In this episode, ecommerce experts Maria Gudelis and Carina Hatton reveal their top strategies for boosting your online sales during the critical holiday shopping season. They share actionable tips on offering compelling deals, driving engagement, capturing emails, promoting bestsellers, and increasing order value. Whether you're an experienced ecommerce seller or just starting out, you'll learn valuable insights to help your business capitalize on Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
This episode will help ecommerce businesses maximize profits during the critical holiday sales season!
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Carina Hatton (00:03):
Hi, it's Carina here and I'm with Maria Gudelis and she is an amazing seven figure store coach slash owner. She's done a lot with e-commerce since it began. So today we're going to talk about the five steps to crush your Black Friday, Cyber Monday sales this year. So, hey Maria.
Maria Gudelis (00:27):
Hey Carina. Thank you for that intro. I'm so excited about this and I think everyone who knows Carina, she is amazing and she's created her own seven figure fashion brand online and now teaches thousands of other people how to start and scale their own online e-commerce store. So Carina, we had to get together and talk about how to prepare, how to help people crush their Black Friday, cyber Monday sales. November's coming up. I do want to say, if you listen to the end, my dear listener, we are going to reveal the actual apps we use. That is the fifth step of increasing your sales. In November, we're going to actually reveal the actual apps, the tech tools that we use that literally can help double your average order value, which is huge. So without further ado, Carina, I just want to share with you, we are using the fancy dance technology of our iPad and here step one is having two offers. I'm just going to teach from here and if everyone knows us before Carina and I just kind of chat because we really want to make this a conversation as if you're having a cup of coffee with us or a tea across the table. But step one that a lot of it's counterintuitive to what a lot of people teach, but we say that you should have two offers. And Carina, can you talk about why we should have two offers
Carina Hatton (01:53):
For Yeah, so the reason for that is because there are multiple reasons, but one big reason is all the big companies are going to have a lot of eyeballs on them during Black Friday, Cyber Monday. So what we're going to do as small business owners is kind of catch their attention before that so that they're excited about what you're doing and you're offering special things to them prior to Black Friday and Cyber Monday. And so it's going to get their attention and it's going to create a bump of sales in the week prior to. So that's why we're doing two offers. We're not just going to wait until Black Friday and go, oh hey, we're here and we're having this amazing sale and I hope you will come shop. We're going to get their attention prior to that.
Maria Gudelis (02:44):
And what we mean by that you can see on this graph is that we have for a reason $56,534 and 8 cents showing there what Carina's store made in November. Not because we're recording this in October, I'm not talking about the future, I'm talking about the past November. And you can see there's two offers there because there's two spikes in that. And by the way, if you want to have a step-by-step, implement it yourself, execute it within an hour or less, three holiday cash causing mini campaigns that include the strategy about this, the two offers head on over to my, what is it called again? My holiday
Carina Hatton (03:20):
Promo, myholiday promo.com
Maria Gudelis (03:22):
To grab it. It's really just less than the cost of a gourmet pizza you guys to get in. But essentially that is step one, having two offers. So don't be scared to have two offers because please remember Black Friday and Summer Monday, it's kind of affectionately dubbed BFCM. You probably see everywhere, but they're really the twin titans of the holiday shopping season. And for the e-commerce world, our world, it's like the Super Bowl for us. So it's like the Super Bowl and the Olympics and Christmas all wrapped up into one. And here's the interesting thing, remember when if you were a football fan, watch the Super Bowl or the Olympics, remember all the pre teasers to it. You're probably watching the playoffs before the Super Bowl, or if you're a hockey fan, you're watching the playoffs before the Stanley Cup final playoffs. So this is kind of having your own playoffs right here in the second Buble week before Black Friday, summer Monday. Okay, so we're going to go to step two and it's talking about engagement. Carina, do you want to talk about the importance of engagement? I'm going to draw something really quick here, but it's about having a social contest and maybe email if you have a list to the contest, but you want to talk just a little bit about that.
