Turn Seasonal Buyers into Long Term Customers

- Black Friday / Cyber Monday Content - Being prepared for Black Friday is obviously critical. But, figuring out a scalable and repeatable way to nurture those people to become long term customers has a science of its own.
December 7, 2021

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


Black Friday / Cyber Monday Content – 

Part 1: Expert predictions & what you can STILL do to convert more shoppers on your site

On November 16, Searchspring hosted a webinar with an expert panel from Searchspring, Guidance, The Container Store, and Bazaarvoice where we gave predictions and tips for how e-reatailers can turn seasonal shoppers into long-term customers.

During this session, panelists shared their tips, suggestions, and predictions for this year’s Cyber Monday/Black Friday and into 2022. 

Our panelists have over a 50-year combined industry experience in retail and ecommerce:

  • Shaun Lin, Director of Channel Partnerships at Bazaarvoice
  • John Thrailkill, former SVP of Technology at The Container Store
  • Mike Warson, Senior Sales Executive at Guidance


Hey, everyone, Welcome to today’s webinar.


This webinar focuses on Black Friday, just 10 days away now, and this will be about expert predictions, reflections, tips, really for turning seasonal buyers into long term customers.


But really our focus today is about what we can still do to help convert more shoppers, write, I mentioned 10 days, short period of time, but there are things we can still do, and we’ll learn more about that.


My name is Jason Ferrara, I’m your moderator today, and the Chief marketing officer at Searchspring.


I’m really excited to welcome our panel of guests.


Our panel of guests is Mike Worsen, the Senior Sales Executive at Guidance.


John Thrill kill, former VP of Technology at the Container Store, and Shawn Lin, Director of Channel Partnerships at Bazaarvoice.


I’ll let each of the three of them introduce themselves in just a minute here, as we, as we get started, and, Jen, if you’d be so kind as to turn your cameras on, there’s me. I’m Jason, There’s Mike.


He’s in.


Thank you, Mike, and John and Sean, guys, thank you so much for we’re getting those, getting those cameras on.


So, before we get going, I want to cover the agenda quickly. We’re going to do a poll.


Charles, you can go back to the agenda slide. Sorry, I just mentioned Charles, who’s our, Behind the scenes producer for this event, Charles Summer. So, he and I will have a little conversation back and forth once in awhile. Thank you, Charles. We’ll start with a poll. We’ll continue on to a panel discussion.


I have some prepared questions for Mike, Shawn, and John, and then I, of course, as moderator reserve the right to follow up with some, some zingers that hopefully will elicit some great conversations. So, thanks guys and we’ll do Q and A And then we’ll and then we’ll end the webinar. So, let’s start with the poll.


Charles, you want to get the poll slide up and we can start talking through that.


So, for those of you that are on today, this is the participant participation section of the webinar. We’re interested in your thoughts, right?


What’s your biggest concern or area of focus for this Black Friday and Cyber Monday?


So is it out of stock items and sell through of what you have, performance of your technology, the ability for your shoppers, to find products, the shipping and delivery of those orders, or the follow up after the holiday?


And if it’s not one of these, and it’s something else, feel free to jump into the chat and let us know that if it’s, if it’s something else.


Got just a few more minutes, half of you have voted so we’re going to wait just a few more minutes to get the rest of you on in there, looking pretty good on votes.


Here we go, well, instead 80% of you have voted. Thank you very much.


Yeah, pretty interesting, pretty interesting results coming through.


I think we’re just about just about their participation. So thanks for the, for those of you that have voted. Charles, if you want to get the results up there. So out of Stock Shell through the biggest concern and slash area of focus and in the time we’ve prepped for this webinar. I know that the panelists and I have touched on this a little bit. So everybody’s got to get a point of view there and we’ll cover that. Tech performance. Although product findability is really what concern more than tech performance.


And shipping and delivery, haga holiday follow.


Those things aren’t really the, the big, the big issues for you right, right now, so, let me just make some notes here.


So, when we go back to the slides, we can, here we go. OK, Charles’, we’re ready to go back to the slides.


So, the first thing I’d like to do, after this poll, again, thanks, everybody, for, for participating in that poll.


As we look at, as, we look at the results here, out of stock items, and sell, through is kinda the number one issue that that we see here. No secret, that supply chain is an issue. I mean, I think every issue of The Wall Street Journal that’s come out the last three months, is that a front page article on supply chain issues?


So, Mike, you gotta get a thought here about out, of stock and sell through, and you know, sort of, your clients are your take on the industry right now.


Yeah. I think everyone’s scrambling for that answer. So, I guess the only good news I would share with merchants is that you’re not alone.


I know we were chatting a little bit the other day about, you know, Apple’s scenario where they’re, you know, they’re out of stock on their cleaning cloths and there are attempts to do workarounds, but, you know, they’re promising deliveries out in January.


And so, I think, know, maybe what we’re seeing from some of our merchants is, How do I, How do I sell something? I don’t have that, I don’t, I won’t realistically have.


But, you know, before the holidays, and what are my work around that, and or how do I turn that into a marketing opportunity?


And I think that’s where some of the more creative merchants are going, is, you know, Hey, let’s, let’s really figure out how we can still sell when we don’t have product. And that can deliver some form of an experience to the consumer. That’s not going to leave them, you know, frankly, ****** off, which was I think the real, the real risk here. So, I think it’s that creativity and watching some of the more innovative merchants, figure out how to how to work around that issue.


Yeah. Thank you, Mike.


And just real quick, Mike, would you just give a brief synopsis of who you are, and so my course, and I’m a senior seller here with Guidance Solutions, were a systems integrator and an e-commerce agency. Both sides of the house.


My background prior guidances was with Adobe, magento slash adobe as the senior seller for them, working with folks like Hewlett Packard and albertson’s and um, Apple Computer, honeywell’s. Some of the more are household names, merchants, large and small.


I’m now on the on the solution systems integrator side and enjoying the ride over here.


Thanks so much. John, how about you, a quick just quick introduction, and then your thoughts on, on, Out of Stock Sell through, kind of. Sure. Well, thanks for having me first and good morning, everybody. I joined the containers for 30 years ago as a salesperson right out of college and had an amazing career there that I just finished a month or two ago. In that time, I spent about eight years and marketing launched our first website, e-commerce website, I should say.


Also was VP of stores for nine years and then spent the last five years running technology for the entire business. So I saw a lot, and those times I saw a lot of Black Friday and a lot of Cyber Mondays.


I think the, know, one of the things that we have to keep in mind when you’re talking about, sell through and you’re talking about inventory, getting more inventory now, is not really what’s going to happen in the next 10 days. I think for most retailers, it’s going to be about making do with what you have.


And one of the points, really two points I’d make there.


one, is that, um, if you don’t already have a culture, within, if you have retail stores, or within your distribution centers, if you’re a pure play, you have to have a culture around inventory accuracy.


Because one of the worst things you can do is to have product and not have it represented accurately in your store systems, or on your website for your customers. And that comes from a commitment from people.


I think people think, Well, gosh, you know, I have systems that keep track of my inventory, And that’s not correct at all. The people who interact with those systems are the ones that make adjustments to inventory when they sell things correctly. If there’s multiple colors in a product and it has individual skews. You know, you don’t just ring 5 at 1 of those colors, you ring each one.


These are the things that are going to lead to disappointment for customers if you don’t have a culture around that accuracy and inventory.


The other piece I would throw out is that you have to have communication to your teams about what you’re doing. And it’s inexcusable in my eyes for any business to have employees that don’t know what’s happening from a commercial standpoint. So if you haven’t already done so, please make an effort to get your Black Friday plants into the hands of every employee who might touch a customer.


That is, I think, key to their being able to, to do what’s best for that customer, If that event or that offer isn’t working correctly or if you don’t, if you run out of things, If they know what it is and why you’re doing it, then they can help take care of that customer in the moment.


Great. Thanks, John and Sean, last but not least here, just quick introduction of yourself and then and then thoughts on, you know, Out of Stock Sell through.


Yeah, thanks, Jason.


Hey, everyone. My name is Shawn Lynn. I’m with Bazaarvoice.


I look after our North America partner ecosystem here through our channel partnerships.


Regarding Black Friday, yes, supply chain is it’s an issue, its supply chain is going to be stretched.


I think my, my main advice to retailers is that they really need to just pivot on the Black Friday strategies.


I think the biggest thing is, to start early, I go, are only 10 days out, but whatever you can do to incentivize shoppers to come in store for in-store pickup as opposed to delivery, I think that could really help. I think that it eases the supply chain.


It helps set better expectation with your consumers, and ultimately, they should be happier, which is better for everybody.


And so, yeah, we’re, as our voice, our Some of our studies have shown roughly 40, 46%.


Shoppers from a recent survey are shopping this month.


The shopping will continue into December.


But the earlier that you can make changes right now gets people in store, the better off everyone will be.


Yep, Thank you. I want to follow up on on all of this stuff, because the one key in each of your answers was people.


Mike, you use the word creativity, you know, computers only as creative as the way that it was programmed, or the data that was had, the data that it has. You know, Sean, you’re talking about actually a person meeting, a person in a store for pickup and, and, John, you’re really talking about culture and communication.


I think there’s a brick and mortar, plus e-commerce and there’s a pure play E-commerce. So in terms of people, are there, are there?


I’m sure there are different strategies if I have, you know, brick and mortar and e-commerce and less, as opposed to pure play. But what are some of the keys with the people? You know, Mike, you’re you’re a system integrator. You’re dealing with lots of different people involved in the process. How do you make sure everybody’s on the same page there.


I love John’s comment and, you know, that, making sure you have a place sheet or, you know, a gameplan and sharing that, I think that’s a phenomenal, phenomenal to be able to pass along. I think it’s also empowering those people. You know, that you have to, you have to kind of let go a little bit sometimes.


and these these days and times when things are fast and furious, and acknowledge and recognize that, people are going to make mistakes.


But if their mistakes of effort as opposed to the mistakes of, of laziness, then you have to live with those, and in those mistakes, you’re also gonna get some great wins.


I’ve heard innumerable stories over the years of, you know, gosh, never possibly thought that this could work in a countdown timer for, you know, a product reveal. Mean, that’s something that’s with 10 days left. You can still do to create excitement around your site. And, and I heard that story from a merchant, that it was, you know, basically an intern who came up with the idea, and was just told, hey, go run with it. And it was very nerve wracking. But I think I think as long as people feel like they are empowered to be able to make mistakes. Then guess what, They’re also going to make some some great wins. And you just have to live with both of those, especially this time of year. Like I said things a little fast and furious.


