14 tools to get you through the peak moments of BFCM and the holidays
It’s that time of year again: Black Friday Cyber Monday will kick off the holiday season. During this seasonal online shopping event, a lot more sales are made than usual. Shopify did research with their merchants and found that during BFCM 2020 the total amount of sales equaled $5.1 billion.
This was 76% more than during BFCM 2019, when sales amounted to $2.9 billion. These days, BFCM also is more than just a weekend thing. In 2020, most online retailers started their promotions on 12 november already. Sometimes these ran all the way into december.
Black Friday itself remains the biggest peak moment of this yearly shopping spree. At its peak at 3:01 PM Eastern Time, Shopify said $1.5 million was made in sales... per minute.
E-commerce managers should expect a large amount of extra traffic and sales this year, too. It’s important to make sure you use the right tools to ensure all this business is seamlessly taking place.
You wouldn’t want one of your online store’s tools to break this Black Friday because it can’t handle the volume. This could cause you to lose out on a whole bunch of revenue.
Which is why we listed 14 robust e-commerce tools for you. These tools are guaranteed to be able to handle the BFCM and holiday season’s peak moments.
1. Klaviyo - Build strong relationships based on customer data
Klaviyo is an email and SMS marketing automation platform specifically designed for e-commerce companies. This tool has endless possibilities to capture data about your customers. This makes using Klaviyo to segment and personalise your email and SMS marketing as easy as if you were sending a message to a friend.
Whether it’s a newsletter, a welcome email, or you’re trying to recover an abandoned cart through SMS, Klaviyo has got you covered.
So make sure your email and SMS workflows are optimized before BFCM starts. Include campaigns for collecting reviews, cross- or upselling products and recovering abandoned carts.
2. Gorgias - Customer service made easy for online stores
Gorgias is a customer support, live chat and helpdesk platform for Shopify, Magento and BigCommerce. This tool helps you reduce ticket response time by centralizing your customer support tickets in one place. Gorgias also lets you automate repetitive tasks to save even more time.
You can track and respond to support issues across live chat, social media, and SMS. All your customer data is also presented in one place, giving you a holistic view of your customer base.
During the peak moments of BFCM and the holiday season, you can expect an increase in customer support tickets too. Make sure you customer success team doesn’t miss a beat, and turn those support issues into sales with Gorgias.
3. Returnista - Get the most out of your returns process
Returnista is the number one returns platform to help you lower your return rates, increase repeat purchases and proactively encourage exchanges. This tool lets you automate the entire returns process from start to finish.
You’ll be able to turn returns into exchanges, set up custom tracking, and get real-time data insights on your returns. All in one centralized platform that operates globally and offers best-in-class UI.
BFCM and the holiday season can give a huge boost to your e-commerce sales figures. But average e-commerce return rates are still exceptionally high and could quickly turn these numbers around.
With Returnista’s returns solution your customers will be served a supersmooth return experience like none other, increasing the chances of repeat purchases. But online stores using Returnista also see a 40% increase in exchanges - revenue that might have been spent elsewhere.
And did we mention that using Returnista’s pro-active real-time shipping updates decrease incoming customer service tickets by up to 60%?
4. Sendcloud - Europe’s #1 e-commerce shipping platform
If you’re looking for an all-round e-commerce shipping platform, Sendcloud is your best bet. This shipping automation platform ships with over 35 carriers and lets you automate a bunch of error-prone and tedious tasks. You can import orders automatically and create shipping labels incredibly easily.
Besides professional tracking, simplified label creation, and advanced tracking, there’s another reason you should consider using Sendcloud. Their pre-negotiated shipping rates mean you’ll get much better deals than elsewhere.
Especially during the seasonal volume of BFCM and the holidays, using a tool like Sendcloud will help you save a lot of money (cheaper rates) and time (automation and simplified label creation).
5. Trengo - Delight your customers on their favorite channels
Trengo is an omnichannel communication platform that simplifies customer communication by unifying several channels in one single view. This helps you make your customer and team communication easy.