Carina Hatton (04:30):
Well, here's the thing. As a small business owner, if you just turn on your website customers, people are not going to know you're there. You actually have to put yourself out there and let them know that you exist. First of all, and even today, I found a company that's super awesome that I didn't know existed, just randomly came upon it and they've probably been out there for at least a year and I didn't know. So as a small business owner, I've had a lot of ladies say, Hey, I turned on my store, but I'm not getting any sales. You have to do something to get sales. You can't just sit. So that's where the social media engagement comes in and that's where the emails come in because you have to actively show them that you want their business.
Maria Gudelis (05:17):
Cool. And Carina, is it okay if I just draw it to show the example of what we've done for clients in the past in our own businesses that really just increase the engagement socially?
Carina Hatton (05:30):
Yeah, for sure.
Maria Gudelis (05:31):
Okay, so what we're talking about, here's the problem, everyone has Facebook, Instagram, they've turned off your ability to get natural reach with your Instagram page. Say if you have, I have a client who's got over 42,000 followers for his e-commerce store print on demand store. And my gosh, he's so frustrated because Maria, I don't make the sales. I used to, three years ago, I used to just do a post on Instagram one my designs and bam, I'd make $5,000 in sales that week. Whereas now he's lucky to get a hundred dollars in sales from that same post. So how do you solve that problem? Because a lot of you may be sitting on an asset like hidden gold on your social following, whether it be Facebook, Instagram, and how do you boost then the reach in an ethical way that's in compliance with Facebook and Instagram?
Well, what you do is you do just a simple post of a contest. You may have seen this, and again, we kind of give you the exact template to use and actual examples in our Black Friday sales system, which you can grab at https://myholidaypromo.com. But what we essentially do is you post here that you're just giving away something like when I used to run a yoga fashion bracelet store and Print On Demand store, like say I'd be giving away my namaste in bed as an example. So it'd it'd just be a giveaway, a post, and then you would encourage people to comment and tag their friend in the comments. What happens as all these comments start happening? They're friends say, I do this, then my sister Julie, then comments here that I want it as an example. Then what happens is that some of Julie's friends then see that post.
Cool. And then so more people comment and we give kind of the reasons or the method, how do you call it, how to encourage the viral nature of it. You give them three things to do that are really clear in the post. I tag this, share a friend comment below like my post. So when they like this post, so this is huge. Some people say share to your story. And so what happens is that the algorithm, you're kind of hacking the Instagram algorithm or Facebook algorithm that more and more people see it. So then guess what? When you're ready to do your two offers, you've primed, we're kind of like calling it prime the pump, right? Carina Prime, the social media pump, your organic following, you've got it primed. Then when you do post your Black Friday sales, like start happening, say here the week before here, when you start doing your posts, guess what?
People are going to see it now, okay, because we want to teach stuff. We also teach you how to use paid ads to get a huge return on your ad spend and sales. But we also want to talk about organic ways, free ways to do this. So when you do this is huge. And then if you do have an email list like Carina mentioned, then do what we call reverse organic increase your reverse organic reach where you can email them out, bam, to the giveaway subject line can simply say giveaway act now. And that's the other thing is to make it scarcity involved. Give it only three days or maybe a 48 hour, that's really key to make it 72 hours or 48 hours or else they'll be doing it later. If you don't give people a reason to act and act now, they'll wait till later.
Carina Hatton (09:01):
Well, this is what's interesting to me is that I think a lot of people think of social media as being separate from their email strategy and they don't think about sending an email and telling them to go to their Instagram or Facebook and see a post and interact with it. And so they miss out on this huge amount of engagement from people that know and love them already because they're just not, they don't know to send that email.