As long as you know, as long as no one’s touching the core source coder or messing around with your payment gateway, hopefully everything should continue to roll forward.


Yeah. John, anything to add, in terms of people co-ordination there?


Yeah. I think Mike hit on a lot of the key things there.


And, you know, the technology piece is one that is critical. I think that there were less people concerned about that.


And I think that actually, is a, a nice vote of confidence in the technology teams. And all these companies that are represented on this call today. The, the challenge is, exactly what Mike is saying, is, when do you take your foot off the accelerator on things that you want to change, and how do you do things safely? And in a way that doesn’t jeopardize all the work you’ve done? Built? Until now, I never liked the idea of Code Freeze and things like that. I like being able to make good choices and making decisions in the moment, And that’s where I would come back to the people side, is when something is not right or something can be optimized.


Instead of having a hard and fast rule about saying, well, we just don’t do this after this certain date, there should be discussion. There should be a risk and reward conversation there.


And that’s something that I think people should be more open to doing and confident about.


If you’re communicating well, again, if you have trust in each other, and if you have good, open lines of communication, you can make changes in the middle of big promotions. You just have to know what you’re doing and why. And everyone has to hold hands and say, we’re going to do this and make it happen. And if something does go wrong, we’re all going to be together in it and not pointing fingers.


Yeah, Really good good points, guys, about, About the ability to make mistakes and having a culture to do that. You know, a lot of Good lot of good things happen, and things get moved along quickly. I think in environments like that, Sean, you had mentioned.


Know, it’s still not too late to incentivize shoppers talking about in-store delivery versus, you know, Postal delivery of things, I’d like to talk a little bit about that. It’s not too late to incentivize shoppers. What are the kinds of incentive shown that you see?


Um, that are possible, in the next 10 days?


I mean, in one respect, 10 days doesn’t sound like a long time in one respect. 10 days sounds like a long, You know.


Sounds like a lot. Yeah. Let’s talk about that, and chopper incentives.


Yeah, I think also piggyback off of what Mike and John were talking about, in terms of technology changes.


If the retailer, if the brand seller, is able to really pull together and highlight, huge, is user generated content on their site.


Whether it be images, whether it be written content, about products, that can really help create that person in person environment, in the online system.


So in that regard, if you know, retailers and sellers are able to highlight that and make those changes to their site, to incentivize sellers, to have more information, about the products that they’re looking to buy, you know, that that real life experience.


On your computer can really make that change, and, and drive success in this holiday season.


Yeah, that is a great point, and that’s an outstanding opportunity for content, right? If you think about all the content that you probably already have, and then all the content that exists that you may not have.


Generating some of that content really helps. That’s right. Everyone’s work so hard to collect that content. You should highlight it. It’s it’s proven to drive sales and consumers love it.


Right, sorry, I’m just making some notes here. I don’t wanna, I don’t wanna miss the, the juicy comments. The other, the other issue that came up in the poll is tech platform. So we’ve touched on that a little bit here.


You know, Mike, you you talk specifically about your experience with system integration.


At this point from a tech platform perspective, No.


What’s your take on? I’m worried about my tech platform.


The 10 days out it feels like I should probably should not be worried about that, or am I just always worried about that? I’m always worried about it I mean, I don’t know, I’m off it’s you know test, test and retest and stress test and try and test again.


And, and, know, it’s like it’s like a mother mother bird on top of her eggs, you know, waiting to field a little pack, you know, come through the shell and then it does. And then there’s that moment of joy slash terror. No. Well, they: will, they come, and then when they come, what will happen? I always love trying to get as many different sets of eyes as possible on your site, particularly, people outside of your organization. I always call it the Grandma fact, like, I always encourage people, send the site, the people who are in no way, shape, or form associated e-comm, people who know nothing about your brand. Find a friend of a friend who has never heard of you before. Send your site to them. Make sure that it makes sense, and that it appears as though there’s nothing where they don’t go like, Oh, well, what does this, You know, and, a lot of times, even within, you know, fast fashion, we get acronym driven and things along those lines.


And, like I said, those second set of eyes on the third set of eyes, oftentimes, will pick up a subtlety that you’ve been looking at it so, so often and so frequently because you just can’t see it. It’s like kind of being in the forest. And we’re all facing a life. So, I always like that, that idea of getting another set of eyes on on a project.


Um, and then, whenever possible, and however possible, particularly as stress testing your site, running it through sandbox environments, throwing load, testing at it. Again, even with 10 days out, there’s still opportunities to be able to run those kinds of scenarios, and getting ready in that regard.


Yeah, I’ll never forget the first time in my career when I learned the lesson of Show something to somebody that has never seen it before and doesn’t know anything about it.


Because, you know, there’s always that moment where you do something, you don’t show someone and it ends up. Like, that’s not how I wanted to, you know? And someone comes to you and says, Here’s what you have to do, slow down, show it to somebody doesn’t know anything about showing your, your take on tech platforms, you know?


We’re where we shouldn’t be right now in terms of 10 days from now and really the end through the end of the year.


Yeah, Bazaarvoice, you know. It’s a brand that, you know, consumers typically don’t care about, but, you know, we’re powering all the major retail sites, as well as many, many brands as well.


I know our system teams here are entering lockdown, if not already.


So, I know what we were just talking about, you know, code freezes and making alterations.


But I know our team currently is in that state just to ensure smooth delivery of UGC for all our customers. I think one thing to add, you know, it might be too late at this point, but something to always consider is user testing.


As we’ve also just been talking about, truly, understand your customers on your websites and how they interact with your site, what makes up, what do they do before they convert?


What do they do if they leave your site?


You know, the layout of the site, the content of the site really plays a big part in driving conversions.


So, yeah, my point is, understand your customer, how does, how do they interact with your site.


And you’ll succeed.


Great, John, too, late test. Or can we still be testing? And, you know, how flexible can we be? It’s never too late, of course. And one thing I was smiling well, Mike was talking about, you know, getting grandma to test and those things. And I’ll share a quick story of something we did wrong and learned from over the years. Let’s say, why didn’t, we didn’t go wrong. We had a different philosophy on it. And that is, we never allowed employee purchases on the Container Store website.


The reason was twofold.


one was, we didn’t think that it was necessary to create that functionality and support it when the majority of our employees either work at a store or they work in the metroplex, Dallas Fort Worth Metroplex, and we had seven stores here. We wanted the employees here to go to the stores and to to be involved in that environment.


The the new CEO of Dictators was to teach Malhotra, came in in March.


And one of the first things he started asking is how come we don’t have employee purchas on the website?


He quickly made us all think about the fact that that means there are hundreds of testers who are not engaged, that could be in the side all the time, and using this, with the perspective of their knowledge of the business, to be able to say, Hey, how come this is set up this way? And he was 100%, right.


That was something that the mindset at the time was the right idea, but the world had changed, and we had not kept up with that, and to his credit. he said, We’re gonna fix this right away. We did. and I think that’s.


it’s a testament to being able to make those admissions when you know that something has outlived its use, you know?


Yeah, that’s a great point. That’s a great point. And then and then the third. So, thank you. And then the third, third piece from the poll that I think is worthy of hitting on is, is product findability, right?


I don’t know how many people are listening, how many products everybody’s got.


John, I know the container store and I can, I can generally understand the amount of SKUs that you have there.


At this point, product findability, right.


How, if we’re worried about it, what are some things we can we can actions we can take to to kind of alleviate or fears or, you know, way layer concerns?


I think the point in the game.


So I’ll go ahead, Mike …, going to say, just real quick, I think a lot of times, it’s trying to make sure that every engagement, whether whether a consumer is a shopper will one.


So we’ve talked a little about content earlier, and I think that’s something that can be done within the 10 days left before Black Friday again.


Looking at your page setup, looking at your content setup, particularly if it’s secondhand content and making sure those have shockable engagement. Based on something as simple. By now, you know, hey, I’m showcasing a piece of product over here telling a story.


You know, something as simple as dropping a buy now button onto that.


That content can be really, very powerful, because there’s nothing more frustrating than I’ve experienced it as a consumer that I’m yeah, you’re engaging with your product, and you’re telling me a story, that’s cool. I’d love to buy that sweater.


Now I have to leave that story and come over, and now go search for that particular skew and find that protect. No, I want the red sweater that that guy right there. You know, and I think that’s something that certainly can be done within the next 10 days that they’re really enhances that conversion in that five mobility in a different way the findability, even within your own site.


I would, I would add that one of the things I think is most critical is that, and again, I think that most retailers do this, but just wouldn’t assume, but there’s got to be someone looking at the search results that only bring 1 or 2 items. Especially if you’re if you’re a retailer that’s selling hundreds or thousands of SKUs like the container store.


We always had someone on a daily basis looking and seeing what were the search terms yesterday, that returned no results? or 1 or 2 results. And in addition to that, it’s also just looking at pretty much all the search terms to understand the trends that are there.


Because that’s where you’re gonna pick up on people looking for something with multiple different approaches, different strings, that if a person looks like, they can say, you know what I know they’re looking for, draw organizers, but they’re calling it this, and this, and this and this, I’ve got to make sure that people using those terms are directed to the right landing pages to get that right result magically. Even though they may not be asking for what we thought was the right thing, they’re asking for the right thing. They just don’t know what to call it. They know what they want, and we can tell, And again, if you’re a person whose story you’ve figured out in NaN, but the search has to help with that, and you’ve got to have people dedicated to, to feeding it really, especially right now, All the time.


Yeah. Just. Yeah, just to add onto that. I think, you know, I’d love the Buy now button make it really easy for consumers. If they want to buy it. You know, make it easy for them.


And then also, with UGC, with a star rating, with bringing together what other people have said about, you know, great things about your products. I think that, including that, somewhere near the Buy Now button, can help re-assure the customer, that, hey, you know, other people like it.


I see 4.5 I feel more confident in pressing that Buy Now button even faster.


I think to John’s point on search results.


I think UGC plays a huge part in that Google and all the search algorithms love recency of data and on product pages.


You know, the most, you know, descriptions tend to be stale, the UGC is fresh, and the search engines love that.


So, that will really help your results to drive customers to your site, the star ratings.


We’ll help re-assure them, to buy it now.


Thank you, You know, I, I can certainly attest to, descriptions aren’t always fresh, you know, if I think about my day job and part of my day job is evaluating the search spring website. I’m running across things every day that we, someone loved when they wrote it a while ago.


