Black Friday Survival Kit

- Black Friday / Cyber Monday Content - Everything You Need to Survive and Thrive on Black Friday

Black Friday in neon; Text: Black Friday / Cyber Monday Content


On July 13th at 12pm EDT / 9am PDT we hosted a 1-hour live webinar featuring an expert panel from Bazaarvoice, Blueswitch and Searchspring, where we walked through a Black Friday Survival Kit with everything you need to survive and thrive on Black Friday.

The time to start preparing for Black Friday is upon us and now is the perfect time to implement some new ecommerce strategies into your site. If last year was any indication, shoppers are going to be out in full force, and early.

This webinar kicks off our 5-part BFCM webinar series designed to help you prepare each step along the way. In this kick-off event, we’ll help you build you Black Friday survival kit by diving into the following areas:

  • Top trends and predictions of BFCM 2022
  • Walk through a timeline of what to prepare and when
  • Specific strategies and tools to take advantage of
  • Optimizing the tools you already have

Ready to build your BFCM survival kit? Watch this webinar today!


Register for the entire Black Friday / Cyber Monday Webinar Series to prepare for the busiest season ever and check out the Searchspring Black Friday Content Hub for even more tips to #WinBlackFriday.


Everyone, welcome to today’s webinar, Black Friday, 2022 Survival Kit.


Today we’re going to cover everything you need to know, too.


Not only survive Black Friday, but actually thrive on Black Friday. So my name is Jason Ferrara.


I’m the Chief marketing officer at Searchspring and your host for today’s webinar. We’ve got some great guests.


So I’m excited to, to have them here.


First, I want to give you a quick intro to Searchspring. very brief, you know, wouldn’t work, especially when we’re talking about Black Friday.


Online shoppers just absolutely hate it when they come to your site and can’t find what they want, right? They hate that experience.


Typically, what happens is, those people leave your site without buying. They may, they may never come back.


So at Searchspring, you know, our focus is two, facilitate those initial parts of the shopper experience, that’s site search, Product Merchandising, personalization.


And so we’re really focused on building that ultimate shopper experience.


And part of that ultimate shopper experience is making sure that you are connected and wrapped up and ready to go for Black Friday. So that’s what we’re going to talk about today.


I mentioned, we had some great guests.


We’ve got today’s panelists.


Let me turn on my video here, so you know that I’m just not a, not a voice. Either everybody. We’ve got panelists, we’re going to have them invite them to turn their cameras on to. We’ve got Shaun and Bryan.


I will let them introduce themselves, because they can do a way better job than that I can introduce in a much more compelling, so welcome, Shaun. Welcome, Brian. Shaun, why don’t you give us a quick intro to yourself.


Everyone, Jason, Great to see you again. I am the Director of Channel Partnerships here at Bazaaroice. I work with partners to help drive value for our clients. Europe as our voice, mainly in North America, but I talk to people all over the world as well.


Great, thanks. And Brian, how about you?


Hey, good morning, good day everyone. I’m Bryan Swift. I am the Senior Director, at BlueSwitch.


We’re Shopify Developer and Marketing Agency in New York City.


I’m really excited to be here.


Excellent. Well, thanks both of you for, for being here.


I also want to mention two things Before we get to today’s Agenda. one is, I’ll introduce Charles Summers, who’s our webinar producer.


He’s behind the scenes, moving a slide, texting me when things might go wrong, making sure that we’re on track. So if you hear me mentioned, Charles, that’s what I’m talking about. He’s back there. Charles, Thank you very much. And I should also say when anybody has a question during the webinar today. You know, we want as much audience interaction as possible.


You can ask questions in the goto Webinar interface and the questions queue.


Feel free to type those questions in.


Whenever you want, I will see them. I will slot them in, or we’ll ask them at the end of the webinar. But I want to make sure that if you’ve got questions, we can address those questions and get them answered, Sean? And Brian has a wealth of knowledge that they want to share specifically about Black Friday and optimizing sites for that. So today’s agenda. We’d like to start with a couple of audience polls.


You know, there’s no better way for us to get to know you than a few quick polls. It’s great audience participation, and it will drive our conversation today, and then we’ll have a panel discussion.


I’ve prepared some questions, but we’ll also talk about the polls, then, obviously, we have some Q&A, And, like I mentioned, we’ve got that question queue.


Please fill that up with questions, and we’ll, and we’ll be asking there.


So, thanks very much, OK, we’re going to move on to our first poll question. We’ve got three today.


So the first poll question is, When do you start planning for Black Friday?


You start in Q one of the year. Do you start in Q two of that year, Q three.


Or do you start with Q four for the following year, or do you just get started late? And always, are you always planning for Black Friday? So here we go.


To watching those numbers come in, Charles, we’re doing well. People are participating. It’s exciting.


Exciting to see.


And I think we are about where we are going to get.


All right, So we will talk a little bit more about this.


Nobody’s thinking about this in Q one. Let’s just put that in the back of our while you may be thinking about it, but you might not be planning for it.


