Black Friday Cyber Monday: The only guide you need to get more sales
Whether your eCommerce business is just starting out or you’re preparing to break the records of your last year’s sales, we know you’re starting to gear up for Black Friday Cyber Monday already. That’s why we started early too, on getting a strategy in place for you.
From A to Z of setting up your discounts, optimizing your store for high conversions, promoting your products and BFCM deals, converting traffic into sales, ensuring a great post-purchase experience to driving customers back to make more purchases, this guide has it all.
Table of Contents
Planning your BFCM strategy
First things first, the number one thing you need to prepare is a plan for your BFCM sale. This should include setting up your goals, the type of discounts you want to offer, how you’re going to promote your sale, how you’re going to ensure order fulfilment, your contingency plan for when products go out of stock and your post BFCM strategy to continue driving traffic to your Shopify store and sales that help you skyrocket your revenue goal!
Step 1 – Set your BFCM goals
Don’t look at us like that. We know the one obvious goal of BFCM is to increase sales. But setting clear goals is important so that you know what you want to achieve and what it’s going to take to achieve those goals.
- Pre-launch BFCM
- During BFCM
- Increase website visitors
- Increase total sales
- Increase total revenue
Step goals to achieve overarching goals
- Set up discounts and offers
- Improve product discoverability
- Reduce cart abandonment
- Increase conversion rate
- Increase average order value
- Optimize marketing channels
- Optimize advertising channels and budgets
We know how tough this looks, but see how the Blenders team has chalked out a plan for their Black Friday Cyber Monday promotions:
Your plan should include all the possible strategies you can use to promote your BFCM sale, and how you can use those sales to get more sales. If you know what we mean! So here are some of the must-haves our Shopify experts add to Black Friday Cyber Monday strategizing:
- Buzz-building campaigns (countdowns, deals, specials, ads, emails and other channels)
- Sneak peeks
- Website optimization
- Influencer and micro-influencer engagement
- Extended sale for last-minute shoppers
- Post-BFCM strategy to drive repeat purchases
Your BFCM marketing plan can never be too detailed. Take every scenario into consideration. Take every challenge into consideration. Detail it out and document your plan. You could use a whiteboard or you could use a Google Doc, but put it all down so that you don’t miss out on anything.
Need help in creating a strategy to promote your BFCM sale? Reach out to our Shopify experts for a FREE consultation.
Step 2 – Plan and set up your discounts
Once you have a BFCM plan in place, it’s time to set up discounts. That’s what Black Friday Cyber Monday is all about, after all!
Take a look at the previous sales you have run. See what type of discounts or offers have appealed to your customers the most by seeing which got used the most and the average order value they drove in, the sales you made and the overall revenue that you generated through those discounts and offers. You can do this by using the checkout report available on RevTap.
The good thing about BFCM is that you can use a combination of discounts to attract deal-hunters. Some of the most popular ones being:
- Store-wide discounts
These are the simplest types of discount, wherein you give an X% off on all the products you sell during the BFCM period. Just remember to highlight the amount a customer gets to save by availing this discount.
- Range-specific discounts
Is there a product range that gets you more profit margin? Or is there a range of products that just don’t seem to sell? Well, you could set up special BFCM deals on these products to make them more appealing to online shoppers.
If anyone says your whole site needs to be on discount to drive more BFCM sales, they are wrong. Plan it strategically so that you can drive maximum profits from this sale period.
- BOGO discounts (buy one get one)
Ever walked into a store and bought another product simply because it was on a sale with another purchase that you were making? BFCM shoppers are no different and that’s why BOGO discounts are such a hit!
- Volume discounts
BFCM is also the one time when shoppers stock up on products they really love or use frequently, or would like their friends and family to have. This is where volume discounts come in. Here are some examples of volume discounts:
- 20% off on 5 or more products
- 50% off site-wide on BFCM
- Save $10 if you buy 3 or more
- Save 5% if you spend $200 or more
Recommend app(s): Volume & Discounted Pricing
- Free shipping
You’re offering discounts during BFCM. Do you know what can seal the deal for you? Free shipping. Entice more shoppers (local, national and international) by offering free shipping for orders above a certain dollar value, and see how many consumers move to checkout.