But it isn’t fresh today, and it feels that you have to continue to, to wind through all that. And I’ll echo the zero search results.


I mean, I, I know in my time, at Church spring and talking with our customer success team, know, like they, over the phone, they see light bulbs go off and clients heads where they see, there’s something that’s returning zero search results, like, whoa.


I didn’t know of all the things that I have to juggle every day That’s not 1 1 of the balls all the time, right? And so to recognize that is really key to tell you, I’m gonna leave your store. You know, it’s like, oh, no, thanks, sorry, there, thanks for coming in.


You know, we’ve got something that will solve that problem, Right, Yeah! I mean, that’s a great, it’s a great point. I mean, think about it as a How’s that person going to buy? If they can’t find they, can’t find it. Right, Yeah, yeah, core core of what we’re doing.


Greg, and thanks, guys, that was, that was the poll, you know, feedback on the poll there. I really appreciate that. Anybody who’s, who’s listening to the conversation right now, if you have any questions, feel free to pop them in the chat.


I know that the Shawn and John and Mike will be happy to, to field those questions, so feel free to type those in, but have no fear. I’ve got more questions so we can, we can keep going there.


But I want to talk a little bit about predictions for this Black Friday, Cyber Monday.


Aside from that being fun, I think it starts a, it’s an interesting debate and what what actually will happen this year compared to last year’s or what you see in the future.


So, Sean, how about we start with you?


Like what, what is your, what is your prediction for this Black Friday, Cyber Monday and holiday shopping season?




I think for this holiday season in particular, you know, coming out of COVID


I know we’re still, there is still COVID but, you know, compared to last year, I think we’re in a much better place, I think there’s a lot pent up demand if you will, in terms of people are pumped up for this holiday season. So I think adds, I think spends on, on, you know, products and services even are going to go through the roof. Because of last year I think people are in the mood to celebrate and they feel safe to do that so.


Yeah I guess it’s not a real surprise, but I see that I see this holiday season as a real.


It’s a real big comeback for for everybody, you know, post pandemic ish, if you will.


So yeah, I really like that, that comment.


I have a neighbor who is an alcohol salesman, so Not only me, but it’s interesting when we talk about people’s mood and their ability to celebrate as one thing that they’re realizing is there’s that there’s a pinch on the supply chain there, as well, And so this, this idea that people are ready to celebrate.


People are looking forward to this time, period for them, is causing a little bit of heartburn, right, because they know what their inventory is and how and how it sells so it’s a really great point John. How about you predictions for this this time period?


Yeah, it’s interesting. When you talk about Black Friday, I mean, it has always been so deal driven.


And clearly, that’s ingrained in our in our minds as consumers, that, when, when you see this time of year, if I’m going to pull the trigger on something around that time, I expect there to be some kind of offering with it.




what’s so different about this year is the numbers like Sean was saying, are going to be very strong across across retail. Everyone that’s predicting these things is expecting, you know, anywhere from six to 13%, increase over last year’s overall holiday sales, Wal-Mart just this morning, increase their fourth quarter predictions after their earnings results yesterday. And there seems to a sales. Last quarter were fantastic as well. So they’re there plus six for the holidays.


Wal-Mart is, I mean, if Wal-Mart stuff that much, everybody’s going to be up a lot.


But what people also have to remember is that you’ve got unprecedented pricing power right now that has probably not been seen in retail. At least that I can remember.


In my career, the, the retailers that are going to win during this time period, are the ones that are going to find a way to capture the offer driven Black Friday customer was something that doesn’t give up margin that they don’t really need to give up.


And that’s the, that’s the challenge, now, 10 days out. It may not be quite enough time to make a lot of creative changes to that.


But what I would say is, more importantly, you’re playing the long game here. Black Friday is the start of the holiday season, unofficially, right?


You’re trying to sell for the entire season, because, as we all know, after Black Friday after December 25th, everyone is still open for business. The next day, it has to do business and has to generate revenue and profits.


So, the mindset, I think, has to be around, what are we doing to capture this pricing power that we have? And, you know, what are we doing to, frankly, to raise prices where it’s appropriate?


I saw that something like two thirds of their were senior retail senior executives, and retailers interviewed by a group from Wharton, two thirds of them said they were gonna be raising prices.


I looked at that and said the other one third either haven’t spoken to their CFO in the last 12 months. Or they are lying. And they’re going to raise prices, but they don’t want to tell everybody that. Or they just don’t like to earn profits. I don’t know how you would possibly say in this environment that you’re not raising prices. So, to me, as much as a consumer is, I don’t love that.


I think, as a, as a business person, you have to take into account the increased costs that are out there, and the fact that you have to pass those along, and that consumers will pay it.


Great, so, so potentially fewer deals and pricing. Potentially price increases as you look through the whole holiday season.




All right, Mike.


Yeah, I think we’re going to this is the year we’re going to hear fewer and fewer of the technology tales of Whoa.


I mean, in years past, we’ve heard about this site crashing and that site crashing, and this scenario Maps now.


And I think if nothing else, the last couple of years, last 4 or 5 years have really taught merchants, certainly larger merchants, I’d save a mid tier and even a bunch of smaller tier two tier merchants to be prepared for that that push. It also is a byproduct of a lot of this movement to Cloud, where, once upon a time, you know, if I was running Mike’s shoe store, it was on my two servers, or my boss closet. And I’d get us, You know, I run the Promotion of the year, and all sudden my debris smoke coming out of that closet because those servers were burning up.


And now, with the push to cloud, and with Azure and AWS, and amongst many others, in terms of being able to offer that. I think the scalability has dramatically improved for, again, merchants, large and small. So, I think, coming out of this year, we’re going to hear far fewer of the stories that we have in years past around.


You know, XYZ’s site went down.


I just don’t at all, I don’t think we’re going to see that hardly at all. And certainly not with any now without any merchants of any size.


Let me add to that, Sorry. I would add.


if, for, almost, for it, for an omnichannel retailer, if you made it through last year and you made any improvements, you should be fine.


Because I do think that the, the numbers for online shopping for Black Friday will probably be lower than 2020 for omnichannel retailers that are now open for business in their physical stores.


But still well above 390, so I’m not saying that it’s going backwards, but those numbers last year were just mean, they were the only game in town for a lot of retailers. The only way you could, you could sell something was online in many places. So, the fact that it’s not gonna be quite as much pressure on that, I think will alleviate some of that and lead to what might seem too.


Challenge us to match that to, the Bazaarvoice data, aligns with what you just stated.


Brick and mortar stores are still going to be number one in terms of sales this holiday season.


So, just want to confirm what you just stated.


Yeah, Yeah, that, that actually was my, my next question, which was, you know, we talk about sales going up overall, but is this a year where people return to stores and to the, to the detriment of, of e-commerce? Or is this a more level playing field now? Because people are like, yeah, browse to the store, but I’m not going to wait in that line and I’ll just go home or buy it online. Like, what are the dynamics there of stores versus pure play online?


I think there’s a lot that lines start to blend a lot more to. John’s comment about, you know, storage strategy used to be, we’d have storage strategy, and we’d have online strategy, right, And they were, they were, And oftentimes, and sometimes style are literally people at Ops, and the opposite ends of the building, who don’t talk to one another.


And those lines are clearly, and those, those teams have clearly, on purpose, been shoved closer and closer together. It says, what is our strategy? We’re seeing merchants who are using their same imagery that they use online has in store and vice versa. To make sure that that, that, that, that brand story carries through and that it’s not a bifurcated experience for the consumer, and that, exactly to your comment, Jason is, yeah. You know, being able to buy in the store, and then return ship or, you know, by byline and return storefront that buy online pick up in store. That may be one area. And the technology stack that does start to get a little creaky is, is that idea.


Hey, if I suddenly have this huge wave of people who are saying, You know. Yeah, I want to go by this stack of containers and now I want, I’m expecting to be able to just like the UPS guy or Gal delivers it to my house and it seems fairly seamless.


I’m expecting to walk in and boom, grabbed my thing and go, well, all sudden it’s gotta be like, man, if that’s stuff that, if that wave shows up that pressure on storefront I think will be very, very interesting to try and to try and adapt to.


John, you gotta start to say Sorry to say something.


Yeah, I was just going to say that. Yes. I think the lines have been blurred in terms of online shopping versus in store. I think the middle ground is buy online, pick up in store.


I think the benefit also is that inventory management has gotten better because, you know, you can see online which stores, habit, stores benefit from, just better visibility across the retail store chain of who’s got inventory and even at the warehouse level for online deliveries. So, yeah, I completely agree. I think it’s to the benefit of everybody. I think stores a better visibility. Consumers have better visibility into who’s who’s got the product.


Yeah. Great. John, Any, any thoughts there?




I think, I mean, I really good everything everybody’s saying on here, and I apologize if you can hear someone decided to turn on nine. No gas powered, leaf blowers while we were talking to us as is what happens now is we’re as we’re all meeting. So I didn’t have anything to add to that point right there.


Sounds good. Thank you.


Alright. I like, I like the predictions. Here’s what I’d like to talk about next, what I guess another prediction item. Like, what’s the highlighting. What’s the big thing this year? And I have a follow on question, which I think it makes this a little bit more relevant to our audience, but, but what’s the thing?


What is, what’s the one thing that everybody wants this year?


It’s electronics, right.


I mean, if it has to be, that’s, I had trouble getting an incentive switch for my, for my daughter, who that’s the only thing she had on her list, and that’s tied to track it down early.


I do think one of the thing I’ll throw out about the holiday shopper excites each year round Chopra, but I’ve never cease to be amazed by the ability of the American consumer to procrastinate and no matter what the promotion is that we would do year round, Um, if it’s Holliday thing, if it’s a sale that has an end date through the years, I’ve seen more and more and more of that purchasing happening at the very, very, very last minute. So even though everyone is saying that they are preparing for the holidays early in their shopping early, and I think there’s some numbers that showed from October retail sales that that is potentially starting to happen. That it was being pulled forward.


I don’t buy it.


I think that we will all be blown away by the amount of people that are still shopping at the end of December.


I’m still trying to find those gifts and I think those electronics and those things that are hot are already so hard to find are going to basically be impossible at that point.


Yeah. John, how about you?


Yeah, I support that statement as well, I think x-box, you know, I liked video games. I still can’t find an x-box.


I haven’t looked up ES five because I was considering a switch back and find, though, so it’s real struggle. Is real. But, honestly, I think, Yeah, I think electronics I completely agree with that.


