Product Discovery Audit: Are You Ready for BFCM?

Find out how McGee & Co., the home retailer behind the Netflix hit series “Dream Home Makeover,” is preparing for BFCM.

Every year, many shoppers wait until Black Friday Cyber Monday (BFCM) to snap up the best deals around. But what happens when they return to your site only to find that the item they’ve been eyeing for weeks is out-of-stock or that similar item suggestions are out of their price range?

While sales are top of mind for many retailers during BFCM, McGee & Co., the home retailer behind the Netflix hit series “Dream Home Makeover,” aims to build a loyal network of customers. This BFCM, McGee & Co. is looking to attract new clients and build long-term relationships, going beyond first purchases to encouraging return customers.

In a recent webinar, Syte speaks with McGee & Co’s VP of Technology, Josh Batchelor, about everything from customer loyalty and merchandising strategies to connecting shoppers with hyper-relevant products using visual AI and prioritizing recommendations using merchandising rules.

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Read on to see how McGee & Co. is preparing for BFCM 2022.

McGee & Co’s BFCM Merchandising Strategy

The focus for McGee & Co. lies in promoting available stock and getting these items to the top of search results first and foremost. 

“Our merchandising strategy gets a little bit of a tweak around Black Friday. We really focus on what’s in stock and easy or quick to ship. So, we have a big warehouse, and we’ve done a good job of stocking it this year to make sure things are shipping out quickly,” Josh explains. 

When customers inadvertently run into out-of-stock product detail pages (PDPs), McGee & Co. includes product recommendation carousels, powered by Syte, at the top of the page so customers are immediately served up with similar items. It’s all about connecting the right customer with the right product at the right time and easing any friction in the buyer journey.

With Syte’s visual AI technology, McGee & Co has automated the process of tagging products in the backend and curating product recommendation carousels. There’s something for everyone — whether it’s McGee & Co.’s existing client base who are high-intent shoppers with wishlists and shopping carts ready to go for BFCM weeks prior or new customers with smaller ticket purchases who are mainly looking to browse.

How McGee & Co. Is Cultivating Loyalty

Consistency is a beacon for McGee & Co. across its social media channels, website, and ad campaigns to maintain customer loyalty. “Make life beautiful” is the company’s motto and McGee & Co. aims to stay true to that across all brand touchpoints. The retailer is about selling timeless and classic pieces, not items that are fashionable now and out next season. McGee & Co.’s top priority is taking care of customers and making them happy. A key part of this is connecting customers with the relevant products early on, especially in out-of-stock cases. 

Aaron Ellis, Syte’s Senior Customer Success Manager, agrees with this strategy. “If you’re trying to achieve brand loyalty, you’d want to recommend visually similar items with high reviews or very low return rates — something we know will satisfy the customer. That layering will get the right products into your customers’ hands,” he says. 

BFCM checklist

With global logistical challenges, McGee & Co.’s policy has been one of transparency to make for well-informed buyers. “Customers got used to logistics issues — they heard about it on the news, they heard about it everywhere. So, as long as we were being as transparent as possible with them, we didn’t see a huge increase in cancellations because they were prepared,” explains Josh. Although logistics are returning to what they should be in terms of costs and efficiency, McGee & Co. is ordering deeper and already designing for 2024. The retailer has begun pre-buying and will evaluate what sold the best during BFCM to prepare for sales next year. 

The Impact Of Visual AI

To gauge its business efforts, McGee & Co. looks to key metrics such as search accuracy, conversion, click-through rates, and abandoned cart rate. “Because we’ve implemented Syte, we’ve been able to start tying products together. Are we getting the right results? We’re trying to make sure that as customers are finding an end table or a couch, they’re also finding the complementary pieces that are part of that collection,” Josh says. “With Syte, McGee is making sure they’re getting those served up when they need them and when it’s contextual,” he adds. 

With Syte’s visual AI technology, McGee & Co. has seen a notable jump in efficiency by not having to manually tag products or curate recommendation carousels. It has helped customers to find and discover products they want with a high degree of accuracy. To date, McGee and Co. has seen 6.5x* higher conversion (CVR) and a 485%* increase in average revenue per user (ARPU).

*Results are based on shoppers who interact with Syte’s solutions compared to website averages. 

In Summary 

There is a fine line between growing sales and meeting critical business objectives. It all begins with planning early, but it’s never too late. Be transparent and focus on what makes your customers happy to build brand loyalty and ease friction in the buying journey.

Brands and retailers should explore offering similar items in out-of-stock scenarios and prioritize merchandising rules. Reviewing the data at the close of BFCM will be a compass for improving internal processes and metrics in the next year and optimizing vendor-to-vendor relationships.

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