And I think our Q four is full of dizziness with Black Friday.


And some of us just can’t stop thinking and planning for about Black Friday. So, there we go, we’ll get, we’ll get back to the results of that poll in just a second. Charles, let’s launch the second one.


So, that poll is, how far along are you?


In year 20 22, Black Friday planning haven’t started about 25%, but 50%, about 75%.


And if some of you are done planning, maybe that’s maybe that’s going on too.


little bit.


A little bit different than our first question results coming in again, fast and furious. That’s good.


And we’ll give it just another second here, Charles.


Alright, and I think we’re good there.


All right.


So, you’ve come to the right place, 58% of you come to the right place, to have this conversation today. That’s great.


And, obviously, there are varying levels of participation, or a varying levels of planning. So, we’ll get to talk about that, too.


And third, poll here, which 2022, black Friday, cyber Monday trend, do you think is the most important to address?


Start earlier, last longer, frictionless omnichannel.


Mobile, brand loyalty, and personalization.


Again, we’re having great participation here.


So, thanks for clicking, giving us your opinion and insight.


And Charles, I think we’re just about there, Looks like we’re just about there. So we have these up for just a second, because I want to make a few notes.




And I think, you know, here’s what’s interesting to me, just at a glance at these results, as there are a few clear winners here, So we’ll get we’ll get to talk about that. And then we’ll talk a bit about all these topics I would imagine, personalization and timing and frictionless, frictionless experience. So thank you for all those responses. Everyone in the audience. We’re gonna spend a few minutes talking about that.


So, Sean and Brian, you know, one of the ways we talked about starting our panelists, just to get some feedback on those on those poll results. So I don’t know if there’s anything you see in that first poll result. When do people start planning for Black Friday?


Most people are beginning that planning process in Q three, and there’s about 20 to 23% of people are always planning for Black Friday. Sean? Anything unusual, interesting, in that, In that Result, there.


No, nothing surprising. Jason. I think it’s smart to always be thinking about, let’s be honest. We’re kind of always on world these days.


So, while Black Friday, Cyber Monday are no key events, strategic times of the year, I think you always have to be thinking about your strategy as, you know, as the sales cycle increases towards the end of the year. So, that’s one. And, I think the other part of that is, you know, Q three as we as we are in the second half of this year, it is, I feel like the second half of the year, just accelerates to know where all enjoying summer.


The next thing you know, fall is upon us. And then, we just accelerate to the end of the year, into the holiday season. So, Q three is a smart time to get things going for your specific Black Friday, Cyber Monday strategies. So, that’s my initial take on that, The poll numbers.


Great. Thank you. Yeah, I feel that I personally feel that acceleration. I was doing some planning yesterday and taking a family trip next week, and I thought, Man, by the time, I’m back, July is over, right? Like, I’m in August. So I gotta be thinking about what happens in August, Brian, how about you, and a response or thoughts around me people planning for Black Friday.


Yeah, absolutely.


You know, I’m, I’m an SEO specialist, and so everything I do takes a month or more to show any, any real results anyway.


So, I’m used to planning in advance um, no, like Sean said, I think being kind of like an always on approach to, especially to my funnels and making sure that the checkout experience is really frictionless, and and smooth from start to finish. I want that to be the case. always.


For me, the, the thing that I find gives the best user experience on Black Friday is having a specific set of specials are products or promotions that are specific to that holiday, or to that, that event.


And so, one of the things that I always try to remind my clients of, in preparation for just the holiday season in general. Get your banners ready. Get your assets ready.




Have your blog posts already on the website and ready to publish. You know, And giving those.


Like, support getting those supporting materials a little chance to mature before the day hits.


Yeah, that’s great, great advice there, in terms of plant into, in terms of planning, like, you know, you are, you might have some content that’s evergreen. You may want to do some things significantly differently this year, and so get that stuff planned showing you in order to get a comment.


Yeah, I was just also thinking as we’re talking about this, and going back to the Always On theme, is that there’s always an opportunity to increase or just have a better relationship with your customers throughout the year.


I know, again, it goes back to Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but you’re working and talking to your customers, whether you think you are not always.


And so, whether it’s through SEO, like Brian in Brian’s world, or, you know, questions and answers, that your users are asking you on your website about certain products, it’s always on. Like you’re always make an impression with your customers, you’re always, you always have this relationship.


So, yeah, I was just that jumped out at me, as we were discussing, Jason.


Yeah, I appreciate that, and I think it’s a great jump into the second poll, which is, how far along are you in your 2022 Black Friday planning? And, you know, 58% of the respondents said they haven’t started.


So, what’s interesting to me is either people are waiting to start or they’re interpreting haven’t started in a certain way, right? Maybe, maybe I do at my content ready, but it’s not on the site yet, so you guys have thoughts around that? Brian, any thoughts around?