I think chips are in short supply, and that has a ripple effect across all electronic related items.


Yeah, Mike thoughts, you know? I’m a bit of a wine guy, and I’m also a cancer that cabinet, but I’m also a tequila guy.


And so, to your comment, John, about your your body, I will tell you that high-end tequila somewhere in short supply. I think, you know, there’ll be. There’ll be those pockets. And I’m picking out two kilos. But one example of things that, you know, again, electronics that are very common and kids are popular kids toys, but I think there are these other arenas that are certainly been impacted.


Where if you’re a tequila aficionados, and you’re on this call, you know, my pain of trying to get extra nails are very, very hard to come by. And in John’s comment earlier, their prices are definitely going up on those products because of that scarcity.


And then I piggyback it down on John’s comment as well as I think some of that procrastination that we’ve all seen from consumers as a byproduct of the of the Amazon shipping effect. Which is, where, once upon a time, yes, it’s Christmas. I have to start thinking about, if I’m getting something shipped, I have to start thinking about that like now, right, because it’s going to take three weeks for it to get here. And now, we’re all acrobatics idea, like, oh, no, I started today, and it shows up tomorrow. And so now, that’s compiled, cause this pattern. And so, in terms of things to be, going to rewind to one of our earlier comments, things to be thinking about and things to be tuning up on with 10 days left to go before Black Friday is making sure you’re, you’re shipping systems are all in, good working order.


You’ve got backups for both systems and people as it pertains to your shipping management and communication with your carriers, so that you don’t have that be the be the stumbling point.


There’s nothing more frustrating than the execute, know? Hey, I got somebody’s gotta consumer through. conversion funnel, They got to the bottom of the process, they actually bought what I wanted to buy, you know, I’m all excited at Google, you know, I’ve got the order, it goes to my warehouse, it gets picked, it gets stuck in a box.


And then it’s sent to my loading dock for four days and you’re like, what happened, what went wrong there? And so it’s, it’s, again, I think shipping is another, another good point to be making sure you’re well tuned up on, with 10 days left to go before Black Friday.


Yeah, great, great point there. And it’s interesting, because, in the, in the poll, shipping and delivery was a lower item and less of a concern in the poll.


Why is that? Why? Why are, why are respondents less concerned about that?


Is that just gotta leave that to somebody else? Is that just, I’ve got other things that are more important. I think it’s the nature of the audience. Who’s on this call? We’ve got probably a lot of digital marketing people, brand marketing, product people, who are, frankly, more top of funnel in terms of that process as opposed to operational people in this audience was geared towards those systems conversation.


I think that, that Paul rating would have been much higher. And indirectly, it’s, it’s, you know, that my backyard. Meaning, I did my job. You know, I got, I got my product sold. That was what I’ve been chartered, where that’s how I get reviewed.


What happens with shipping really in a micro environment isn’t, quote, unquote, my problem, but the reality of it is is that my products don’t get pulled through and off off the loading dock. It then does become my problem.


Yeah, I totally agree with Mike. And also, to Mike’s point earlier, I think, as a consumer, we’re just so used to the next day or two day turnaround on shipping. So it just ingrained in our head.


We don’t think about it as much.


But in today’s world, in this current environment of the holiday season, it is it is a real factor, in terms of delays. I was thinking about what to get my wife, I found the item at williams sonoma, she’s into Harry Potter, but I looked at the shipping. It’s not going to ship until mid January, so I have to back to the drawing board variances point.


Yeah, the picture is now that you’ve told everybody on the on the webinar, Sean, you’re gonna have to come up with something else, John, I was just going to say the, you know, the idea of giving her a picture that you might not work at how long you’ve been married. If it’s 10 years, you can probably get away with it.


The kid takes care of not the same.


The other comment about the shipping piece, I was speaking to the CEO of a direct sales retailer yesterday, actually. And, one of the things that story he was telling me was just happened last week there system for.


Notifying customers about the shipping.


Leaving the distribution center had had a glitch in it over the past week, and all of a sudden, there were literally thousands of orders that had gone through the system properly.


But when that order was completed, they were not getting the e-mail out to the customer, saying, Hey, here’s your tracking number. And here’s, you know, when this is going to arrive. So the good news is, the product was on the way.


That’s the, so this is not, you know, A terror inducing scenario, But the challenge was that, from an internal standpoint, the team that looked at that said, well, hey, the product is on the way. So we need to get this fixed, But it’s not that big a deal.


And we’ll get to it.


And of course, he, when he found this out, came in and said, are you kidding me?


This is, this is horrible news.


I mean, the fact that they never get that notification means they are hammering the phones right now and calling to see where their items are that they thought were going to ship or 1 or 2 days. The fact that it’s on the way is good, but that’s, that’s not OK.


And I think that’s the message I would send, is, that you’ve gotta be, if you’re at the top of the funnel, of course, that’s where your focus is, but you’ve got to know, and keep up with what’s going on, because they could have easily put a message on the website to say, here’s what happened, they could have e-mailed those customers, There are ways they could have communicate what was going on outside of that, once they knew it would have reduced the amount of angst from the customer side. And of course, their employees that are trying to take care of customer service at that point then haven’t been hammered by that, so just keep those lines of communication open and make sure that you’re not thinking something as small when you really think through it that needs to be acted on. Take action on it.


I love that comment, John, and then one of the things we’ve seen is that, where it’s.


So I wanted to have that kind of a pain point in the end of the teeter totter becomes, do I blast out to everyone who placed in a wired? By the way, I’m sorry, But our shipping notification system is down. And there’s that, oh, God, I don’t want to cause that pressure for somebody who that’s not a concern for. The reality is, is that if I’m over communicating, I’m frankly, just, we talked about earlier, like oversharing within my shop. I’m frankly, Oversharing with my customers, and I’m telling them, Hey, I’m sorry. We have a problem everyone, you know, people react to that humanism to say All right.


Yeah, you know, I’ve had a bad day at my, office to, and stuff happens, and, and, OK, I’m not happy about it, but, Your, reactive to Proactive that, phone, call at least Some of, you still gotta get the person. Who’s going to complain about free ice cream and sprinkles on Friday who’s going to call that a complaint Even though they’ve got the e-mail explaining it. But, You’ll get the more reasonable people that you’ll, you’ll cut out that part, and we’re gonna make that phone call.


Yeah, yeah, yeah, I think on communication, I think acknowledgement of either something good or bad. Is. It’s good. I mean, people want, you know, if people ask a question, is whether they get a good answer or a bad answer. Or at least there’s acknowledgment, I think, from a user generated content perspective.


When users leave comments, when they leave bad comments about a product, I think it’s really important for either the retailer or the brands to respond to that, to that comment, to that review, whether it be good or bad. It’s an acknowledgment. I think that’s very important.


I also like shots, kind of the thing I always say is to catch them while they’re doing something right, meaning, you know, Hey, we’re expected to ship this out in four days, great news. We’re shipping it out in three know that we’re, we’re, we’re exceeding even our own standards, and I love getting as a consumer I love getting those e-mails are the e-mails again Talking about things you can do.


Black Friday we’ll get ready for even post black Friday is is the how did we do know that little poll? You know?


How do you know that little question out to a consumer like how to go and Being compared to listen to the feedback good and bad, right? You know? And really owning those acknowledgements into Shaun’s point is when you get one of those that comes back and it’s one star out of five, is having somebody started a quasi personalized reply back?


Really, Sorry, I hope we can make it better next time there’s 5% off, or, you know, even as somebody who doesn’t have to be a monetary offer, please accept my most sincere apologies and I hope we have a chance to earn your business the Gap, you know, just again, that Human and Humanism involvement.




I love that, And, well, you know, we have, we have time for one more, one more question, instead of comments, But I want to bring this back to the start of the, of our time together today.


Which, even though we’re talking about a transaction that happens online, person, is the center of this transaction, and it keeps coming back to that, whether it’s the person at the business, or whether it’s the shopper, right. Whether it’s the merchant or shopper, There’s a person there and and we succeed through Communication, and we succeed through being human. And we succeed through sort of understanding the issues that people have in a time period that feels compressed and pretty intense. And I just love the idea that as much technology as we have, it really does connect back to.


That, the person involved in the transaction, the people involved, and how they talk to each other. So thanks for drawing that out is so, it’s so important, I think.


So, thank you guys.


Here’s the opportunity for tips.


What’s the one tip, the one thing you would leave people with as we, as we exit the webinar, what, what is a tip they can still, you know, take advantage of in this 10 day period or even something great for the holiday season in general. Mike, you want to start us off?


I mentioned in passing earlier but I do like that idea of a countdown timer, I think it’s fairly simple to implement, it’s a banner, it’s it can just be a countdown timer to a product launch. It can be a countdown timer to reveal it could be just a countdown timer to when your sales starts, or just to be a countdown timer to the holiday period. Right. You know, just, it’s just, you know, but that invariably creates urgency to consumers when they see that, that, oh, I need to do something, right? You know, and that it can be a very subtle, compelling aspect.


And so, I think with 10 days left, that would be my one tip that I think is very low bandwidth, very low pressure points to implement, very low risk.


What you want to have that countdown timer, you know, associated to, can fill in the blank, but even if it’s just, you know, hey, we’ve got X number of hours, days, and hours until we get to carve turkey.


And that that would be my 2% of a tip for merchants.


Thank you. John, how about you?


Well, I know that there are a lot of folks in this webinar, who there’s a point in the game when you All you can almost do is stare at the screen and look at the numbers as they come in and there’s really not a lot left to do.


What I would strongly encourage you to do, if you haven’t already done so, is, I’m not saying to start your planning for next year, because that’s, that you’re always gonna capture those ideas as they come up.


But this time, period, is when you typically capture a huge amount of new customers. And you acquire so many people that have never been associated with your brand before, because you’re doing offers. And because they are engaging for a reason to buy a gift, or whatever it is.


I would say that this is the perfect time to figure out how you’re going to retain those customers and grow them over the next 12 months, Because, at the next questions you’re gonna get asked in January, is, how are you gonna accomplish great numbers? We just had, and this is the right time to be thinking about, What are we gonna do with all that great power we have, and all these great new customers, and how are we going to activate them to the next 12 months?


Thank you, John. John, how about you?


With parting thoughts, I would say whatever you can do to utilize your user generated content, to help drive your conversions, do it.


I think users, customers, they’d love the reassurance of seeing and hearing about other customers experiences with your products. Utilize any imagery that users have shared real-life imagery is powerful.


