Increasing customer loyalty can be achieved by collecting donations at checkout. Consider these charities when deciding which charities you want to support:

  • Be in alignment with your customers‘ values
  • Attract the largest range of customers
  • Are you in your local area?
  • These are related to your passions

This can be done in many ways. Customers may choose to donate specific products or a percentage of their total purchase. You might also donate a book every time someone purchases one of your books.

Customers should be informed about who and why you are donating.

2. Free eBook Download with Purchase

Consider information that is valuable to your customers, and make an eBook. This process can be automated with the free gifts for Woocommerceextension. You can also set up an email welcome with a tool such as MailPoet that will send the book to your customers via email.

Are you unsure what to make? Consider the most common questions your customers may ask. What information can you share about them? You might, for example, write a guide on how to choose the best coffee bean grind for each coffee maker. You could also include an eBook on how to prevent mosquitoes getting in if you provide pest control services.

3. Shipping options available for upgrade

36% of online customers drop their orders because they don’t want to pay shipping. This means that free shipping can be a great way to increase Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales. Free shipping could be offered for all orders or orders exceeding a certain amount. You can also upgrade customers to expedited shipping for an additional fee.

Photo © https://megafitmeals.com/

However, it doesn’t matter what you do, ensure that your customers are aware of the information. Megafit Meals places a notice at the header. It’s visible on all pages immediately.

4. Get started with a complimentary consultation

Free consultations are a great way to introduce your service to customers. This allows you to establish a relationship with your customers and build trust.

Be specific about the benefits of the consultation. Perhaps you could say, “We’ll give you a 30-minute consultation in which one of our experts will evaluate your marketing needs and offer suggestions.”

5. Get an additional night for free

Hotels and campgrounds are filling up quickly because people want to go. How can you stop these campsites and beds from becoming empty after the rush?

Even if you don’t sell physical goods, that doesn’t mean you can’t take advantage of Cyber Monday and Black Friday. You can offer an extra night of stay free of charge.

You can add an additional night to a booking by using the WooCommerce Bookings extension.

6. Limited edition products available

The feeling of exclusivity is a great thing. The rarer and more desirable products are, the more customers will value them. This idea can be made even more appealing by offering limited-edition products for Cyber Monday and Black Friday.

You might, for example, release a T-shirt design or behind-the scenes video. No matter what product you choose, make sure to highlight the short-term availability of the item on the product page. This will help establish that there is no way you are missing out.

7. Gift a bonus, free gift

Free gifts are a great way to get rid of inventory and to add value to your purchases. Are there extra products you are discontinuing? As a bonus, give them away to anyone who buys on Cyber Monday. You could offer samples of your soaps, bath salts or seasonings. These are great for encouraging future sales.

Consider small, personalized gifts such as stickers, hot sauces and water bottles. These are fun additions that customers will remember your company each time they use them.

You can offer gifts to customers using the free WooCommerce extension.

  1. Send them manually
  2. Automatically add them to your cart
  3. Customers can choose from a variety of gifts when they go to the cart page
  4. Offers: “Buy one, get one”

Consider which one is most appropriate for your situation and customers.

8. Every purchase helps you plant a tree

79% customers favor companies that care about the environment. And environmentally-friendly products, services, and facilities are just one, simple way to show that you care for your community and the people who live in it.

Consider donating to a local group that plants trees during your Black Friday/Cyber Tuesday sale. You can also extend the same principle to other green initiatives such as river or beach cleanup.

This season, be unique

There are many ways you can get involved, even if your store isn’t able to offer Cyber Monday or Black Friday discounts. This is the best time to get creative and think about what your customers are looking for.

Optimizing your Customer Portal to Increase Loyalty Shoppers

Giving the best customer experience is a key part of building long-lasting customers. These are people who purchase your products again and tell their friends about your store. Your work does not stop when someone makes a purchase. It is your responsibility to delight and please them again and again.

This can be done through your customer portal or My Account page. Customers should use this page to find all the information they need, to reach out to you with questions, or to make any changes to their accounts. They will be happier if it is easy for them.

How can WooCommerce create the ideal customer portal?

Customers should be able to easily manage their accounts

Allow customers to access your account page.

1. Change the password

Although this may seem like an essential part of account functionality, it is actually very important. The login page should allow customers to reset their passwords, as well as the account page.

WooCommerce allows customers to change their password automatically, but it is always a good idea for them to check this once in a while. It may be worth changing the font weight or color of the “Lost password” link to make it stand out more.

