Black Friday has always meant huge discounts and spectacular deals for buyers and a major peak in online sales. For retailers, this is one of the most important times of the year. Having an eCommerce platform that handles all aspects of such an event in an integrated approach is key, so we took a closer look at Shopware to see what plugins are offered out of the box or as third party assets to tackle this event successfully.
Plugins for planning and promoting
Once you have decided what products from your shop are available for your Black Friday sale, you can start thinking about your marketing strategy for the event. Shopware 6, comes with a powerful Marketing module out of the box, where users can set various types of promotions or they can create discount actions for sales channels. Within this module, you can create rules to set up restrictions for the promotions, as well as limit the promotion to a certain time frame.
The module is intuitive and merchants can easily create fixed or percentage discounts on the entire purchase, they can give away a free item if the purchase is above a minimum value, can offer discounts when purchasing a second item, or they can offer BOGOF promotions.
Email marketing is one of the most efficient strategies in driving Black Friday sales. With Shopware 6, newsletter recipients can be easily set up from the Marketing module, but this native option will give you limited choices when it comes to email designs.
If you want to upgrade from the out-of-the-box solution, a great tool is Advanced Marketing, a bundle consisting of 5 important marketing tools, paired with a Visual Mail editor, which helps you create newsletters and promotional emails easily, using a Drag and Drop Interface.
The extension can create multiple popups to convince customers to subscribe or register, conversion bars that get placed above the header and greet customers with relevant information or promote free shipping offers with progressive messages and shopping cart targets.
The Visual Mail Editor is a powerful feature and includes 25 pre-set up templates, fully responsive on every device. If you want to design your own promotional email, the drag and drop interface comes in handy. Even more, you can select images directly from Shopware media.
Plugins for Social Media store
Social selling has seen constant growth In recent years, and more and more e-commerce stores seem to embrace it. The closeness experienced on social networks makes both the company and the client have a much more direct contact creating that long-term relationship. Messages are received in a more positive way when a relationship is established and these Social Media channels can be seen not only as effective sales channels but as efficient marketing funnels as well.
With Shopware, users can set up Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest as additional sales channels with Social Shopping, an extension that comes as part of the Professional Edition and higher. Social Shopping allows easy integration into well-known social media services.
If you feel that Shopware’s native module is not enough, there are a few more extensions that can be purchased in the Shopware marketplace to enhance your social media pursuits.
Social Media Integration allows you to share the latest product photos and promotional materials with your customers on your Facebook Page and Instagram, directly from the admin interface. The extension is also free until November 2021, so just in time for the Black Friday event.
Social Media Share Buttons for Products is another extension that can be used to shout out about any discounts on various products. The buttons are responsive and they offer your customers the possibility to share products from the shop on various social media channels.
The search function
Black Friday shoppers who come into the website and use the search function are often in late-stage buying mode. They have already made a decision on the products that they want to buy, they have gathered information and they just want to find and purchase the product. That is why an effective search function is highly important for giving them exactly what they need.
Shopware 6 comes with a powerful search function out of the box. Users can configure how the function handles a search request that’s made out of multiple words and when the search function is triggered, using the ‘AND’ and ‘OR’ options. Items can be assigned ranking scores, and based on these, they can appear higher or lower in the search results.
The Enterprise Edition benefits from a high performance search function based on Elasticsearch, already integrated with the plan.
However, if you did not choose the Enterprise Edition, the Intelligent search with Elasticsearch plugin is one of the most acclaimed plugins in the Marketplace, and it will take the standardized Shopware search to a new level. The search function is intelligent and fault-tolerant, providing suggestions or related search results. It can handle multi-shops, it is highly configurable, it supports autocomplete and presents a customizable algorithm and index.
In the heat of the Black Friday rush, a streamlined checkout process, offering the most popular payment and shipping methods, is essential for a unique shopping experience, reducing the number of abandoned baskets.
The native checkout process in Shopware has received a massive upgrade starting with the latest 6.4 version. The necessary actions were reduced by one step with all the available payment options now being visible. The admin interface now offers various settings where payment methods can be added. At the same time, merchants can use the availability rule to determine when certain payment methods should be available. A novelty in version 6.4 is the wish list, where both logged-in and first-time users can save their favorite items for later purchase. There are integrations already installed or freely available from all the biggest payment providers, like PayPal, Stripe, Amazon Pay, and more.
However, if you want to take your checkout to the next level, there are a few extensions that can be purchased and installed from the Shopware Marketplace.
One Page Checkout from PremSoft is one of the best third-party extensions available, providing a fast way to finish your orders, presenting all order-relevant steps such as customer data, payment method, shipping method and order summary on a single page, thus simplifying the ordering process and reducing cancellations. The checkout process is responsive, mobile-optimized, and highly compatible with a multitude of payment methods.
Auto-Complete and Validation is another extension that comes highly recommended for speeding up the ordering process and reducing errors.
The extension uses Google Places and makes suggestions for suitable results when entering a postcode or street. The ordering process is quicker and typing errors are avoided. The extension also works when new customers are registered and when creating or changing billing and delivery addresses.
Plugins for customer service – chat
During Black Friday your online shop is suddenly presented with increased traffic, and live chat support is one of the most effective ways to help your customers find answers. A good live chat tool saves you time, as it enables customer service representatives to serve more than one customer, making their work more efficient.
Userlike Live Chat is one of the highest praised messaging extensions in the Shopware Marketplace. Users can customize the chat to their corporate identity, or Integrate it with their favorite business tools, like Slack, Pipedrive, Help Scout, and MailChimp.
For best customer service, operator groups can be set up to let customers click-select what department they want to talk to. Operator skills can be defined to match customer requests with employee expertise and a chatbot can be set up to automatically answer the most frequently asked questions.
The app also allows merchants to get quick insights into their performance through chat ratings, feedback and built-in surveys, or track the performance of the chat team with advanced analytics. Customers from other countries can be answered using the auto-translation feature and the app supports file exchange and voice messaging.