You know, the, how far along people are there, There’s a huge chunk that haven’t started and a huge chunk that are, have just started about 25% of the way their thoughts around around that. Is that, is that typical? Or are you or are people behind this year, You know? What’s, what are your thoughts there?


You know, this year presents some really interesting challenges.


And the data that we’re seeing is that overall search volumes and traffic are down for a lot of our clients right now. And we were actually just having a meeting this morning about it.


Anecdotally, I think everybody’s on vacation this year.


The last two years, nobody has been able to go on vacation or go out of town.


This year, everyone I know is, but solid from now until the end of September, basically. So, yeah.


And if I know, if I’m on the beach, it’s pretty likely that I’m not shopping for Christmas presents, right? So, I think, one of the reasons that we’re gonna, we’re gonna see a lot of unprepared businesses this year.


Because we’re gonna be coming back from summer and trying to get into the swing of things.


But I think the important thing for me to remember is that, there’s no such thing as perfect when it comes to website experiences. We’re always optimizing, we’re always making things better.


So, while it can often feel like a race against everyone, it’s important, too, make sure you’re doing what’s right for your brand and your business.


Because there’s a lot of businesses that, that Black Friday is not a concern, because they’re not doing discounts or not doing promotions.


But I think there’s a lot of ways that you can utilize big shopping days.


Like Black Friday, even if you’re not a Black Friday business, I think there’s a lot of ways that you can participate in that and get some of that traffic, even if it’s not a priority for your business.


Millimeter Hm.


Yeah, I think you’re right about vacations.


In general and and anybody who has worked on my teams in the recent past knows that July is my least favorite month of all the months. My day job is focused a little bit more on demand generation. And so July is one of those one of those months where demand generation really takes a hit.


It makes me upset. So I really respected where people are. People are out and about, and, you know, I’m doing it to next week about. so, Shawn, How about you in terms of, in terms of planning? is it? is it typical that people haven’t started yet? Are we behind?


You know, what are your, what are your thoughts, or what do you see in the market over the years?


Honestly, just quick comment on Brian’s note about, you know, the travel of the summer, my wife and I were talking about this and she brought up a phrase called revenge travel.


I’ve never heard of. As Brian was, travel schedule this summit, a lot of adjacent back.


Back to your question, I don’t think it’s too late. I did, I would suggest though, and Brian also said this earlier, is that everything it does take a little bit longer than you think? So, it is, If you are planning for Black Friday and Cyber Monday as as a key event for your business, I would say take advantage of the time that you have right now, which is summer.


And I know there may be people out on vacation, which is, it’s totally fine, But start planning. Start thinking about it. Start having conversations with anyone that you work with. If you’re considering other new vendors or new partners to work with for your Black Friday purposes, definitely get us started. Now. Don’t wait till later, because you should plan for a month, to, at least four, to six weeks for things to ramp up.


For example, if you plan on, If you need more reviews, and you want to run a sampling type campaign to help generate more reviews, it takes time. It takes time to plan it. It takes time to execute it, It takes time for users to actually write the reviews. So, that’s my advice. plan ahead. Take advantage of the title that you have right now.


Then also to Brian’s point earlier, even if it’s not a key event for your business, there’s shoppers are primes around the holiday season.


You know, and you can have a positive benefit to your business.


Even if it’s not a benchmark event for your business, people want to shop, so take advantage.




So, yeah, I think the takeaway here is get started preparing and think through what that is.


Even if this isn’t your biggest selling season, it’s still an opportunity to, to put things together. I’ve got a great question sitting in the queue that I’ll ask in just a minute, because I want to get through the next, the next poll question, but some great questions already coming in, from the from the audience. So, poll, question number three.


Which trend do you think is the most important to address? So Black Friday, Cyber Monday will start earlier, and last longer.


Frictionless experience.


Mobile in the spotlight, Brand loyalty, or personalization, and the three, the three big winners there are, start earlier, last longer. Frictionless, and personalization. So, Brian, you had already mentioned the friction there, so, why don’t you just expand on that a little bit? What you, what you mean by that?


And why that why, that’s something that the audience may care about, yeah, absolutely.


So, um, for those who are not familiar with the phrase frictionless in, you being used in in this regard, um, I always say a frictionless checkout experience or a frictionless shopping experience.


Um, is one that never makes you go watch to your computer screen.


It’s making it easy for customers too.


Find, purchase, and receive the items that they’re looking for on your website, You know, by integrating things like Apple Pay, Google Pay, there’s a ton of different payment portals that you can use now that turn shopping experience into a one click in that endeavor.


Where you can, especially on sites like Amazon, where you can just buy it now, right from right from the results.


And so, what I like to see, especially in my e-commerce clients, websites, is a very easy to use from start to finish. And that means having a well organized NAV menu, and it also means having a streamlined checkout procedure, and everything in between.


And those stocks, along the way in, your, in funnels.


Those become the things that people talk about, when it, with their friends. They become the things that get joked about on the Internet or end up in, in read it. You know where they say, I, I went to buy something from this website and, you know, 15 pages later, and I’m still not checked out.