Maria Gudelis (09:31):
Yeah, absolutely. So thanks. So Carina, we're on to number three. The third way to crush your Black Friday sales. By the way, I'm looking down everyone because that's where I'm drawing my iPad, but number three is to increase your audience growth and oops, I can't even spell or delete that. If you increase your audience growth, which step two actually does that, but when people come to your store to check out your site, you should have a way to capture their email by giving them something an ethical bribe and return. Carina, I know you rock at this. You actually have a very exclusive relationship, but one of the top tools that allow you to grow your audience. So if you want to talk a bit about that so that people
Carina Hatton (10:16):
Maria Gudelis (10:17):
Simplest way to grow your audience
Carina Hatton (10:18):
Well, so we partner with Privy and they are just amazing at doing all the things, and we'll put a link down below to get you some special access to that. But it is gold. When you're driving traffic to your website, you have got to be collecting email addresses, and that's how I instantly know if someone knows what they're doing or not is whether they have a popup on their website because it is so important. And that is even just the first step. You can gather email addresses, but maybe you don't have the next step set up. So not only do you get the email addresses and give them the offer, right, like $10 off 50 or whatever, you actually need to communicate with them after that. So you want to have your follow-up sequences because you want to continue that relationship because it can take multiple times of someone visiting your website for them to actually make a purchase.
And we don't have time for that, especially going into Black Friday, Cyber Monday. We need to build relationships quickly right now, and so we're going to collect their email address and give them something for doing that, not just, Hey, come beyond my newsletter, enter your email. That's not going to work. You've got to give them something to get them right? It's that reciprocity. So giving them something and they feel obligated to give you their email address. So that is why you have to have a popup. I, in just a few years time gathered 30,000 email addresses in my popup with my own boutique.
Maria Gudelis (12:12):
Did you just say 30,000?
Carina Hatton (12:14):
Over 30,000? Now imagine, and I turned that popup on from day one. So imagine I had not had a popup on my website, and especially if you're running ads, which we'll talk about in a different episode, but if you're running ads and you don't have a popup, you are wasting your money.
Maria Gudelis (12:37):
So I'm just a graphical representation. If you're listening auditorial wise on the podcast, iTunes or something, or Spotify, you can't see this, but if you go to the YouTube channel, you can see what we're drawing here, but it kind of shows, this is an example of your website that it's just a pop-up that happens and then you give them something, an ethical bribe, like 15% off coupon code or something to enter their email might do a two-step and ask them to enter their SMS their phone number as well. And then this is where you make money, while you sleep. That email then shoots off to your email autoresponder service that collects emails like a database allowing you to email off. Like here's email one, email two, email three that you just set it up once and then it sends out automatically even if you're off having dinner with your family, making sales.
So that's step three. So step four, and by the way, if you guys are digging this, please do us a favor so we know this content is resonating with you. Make sure you hit subscribe if you're watching this on YouTube or go ahead and hit the button. If you're watching on Facebook, we might repurpose this as a Facebook video as, or if you're just listening to this, do us a favor, leave us a review because the more we know we're helping you buy that feedback from you, then the more it kind of excites us to keep giving you value content like that. Cool. Okay, so step four is about determining your best seller. Step four. Can you talk a bit about that, Carina, why this is important to crushing your holiday sales?
Carina Hatton (14:05):
It's really important because the kiss of death for an e-commerce store is, I want to be a one-stop shop or I want to have something for everybody. It takes massive amounts of money to do that. So what you want to determine is your top selling categories, and that's what you want to go deep on this time of year. This is not the time of year that you want to be guessing or promoting stuff that you think might sell. You want the sure thing. And so you want to go in, look at what you've been selling the most of category wise and you want to go deep on those right now and those are what you want to promote.
Maria Gudelis (14:47):
And it just makes the most sense, right? Because if that's your bestseller, it's your hook to get the looks of all your new people after you've done steps 1, 2, 3, and then they're going to buy it and then they're going to tell their friends about it and then they're going to see what else you got on your store and start buying other things, which leads into step four, or sorry, step five. Step five is carina. Can you guess what it is? Step five...
Carina Hatton (15:11):
This is one of my favorite steps ever. It's average order value. So do you know what your average order value is? Do you know? Because it's very important, especially in scaling to seven figures myself, that number, if you can just tweak it by even a buck or two, you are going to make so much more money. And so what it is is what the average person spends when they visit your site.