Trengo works with channels like email, WhatsApp Business, Instagram, Live Chat and more. By centralizing these channels in one inbox, you’ll be able to significantly decrease your ticket handling time. Especially since you can automate repetitive tasks and work together with your team.
During BFCM, increased traffic and higher sales figures naturally lead to more customer queries. You can’t assume that these will come in through just one or two channels. Make sure you don’t miss a beat, and keep track of all customer interactions using Trengo.
6. Picqer - Warehouse management software for webshops
During BFCM and the holiday season, efficiency is key. If you’re selling large volumes, you’ll probably want to optimize your warehouse for efficiency too. Picqer offers easy-to-use online warehouse management software.
With Picqer, you’ll be able to check the status of your warehouse at a glance. Connect multiple sales channels, shipping partners and customer service tools to the platform to make sure you’ll stay in firm control of your warehouse operations. The platform integrates seamlessly with Magento 2, Shopify WooCommerce, and a range of popular carriers, too.
Doing so means Picqer will be able to show you real-time information about your warehouse. Especially during a peak moment like Black Friday, you need to be able to trust that your team’s working with accurate data. Picqer will take care of this for you.
7. Kiyoh - Improve your presence on Google with reviews
Kiyoh specializes in getting you reliable customer reviews for your online store. Their user-friendly assessment system lets you collect and publish reviews on your website. These reviews are indexable by Google and there’s the option to pick between shop and product reviews, too.
In e-commerce, it’s essential to showcase strong social proof in the form of customer reviews. Online shopping is still sometimes seen as dangerous due to the possibility of fraud. After all, you aren’t dealing with a physical store owner.
Also, social proof is one of the strongest forms of persuasion. People look to their peers when they’re about to make a buying decision. Authentic customer reviews give them the confidence to make that decision.
In preparation for this BFCM, make sure you set up Kiyoh so potential customers can easily find customer reviews when looking for them.
8. ChannelEngine - Do more with online marketplaces
E-commerce is growing and getting more and more competitive. If you want to break through the noise, you will need all the visibility you can get. ChannelEngine is the most complete one-stop solution for connecting to the world’s biggest marketplaces.
ChannelEngine lets you fully integrate your back-end systems with local as well as international marketplaces. This means that, with a single connection, you’ll make your store available to a worldwide audience. ChannelEngine is also continuously adding more marketplaces, which means continuous growth for your business.
You can add channel-specific pricing, there’s automated cross-border currency conversion, and many more nifty features to help you optimize and boost sales.
If you want to reach an international market in a scalable way, while fulfilling orders with your own systems, try ChannelEngine. Especially during BFCM, when the whole world is in buying mode, you will want all the visibility you can get.
9. Datatrics - Create personalized customer experiences
Datatrics is a customer data platform that helps you personalise your campaigns and customer journeys. By adding a simple bit of code to your online store, you can start capturing behavioral data regarding your customers.
You can also connect third-party platforms like your CRM, email marketing tool and ad platforms. Datatrics then uses all this data to create customer profiles. Its AI-powered algorithms then create personalized predictive customer experiences that’ll push up conversions in a matter of months.
It’s important to note that not every customer is created equal. Datatrics helps you analyze, segment, and personalize your emails and content dynamically, so customers get the best type of experience.
Showing different content customers in the orientation stages and decision stages of the customer journey can make a big difference. Increased traffic during BFCM and the holiday season doesn’t mean all these webshop visitors should be treated the same way.
Use Datatrics to give each customer the experience they deserve. It will work wonders for upping your conversion rates and improving brand loyalty.
10. Mollie - Start growing your business with effortless payments
If you’re serious about growing your e-commerce business this holiday season, you will need to ensure your payments and transactions are taken care of. Mollie is a pioneer in the payment industry and one of the fastest growing payment processors within Europe.