Or, you know, all those horror stories that that I hear about it on the internet are usually the result of bad planning.


Or, you know, one of the things that I see a sharp, shockingly, a lot of, is people who operate, own and operate e-commerce websites, who’ve never checked out an item in their own checkout funnel.


Know, and when I recommend especially for indie Shops and indeed Businesses, smaller smaller sites has your nice or your nephew or your mom or your uncle.


Sit down and use your website and try to buy something, and then ask them what they thought of the experience.


Because I think so often, I, you know, I know. I view things through the lens of my experience. And I’ve been a professional in this industry for 10 years.


And so what is easy to use, or what’s streamlined to me, may not be the same thing.


That’s easy to use, or streamline to my 12 year old niece, or my 15 year old niece, or or my six year old, mother, you know?


So, um, I think it’s important to really look at your site and your funnel from as many perspectives as possible so that it’s, so you’re covering all the bases.


Yeah. Sean, I want to ask for your response and the poll overall. But I saw your head nodding a little bit, as we were talking about. Check out an item in your own store. You got thoughts on that?


Yeah. Yeah. Wholly agree with Brian in that.


You should definitely test out your own system and, you know, a good buy experience is seamless, and it delivers results, but a bad one is the one that really stands out. And that’s when people, that. That’s the ones that you remember any kind of make fun of, and you kind of joke about it.


Like Brian said, it goes on the Reddit, chalkboards, and people are laughing about it.


So please, if you’ve already made so much investment in your business you’ve done all the SEO investment, you’ve done all the review UGC collection, you’ve got, these are wanting to buy your product. Just make it easy at the end.


Personally also, I’ve remembered one of my credit card numbers to make it seamless as I’m shopping in bed, but I know not everyone does that.


So yeah, take advantage of Apple pay, Google Pay, PayPal’s, etcetera. So.


Yeah. Who who knew that to take away from this webinar, was going to be memorize your credit card number.


Right, I haven’t, I haven’t done that, but now I need to do that.


I know my, I know my CV, though, because I need that to use my bookmarks card number. I can store one. Otherwise, it’s too many numbers.


Yeah, exactly, exactly, yeah. Next four digits. I can’t do it. Exactly.


All right, great. Well, thanks for that. Thanks for that feedback.


I mean, I think we got some really interesting thoughts about that.


one of the one of the questions in the queue that I wanted to ask, before we get too far into the conversation, there was a question about anti Black Friday campaigns.


And I think Brian probably came up, in terms of, in terms of your point about maybe Black Friday is not your big, Your big selling period. You know, is there a Is there a time for some sort of campaign that is anti black Friday, you know buy it and died a counter-cyclical time or something like that? Either of you have any thoughts on that?


Well, you know, Amazon Dey is going on right now, Um, and that it’s marketed as Black Friday in July.


and this time of year, and I think, and I think the reason for that, like we were talking about everybody, being on vacation, everybody’s numbers are down, and we want to see some some business sites that, and I think it’s a smart marketing idea, to say, no.


Why? Why shop in November shop for shop for Black Friday sales now?


And I think that’s a really great way to too.


It’s it’s almost a grin at The Black Friday Culture.


And it has an air of like this isn’t Black Friday, this is bad.


Because it’s now, and I think that’s a really, I think that’s a very useful position to take.


Um, especially in the client, I saw, I want to know one of the questions that came in.


It is, no, low prices are not a seasonal thing anymore with the, with Internet shopping, if you’re a savvy shopper, you can find somebody who’s got what you’re looking for on sale, right?


So how do we generate interests and how do we, um, drive people to our site and maybe we can’t afford to do a promotion.


And I think the way to do, the way to introduce other ideas and topics, other than buy this thing from me today, would be to, to do some thought leadership and offer, either, it’s the exchange of ideas or the, the, the ability for your clients to learn something or your customers, to learn something about what you do, and that kind of thought leadership, I think, is a lot more valuable than a single purchase.


Yeah. Great. Thanks for bringing up that question, too.


Got multiple devices.


So I’m just trying to triangulate these questions here so I appreciate bringing that up because that’s that’s important to like if people aren’t excited by by deals anymore What what’s the next step Shawn? Thoughts on that on that question is is just blow bryce not interesting to be me anymore?


No. I think low prices, you know, just personally, it does get me excited. I like the idea of Black Friday, Cyber Monday deals. But, you know, that might not speak to everybody.


I think, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, have that type of branding.


People might still think of, you know, people, you know, waiting overnight in line to get until until Wal-Mart to get that big TV. That’s, you know, that there’s, like, 10 of them that are on the special price. So, people might have that mindset.


I feel like my sister might have that mindset, ’cause we’ve had this discussion in the past, but, yeah, so, I think it’s smart to have an anti Black Friday type promotion. Why not stretch out the buying season earlier?


When, you know, there’s a segment of shoppers that, know, don’t want to deal with the crowds. They don’t want to deal with all the madness.