Maria Gudelis (15:42):
And we teased you at the beginning of this episode that we would give you the couple tools that we've used in the past are using now that work like a charm. Let me just give you some examples to get you excited. So one of our clients sells a planner, a planner, believe it or not, a lot to the tune of almost million a year of a planner who knew? So anyway, the client came to me and said, I'm not making a lot of money because my average order value is about $50, meaning when someone comes to the store, they buy 50 bucks worth because the planner's like between 38 to $48 depending on what time of the year she's selling it. So I said, well, what else do you got? Because she sells other things. So right away I said, well, let's offer a, this is technology jargon, but let us explain it.
It's a one click upsell strategy, meaning not the cross. Even though these work well, and I know, Carina, you're going to talk about it, not the cross-sell apps that you could have on your store that say you put a bracelet in your store cart and you're ready to buy it. And then you see the store offer, Hey, this necklace goes great with this bracelet and you add it to the cart. I'm talking about after you buy, gave your precious credit card information over to buy or PayPal, whatever you used, then the thank you confirmation page offers you something else that's sexy, that goes real well with the thing that you just bought. And this is why this works so well. You just click a button and it automatically charges. You don't have to reenter your credit card information. That's why this technology is so huge that it exists.
Now it's called a one click upsell. So one of the apps that I've used in the past for this client is Zipify one click upsells. It's Ezra Firestone created it. It's a great app and it makes it simple. So it increased her average order value from between 45 to $50 was her average order value to over $80. Alright, that's huge, right? I've done this for my own stores where I've sometimes doubled the average order value. And it makes or breaks you from being able to also run paid ads, by the way, because if your average, your order value is only $30 for instance, because maybe your t-shirt is $28 or something, it's hard and harder to get more traffic to your store if you don't have a good profit margin. So think about it, if you sell say three T-shirts of the same kind, have the same almost shipping costs, your profits are going to be a lot higher.
Okay? So that's so important to look at your average order value. I've sold even shoes. Hey, these socks in this handbag goes good with this. So these are examples, Carina, there's two other apps that are good for one click upsells. One's called last upsell post purchase. And in fact, just on one of the pages here, they talk about how with just two clicks, these results could be yours, 15% average growth in revenue, $20 average order value increase and plus $4,000, 4000%, 4000% average return on investment. Alright? So over 40,000 brands use, I don't know how many brands use it, but a ton by the way. I mean I use it, love it, easy to use. So that's my 2 cents worth about average order value. I know this is so important, Carina, that I feel we need to do another podcast episode just on this. Yes,
Carina Hatton (19:06):
There's so much, and I think a lot of small business owners really kind of write off the average order value number that they're seeing like in Shopify, gives it to you on the page right there with your reports, but you want to use that also when you're doing your free shipping threshold, you can actually, let's say your average order value is $38. Well, why don't you make your free shipping threshold $50? And so they're going to go hunting for something. You always want to make your free shipping a little bit higher than your average order value that's going to make them go hunt for something else to hit that free shipping. So let's say your average order value is $38. You don't want to say $35 is free shipping. You want to get them to stretch out of their comfort zone and find something else. So that's another trick that you can use.
Maria Gudelis (20:06):
And what I love about that is that it's sort of almost like a secret to ensuring that your Black Friday, cyber Monday sales are going to be kind of record breaking Carina, because not a lot of people do that. And I know we talked about this before the call and I be remiss to not mention it since I love and adore email marketing, you could actually increase your one day average order value after they buy by just having a good follow-up with offering the same thing. They bought one of the brands that I helped create from scratch with $50,000 working capital. Just want to be real here and transparent because that was for inventory, a private label version of a protein shaker bottle. It's called Tornado Shakers. Within a year and a half. We sold it for over seven figures from scratch. But I will tell you, yeah, the reason why is because on Black Friday was our first killer day of $10,000 in sales.