2. Change their address

You can update your address for a number of reasons. They might be moving, need to ship to their new office, or want to change the credit card address. Customers can update their billing and shipping addresses via their account page by default. You can go one step further.

The Saved addresses for WooCommerce extension allows shoppers to add multiple addresses to an account. They can then choose which address they want when they make a purchase. It’s easy to send your products to family members, friends, and even to their offices. Your customers will be more inclined to shop with you again if they find it easy.

Learn more:

3. Change billing information

Customers can save their credit card information if you use a payment gateway such as WooCommerce payments. Customers can update their information on their account page, and they can check out faster in the future. Faster checkouts lead to fewer abandoned carts, and therefore more sales.

4. Change or pause a subscription

Customers who subscribe to recurring products and services should be able cancel, upgrade or downgrade their subscriptions easily. Why? It makes it much easier for them and saves you the time of contacting support via phone or email to change their plan terms.

Customers can change plans, modify the quantity of products, or cancel their subscriptions from their account page. WooCommerce payments gives customers even greater control over their subscription payment methods, recurring orders and many other features. Both of these solutions work together to create a powerful solution that benefits both you and your customer.

5. Refunds or cancellations possible

Online store owners will undoubtedly encounter refunds, cancellations and returns from time to time. They may have ordered the wrong product, received it damaged or changed their minds. It’s all part and parcel of the process.

You can relieve your team of a lot of stress and provide a simpler, more hassle-free experience to your customers by allowing them to cancel their order or request a refund right from their dashboard.

Customers can request a refund from WooCommerce Smart Refunder extension and explain why they are requesting it. Refunds can be approved manually or issued automatically — depending on what works best for you business. They can either take the form of cash refunds or store credits.

6. Customers can create wishlists

According to Google, 40% shoppers believe that online shopping would be more enjoyable if they could save the items they are interested in. This makes sense. They might wish to save their favourite products for an anniversary or birthday, to share with family and friends, or to return to later.

A wishlist is not only helpful for them, but it can also be beneficial for you. Customers don’t have to remember what products they like, and may end up shopping elsewhere. They can simply add the items that interest them to their carts, which increases conversions and sales.

This extension allows you to add this functionality directly to your WooCommerce store. Account holders and guests can create unlimited product lists, share them via email and add one or all of their favorites products to their cart by clicking a button.

Bonus: Use AutomateWoo for promotional emails that are based on items people like. Email marketing is powerful but personalizing messages can make it even more effective.

Help customers locate important information

As a store owner, you must educate customers about why your products are better than other brands, how they solve problems and how they can best be used. Your job includes answering customer questions and providing information on shipping and policies. These are just a few of the ways that you can do this through your customer portal.

1. Tracking data for shares

Tracking information can be added to your account page to keep your customers informed about the status and delivery of their product. This will answer all their questions: Has my product been shipped? It is now where? When will it arrive? They don’t have to call or chat with us.

You can add custom and automated tracking numbers to the Shipment Monitoring extension for over a dozen carriers including USPS and FedEx.

2. Add product documentation

With detailed documentation, show customers how to assemble and use your products. This will help them get the most out of their purchase, reduce refund requests, and encourage them to return for more. This documentation can be added to their account page, making it easy for them to access.

The WooCommerce My account page editor allows you to add links to your documentation on your account page. You can also add instruction content to the customer dashboard.

3. Get exclusive customer resources

When a customer purchases a product from you store, they might be entitled to download exclusive content such as podcasts, videos or prints.

You could create a membership program. This is a great option. You could also use the WooCommerce my Account Page Editor extension for exclusive content to be added to the customer dashboard.

4. Support customers via live chat

If your customers have any questions, be available to answer them as soon as possible. A live chat option can be added to your customer account page.

The LiveChat extension for WooCommerce makes it easy for customers to reach you with any questions. You can view what they have in the cart, as well as information about previous orders while providing support.

You can also add a tab on the account page to provide customer support. You can link this tab to a forum or a form. Contact information is also possible so shoppers can get in touch with your company. This extension can be used to add it.

You can customize the dashboard design

It’s more than functionality. A great account experience is about much more than that. Your business’s design can make your customers feel valued, trust you, and show professionalism. These are some ways that you can improve the design of your customer portal.

1. You can change the colors to match your brand

Consistency in brand colors helps customers know where they are and shows that you care about the details. You might consider changing the colors on your account page elements (tabs, fonts, etc. They should be attractive and attractive, while also fitting your brand.

To do this, you can either use CSS or select the colors that you wish to use with the My account Page Editor extension.