They don’t want to, you know, be promoted, you know, 50% off or whatever that campaign might be for Black Friday.


So, take advantage of October and maybe early November, and make it a special event, try to speak to a different audience. So, I think it’s smart.


May drive a sweepstake or some sort of, um, something different, basically, take advantage of October.


Yeah, yeah, yeah, right. I do like that. And I think one of the things we’ve talked about here a couple of times is this idea of, of creative solutions, right.


How do we apply some creativity to what may feel like, oh, every year here we go and we got to crank up the Black Friday, like how do you create this?


So, so let’s talk a little bit about that.


You know, I think that we, before we get into specifics around when should I be doing things? What are some top trends that the two of you are seeing?


Some predictions maybe for this for this particular Black Friday season? Sean, you want to? Why don’t we start with you sort of trends and predictions for this for this black brightness? Yeah.


I say, I think this is, you know, it starts earlier, I think, the ago, again, going back to always on, I think, again, Black Friday and Cyber Monday, big events that everyone should take advantage of, if it works for your business.


But, I’ll say, one of the trends that I’ve seen this past year, leading up into the holiday season this year, is really ultra, personalized user experiences.


I think companies, businesses, are taking advantage, or they’re leveraging the data that they have about their customer base, in a much smarter way.


I think it’s important to have a holistic view of your customers. I think, customers expect this today.


What that really means is, if I purchased something in the past, I don’t want that same product recommended to me again.




If it makes a business look uninformed about, you know, about me and I expect more from businesses, I expect that, if I purchased, you know, a baseball bat, I expect some recommendations about adjacent products to the baseball bat.


You know, a glove, you know, others gear. That would cause, me, the business, knows that I like baseball.


They should suggest baseball items to me, as opposed to a non relevant sport.


So, again, yeah, you’re collecting data about purchases about your users, take advantage of it, utilize it, use a CRM system, get a holistic view of what our customers purchased, what their experiences, and, suggest other adjacent services, highlight other relevant reviews, you know, there’s so much they can do with the data. So, that’s what I mean. That’s one of the trends that I see, is just ultra, personalized, user experiences.


Yeah, great, great. Call out, Sorry, I cut you off. Sorry, say that again. You’re good, Jason, OK, yeah, one of the one of the examples I’ve been, I’ve been using. What I’ve been talking about personalization is and you got into this a little bit, children, you’re collecting all this data.


If I, if I buy bolz and you suggest you recommend spoons, you know, is, is that right?


Like, maybe I want to eat a salad. And so that that data gets really important in terms of what I’m doing.


And so it’s what I bought, but it’s also my behavior, right? I’m looking at other things that may scream salad rather than ice cream. So, I need to, I need to four brothers, both, so, I get some that, that data collection is incredibly important.




Yeah, great. So, Brian, thoughts on trends and predictions or thoughts on on personalization?


Well, I think Sean’s point about personalization is right on. Right on target.


I know one of the things that Search Spring does, that it’s really kind of hard to achieve in the e-commerce world, is merchandising of e-commerce products, and being able to really control how those different collections appear on the screen, based on conditional logic, right.


And so, that’s something that I think can be really, really important.


Not just on Black Friday, but anytime, but especially on on these sort of like flash deal kind of days.


When I’m a lot more likely to go, oh, look at this recommended products that seems like it’s perfect for me, you know. I’m a sucker for those recommended products or related products.


Um, one of the big things that’s been coming up a lot in SEO world is what’s called the zeros click results and zero click results are usually informational.


But one of the things that I think a business can do, especially if you have a brick and mortar location and your e-commerce, is supporting that, just get critical information about your business. Use schema markup.


So that Google puts the information directly in the search, which is a search engine results page. So that information about your business can appear directly in Search, rather than someone having to click on a web page.


Um, those zero click results are populated using Schema.


And there’s a lot that you can do with it if you’re using an SEO plugin on your website, right now, you’re probably using schema, um.


I think the zero click results as we go further and further into the metaverse, I think are going to become more and more prevalent.


I think the other thing that I’m seeing a lot of too is the multichannel experience.


Um, there are so many places where anyone can sell anything.


All right, including including brands.


I have a client who sells wholesale bags and backpacks. and he’s on like 15 or 16 different sales channels, including his own website.


Um, And it works, you know?


Because, yeah, some people are going to go to your website and shop.


Some people are only going to do their shopping on Amazon or on e-bay or on, I mean, there’s a there’s a million of them out there.


Facebook has a shopping channel now, Instagram Shopping Channel, Snapchat, same deal. So, I mean, now it’s so many channels out there.


It’s important to be consistent cross-channel, so that if somebody sees your product on Amazon, and doesn’t buy it, but then they see it on e-bay, maybe they do, or Etsy or Facebook.


So being consistent, not just with the message, but with the pricing and, and the merchandising of your collections across channels, it, I think is really important for consistency.