Step 3 – Make a contingency plan
BFCM sales are meant to be crazy. Your products can go out of stock in just a few hours. Your live chat could get filled with customer queries in a day. Your site could start seeing crazy amounts of traffic suddenly. Your time-sensitive discounts could start seeing more demand and requests. Your shipping and logistics partners could suddenly have their hands full.
Either way, you want to have a contingency plan on your side. List down all the possibilities so that you’re not stressing at the last minute.
Not sure what kind of discounts appeal to your customers? Talk to our Shopify experts to get a FREE consultation on understanding customer analytics.
And now that you have a plan in place, it’s time to get work. No, you don’t have till the last minute to start your Black Friday Cyber Monday sale promotions. You need to start early because it’s the early bird that catches the worm!
Pre-BFCM preparations to get more sales
Step 1 – Set up your analytics
Don’t make analytics the last thing on your list, or you’ll end up spending so much of your resources on channels that don’t get you sales, that it’ll be hard to recover the loss. Whether you’re a new store or been in the market for a while, whether you know which channels your customers are on or you’re starting to figure out who your customers are, analytics is for you.
Sign up on Google Analytics to create an account for yourself right away. Now we know how Google Analytics can get overwhelming all too soon. You may not even know which metrics to track between all those numbers. So before you move to the next step, install an analytics app that does all the number crunching for you and creates actionable reports that you can use for your pre-launch campaign and then throughout the BFCM sale.
New to analytics? Join our eCommerce Analytics Masterclass.
Three reports that you should have set up before starting out on actively promoting your BFCM deals are:
- Customer analytics
- Product analytics
- Checkout report
- Marketing performance analytics
Recommended app(s): RevTap
Step 2 – Optimize your store design
The next step is to ensure that your Shopify store is ready for all those BFCM deal-seeking shoppers. Missing out on the smallest of details could make you lose a sale. So here’s a quick checklist for you:
- Set up advanced search and filters
You need to make it easy for shoppers to find specific products. In a hurry, they might type in the wrong words or misspell them – your search should be able to tackle typos and synonyms to still display relevant products. Similarly, since BFCM discounted products fly out faster, shoppers may want to drill down their search as soon as possible. So make sure you’re able to add advanced filters as well.
Recommended app: Searchly
- Set up an exit-intent popup
BFCM deal seekers leave as fast as they come to your site – especially if they get distracted by another ongoing deal. Make sure you don’t let them slip away by targeting them with an exit-intent popup. You could tell them how the deals available on your site are time-sensitive or offer them an additional discount to complete the purchase during the visit. But make sure you don’t let them go without trying to convert them in some way.
Recommended app(s): MailMunch
- Set up an announcement bar
Make your discounts the first thing your shopper sees by adding an announcement bar to your store site. Use the copy to inform the three most important things about the BFCM sale: how much the offer is, how long it’ll last, and what the code is to avail the discount. Setting this up during your pre-launch campaign is also a good idea to capture subscribers who you can reach out to immediately when the sale goes live.
Recommended app(s): Privy
- Set up guest checkout
- Set up a customer accounts page
Recommend app(s): Flits
- Set up a back in stock widget
If your BFCM discounts are a hit, you’ll see products go out of stock sooner than ever! But you will still see more shoppers coming for that product. Instead of them leaving without making a purchase, capture their intent by asking them to subscribe to restock alerts for the product. Let them know you’ll notify them on email, SMS, Messenger or web push (whatever they choose), as soon as the product is back on the store with the BFCM deal.
Even if you’re not able to bring back the same product, you can always nurture this subscriber with similar deals.
Recommended app(s): Back in Stock by Appikon
- Set up a BFCM deals/ BFCM pre-launch page
Make it easier for the hurried shoppers to find all your BFCM deals in one place. Create a new page on your store that lists down all the products or the brands that are on sale. Use this space to even list down your return and refund policies during the BFCM period. The easier it is for shoppers to find all the information they need, the more likely they are to convert.