But what helped was the sales that continued the next few days, and we did this all year long too. You don't have to limit this to Black Friday, Cyber Monday, but the email follow up was, Hey, you like this? How do you like another one? Because a lot of people we found were putting the tornado shaker in their gym bag when they go to the gym, but then when they come home, maybe they want one for home for breakfast or for dinner or to have a protein shake. And people started, Carina, people started using it to mix salad oils with and things like that. Oh, did they really? Yeah, they started using it for alternative uses or their hot chocolate in or whatever. And so what was cool is that the email that followed up, a lot of people will often, and everyone forgets about this, and I don't mean to, it's not your fault because no one really teaches this a lot. Please know this, if you're listening to this right now and you're not doing this, but a lot of people will buy exactly what they just bought. I
Carina Hatton (21:45):
Never thought of that. They already showed you they like it.
Maria Gudelis (21:49):
Yes. Or they want to buy for a friend. I bought one, it's one of our clients. When I worked for big advertising agency, we used to do the ads for big, big e-com brands and public figures. And Mel Robbins was one of the clients and one of her videos that we boosted a post for to get more eyeballs on it was she was wearing this bracelet. Everyone started commenting, where'd you get the bracelet? Where'd you get the bracelet? And so it's this bracelet at my intent, it was like my intent.org or whatever really cool thing helps charity, whatever. But Carina, when I bought one, I loved it so much, I bought 10 others for my friends, I started using it for clients as well. Like, Hey, I think this word bold reminds me of you. And I would send her a bracelet with that custom engraved word bold on it. Right? Look, this isn't a commercial. We don't get affiliate money for MindTech, whatever. But the point I'm trying to make is that people also buy it as gifts for others. Some of your designs, whether it be t-shirts, whether it be clothing and Karina. Lastly, before I forget, because again, tune in you guys to the next episode, we're going to talk more details about increasing average order value, but you do something before they even get to the cart called layering. Can you talk a little bit about that, how important that is?
Carina Hatton (23:02):
Yeah, and this is funny. I was just looking at a jewelry company this morning and I noticed that they were trying to sell this one necklace. And when I looked at the image the girl had on four necklaces all layered together. And so that's another way, and companies have been doing it for years, but you just don't think about it as a small business owner that you can do that too. And think about companies at the mall, for example. When you walk in there, they've got their mannequins and they don't just have a shirt on, they have a shirt, a pair of pants, a sweater, a scarf, a hat. They layer stuff. And so as you're doing your product images, you should be layering your products together. And that is one other form of upselling and maybe linking them together or doing a social media post like that where you have more than one of your products. So don't just throw out a social media post with a shirt. Always have two or three of your products in every single image that you do, and that's going to help you upsell.
Maria Gudelis (24:11):
Yay. I love it. Love it. So Carina, just to close this off, I just want to rename the five things, the five steps to do to basically position yourself to dominate during the Black Friday, summer Monday madness so that your offers stand out, your cart values skyrocket, and your customers will leave satisfied and ready to return for more. So number one, have two offers. Number two, increase your engagement. Number three, increase your audience growth. Number four, determine your best sellers. Turn data into dollars. And number five, increase your average order to value. So having said that, Carina, I loved being on this podcast with you. I'm glad that we're doing this because I think it's needed to. We just want to give so much free value to all of you. You make more money and we have a hidden reason. When we help you guys make more money, you're going to want to then come buy from us. That's our goal too, is our mission is to help so many entrepreneurs out there just get more freedom through starting their own online business or maybe scaling it because it's a lot easier than you think Carina.
Carina Hatton (25:18):
Yeah, and I think it's never crowded on the extra mile. I think a lot of people give up because they don't have the knowledge and just these simple little tweaks from someone who's gone ahead of you can make such a huge difference.
Maria Gudelis (25:37):
So hey, if you like this, go ahead and hit subscribe or leave us a review. We'd really love it. We'll even read it out loud on the next podcast episode so we can highlight you as well. Alright, thank you Carina. Cheers.
Carina Hatton (25:48):