And four, um, Confident, you know, buyer confidence.


Hey, Ryan Sorry, Jason, I was just curious like with the media channels, Brian, do you happen to know he I think you mentioned 16 different channels that this person that this business sells through like do you have any idea how?


How they’ve managed so many channels it seems is very difficult.


Well, Shopify allows you to manage about eight channels from Shopify directly. You can manage your Google and Facebook channels and a few and a few others, and then you can also use customization. To pull in more channels, you are add ons or plugins.


I don’t really know of any, like, one unifying platform where you can manage all sales channels, because there’s so many that pop up.


What I think this particular client does is, he puts certain products on certain channels. The e-mails are going to do better.


And so, he and he’s putting a lot of energy into which products go on which channels, and he does that internally.


And I do think it’s important for companies to do stuff like that internally, because it’s more than I can keep up with.


But I do think that representing on different channels is extremely potent because it allows you to represent your product in multiple spheres on the Internet, without causing cannibalization.


Um, you know, it’s a bad idea to have two websites.


But, how do you market to two different demographics if you can double up? And the way to do that is with multiple sales channels.


Yeah, one of the, one of the things, I was, I was thinking, and I had been talking to a client several months ago, that’s one way that this particular client tests some of their products and offers, right? They have different channels, and they’ll use a channel that they think is good for testing. And then, once they know what they, what they think they, how they want to proceed, then they’ll put that on there.


Other main distribution channel. So, I think there are a lot of opportunities with different distribution channels. Certainly.


And I think that’s a good, you know, this, this notion of testing and understanding your product mix in different places, again as one of those things that that impacts your data that they can impact personalization. That can impact for Even something as tactical as, you know? How you how you address SEO? So? I think that’s certainly a really interesting point there.


I wanted to bring to go. Hold on, I just wanted to bring up. one last thing about change sales channels is also if you’re a seller or niche item, look around and see if there are any sales channels that are specifically for your niche. And I think that’s one thing the e-commerce retailers forget to do. Sometimes is look around and see if there’s anywhere knew that they can sell their products that they haven’t heard about.


Because becoming an early adopter on a new sales channel.


Make or break a business depending on on how that breaks down. So that’s sorry, I’ve got your actors.


No, no, that’s, that’s great.


This is, I want you to cut me off, because we wanna hear from you more than we wanna hear from me. Sean, I want to talk a little bit about.


We talked a little bit about timeline, right. When do you get started?


Like, where, where, in your opinion, should companies would be in their prep?


At, at this point of the year, obviously, a lot depends on a lot. But where should we be right now in our prep?


Yeah, great question, Jason.


I think, you know, just generally, you know, looking at H the second half of this year, we’re in mid July. You might as well call it hobbyist, by this point.


But I think right now, is it great time period to really audit your product pages And see where the gaps are with your user AGC.


You can identify you know, places where you’re low on you’d use the.


You can even look at your stronger pages and see why there’s more UGC there.


So again, take advantage this time, understand where you’re strong, where you’re weak from a UGC perspective.


Because ultimately, you do see is going to help you drive more conversions when the time is right. I know it’s always on.


It’s always right to be selling, but especially when the shoppers are in the mindset as the holiday season approaches. So again, right now start your audit process for the product pages, identify. The gaps.


Then I think if if once you identify those gaps, I think the next step is to address how are we going to fix product. Pages. With low UGC, we all know UGC helps drive conversions. So on those pages, you know, take advantage of the tools that you have at your disposal.


They’ll try to automate your post interaction e-mails to try to collect more reviews, launch a hashtag campaign on social to help drive awareness, even run a sampling campaign, which is an old, tried and true method, two, to generate more reviews.


And again, there’s timeline, There’s, there’s, there’s a ramp up period to running a sampling type campaign, so get your evaluation, your audit done right now so that, you know, you can have ample time to run any campaigns that you might want to consider.


Yeah, Thank you, Sean, I was, it’s great that you took that, the rest of the way because my follow up question was going to be, can I run campaigns to do that, like how do I it’s It’s one thing to say, you should be auditing this and how do you get more? So, how do you get more so that you get to run some campaigns like this? Brian, before I jump to you, I just want to make sure that our audience knows to feel free to ask questions in the queue.


You know, this is a great time to do it, especially as we as we get up to the top of the hour, you know, let let your questions fly.


Actually, Brian Press, pause on your comment real quick, because I had a question come in just now, Sean, and it says: What Do you mean by sampling campaign?


Sampling, a great question, as I often just assume everyone knows what sampling means. So great question.


So let’s take an example of you’ve launched, you’re launching a new product, you’ve built a great tool, or you have a new sweater, or you have just something new coming out.


Well, this product doesn’t necessarily have any UGC attached to it.


And therefore, from a consumer perspective I’m not sure what other people are thinking about this products. Like, usually, when I go buy a product, I’ll take a look at other users, experiences on this product. to just confirm whether or not I like this product, Whether or not it fits my needs, I want to see how it looks on someone before I buy it.


