by Rhiân Davies
Published on 2 November 2016
Black Friday as we know it is over. Yep, you heard me right. The likes of REI and other well-known names are closing their doors on Black Friday 2016, allowing employees and customers alike to indulge in leftover pumpkin pie, Thanksgiving specials reruns, and eCommerce shopping in place of battling through a wall of humans and electrical debris.
In fact, the traditional Black Friday formula as a whole is changing. In 2015, $2.72 billion was spent online during Black Friday, an increase of 14 percent from the previous year, and almost 37 percent of online sales were made on a mobile device. With more consumers shopping online than in-store, retailers must optimize their online stores in time for the rush.
For Shopify store owners in particular, now is the time to be thinking about optimizing store potential. As it's popularity as a marketplace keeps growing- last year the order volume over Black Friday more than doubled when compared to the year before- now is the time to take advantage. Below I've listed some of our tips and best Shopify integrations for a Black Friday savvy store.
The fact that almost 90% of marketers say that email is their main channel for lead generation hammers home the importance of hyping up interest in your store during the run-up to Black Friday. Offering prospective customers a range of digital products such as eBooks, courses, or cheatsheets is one of the easiest ways to generate leads and increase interest in your store. Asking people to provide an email address upon download opens the door for you to send more information, and in this case, promote your Black Friday deals and offers.
Campaign Monitor integrates with Shopify to help you design personalized messages for customers and prospective customers through a drag-and-drop email builder, and also hosts a list management tool so that you can segment your customers and prospective customers for targeted campaigns. Want to know what's happening to your emails? With a real-time tracking tool, you can monitor who's opening and sharing them.
And, with Facebook now influencing over half of online and offline purchases, Storeya is a great Shopify integration for importing your Shopify store over to Facebook and enticing customers to your store before Black Friday.
With 1 million fewer consumers shopping in stores in 2015 compared to the year before, online businesses absolutely have to make sure that they're stocked and ready to go well before Black Friday. With that in mind, Stitch Labs is a leading inventory management solution that integrates with Shopify and syncs stock, sales, and purchase orders, as well as a stack of reporting features to help your small business this year. Stitch Labs also prepares comparison reports, product tracking, and keeps you updated on your bestsellers, which GetApp reviewers love - no more manual counting into the dark of night!
Orderhive is another great Shopify integration, which updates your stock level in real-time, and allows you to access real-time analytics of your inventory and orders.
As we've said before, there's nothing worse than having a super successful Black Friday weekend only to be swamped by receipts and outstanding balances come Tuesday.
FreshBooks can rescue you from any accounting anomalies by enabling you to create invoices, use time-tracking features, organize client lists, and sync reports like expense, profit and loss, and balance sheets, allowing you to focus on Black Friday instead of balancing the books.
Your inventory is in safe hands, but now it's time for that precious stock to make its way to the door of the customer.
ShipStation is a great solution for Shopify store owners, taking care of customized shipping labels, automatic updates of shipping and tracking status, and automated customer communications. ShipStation users can print wirelessly, and each subscription comes with a free USPS postage account. GetApp reviewers love how easily Shipstation integrates with their Shopify stores.
One of the hardest tasks over Black Friday weekend is keeping your customers happy. With the added pressure of increased orders and a spike in demand for out of this world customer service, you'll need a few tools to help you out.
Zendesk ranks number one in GetApp's Category Leader ranking for customer service applications, and for good reason: as a cloud solution, it collects all customer feedback from emails, chats, phone calls, and tweets, to enable businesses to effectively respond to customer problems and manage customer engagement in one platform.
Live chat functionality is also of growing importance to consumers, with 92 percent of customers feeling satisfied after engaging in a chat with a customer support agent. LiveChat is a Shopify integration, with users reporting how much they love the speed that customers can get the information they need using the app.
Black Friday is not just about one day or one weekend. The impression that you make over this weekend could translate into future sales and an increase in Customer Lifetime Value (CLV), and smart businesses will factor this into their long-term eCommerce strategy.
Making sure that your store has user review capabilities is paramount to your store's credibility and appeal; 88 percent of consumers trust online reviews as much as recommendations from friends or family, meaning that a good customer experience over Black Friday weekend could propel your sales and success in the future.
Yotpo's signature in-mail review capability means that customers can review their experience directly from email, which can generate up to 9x the amount of reviews compared to other review platforms thanks to its streamlined user experience.
Have you already tried any of these Shopify integrations? Leave a review to share your experiences and advice with other GetApp readers.