2. Customers can add a photo to their profile

Add a profile photo to empower your customers to make it their own. The My account page editor can do all of this! They can upload, modify, and remove any photo they like. Upon logging in, they will feel as if they have their own space on your store.

3. Mobile responsiveness is a must

You want your account page to be responsive like the rest of your website. It should look great on all devices. Customers should be able view their order status and change their information. They also need to have access to all the content that you’ve created, regardless of whether they are using a mobile device or a desktop computer.

To see how it looks on tablets and phones, log into your account. You can also use any of these tools for testing it on all devices. You may need to modify it with CSS, or hire a developer if something seems off.

Your audience deserves the best possible experience

Your customers can manage their accounts on your store through a robust and easy-to-use portal. This will also help to relieve some of the stress from your employees. It also makes it easy for shoppers to find the information they need, which will encourage them to return for more.

Behind the scenes with Addify — A Growing Marketplace Developer

Addify, a Pakistan-based development company, has become a success story. The 35-member team has already achieved sales of more than $100k per month since its inception on WooCommerce.com.

They are the developers of many popular extensions such as Custom User Registration Fields and Request a quote, Role Based Pricing. B2B for WooCommerce. Hide Price & Add To Cart Button.

Although they started their sales on CodeCanyon initially, they soon realized that the WooCommerce Marketplace was the best option. The company also develops for two online stores platforms. This has allowed them to enjoy higher sales and a greater ecosystem of extensions.

They are still climbing to the top. In a few months they will be adding 15 more team members and moving into a new office.

Through Zoom, the WooCommerce team met Ali, their co-founder, to discuss Addify’s success, where they are headed, and what other developers can do to follow in their footsteps.

Q. Q.

Mehmood and Muhammad, my co-founders, met twelve years ago when I was working for another company. We became close friends, and we kept in touch while we developed our marketing and development skills. It became obvious that we could do something on our own.

Muhammad is a specialist in Magento and Prestashop design. When we develop extensions for new technologies, he builds technical teams. Mehmood oversees WordPress development. It’s the largest team that we have.

However, I am responsible for all aspects of support, including marketing, product research, and user experiences. It is my responsibility to decide what products I want to create, which features they should include, and how I will market them to site owners.

We now have 35 employees on the team. We’re moving into a new building to increase our staff to at least 50.

Learn more:

Q. Q.

Muhammad was developing a Magento website and needed a way to exempt certain users from paying taxes. We couldn’t find a solution so we asked ‘who else might be interested?’

We tried CodeCanyon, but it was not the right solution.

We tried WooCommerce, but it was not the right solution.

Although there was one solution that a developer offered on his website it did not include many features. We knew there was more. We created the Exempt extension, and we made our first sale on WooCommerce.com in September 2019.

Q. Q. Why did you choose to concentrate on this?

We might be able to find solutions for other industries. We have all been involved in non-eCommerce development before so it’s something we could do. We noticed that these types of websites are often quite stagnant after they’re built.

eCommerce is constantly improving the user experience and experimenting with marketing. The potential for success is greater. A good extension and support can result in many solutions being purchased by the same store owner over time. They will likely continue to use our support because they are looking for more information and the most recent features.

Q. Q.

WooCommerce has 28% eCommerce market share. It is the most popular eCommerce platform so it makes sense to offer your products to the largest audience.

Q. Q. Why did you choose this route over other options?

We discussed for several weeks before we finally decided on where to go. It was difficult because we knew everything about each platform. There are always compromises. This was a huge debate.

We chose WordPress because of its SEO. Both WordPress and WooCommerce are SEO-friendly.

It was also easy to create. WordPress is much faster than other platforms. For example, we were able to develop a website in just two weeks. On the other platform, it took us two months.

We chose WordPress and WooCommerce because we knew that we would need lots of space to grow and there would not be a shortage of extensions and plugins to help us do this.

Fourth, we concluded that maintaining other platforms would prove more costly due to the higher server costs. We decided that WordPress would be more cost-efficient in the long-term.

WooCommerce allowed us to quickly get up and running.

Q. Q. Why did you choose to migrate to the WooCommerce Marketplace instead?

We knew WooCommerce.com was the official platform so we wanted to be there. We felt we should be there as an authorized company.

WooCommerce.com is our main focus now and we are releasing 98% exclusively there.