So, again, going back to the new product launch, consumers won’t have this type of experience.


So sampling is taking your product, this new product, to help it launch, You’re sending samples out to a defined customer base, so that they can actually have the Product Enhance, Try it on, take pictures, write reviews on the product page about this sweater, for example, so that when you do launch this product, it’ll be more successful.


It’ll help drive more sales, as opposed to launching a new product, not having any reviews, and therefore your sales right at launch is going to be a little bit, it will be slower.


Statistically, it will be slower.


Or our research has shown you need UGC to help drive sales.


So that’s what sampling is where we send out samples. We collect reviews, we help you.


Excellent, got it. And, and presumably that’s something that I need to think about in terms of my budget. Right. In terms of how I’m, how I’m building my, my year.


If I want to do that, I’ve got a budget for the product that I will sell, send out, it. May or may not be, something people buy.


That’s right, Jason. There’s budget planning. There’s timeline planning, and we can help consult sweetly Bazaarvoice. We’ve been around for over 15 years, and we can help you with, you know, our, our historical experiences, our expert advice.


So we’re here to help, but sampling should be considered in any product launch, and with any products in general, with UGC being top of mind for search engine optimization. You need fresh content to keep your pages relevant in the search results.


Yeah, great, and so Brian, perfect segue over to you in terms of where do you see user generated content and in terms of SEO and then and then I’m interested in understanding a couple of things about about tools. But let’s talk about SEO first. Yeah, absolutely.


No I think there’s a couple categories of UGC. Organic, user generated content is is terrific. Sponsored content is really useful as well.


Um, one of the things is I guess the best case scenario in SEO is when someone with a lot of phosphors uses your products and links to your page or links to your website and we see that avalanche traffic come in.


But if we’re a small brand, or are just getting started, how do we make that happen without breaking the bank?


And I think that there is a, there is a place for sponsored content, places like Instagram and Snapchat, have done a really good job of integrating Spawn Con into the social media conversation in a way that’s transparent and not pretending to be something else. And I think that’s really important, too.


Trusting the consumer enough to keep it real with them.


And and say, you know, hey, we sent this product out for free and this is what people said about it.


Um, and that’s something to me, that, that, is really important. I think, overall for brands is, you know, in, in 20 23.


Internet shoppers are a savvy audience.


And they can smell BS from a mile away and, and so the bet I think the best thing a company can do is just, keep it real and be yours. You know, like be yourself as a brand.


Um, because I think that’s the, that’s what customers respond to in the 21st centuries, is authenticity and UGC.


It is a great way. It’s like Virtue, Sigma. And, you know.


It’s, it’s a great way to show, um, Authentically like that people are enjoying this product and it’s useful in some way.




Yeah, I appreciate that.


It’s, two things always come up in these webinars. Always, always, always. Quality of data always comes up. We’ve talked a bit about that as related to personalization. And.


Authenticity comes up all the time.


It doesn’t matter what the topic of the webinar is.


It always comes up and I think it is a really majorly important point because it’s very easy for me to go into a store, an experienced authenticity in person. It is more challenging to be online in this little box, and experience authenticity.


And I think that is something that, that everybody in the industry needs to work on to drive that. Sean, I saw your hand go up there a little bit.


Just going to add onto that as, well, you know, while we all enjoy the professional photography or professional copy about a products, the real authentic portion of it really comes out in, in the comments about what are real user experiences. What are those real videos of someone assembling a product or actually using the product, doesn’t really know, roll straight, like they describe.


So, that’s what I thought of.


When you’re talking about authenticity, Jason, as well as, you know, Bazaarvoice, we have our whole authenticity and moderation component to validating and making sure the user comments are legit and real and so that everyone can trust it.


So lot of authenticity is it’s, it’s big with Bazaarvoice.


Very good. Thank you.


Um, hey, we got a question in that we need to address before we’re done talking.


It’s partly the elephant in the room and partly the issue that we need to probably think about every single year.


But the question is about market headwinds inflation in supply chain decreasing, traffic like, what actions can we take as merchants to help alleviate some of these headwinds?


Sean, why don’t we, why don’t we start with you.


It’s a tough one. And it’s it.


I feel like this time last year, we were talking about supply chain issues, and it hasn’t gone away.


Yes, it’s table stakes these days where, again, going back to the travel, I read that, you know, airlines or airports are capping.


You know, of travel can be there simply because, yeah, people.


Yeah, yeah, there’s not enough of it, flight crew, and, you know, not just on the airplane’s, but the supporting staff on the ground.


So it’s it’s a tough question, Jason. I don’t know if there’s a silver bullet to solving this problem.


But again, I think it goes back to take advantage of the time that we have right now, as we just started July second half of the year to plan ahead as best as possible.


Get your product pages audit your product pages to make sure that the UGC is there.


And you know, we can only do so much if a ship is stuck in the Suez Canal blocking all container ships.