At the same time, that will have a secondary effect in helping drive your SEO to help drive more customers to your site. So whatever you can do with your UGC.


I highly recommend it.


Great. Thank you, Sean.


And thanks again guys for the, for the panel and the time today. I’d like to thank everybody who’s on the line listening to us and looking at are looking at our talking heads today. I really appreciate it. We wish you the best for the Black Friday, Cyber Monday season and for the holiday season.


We wish you the best for the things that you’re most worried about without a stomach items and technology performance. Ability. Hopefully we’ve been able to to help bring some sanity to those to that anxiety.


So the last thing I’ll leave you with is we’re gonna do this again on December seventh. We’ll have part two of this.


We’ll do a little Recap of the season, and we’ll talk a little bit more about holiday season and Leading into 2022, So we’d love to see you all back here on December seventh. If you registered for this webinar, you’re also registered for the December seventh webinar. Don’t hesitate to bring friends along.


I’m sure that, you know, you feel they can benefit from some of the wisdom here from Sean and John.


So, thanks, everybody, Really appreciate it. Have a great day.


Have a great selling season, and best of luck to you.


Thanks, everybody.


Thank you.


Part 2: How to turn seasonal buyers into long term customers

On December 7, we continued our discussion about how to turn seasonal buyers into long-term customers. The expert panel from Searchspring, Guidance, and Bazaarvoice reflected on Black Friday and gave tips for the year to come. 

During Part 2 of our webinar, we dove into the following topics:

  • Black Friday / Cyber Monday expert reflection and analysis
  • Who won seasonal ecommerce retail and why
  • What you can do to make these customers part of your loyal fanbase


I’d like to thank everybody for joining the webinar today.


This is part two of our two part series, about Black Friday, 2001.


My name is Jason Ferrara. I’m the Chief Marketing Officer at Searchspring, and I’ll be your moderator today.


I think about part two of this webinar series, in terms of the, you know, the: the Oscar’s, right, and we get the sequel out, right in time for Oscar Season.


And we’re really excited, because we have a number of guests today who will be our primary primary actors. So, we’ll get to introduce those guests in just a minute.


But, before we do that, I just wanted to talk through briefly the agenda and the topics we will, we will cover. So, first, we’re going to reflect to spend a little bit of time reflecting on Black Friday, Cyber Monday.


Second, we’re going to get some feedback from all of you that are on the webinar in terms of a couple of poll questions we have.


And then we’re also going to talk about some tips and some suggestions for the future, right?


We’ve all been through a relatively intense period, A couple of period couple of days around Black Friday and Cyber Monday, and so we’ll talk a little bit about what it means, what to do next?


How do we take the momentum that we have and move it through 2022?


How do we take the things that we’ve learned and execute those in a different, and possibly better way in 2022?


So that’s really what will, what we’ll talk about today to help us do that. As I mentioned, our, our Actors here, We have three panelists.


First panelist is John Thrailkill, we also have Sarah Toth, and we have Shaun Lin.


I will let each of them introduce themselves in just a moment, because it’s much more compelling when they do it.


Then, when I do it, But we’re really looking forward to, to having them on. So, why don’t we start by doing those introductions?


How about John? Why don’t you pop your camera on and quickly introduce yourself? And then we’ll move on to Sarah and Sean.


Hi. Good morning, everybody. Thanks for joining. As Jason said, I’m John Thrailkill, as you can see, I’ve recently was the EVP of Technology for the Container Store. Was also a vice president of stores there, and worked in marketing for about nine years. So after a 30 year career, I’m now on to new adventure, so appreciate the chance to join the script today.


Thanks, John, Sarah, how about you, pop that camera on and quick introduction would be great.


Hi everyone, my name is Sarah Toth, and I’m the VP of Marketing and Partnerships that Guidance. Guidance is an e-commerce agency. We work across four major platforms. Adobe Commerce, we do BigCommerce as well, Shopify Plus and optimizely slash LP server. I’ve been in the e-commerce feel down for over 15 years. Love everything about it. You know, especially on the digital marketing side is really my forte, and I’m really excited to join you today.


Thank you.


Thank you, Sarah. And Shaun, how about you?


Hi everyone, my name is Shaun Lin. I am with Bazaarvoice.


We are the leaders in UGC to help generate user comments on products on e-commerce websites. I look after our North America partnerships here as our voice. And I’m excited to discuss the topics today with the rest of the panelists.


Great, thanks so much for those introductions, I really appreciate that. But, you know, to get into the conversation today, though, we’d start off with a quick audience poll, so, you’ll see the slides changing, that’s our, that’s our executive producer, Charles Summers behind the Scenes, making sure that we’re on track here, So thank you, Charles, for pulling up the first poll question. So, the thing we’re going to do is ask you to answer this question: What was your biggest challenge during Black Friday, Cyber Monday?


You can begin to answer those, and we will then have a little point of view on each of those on each of those questions.


Give it just a few more minutes here.


Charles, just one second, so I can make sure we’ve got details down.


All right, Why don’t we close out that poll.


and look at the results.


All right, so biggest challenge during Black Friday, Cyber Monday, out of stock items, 33% top are there. Shipping and delivery also topped the list.


And then this is it. It’s, it’s interesting, the symmetry here. So you got out of stock and shipping and delivery, and then tech performance and follow-up.


What I love is all things that we talked about in part one and all things that we can talk about here in part two, Charles, go ahead and show the results from this poll in that we saw in part one.


What I thought was most interesting about that is out of stock items was the number one issue that people were concerned about a couple of weeks ago.


Shipping and delivery did not top the list. however, after Black Friday, Cyber Monday, shipping and delivery tops the list, which is interesting because we had that brief conversation that I think we should revisit that.


Product findability about, let’s see, product findability was not a concern here afterward.


And tech performance, I think, is also interesting.


That, that that’s something I think we’re we’re constantly worried about in terms of the results of the poll. So let’s, let’s turn this over to the panelists. What is it that you see that you find interesting in the, in the poll results? Any? Sean, if you want to start us off if you got any opinions about that.


Yeah, I think this does out of stock. sell through. Definitely.


It’s real, I think, last time we spoke, you know, supply chain, We’ve been hearing about supply chain issues for awhile now.


And I think, know, I think the market has done a good job at, you know, warning consumers about, hey, supply chain is going to be real, you’d better start early, otherwise, you’re not going to get your product in time for the holidays.


And I think that message has really resonated with shoppers because what the data that that we see is our voice is that from November first till Cyber Monday, that amount of spends has increased year over year comparison to years before. While Black Friday and Cyber Monday, those numbers did not increase necessarily as much compared to a year over year. But what that tells me is, shoppers were prepared and were willing to start early with the right warning, from, from, you know, retailers from brands just warning about the supply chain.


So, I’m glad the Yeah, I’m glad the messaging worked with Glaad consumers, She did that advice, so while it’s still a problem or it’s still an issue, I’m glad that the market has adapted.


Yeah, thank you, Sarah. Opinions are on on what we see here in the results.


Yeah, definitely. I know on the shipping and delivery I’ve seen a lot of messaging from many, you know, brands around delays in shipment. I think that’s going to be, you know, even more important, you know, as we lead up to, obviously, Christmas and the major holidays, I think that continued kind of customer experience in the positive reinforcement, that, yes, there are shipping delays, but we’ll get you your product in time. I think is a really important message. I think it kind of, this is something that we’re talking about now. How can we nurture those Black Friday, Cyber Monday customers into the new year? And I think that really is an important one is to, yes. I think a lot of customers are really understanding. If you communicate with them, you just, you need to have that open communication and say, look, this is beyond our control, and we’re trying our best, but just communicate that.


Great. Thanks. And, you know, Sarah, the this concept of communication will, we’ll come back to it, but played a massive role in part one of this webinar, too.


In fact, for me, it was It was the number one take away, I think, in the in the first part. John, how about you looking at these results here?




I mean, first off, I agree with everything that both Sean and Sarah was saying, and especially about Sarah’s points on communication, because that’s the from a standpoint of the customer experience and the relationship. Continuing on, how you handle those problems is really the crux of whether or not that person is going to trust you, again, in the future. And some of that also comes now down to how you execute. So seeing that, the number for shipping and delivery went through the roof like it did and kinda tripled in terms of the concern. I would. I would bet that many of the people on this call are probably going to be packing some of those packages themselves, If they’re anything like like what we did at the Container Store. When we had those crunch times, it was kind of all hands on deck for, as we call their packing party.


Because there’s a certain point, when you really have to do everything you, possibly could, with every set of hands, You can get to get those orders out the door now.


Then when it’s in the hands of FedEx and UPS and those folks, if you’ve done your communication properly, and you’ve told the customer, Here’s your tracking number, they will let the retailer off the hook, so to speak, at that point. Because they know that that’s all you can do, for the, most part, is getting into that channel. And then they’ll just be that FedEx if it takes too long, but not that you want them mad. But it’s certainly better for them to be mad at FedEx, and to be mad at you and your brand. Right. Absolutely. Well, I think I will also wanted to point out on the product findability I find interesting is that 26 before Black Friday, 26% were worried about that before Black Friday, Cyber Monday and now it’s 0%.


I think that I, what I saw a lot of, is, obviously there’s a lot of out of stock. There’s a lot of, you know, all the supply chain issues, and I think brands that are doing it really well.


Where on the findability side, if a product can’t be finding, can’t be found by a customer. For whatever reason, if it’s out of stock, or, you know, there’s, there’s supply chain issues, is actually offering an alternative.


So I think that that’s an interesting kind of way, and I I’ve seen that a lot, with some major big box retailers as well.


Offering alternatives and recommendations around major brand, whatever, your electronics, whatever it is, Offering alternate apps that are in stock.


Sarah, you teed up my thought perfectly on that because I’ve been starting. I’ve been doing Christmas shopping for my wife and I went to the mall, went to williams sonoma, found she’s a huge Harry Potter fan. They have this great.


Lake Rosette, Pan, but it’s not going to be available until February, like, what am I supposed to do? But the store was, you know, they had, they offered a great solution that they said they could wrap it up. Take pictures or provide pictures. Provide a gift box, and so at least there’s something to be received.


You know, around Christmas, the protocol arrived later, but at least there’s something tangible that can be passed over. So, I thought that was real.


The pictures are gifts, better than nothing.




Well, and it’s, you know, the creativity around what do we do? So that, Sean, you go on and tell the story. Right. The story you could have told was, They advertize this thing, I went to get it. They didn’t have it, and they’re not going to have it, and I was disgruntled.


