It’s the most wonderful (and busiest) time of the year - but this year’s Black Friday / Cyber Monday (BFCM) peak shopping season definitely has a few curveballs to navigate. We’re looking at you supply chain snafus, inflation-crunched budgets and sky high customer acquisition costs. 

This year more than ever, e-commerce brands need to make the most of every shopper walking through their virtual doors. 

And that’s where personalization comes in. 77% of consumers have chosen, recommended or paid more for a brand that provides a personalized service or experience. Want to be on the winning side of that equation? Take the signals your shoppers are sending to deliver a more tailored experience to help them find what they’re looking for (and then some) as quickly as possible. 

Let’s talk about some of the benefits of adding personalization to your site for BFCM:

  • Quicker time to value: Imagine a store that had a bright glowing sign right over the exact item you’re most likely to love. That’s pretty much what personalization does best - sifting through your collections and promotions to find products that are most likely to click with every customer. 

  • Higher conversions: If a shopper can find what they’re looking for more easily, they’re more likely to convert, plain and simple. Personalized offers, content and product recommendations are three ways to help shoppers do just that.

  • Bigger Average Order Value (AOV): We’ve all been there - you go to a store to buy one thing, and something else catches your eye along the way. Tailored offers work the same way, by understanding what a customer is already interested in and suggesting other products they might want to consider at the same time.  

  • Increased Customer Lifetime Value (CLTV): Black Friday is a great time to welcome first-time shoppers in the door, and ideally, keep them coming back. Customized experiences build shopper loyalty and the likelihood of repeat purchases in the future, so make the most of every new customer that arrives! 

  • Create a competitive advantage: If your competitors aren’t offering personalization and you are, guess which store is more likely to get a customer’s business? A site with zero personalization is harder for customers to build trust with. Show you care and they’ll show you the money.

  • Improve campaign performance: You can add a personal touch to more than just your website. Email and SMS campaigns can both be made more custom by including product recommendations that marry your promotional message with attention-grabbing items. 

The good news is that personalization at scale is possible, with the right tools and strategies in place. And we’ve broken down nine smart strategies that create an amazing shopping experience and help shoppers fill up their bags faster than Santa does his sleigh. 

1. Remind returning shoppers where they left off

Your most loyal customers are definitely scoping out your site well before BFCM weekend hits. Whether they’ve added products to their cart or not, help them along by spotlighting recently viewed items they may want to snap up now. 

Pro tip: Hide recent view boxes for new shoppers and instead, present your bestsellers to help guide customers to your top-rated products. 

2. Send a custom offer via SMS

With response rates averaging around 45%, SMS marketing is on the rise for a reason. If you’re sending loyal shoppers an SMS campaign this season, the trick is to make it feel different than any other businesses they’re hearing from. One smart way to do that? You guessed it: Make it personal. 

Deliver truly tailored SMS campaigns by adding on a product recommendation delivered on a 1:1 basis, leveraging each shopper’s browsing history or purchases to spotlight products they’re most likely to jump on. 

3. Rearrange your collections based on shopper preferences

Provide a shortcut to the products a shopper is most likely to convert on by dynamically sorting Black Friday collections based on each customer’s preferences and purchases. 

For example, a yoga enthusiast might see sports bras and leggings at the top of a sale collection, while a runner might see running shoes. The possibilities are endless to curate your collections and save shoppers from endless scroll fatigue.

4. Spotlight a featured collection tied into BFCM promotions

Switch up your typical product recommendations strategy by creating unique collections spotlighting Black Friday specials and deals and replacing existing recommendation box types on your site. 

While they shop, customers will automatically see other Black Friday offers from your featured collection, encouraging them to click their way to even more savings, and bigger order values for your business.

 5. Add a personal touch to your email campaigns

Shoppers are going to be inundated with promotional emails in the lead up to BFCM. Make your emails stand out by including product recommendations that reflect every individual shopper’s interests or recent views. You can even set the refresh rate on email recommendations to be as short as 15 minutes, meaning if they visit your site and then open an email from you again, the product recommendations inside will change. 

Looking for some advanced personalization to level up your emails? Segment your customers and switch up each email’s images, content and offers to make your messaging as relevant as possible.

6. Provide custom upsells or cross-sells 

Your shoppers won’t convert on upsell or cross-sell offers unless they feel relevant to what they’re already interested in buying. AI-generated upsells and cross-sells are a surefire way to get the most relevant products in front of every shopper. 

The next step is to ensure your upsells and cross-sells are everywhere and anywhere- don’t bank on a single upsell or cross-sell on a product page. Try adding upsells and cross-sells in pop-up boxes, in the cart, and even at checkout to maximize your likelihood of conversion.

7. Highlight trending items 

BFCM weekend is a buzz-making time to track your hottest items. Keep shoppers in the loop by using trending recommendation boxes that automatically update to highlight what products are the most viewed, added to cart, and purchased. 

Set the refresh rate on your trending products to be as little as every three hours to always showcase your latest and greatest hits - perfect to direct new shoppers and regular customers alike to the products they have to both check out, and ideally, checkout with.

8. Switch up your home page content order

We get it. The home page is a sacred space, akin to the shop windows in a mall. But you know what separates e-commerce from brick & mortar? The ability to present different experiences in the same space. If you’ve segmented your customers, you have the ability to switch up what featured offers, collections and promotions are shown on the home page, and in what order. 

For example, if your brand services both men and women, customers sorted as ‘women’ could see a feature image and collection from your women’s line, with men’s products featured further down the page. Vice versa for the opposite gender. 

The sky’s the limit for segmentation: You can sort customers by age, loyalty program status, geography, interests and more.

9. Make the most of the post-purchase period

So you’ve gotten a shopper to checkout - congrats! But your work is hardly done. First, consider adding a post-purchase product recommendation or cross-sell to the order confirmation page, based on what a shopper just bought. They may be inspired to buy another item on the spot, instantly boosting AOV.

Second, transactional emails like order summaries and shipping information have a way higher open rate than promotional emails (we’re talking 80-90% on average). Tee up your next sale by including product recommendations in transactional emails, again based on what a shopper has just bought. 

The possibilities to personalize your e-commerce experience for the holiday season and peak BFCM sales days are endless - and not nearly as labor-intensive as you might think. AI can do a lot of the heavy lifting to deliver a tailored experience to every shopper. And where you want to have a little more control, that’s always possible too. 

Interested in adding personalization to your site for the holiday season? Check out LimeSpot. Our proprietary AI requires zero warmup time and can be set up in as little as a day - giving your customers a better shopping experience for Black Friday and beyond.