Mollie’s easy-to-implement process for integrating payments will give you peace of mind so you can focus on what matters most: selling your products. The platform offers a large number of integration, including all the webshop platforms you can think of.
What’s great about Mollie is that it’s incredibly quick and easy to set up. The platform boasts that you’ll be able to begin accepting payments in 15 minutes.
So if you’re in need of a solid payment processing platform before the holiday season arrives, we suggest you try Mollie.
11. Trustpilot - Behind every review is an experience that matters
Trustpilot is a well-known platform for collecting customer reviews. This freemium tool is accessible to any consumer or company, well-known worldwide, and easy to use. Since its inception in 2007, a whopping 50 million reviews have been published about more than 228,000 brands.
Needless to say, you would do well to gather customer reviews and display them using Trustpilot. This allows you to invite customers to leave reviews, showcase them, and analyze real-time consumer insights.
There’s a free plan available too, so you won’t even need to pay big bucks to start using this well-trusted global review platform. If you need more features, such as access to Trustpilot’s Customer Support team and access to more marketing assets, that’s possible too.
With BFCM coming up, you’ll want to make sure you’ve got your reviews sorted all across the internet. The good thing about Trustpilot reviews is that Google allows these to contribute to its Google Seller Rating, too. There’s a lot of organic search potential there, too.
12. Optiply - More revenue with less inventory
Optiply is a tool that helps you set up a data-driven and automated inventory management system. Using smart forecasting and automated purchasing advice, Optiply helps its users spend 80% less time on traditional purchasing tasks.
What’s more, the Optiply system helps merchants reduce unnecessary inventory and optimize stock, leading to 5-10% extra product availability. You’ll never go out of stock and miss another sale if you add Optiply to your e-commerce toolstack.
Why is this important to your BFCM strategy? During the peak moments of Black Friday Cyber Monday, you can expect a lot more traffic than usual. Interest for your top performing products will peak as well. With Optiply, you can optimize your inventory, so you won’t have to sell potential customers a ‘no’ this BFCM.
13. Buckaroo - The Payment Service Provider behind every payment solution
Buckaroo is a strategic payment partner and complete payment solution for businesses in retail and e-commerce. This Payment Service Provider (PSP) can help you set up several payment methods, credit management solutions, subscription solutions, and much more.
Buckaroo even caters to marketplaces and e-commerce platforms with its Marketplace Split-Payment services. And then there’s the Smart Checkout product with its self-learning software that helps optimize checkout and increase conversion.
Finally, there’s Buckaroo’s Payment Plaza, the secure financial back office system, where you can find real-time insights into your transactions, change security settings and take care of refunds.
Setting up a good payment provider before BFCM is absolutely essential. But you should definitely consider using one as safe and efficient as Buckaroo. Especially since its Smart Checkout service boasts increasing conversion rates by 10%-35%.
14. Justuno - Convert more website traffic into customers
Once you've driven traffic to your online store, you'll still need to convert these website visitors into buyers. Justuno is a conversion rate optimization and analytics platform that gives merchants the tools they need to convert visitors into customers.
This suite of tools lets merchants use personalized onsite experiences to increase relevancy, or create highly engaging gamified promotions like 'spin to win' or scratch-offs. These same conversion optimization principles are applied to things like email and SMS collection.
Apart from these CRO features, Justuno also offers advanced granular audience segmentation and targeting. Gone are the days of spray-and-pray tactics. With Justuno, you can show the right content and send the right message to the right people at the right time.
During BFCM, with the massive increases in traffic your website will experience, Justuno will help you convert more of these visitors into buying customers. Its personalization and gamification features will make sure of that, no doubt.
Get ready for Black Friday Cyber Monday with Returnista
Did you know that you can link the Returnista software directly to your stock? This allows you to let customers who submit a return immediately exchange their purchases for another article that is in stock.
But with our software, you can also keep your customers informed in real time and proactively with status updates on their returns and exchanges. So you always stay one step ahead of your customers, even during the peak moments of BFCM.
Want to know more? Request a demo on our website.