  1. We realized that the WooCommerce Marketplace had a large customer base and more revenue for vendors after the releases of the first two extensions. We changed our CodeCanyon profile from exclusive to non-exclusive, and we added products to our website as well as the WooCommerce Marketplace in order to offer multiple sales channels.
  2. CodeCanyon does not have a minimum pricing policy. Individual developers set their products at extremely low prices which makes it difficult for companies to grow and maintain products, and offer top-quality after-sales services.
  3. The WooCommerce Marketplace team is more like a family to us because they listen closely to our feedback.

Q: It all comes down to a better environment, great support and a larger audience for sales.

Yes, WooCommerce offers subscription options for extensions. This is very important.

To continue receiving updates and support, customers can renew their WooCommerce Marketplace subscription.

This drives us to improve the product, add new features and ensure it is compatible. This is good news for store owners. It’s also good for us from a revenue perspective.

Q. Q.

We are familiar with the available extensions because we have worked in the eCommerce industry for over 120 years. We listen to our customers and read forums to find out what they are looking for.

Once we have identified a group of extensions we like, we do marketing research to evaluate them. We then decide if the extension is worth our time and if it has any unique features. We will consider whether a similar product exists and what we can do to make our product stand apart.

Every support ticket I receive is read by me personally. Although I am not a programmer, I can help them quickly. However, I can help people get an idea of their needs and then have our developers tackle it.

Q: Are your development decisions always market-based? Are developers driven by passions that can dictate the next steps?

We are very particular about the products we release. We are completely focused on the needs of our customers and how useful our solutions can be. We do however listen to the ideas that our developers have. Choose Userrole is an example of an idea that was generated by the development team. This became an integral part of many bestsellers.

We have also created extensions even though our research did not support them. We created them anyway, because customers requested them.

Q. Q.

It must be B2B to WooCommerce. We knew this solution would be popular because of the high volume of searches.

Problem was that the term “WooCommerce Business to Business” is too broad. It was necessary to determine what functions people were actually looking for in order to solve this problem. We released individual extensions as we identified them. We eventually had many robust solutions that we could combine into one WooCommerce B2B extension.

Q: What are your costs plans? What is more costly to create a new product, or keep existing products?

It is more costly to maintain an existing one than to create new ones. It’s not about how expensive it is, but what our customers want. It is important to provide quality support and new features. Regular updates are also necessary in order to keep extensions running.

We believe that providing high-quality support can be costly. It’s also important to ensure that customers are satisfied. Customers who are happy leave positive reviews, which is critical for sales.

I also look at support requests as they are received to see what features people would like so that we can develop the next update. Sometimes I can even get ahead of an issue to fix it with the next update. This is going to end up being cheaper than continuing support for a large conflict.

Support is great for customers but also for us because it helps us to identify new opportunities.

The refund policy has also affected and motivated us.

Q: How does this (refund policy), impact you?

WooCommerce offers a hassle-free, 30-day refund policy. Customers don’t need to provide any reason or information to request a refund.

CodeCanyon gave us the opportunity to answer customer questions and assist them in solving their problems. This was definitely something we preferred at first.

We are motivated by the possibility of getting back our investment. We must be our best and keep pace with the product. It pays off if you do a great job.

Q: How do I create product pages for my extension? These are some of the best on the market.

Right now, I write and develop it all myself. It’s very important because everythingshould go on the product page. It’s been so hard to find out what people want so we need to communicate it and put it all on the page.

One review said that everything was on the product page. “Don’t expect anything more.” That review made me smile because it meant that the product page had done its job.

Q: Do you think that your involvement with WooCommerce has helped you to be closer to the community?

Yes. We also get to work closer with SkyVerge. That’s fantastic.

We also have a great Slack platform. We can also reach out to other developers if we have a problem. They also benefit from this because they don’t want their product to cause conflict for anyone.

We work together to find solutions, and then we take the lessons learned into consideration for our future plans.

Q: What is different about where you are now than when you started?

We have better processes, a new development approach, and better support teams. Our products are more reliable when they go on the market because we test more.

Q: What advice would you give to other developers who are considering joining the WooCommerce Marketplace.

It’s all about planning the right products, and then offering good support. To find the right extensions for people, you must do your research. You’re on the right track if you do that.

Aftersales support is key to long-term success, according to us. People may not return to you again if you don’t do the job right.

In some cases, the customer may have initially requested a refund because they purchased an alternative extension but then came to us for support as the developer didn’t provide the required assistance.

You don’t have to be alone when you addify

Many developers such as Addify are enjoying success on WooCommerce Marketplace. Developers who are willing to work extra to help the community and provide quality extensions are needed.