Exactly. And that’s not the story you told, right?


He told us incredibly fun, positive story, which is, you know, if you’re going to brand something like Harry Potter, let’s make it feel magical.


Right? And so, it will, and that’s, that’s a really great, That’s a really great point. I want to, I want to mention something and get your, get your feedback on it from the, from the panel.


So during the first part of this webinar, I had mentioned that shipping and delivery was, was low, and I asked for thoughts from the panel and the overall thought from our, from, from John, you, and Sean.


And Mike, who was on the first part, was that the audience wasn’t an audience focused on shipping and delivery, and that it was much more of an audience focused on how do we find things and make sure we service the customer.


And now we get to part two.


And all of a sudden, uh, shipping and delivery is like, you know, tied for number one.


My guess is we’re pulling in the same audience. So, what’s going? Well, it’s going. It’s going on here. Why was it three weeks ago? This wasn’t a big deal. Today, it’s like, tied for number one, what’s going on here?


Well, the CFO reminded everyone that you don’t get credit for any of those sales until they leave the distribution center. So, everyone that looks at their sales, not they’re a pretty good realized that they have to help get it out the door.


Yeah, yeah.




I think we have also a little bit of recency bias in terms of like, this is the way humans work, right?


We were first worried about, you know, getting the product to the customer, and then we worry about the holiday follow up, but I I, Of course, on the marketing side, I think that nurturing that customer throughout that entire journey is so important, but, as humans, we are sometimes limited by our recency bias, right?


Is that That’s what we, We work in, that kind of very chronological way, Right? I think holiday follow up, as, like I said, as a marketer, I think that’s the most important part. I think it should be, and not necessarily call it, calling a follow up at, you know, the entire journey right from the beginning to that, that, that, and Adrian.


I agree with all that, and to John’s point.


Not, you know, the CFO doesn’t get realized until it actually gets shipped and from a UGC perspective unless the consumers actually receive the product. They’re not going to be able to write a review or an honest review at least. They might leave a negative review just because they have a bad taste in their mouth.


Yeah, but, it’s so important, like, you gotta have the full funnel in terms of customer journey, to the, to the finish line of getting the products.


So, shipping as top.


If I gotta get the product to the, yeah, no, I appreciate all those, All, those comments and in, I think you’re right, and I keep, a piece of paper here. I keep writing some, some big takeaways.


I think we have a couple already, and one of those is just the, the notion of this full funnel.


Right, and, and yeah, today, I’m worried about shipping. two weeks ago, I was worried about people finding stuff, and in and out of stock.


And I think the real lesson there is, this full funnel is incredibly important, and we gotta, we gotta, you know, think through. Think through that.


Great, thanks for your for your comments and thoughts there. Charles, I know you’re itching to get the next poll set up here. So let’s go to the next poll question.


We have 2, 2 areas of, of engage with the audience, which is exciting, So which of the following have you tried in the past to turn seasonal buyers into long term customers?


Let’s nurture e-mails, retargeting ads, tailored offers, upselling and other, if you’ve got other, type that into the chat, see what that other might might look like.


Getting some results.


Just a few more minutes.


OK, and I think, let’s see.


Let’s give it a couple more seconds to see, You all go in here.


All right, Charles, I think we can go ahead and close that out, show the results.


Here we go.


Which of the following we tried in the past?


Retargeting ads, number one, nurture e-mails, tailored, offers, upselling accessories, and and other. So, I appreciate other if you’ve if you’re so inclined.


Type a couple things in the chat box, that might mean other.


We can have some some good conversation around, around that, but let’s talk too.


Let’s talk let’s talk to the panelist here. What is it that you’re seeing in, in these results, retargeting ads, nurturing e-mails?


Those obviously topping the list, interesting to you Unique. What’s, what, what do you see in those results?


My initial takeaways, those two particular categories is engagement with your consumer, with what’s your, what’s your customer staying top of mind with your customers? Super important, even if they didn’t purchase at that time because maybe it was out of stock or for whatever other reason.


The engagement is super important through the nurture e-mails and retargeting e-mails or display ads or video ads, whatever the retargeting is. I think also on the nurture e-mail, that makes me think of post interaction e-mails.


If the consumer does purchase, you know, engaging with them a week, two weeks later, after they’ve had time to use the product, is also vital.


It’s a great way to collect information from the consumer, whether they had a good experience, bad experience, You can learn a lot from your consumers and the takeaway, again, just engagement with the consumer.


Yep. Yep.


Great CERA, any thoughts?


Yeah, I mean, I think definitely agree with what funds that, and I think that actually combining all of this is where you get to that kind of Nirvana from from an e-commerce perspective where you have, for example, retargeting ads that are actually upselling accessories for a product that was already purchased. Imagine that, right? Or you’re getting and nurture e-mail around again like You know, upselling some accessories around a product that a customer Has already said what their UTC. Hey, I love this product, right, something like that, Right? Or using, on all your search results for a certain customer that you know about and saying, hey, let’s start to personalize and, you know, the recommendations around the searches that they’ve already done, right? I think that where you have like an e-commerce stock where it’s like kind of taking it from like an entire holistic perspective. And really, honing in on it on truly what a customer is looking for is where you really reach that, the epitome of what we’re trying to do from you know, a marketing perspective.


That’s where that’s where I see again, it’s, you know, to Sean’s point is like that, is that true engagement, right?


and where you can really see Customers want to spend money with you. Like they are like, here, take my money. But I want, I want you to show me the things that I wanna give you money for. Right, there’s nothing worth to me, from the consumer side, and the customer, then being presented with a negative customer experience, right?


Or I’m like, Here’s my money, I’m not gonna give it to you because you’re giving me a negative experience. Even a neutral one, you can like, that’s better than a negative, right? It’s like, it’s all about that, as Sean said, that, that customer engagement and continue.


John, how about you?


Yeah, I’m surprised the Taylor offers was as small as it was, again, to me, that’s a, that’s a big opportunity, as Sarah was talking about that.


Have more of that life cycle in mind for that customer and knowing that if you have so many new customers that have for the first time, you know, sampled your product, Um, there, in my mind, there should be a clear next step, depending on what they purchased, to look for what the next logical thing is from them. That that is, again, tailored, as as Sarah was saying. It can’t just be a blanket.


Here’s another 10% off to buy whatever you want, it can be. But again, that’s not, that’s not what we’re talking about in terms of tailored here.


I also, I think the, the real opportunity here also lies around finding out why people didn’t checkout if they abandoned their cart, and then using that in the proper messaging.


Those are the things I think, that really set Retailers’ apart, is when you can, when you can figure out where the friction is, and with so many people coming through, as they did, over the last couple of weeks, to be able to find a way to understand from those customers.


Why was it that they didn’t checkout with what they put in their cart? That’s the part that will make you crazy at night. If you don’t, try to find those answers, because then, again, it could be competitive. It could be a slight problem.


It could be any number of things that you either can or can’t impact, or should or should not impact. But getting to that level of understanding with your customer, to me, is, is a critical opportunity that people should be looking to do now while it’s fresh, and while they’ve got so many people that abandoned carts.


Yeah. Appreciate all those comments. You know, I want to go back to the, to the previous poll because I realize, Sarah, we talked about, you know, recency bias, and that makes a whole lot of sense.


But all of these comments go back to this idea of technology, performance, and tech stack, right, too, to personalize, to understand the engagement, to understand why people are abandoned carts, that’s a tech exercise.


I’m sure all of you have have stories on on that.


Really positive stories are horror stories, but anybody want to share, share a couple of thoughts on tech stack and in, you know, I think now we’ll start transitioning maybe away from this specific poll number for what happens now in the future.


I think tech stacks are decent conversation two. To start with. Anybody have a thought around Tech Stack.


Yeah yeah quick thought here is you know, from a UGC perspective, so much data can be extracted from user comments in terms of you know, whether they liked the products.


Whether they dislike the products, whether the product was failing, whether the products, you know, just how much they loved it. There’s so much data in, in the comments.


In that case, that is being extracted out into the bizarre voice platform as insights.


So Brandes retailers can better understand their customers through honest feedback from customers and, therefore, go back to the top of the funnel or go back somewhere in the funnel and deliver that message, deliver another product. You can do so much with that insight.


So, I think from a tech stack perspective, having the right setup to engage with your customers is vital for success.


Definitely, I mean, that’s what we do a guidance, right, is we are, we, we integrate and help our clients ensure that the tech stack that they’ve selected is the best one for their use case. And having a kind of tech stack that, you know, we like to say, speaks to each other, right?


And ensuring that everything is inter-connected is critical, right?


And being able to have and I think this is something I know it was kind of a cliche thing, you know, but I still think it’s relevant is dashboarding everything and ensuring that you have these types of dashboards because it can be overwhelming, right?


The amount of data from each one of these parts of the tech stack, right? Can be quite overwhelming to to a lot of brands and businesses and being able to dashboard it in a meaningful and kind of in intelligible I guess, you could call it way.


Is so critical for for the business, so that that that data becomes usable, right?


And, and can be, um, you know, in the future, data That changes the, you know, the direction of a business mm, mm.


Great! Thanks, Sarah. I couldn’t agree more with what you’re saying about that holistic view of everything in there.


And to me, an example I would give is, if you’re, If your solution has a 4 or 5 page checkout process right now, you could look at the metrics on that. You could have great page load times on each of those 4 or 5 pages. And you could point and say, well, look. These page, it loads really fast. So customers say that’s important.


If it’s a 4 or 5 page checkout process, you’re losing people at every click along that process. And if you aren’t measuring that and understanding that, and looking for ways to streamline it, then you’re going to continue to have that falling out of your funnel, because you’re not looking at the right things.


And that, I think, is what I would encourage people to do now, is to try to find those opportunities to improve the technology.


That really is something that’s going to change the way the customer views that process, and that they recognized as being better. It’s the type of thing that is really easy to just leave, and when it’s working to leave it alone, say, Well, let’s not mess with that, because if it’s if it’s not broken, why would I possibly want to go in and redo my checkout process.


But the reality is that you can’t afford to just leave it alone when customer expectations continue to change, and go up, and up and up year over year. You have to be constantly evaluating it, and improving it every single year.


Yeah, and I think also the Customer feedback Cycle is so important, Like from an Agency perspective, right? If a customer is complaining about something, listen to them.