What will happen when, there’s not much that, that we can do, But again, just be smart with what you can do, take advantage of the data that that you can to personalize and gift shop esthetics. Great experience.


But some supply chain issues a little bit out of our control at times.


Yeah, Brian, your thoughts on the headwind. So the three that were thrown out, supply chain, inflation, less, less traffic than in the past.


Yeah, I mean, what a great and scary question. I know my first thought is customized product diversification.


I, in my spare time, and I’m a crafter, I make stuff at a leather, and, and I, at times, have considered starting a business. And one of the things in that industry that everybody says is, if you’re going to sell your, sell your crafts, you need one thing that you make that’s really, really expensive, and you need, one thing that you make, that’s really, really cheap.


Um, so that, you know, the customer that’s ready to spend, a thousand bucks can do so.


But, the customer, who can only, who only wants to spend 5 or 10 bucks, can also do that, as well.


And so, I think what’s especially with supply chain, um, making sure you have a backup plan.


Now, if you have a product, or a, or a family of products, that relies heavily on A supply, that’s going to have some, some exposure to risk, may want to consider a suitable replacement.


Um, and have that ready to, and have those at the ready, you know, and also stock up on critical supplies, you know?


And, I think that’s one of the things, it’s really tough with inventory these days, is, you kinda never know what next week is, what’s going to happen.


Um, and, so, it’s just, get prepared as many ways as you can, You know, Because, we know, the thing about this business that is, remains true. No matter what is, no matter how hard, we attempt to predict what’s going to happen next.


That’s just as soon as you think you haven’t figured out your life, that is the life happens.


Yeah, yeah. I know. Thank you both for, for answering that. We’re coming up to 2 R 2 to the end of the session here.


But one thing I want to mention, and this isn’t opinion as much as it is just me reporting on this type of answer from lots of people that I talk to as well, which is, supply chain issues aren’t gonna go away, stock or alternate product.


You know, get smart on what people are buying, when they’re buying it, why they’re buying it.


All those things requires a lot of co-ordination in your company, and it’s not just that responsibility of one group or one person. It’s the entire organization coming together to understand what our customers are saying today. What is the behavior on the website?


What products are available in the market?


How much can we spend like, every single function in the business really goes into the solution to this, this headwinds problem, which, which I think is important.


And I would assume you guys agree that this isn’t, this isn’t a, one person does one thing and success happens, Right, because it’s a co-ordinated effort.


Yeah, Jay, Jay said I think you hit the nail on the head. It is a co-ordinated effort from the top down across the organization.


And, it’s a mindset to, I think, everyone has to be thinking this way that, hey, if no, just everyone across the business needs to talk to each other, to co-ordinate, you know, the data side of the business needs to understand what’s, what’s available from other parts of the business to help drive success with, with the customers. So, co-ordinate effort.


Wholeheartedly agree?


Yeah, yeah. I do have a a tactile suggestion for preparing for these headwinds to shock when one of the things we use on Shopify all the time is back in stock notification e-mails. And usually, it’s a plugin or add on that needs to be configured.


But if you are nervous about supply chain issues, get and configure a backend stokke notification, e-mail setup, that way, if your products do go out of stock, you can still maintain a conversation with your customers.


And that is something that this year, especially in e-commerce, we see a significant amount of traffic coring back into our customers sites, from back in stock e-mails or, or restart notifications at some point.


Yeah. That’s OK, too. I love it.


Also going to add on, like, it’s the Why, stop at e-mail exchanges, text edification. You’re also just collecting more user data about your customer base.


You know, maybe that product doesn’t come back in stock, But you have something very similar That he might be able to recommend. So yeah, that’s great a great call up right.


Thanks guys, Thanks so much. It’s, it’s been a great example of what I love about these sessions, which is a question leads to some strategic answers and then some really tactical answer, so thank you for that, And Sean, and Brian, thanks for the time that you spent talking through, You know, how we get prepped for Black Friday, so so important. If that’s the that’s the important part for our business and, and even if it isn’t like, what, what do I need to do to capitalize and optimize for this particular season?


So Jen’s thanks so much for for joining us. We continue every month to have these, have these webinars. You know, we’ve got a whole webinar series focused on Black Friday for the next for the next several months. We’ve got five events. Obviously, today is the 13th of July. As I look at, my watch is to confirm that we’ve got August, September, October, and November and then we’ll do some wrap up. And some look forward probably in December so.


We are going to continue to do this.


Please, if you found this session useful, please register for the subsequent sessions. We’d love to have you join. And we got some great questions from the audience, and again, super fun to have that interaction and that involvement.


So looking forward to our Black Friday series and, let’s see, August is another prep for Black Friday.


How do we take seasonal buyers and turn them into repeat customers? Don’t just buy from me during the hot season, buy from me all the time. So that’s our focus in August. Sean and Brian, thanks so much, everybody in the audience. Thank you for sticking around and listening and being engaged, and we will see you next time. Thanks very much, Bye.

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