The latter half of every year is usually marked by the festive season welcoming us in all its glory. Even with 2020 being the year of some unpleasant surprises and unprecedented changes, the last couple of months have been comparatively bustling as people long for normalcy to return.
During this time, you might have noticed your shoppers’ demand patterns and purchase behaviour evolve – some due to the ongoing and upcoming festivities, others because of the larger lifestyle changes that this year has brought about.
Either way, if you analyze closely, you can find your inventory clearly divided into 2 major categories (among other smaller ones) – one featuring “hot selling products” and the other “cold products” that are not so much in demand anymore or are selling a little too slowly.
Now, we trust that you’re already on top of your game when it comes to marketing and generating demand for hot selling products, based on your shoppers’ demand and past years’ trends.
However, it is equally important to pay close attention to cold products that aren’t actively being searched for anymore, whatever the reasons for that might be. This dead inventory is taking up space in your warehouses that cost a ton for you to manage and maintain, without yielding any worthwhile ROI.
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Therefore, if you don’t liquidate this old and surplus inventory, it is only going to limit the number of new products you can add to those shelves.
One way to create demand for such products is by leveraging your ongoing festive sales, such as BFCM, to run great deals and offers on them and market them along with the hot-selling ones to get them sold in no time. Now, if you are looking for one good reason why BFCM is the right time for this, we’ve got three:
Why BFCM is the right time to clear out your cold products
Buyers are likely to be on an impulse shopping spree
Don’t mistake a BFCM shopper for an average online shopper on any other given day. People save up to spend during the shopping season and their purchase decisions are not necessarily driven by practicality or logic, but mostly impulse. Therefore, BFCM is the right time to get shoppers to bag items that they didn’t actively search for, but found lurking in the recommendations section or bundled with their favourite items. You want to leverage this shopping spirit in your customers and turn it into a massive opportunity for you to empty your cold products’ shelves.
Moreover, since all deals and offers are time-sensitive, shoppers don’t really have enough time to go through each and every tiny detail about the products and end up quickly bagging them so that they don’t miss out. Again, if you market your cold products well (strategies for which we shall discuss in the next section), you can get these impulse buyers to grab some of those cold items which normally aren’t the most trending ones.
Unmissable deals can get shoppers attracted to products they might not need
The BFCM weekend is more about grabbing the limited edition items and time-sensitive deals, rather than focusing on the nitty-gritty of the items. So, if you offer some unmissable deals and manage to create that FOMO within visitors, you might sell off that entire section of cold products that are not in demand anymore. All you really need to do is put in the effort to market them well, customize deals for specific segments of shoppers based on their previous search history, preferences, etc. and use your digital real estate wisely to showcase these products and establish their recall.
Moreover, do remember that BFCM is the time your customers are not really shopping for what they need right now, but also for what they might need in the near future or in some cases, at any point in time in the coming year. Therefore, if your deals are enticing enough, products that are not so much in demand right now might still get sold out as shoppers might decide to stock up for later use.
Great offers on cold products could potentially make for good gifting options
We’ve officially ushered in the season of gifting and it is going to last till the end of this year. What is important to note here is that shoppers are going to be actively looking for items to gift their friends and family and some of these products that you might have classified as ‘cold’ might just pass off as excellent gifts even if they haven’t had such a strong purchase history in the past couple of months.
Moreover, your customers are also going to want to bag some inexpensive items for gifting without wanting to put in so much thought into the actual product. So, if you make it easy enough for them to grab some amazing deals on these items without having to wrack their brains over it, chances are they are going to get sold out faster in 4 days than they have in the last quarter.
Now that you know that there is merit in leveraging your BFCM sale to sell out your cold inventory, the first actionable step would be to identify these products. Here’s how you can do so:
Identifying your store’s cold products
Pinpointing the cold products that are responsible for slowing down your cumulative sales is the first step you need to take before devising a redemption strategy for them. Therefore, let’s first understand what cold products are. Put simply, items that are either the most abandoned, most refunded or returned, least searched for, or simply the least bought fall in this category.
Now, to identify these from your seemingly endless catalog can be a challenge, but one that can be easily solved for. Digging into consumer service reports can help you drill down to the basics of all product related information – their demand, returns, searches, etc. and even analyze customer feedback on each and every item. Next, by analyzing your inventory and creating product segments based on their performance, market trends, consumers’ purchase behavior, and so on, you can identify cold products and segregate them from hot selling ones.
Sounds a tad overwhelming, right?
Robust Shopify analytics apps like RevTap can help automate this task for you so you only have to focus on getting your cold products sold. RevTap uses Shopify analytics and divides your entire inventory into smart product segments based on products’ performance, market trends, shoppers’ buying behavior, or nearly any other criteria you want it to be. RevTap gives you a comprehensive view of your entire store’s performance over a given period and even allows you to analyze each individual product’s performance over a simplified dashboard.
Don’t have your product segments ready? Get RevTap today.
RevTap basically cuts down all the manual and redundant work like creating excel sheets or presentations by integrating all marketing and sales tools and software you use for your Shopify store to set up a comprehensive product analytics dashboard that makes it super easy for you to monitor each products’ performance in a centralized manner.
Next, it processes all your customer and marketing data to create product segments that you can directly draw actionable insights from and shape your future marketing strategies accordingly. Therefore, RevTap does the heavy lifting for you so your focus can be directed towards making more sales and increasing your Shopify store’s revenue.