Don’t just throw that comment away. Right. It could be a valuable, you know, form of feedback that needs listening or improvement? Or whatever it is, right? I wrote, I won’t name a brand. But I hide that type of, you know, issue where, you know, a refund. Was taking over three weeks?


No, I think I feel like that, in this day and age, a three week refund, credit card seems a little excessive.


You know, and when, when I went through the bot, I went to various kinds of channels to try to resolve my issue.


That the company has off of my business Because it’s just been, you know, an ongoing thing where I just haven’t gotten my refund. Right. I didn’t have to, you shouldn’t have to worry about that as a, as a customer, right?


The frustration level builds, and the sourness of that experience, just because it just resonates with the, but I think on the Insights portions are, yes. Yes.


I think the Insights dashboard, that is our voice platform has it helps inform product developers at the brand, at the retailers. So it’s a vital and important piece of the puzzle, in my opinion. I think, also, to your point about dashboarding. You gotta have got, if you have the data, you gotta have actionable insights from that data. Data is only data that you gotta turn it into something useful.


And I think, John, to your point, also, about making it easy for consumers along that journey.


We talked about it, yes. Recently, about, you know, Apple Pay and other payment solutions where you just want.


like, if it’s so easy, just to click a button to finish that process, as opposed to, you know, getting up. Finding your wallet, getting the credit card, entering all those numbers, you gotta make it easy.


And I think the payment solutions is a great, it’s great development in the last couple of years.


Totally agree. Thank you. Thank you. I want to back up quickly, got some questions that are coming in, which is great.


So, if you’re, if you’re watching and listening, feel free to feel free to actively participate by by asking some questions in the in the questions tab on the side.


I want to back up, because the question question is, what does she mean by dashboard?


And I think it’s a really good question, because as we talk about technology, the four of us are heavily involved in the technology side of the business, but if I’m, you know, if I’m an e-commerce merchant, maybe I’m not.


And so having a dashboard isn’t something that is second nature to me.


or I really understand, so Sarab Elaborate, as quickly what do you mean?


It comes from the kind of car dashboard, right? You have all your critical information on your car dashboard, right? You’ve got your, your gas, you’ve got your heart. How fast are you going? Is your engine overheating? Do you have any of your check engine, light, All those things. The critical things that keep a car running or on your dashboard.


So the idea with a dashboard And it could be any kind of dashboard, right?


Like, I mean, every kind of part of your tech stack can have a dashboard. For example, Shawn was referencing one for bizarre voice. And there’s so many different kinds of dashboards. You can, you can actually even have and their solutions where you’d have a master dashboard, right?


where you’re integrating all your, your different, disparate solutions into one master dashboard.


And the idea is, is you’re bringing in data from all of your critical components of your e-commerce stock, to ensure that things are running smoothly, just like your car. It’s the same kind of concept where you’re basically bringing in all that critical and mission critical business critical information to ensure that your business is running kind of at the most optimal level possible. And it’s a great way to identify, just like the Check Engine light, Hey, there’s something wrong here. We need, We need to fix something, right? And it’s, It’s a great Like, John was saying, Like, Actionable. It’s all actionable data, right? You want to make sure your dashboarding information that is actionable to your business, right? Like a car. I don’t, I’m not sure what, I didn’t know. Something is broken on your card. That’s not as important, It wouldn’t be on your dashboard, for example.


Right, because it’s not critical to the usage of your car, like you have a dent on your car doesn’t impact the drivability of it, right? So you want to make sure that you’re putting your most critical information on that dashboard.


I hope that answers the question.


Yeah, I mean, I think it’s a great explanation. And obviously, I think most of us would have an experience with driving a car, or something similar. John, you gotta, you gotta thought there, Right? You’ve seen your face, seems? Yeah.


Does, I’ve got a thought.


You know, everything Sarah saying is so dead on, right?


And the only thing I would add to that to just try to hit the point home even harder is if you don’t have the right metrics on that dashboard, then you’re not going to get the results you want.


If you don’t have navigation in your car, and you don’t know where you’re going, and how are you going to possibly get to the destination you’re looking for. If you, if you’re trying to save gasoline, but you’re not tracking your mileage, and you’re burning gas at a higher rate, then, you know, you’re not meeting your expectations.


And so the, the great thing about dashboards they can give you anything you want that’s also the hardest thing about it, is you have to know what you want and you have to choose those things carefully and make sure that there’s alignment, all the way up to the strategic level for the business with those metrics. So that what you’re reporting out is what the executives of that business are actually wanting you to focus on.


It’s a very iterative process where, you know, and it’s like everything else, I think it’s, it’s an evolution, it’s a dynamic fluid process, right? Where you can put data onto your dashboard that potentially you’re testing out, right? And it’s, it’s a testing process.


And for the first automobile that was out there have a dashboard that, any levels, anything that we have now, Right? So, it is very much an iterative process that does evolve with time and your business. Just like John was saying.


I think it’s a great way for, you know, for our business owner, for an enterprise company, to take an honest look at themselves in the mirror and say, what is important.


And, as Sarah was mentioning, it’s not.


the dashboard is a living organism. It doesn’t have to stay stagnant. It evolves with your business, but it’s a great opportunity to take a look, and just to take a look yourself in the mirror, and find out what’s important. What’s not as important.


Then, I can’t help, but think, but, you know, what we were talking about earlier, about sales, and then actual delivery.


I think that would be an interesting dashboard to have, to see actual fulfillment versus sales.


Because even though the brand, or the retailers’ off the hook, the consumer is still, you know, important at the end of the day, and it’s important for them to get their product.


Yeah, Very well, Very good.


I would also just throw in if you are listening to this and saying, Well, gosh, I don’t. I’m not sure that I really know. all those things that I would put on there.


I know what I would look at, but I’m not sure exactly what the CEO would want. You have every right to demand those things from your leadership, at your company, and that’s a demand. I’m saying that in a way that’s encouraging you to be assertive and in the right tone. Go ask for those things. Because, really, that is the responsibility of executive management, is to provide that. That strategy, that understanding to the teams that they know what they should be focusing on. And if you’re not sure, then go ask before you find out that you’re actually going down the wrong road.


Oh, sorry.


Just saying it’s that critical and sort of, It’s OK to admit, I don’t know. But that’s that critical point where you need to start to find out how you can, you know, how you can know.


Very good. Another question that had come in again, sort of more on the, on the tactical side, so let’s answer this and we’ll we’ll jump back up one level and talk a little bit about lessons learned and tips for for the coming year, but in terms of understanding, shopping cart, abandonment.


This is something I think people say and read about a lot, how do why, as a, as an e-commerce merchant, understand shopping cart abandonment?


I mean if someone leaves the car, how do I know why they left the car? How do I follow up with them?


They’re not gonna get on the phone with me. Maybe they do. I don’t know, like how do we how do we begin to understand shopping cart, abandonment?


The easy one to to answer, in my opinion, I’m sure there are solutions out there, but, you know, personally, from my experiences, if I have left a shop shopping cart, I often times get follow up e-mails saying, Hey, you know, your, your, your shopping cart is, you know, there. Don’t, don’t let that product slip away.


So, I think that’s one tactic is reaching out via e-mail via retargeting or some other method, but you have to have that user’s, I guess, login information.


So, I think it’s understanding your customer, I think it goes back to that point and understanding your customer in a logged in perspective, it’s critical for that, for that loop to happen.


Yes, I think, yeah, I think of some ways that you can kind of continue that engagement, even with a customer that is potentially turned. For example, why not, if you have the information, like their e-mail address or there, you can talk, you know, talk to them or whatever.


However, way you want to communicate with them, maybe you can ask them, why did you abandon your cart and provide them with, you know, 10, 15% discount in exchange for that that information, which is so valuable. And critical. And, and he’s actually quite a gap, right? In a lot of, kind of, retailers, they have no idea of why a certain person abandoned their cart. Right. So, maybe offer them a discount. Which could potentially lead to a sale, but you’re also getting this information that is so critical to your business.


I love that thought. I do think it’s exactly, gotta be the way that Sean and Sarah talking about.


It’s gotta be an individualized message to that customer. The ones that you know, the ones you’ve got an e-mail or, or a number to be able to text them on?


And I think one question surveys, all, you’re looking for, It’s just really, hey, even if there’s not an offer with it, it could just be, hey, you forgot your things.


Don’t, don’t forget them, or, or, please tell us why you, you hate us. Why, why? Why don’t you want my children to go to a good college? You know, this is a fair question to ask somebody. Right?


Right. That’s right. It’s your livelihood.


Customers love to give their opinion, and ask for it is, I think that’s a really big part of what we’re not doing is asking for that, What people love to talk, ask them, and give them that opportunity, and that that, no, the stage to talk can converse with your brand.


They’ll build the relationship, as opposed to just driving the transaction.


Yeah, and I think that’s a great that’s a great spot to jump off to our next topic here. So one of the, one of the things we promised in this session were some tips on how to turn new customers into long term customers.


Sean, it strikes me that what you just said is probably right at the, you know, the core of this conversation, about building the relationship. So, let’s talk about that.


How about some, know, if we can talk about maybe very specific tips for, OK, I got a customer during this holiday shopping period, I want to keep them now. What’s my next step there? What, what should I be doing?


And then find out what’s been successful for you.


My my mind keeps thinking about my wife in terms of hirsh evolution of shopping this past year and a half. And for her and I believe for many others, even myself it’s about convenience.


In terms of shopping, I think curbside pickup has been amazing. And I think there has been some studies showing that you know, curbside continues to be a popular option for many shoppers.


So, I think, convenience and continue.


what you’ve found successful this past year and a half of coven is critical.


But I think the bottom line convenience for the shopper make it easy. So curbside is one thing that stands out to me.


OK, very good.




Yeah. Everything around convenience is what comes to my mind as well, it’s, I mean, the other day, I ordered a filter for our air conditioning system.


That was the same price delivered to my house in two days as it was to go get it, so even even then. And I had time, but I’m like, well, if I don’t have to make that trip, I won’t make it. But when I do make that trip, having store pickup is a key differentiator for me to be able to shop that retailer versus you’re going someplace where I have to go in and find it.


I think the the challenge for every retailer is finding that profitable way to do those transactions.


And too, to walk that line between saying, well, I captured the sale, but I had in the spending.


You know, I gave up 10 or 15 or 20 points of margin because I needed to ship it, or because I needed to have it delivered this is what’s gonna be the challenge for the next several years is finding a way to compete on convenience without it being something that just absolutely crushes your profitability as a business.


I think the other piece to that, I would come back around and say this is going to be critical is something that, it’s more that look forward type, a thought.


But one of the things that we know is a challenge for the retailer is returns.


And it’s a huge cost, and it’s the type of thing that I think there’s gotta be energy put into finding ways upfront, in your buying process, too.


To give customers better tools, so that they make better choices around what they’re going to buy.


Um, I know I’ll buy three sizes of something, I’ve never bought it before. And then return to them. That’s not good business. The better solution would be to find a way for there to be a tool that I, I select the one size and it actually does fit for one example. So just to me, that’s where I would want to find out what that what, that piece isn’t my business? That causes people to buy multiples of something and return them and try to find a way to avoid the returns.


Sarah, how about you?


Yeah, you know, just to kind of expand on Donald Trump’s point I agree inconveniences is going to be huge and it continues to be a huge factor especially with, you know, kind of this. I don’t even know if we can call it post pandemic world that we’re in now. You know, what John was referring to in bracketing is, is a very, you know, it’s becoming an increasing it’s problematic in that, you know, people are buying multiple sizes, colors. You know, styles, that kind of thing. Right.


And so, that obviously is, you know, and something else to kind of talk about is, how has that kind of inflated the actual numbers, right?


Of what what the true ah sales are for, for, you know, the last kind of few years, as this phenomenon of, of consumers buying multiple sizes, It looks like you’re doing really well, But actually, all of that ends up in the return, right?


I think, just, as John and John said, having that convenience of returns, given that this is a phenomenon that doesn’t seem to be going anywhere, is how can we, as kind of, you know, retail speaking, from a retail perspective, how can we knowing that this is a phenomenon that’s not going anywhere. How can we aid the consumer. Right. and I think that, that’s, to John’s point, is having you, know, sizing that’s accurate for every product. Because, you know. When you. When you have multiple sizes and, you know, for example, putting a true size model on there and having true size, you know, measurements, those kind of things will help. The bracketing kind of issue, Right. And then knowing that that’s an ongoing issue is having really convenient returns.


How do you kind of, you know, help the consumer to kind of make them feel at ease, purchasing potentially less and returning class of that product, right? Say, I completely agree with withdrawn insurance points.


Great. So, yeah, convenience. I think, you know, convenience we can unpack and it means a lot of things.


You outlined returns, you outlined pick up True size models, like you know, those, getting, getting a good idea of what’s what’s happening with the product, I think is excellent, excellent point.


one of the things I want to ask is no.


This is partially a what did the three of you learn from Black Friday? But partially A, what should we be doubling down on? What is the strategy that we should be saying from now to the next period of time when I have explosive sales or or the opportunity for that, what should I be doubling down on? What’s the thing I cannot live without in, my, in my business?


What’s your thought around that?


I think constant engagement with the customers that you’ve earned over this past year and especially through this holiday season, don’t give up on them, because it’s, it’s not easy to acquire new customers is not easy to acquire new audiences, find ways to stay engaged, whether it be through extending sales, any type of offers.


Retargeting opportunities Don’t give up on your audiences that you’ve earned so that you’ve worked so hard this past season or for a year.




Because I’m a marketer, I’m a difficult shopper. So I actually don’t really buy anything on on Black Friday.


I give the brands that I give my, my money to, the opportunity to continue to engage with me and show me the kind of, different types of, of sales they can show me throughout the entire kind of year and how can they engage with me not on this like super popular day, right? I think a brand that stands out as one that can really and that’s why I put my money is where I, I find that. a brand is continually engaging with me.


And not just on this one particular day where everyone else is doing it, so why won’t we. I like a brand that that goes out of that kind of you know that the, that, the fold, that everyone else. Right. So, I see your point. I think that that continued engagement and offer me surprises, offer me something where I wake up on my, you know, I’m on my phone scrolling through, my, my, my embed and, you know, I, I see an e-mail offer. Me, a surprise. Make me click that, that e-mail and open it, not just on Black Friday. Let me do it in June. Let me do it in February or whatever it is. But, to show me, show me, mystery. Keep me engaged. Keep me. Surprise. Keep me on my toes with your brand.


Well, I think that goes to one of the things that I saw in the data, which is, we’re not talking Black Friday or Cyber Monday, really anymore. We’re talking to a period of time. That is longer than a 24 hour period of time, so let’s get into that in just a second. But, John, what, what should we be doubling down on?


Well, first of all, I love the fact that Sarah, basically, she’s saying, is she she does she says no to all these folks, but she keywords it as giving them the opportunity to continue to, you know, differ a good reason to buy. She’s very generous about that. I love that. I think the that is the mindset of so many customers is that until they see enough of what they really, really want to see, they’re not going to pull the trigger.


And one of the things we talked about our first call was, you know my feelings about the ability of the American Consumer to Procrastinate beyond anything I ever could, possibly imagine that it continues to just get more and more that way.


Some of the numbers that we saw over the last week or so showed that, you know, there was a lot of shopping done in November, even pretty Black Friday. And so, some of the warnings got out about the supply chain, but I will still double down and say that there are a lot of people like Sarah out there, who have not made the decisions yet, and there’s still a lot of time, as as Sean and Sarah, both saying, to make those impressions and to give that customer what they want. And then the other thing I would add to it is, this is going to sound very crazy in this time, but.


If you need to be a little more aggressive with your promises around shipping and delivery, I would be a little more aggressive.


The, the FedEx and UPS dates that they put out there are done in a way that they, that they can hopefully be 100% successful, because they don’t want the blame for that.


The reality is that a lot of things shift after those dates will still make it before the holiday that they’re trying to have something get there.


So, if you’re in a position where you field it, you need to be a little more aggressive, I would be more aggressive with allowing those dates a little bit later.


Getting them shipped.


And then again, if you communicate like crazy, you can make up for someone disapointment, especially if it’s only a very small percentage of the people, if you take an extra thousand orders, because you added one more day of shipping window.


And if only, you know, one or 2% of those, don’t get there, those are people that you can connect with and apologize. But you get another 98% of people that wouldn’t have made a purchase from you if they hadn’t had that extra day to do it.


Yeah, great point. Thank you. Risky risky, I know that.


I think I think it goes back to our conversation about creativeness, right, your creativity, creativeness, I’m not sure that’s a word Creativity. Which is, OK, yeah, one more day can, Do, can do something for us, so push for the one more day. How creative can we, can we be in that?


I do want to jump back to this notion that, um, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, the days in-between, You know, looking at Searchspring data pretty evenly traffic.


Those those days, even starting with Thanksgiving Day in the US, through Cyber Monday.


And we just mentioned a couple of times on this, on this panel, purchases in November. We’re, we’re a high watermark for the shopping time period.


What’s happening?


There’s Black Friday matter, this labor, Monday matter, what’s happening to help us unpack that.


Well, I’ve seen a lot of customers, with a vexing experience of, you know, seeing the same discount on, you know, Black Friday, as they have to help all of November and into December, What’s the motivation right to purchase on a specific day? Where you feel cramped, in your decision, right? I find that, to be a vaccine experience, there’s no additional motivation if you’re gonna offer 40 or 40% off, in the beginning of November, 3, 2, like mid december.


What are you doing different? Right, That? That to me, and I seen that over and over again with a lot of brands that are not really offering kind of anything additional sound.


Right. I agree with that, Sarah, up.


The offers don’t quite seem the same as they were in previous years.


The motivation from retailers seem to be a little bit different in that previous offers in previous years were to get people in store.


But I think over the last year, especially, the motivation has been to drive more conversions online, which requires maybe a different approach with the offer, as opposed to in store. So, I agree there.


I think Cyber Monday and Black Friday are still important in terms of anchor events are timeframes for people to understand. But I think it’s a evolution.


It’s not Getting people in store as much as, you know, driving sales throughout the month.


Yeah, I actually think there’s something can be learned of the kind of retail brick and mortar experience of the like loss leader. I feel like that’s something is there is a great motivator to you know yes, This is a loss leader.


It’s something you’re not going to install profitable, but, um, potentially that’s a way to, you know, drive additional conversions, right? and and saying like if you add this to cart, you need to add something else, right? So I mean, there there is ways to, to drive additional conversion online as well in using some of those brick and mortar strategies.


I agree with that. I think there’s also, There’s power in doing things, as you were saying that are truly unique and, you know, there were, there were still offers. I saw at least 1 or 2 where the retailer were saying, we never put this on sale and it’s on sale right now. It could be an item, it could be a category, whatever it is.


But saying that, I would also say, on the flip side of that, if you’re going to do something like that, and you say, it’s only good for 48 hours, I also saw those same retailers’, then send me extensions, multiple extension messages for a few days after that. And that, to me, it takes away from the fact, whether I did it or not, I still see that message and say, well, you said it was only two days. So now I know the next time you send me, a message says it’s two days. It’s probably not two days. Probably a week.


So, I would say, think about those things, because they will, they will stick in the minds, your consumer as well.


Yeah, definitely.


Well, thank you very much for the time you’ve spent today with us. You know, I think as a follow up here, I plan to sort of put some of these takeaways together. In a in a blog post, we’ll make sure everybody’s got access to that.


You know, things like communication and creativity, things like nurturing and engagement. I mean that those concepts came back around and around and around.


You know, even something tactically like with your tech stack, A dashboard should be part of that With your tech stack, what do you do about shipping the full funnel exercise? You know, those are all very important concepts, and, and unique to someone’s business, but conceptually, not necessarily unique. How am I treating someone through the full funnel? Really, really important stuff. And, and I think great question to end on in terms of what does all this mean?


What are we experiencing, like Black Friday, Cyber Monday, great anchor points?


Because it’s nice to have an anchor point.


Now, because we have an anchor point, we can think about how do we treat people like Sarah, who buy at the off times? Because they’re looking for that type of interaction, that, most of the time, you get on those two days.


to how are we looking to doing something unique and special on those two days? Which then will anchor someone to say, Oh, I need to pay attention to them?


Or, That is important to me. That isn’t important to me.


I’m still going to buy from from a particular merchant, Lots of really amazing ideas here.


I just want to thank you, John, and Sean, and Sarah, for being a part of the panel today.


And we’re looking forward to the celling year that is 2022 and we’re already looking forward to if you can handle it, Black Friday and Cyber Monday of 2022. Raising. Thanks. Thanks very much, team. I really, really appreciate it. Thanks everybody for joining. And thank you for the questions. Really exciting to see those, those come in.


Have a great day, and I truly appreciate the time you spent with us today. Thank you.


Thanks, everybody.


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