Creating an actionable and effective marketing strategy to generate demand for cold products
Run massive sales on all cold products on sale during BFCM
The most natural first step would be to not expect these items to get sold without offering sizable deals on them. You want to tailor and run exciting offers on cold products to improve their chances of even getting noticed.
Since shoppers are naturally attracted to and are also actively on the lookout for items on sale during the BFCM weekend, they might just bag some of these products if they notice the unmissable deals on them. So, you want to ensure you spend enough time coming up with attractive deals that more than make up for whatever the reasons might be for those products not being in demand.
Create urgency and FOMO to attract impulse shoppers
Make it a point to create a sense of urgency and scarcity around the cold products to generate FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) among shoppers. This can be done by offering limited time offers, highlighting that only a few products are left in stock via product labels, mentioning the number of shoppers who have already bought the particular item in the past week on the product page, or even offering a limited number of deals on a particular product per day/week. Such tactics will help get these products discovered and noticed way more than they were just silently resting in your catalog waiting to be searched for.
Since impulse shoppers can be expected to pay less attention to what they need and more to the deals the store has to offer, the BFCM weekend is a great time for you to push these products and receive the maximum positive response.
GAME’s Black Friday email marketing campaign is a great example of how you can create urgency and FOMO with a timer that highlights the limited time remaining to sign up for some BFCM awesome deals and offers. Take a look:
Create a designated landing and category page for all products on sale or clearance
Very often, Shopify store owners go to great lengths to offer some of the most enticing deals and discounts during BFCM, but fail to collate all of them in a designated landing or category page, thus making it harder for shoppers to access these offers. You don’t want to make the same mistake.
Therefore, before beginning any marketing activity, first ensure that you have created both a beautiful landing page and category page for the upcoming BFCM sale that feature all items with deals segmented by their categories. These should include both hot selling and cold products and must be linked in all your customer communication, whether it is via emails, SMS, or even social media. This is the first step towards ensuring that the deals on your cold products are easily accessible and discoverable for customers to assess.
Here’s an example of a stunning BFCM landing page by AliExpress:
Showcase cold products on the most frequently visited pages of your Shopify store
To get your cold products sold, you are going to have to first ensure that they are first easily discoverable so that your customers keep bumping into them and ultimately consider adding them to their carts. The easiest way to do that is by displaying these products over and over again on frequently visited sections of your Shopify store. These could be your top 10 category pages, definitely your homepage, your ‘Thank You’ page, your BFCM sale landing page, and so on.
You could even create attractive banners and pop ups featuring these products and the deals on them so that they are hard to miss.
Bundle cold products with hot selling ones
Another clever way to clear out your cold products’ shelves during BFCM is by bundling them with hot selling products so they automatically get sold along with those in demand and end up increasing your sale’s average order value. This is a great way to come up with deals that include multiple items from various categories and get them sold together as one.
Since people are already going to be looking for products across categories during the BFCM sale, chances are those combos are going to be quite a hit. In fact, you could even create a dedicated page for ‘Combos’ or ‘Gift Packs’ and have it easily accessible from your navigation bar to improve its discoverability.
Here’s a classic example of how Amazon create these bundles of products and offers them below product pages:
You could even consider bundling cold products together and offering discounts on them if bought in multiple quantities.
Here’s how Mate does it:
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Use cold items as product recommendations under all pages
Now, we’ve established that these cold products aren’t really the most actively searched for. But, one way to generate demand for them is by displaying them as product recommendations under categories such as ‘Customers Also Bought’ or ‘Frequently Bought Together’ so when customers run into them, they might find them worthy enough to be added to their carts.
A study by SalesForce concluded that shoppers who clicked on product recommendations are 4.5x more likely to add items to cart, and 4.5x more likely to complete their purchase as compared to those who didn’t. Considering how powerful product recommendations can be in driving eCommerce purchases and uplifting your AOV during BFCM, it doesn’t really make sense to not leverage them to draw attention towards your cold products, right?
Here’s an excellent example of the same by Blueberry:
Offer them as freebies or incentives
You can decide whether or not to leverage this tactic depending on how much percentage of your entire inventory is cold. If the percentage is low, you might just be able to clear it using the above strategies and some clever marketing tactics. If, however, you are stuck with loads of cold products that you wish to get sold during BFCM, utilizing these are freebies or incentives might be a good decision to empty those shelves.
For example, you could offer a free gift for shoppers with a minimum cart value of a certain amount or even offer incentives for referring friends or family to your BFCM sale, and so on. This way, you will end up making good use of them to enhance your sale, increase your average order value, attract more buyers, while emptying your cold product shelves.
Here’s how leading mattress makers, Lessa offered free pillows on purchase of a mattress during their BFCM sale:
Gearing up for a successful BFCM sale season for your cold inventory!
The bottom line is that holding up on your cold inventory is only going to do you harm in the long run by blocking up space in your warehouses and keeping you from adding more hot selling products to your catalogs. And since BFCM is the time you can get enthusiastic buyers to spend heavily on items they may or may not need, you don’t want to waste this opportunity by not marketing your cold products well.
Getting them out during this time is really the lowest hanging fruit you can target to clear out your shelves. So, don’t hold back this shopping season, come up with creative campaigns to get your cold products noticed, and try the above tactics to successfully get them sold. On that note, here’s wishing you all the luck for a thriving BFCM weekend for your online store.
Ready to get your cold products inventory sold? Get started on RevTap.
Looking for more tips on increasing your sales this BFCM? Take a look at our resources here – from marketing to advertising and more, we have it all.