Recommended app(s): PageFly
- Set up product recommendations
You’re spending hundreds of dollars trying to capture consumer attention and drive them to your store. Make sure you make the most out of this visit by displaying personalized product recommendations to the shopper based on what they came looking for, or what they’re looking at on your store. Highlight similar products, best-selling items, top-selling products, fast-selling items, best sellers, limited stock products and more to keep them browsing and considering more deals.
You can even display these product recommendations on your cart page and thank you page to upsell and cross-sell products to shoppers.
Recommended app(s): Wiser for product recommendations
- Set up subscription channels
A lot of visitors may come to your store during your BFCM pre-launch campaign and leave without making a purchase. There’ll be some that do the same even during the BFCM sale. Remember to nudge these shoppers to interact with you by giving them the ability to easily subscribe to updates from your store – more importantly, without having to share their email addresses because they’re already afraid of being spammed. But at the same time, they do want to be notified at the right time.
- Set up multiple payment methods
No two shoppers are the same. While one may choose to pay cash on delivery, another may prefer paying via a credit card or a debit card, and some might choose to pay via digital wallets and even in instalments. Based on what kind of products you sell, who your target audience is, make sure you set up multiple payment options on your store during BFCM.
- Set up an order tracking page
BFCM shoppers are forever anxious about their purchases. Don’t make it more difficult for them by asking them to track their orders on third-party logistics and courier sites with a waybill number that you generate on their order. Set up an order tracking page on your website itself that lets them see their order status in real-time.
Recommended app(s): ClickPost
PS. Make sure that everything you do for your BFCM sale on your site, is well-optimized for mobile devices.
Step 3 – Run a pre-launch campaign to capture the intent
Once your store is all set, it’s time to run a pre-launch campaign among your existing customers and subscribers, as well as new customers. Here are a few channels you should definitely cover to make sure your target audience knows about your upcoming BFCM sale.
- Social media and search ads
Set up a few ad campaigns on social media and search to announce your upcoming BFCM sale. You could start this campaign a little early on – even 30 days in advance is a good idea to avoid having to compete with all the other ads that brands would eventually put up.
Drive these visitors to your pre-launch page to capture intent and then once your sale is live, retarget these shoppers to let them know they can avail the discounts.
- Email campaign
Send out an email to all-out existing customers and subscribers, notifying them about your upcoming BFCM sale and what it will include. Maybe even give them a sneak peek into the kind of discounts they can look forward to or what products would be going up on discount. Remember to keep reminding these subscribers about the BFCM sale in your ongoing newsletters, and how they should keep their wish lists ready.
Recommended app(s): SmartrMail, Spently
- Web push notification campaign
- Text marketing campaign
Here too, you can run a countdown campaign that reminds them of the sale in an ongoing manner. Later, you can use the same channel to also recover abandoned carts.
Recommended app(s): TxtCart
- Facebook Messenger campaign
Similarly, also make sure you’re notifying shoppers about the upcoming BFCM campaign and reminding them of it till it launches, via Facebook Messenger. Most of your shoppers are already actively networking on this channel. So make the most of it!
Recommended app(s): Recart
Step 1 – Optimize and keep run your marketing and advertising campaigns
Don’t miss a beat when it comes to picking up on trends and patterns. The one way to continually get your discounts noticed is to be in the right place at the right time. And also to make sure your targeting for marketing and advertising campaigns is on point.
During the BFCM sale, make sure you continue to run your ads across multiple channels. But at the same time, also ensure that you’re not spending too much on a channel that isn’t getting you much reach or conversions. Track your campaign performance with RevTap Shopify analytics to be able to adjust your strategy accordingly.
New to running ads? Don’t forget to read out guides that will help you set up a campaign that converts:
Would you rather have Shopify experts run your ads during BFCM so you can focus on customers and order fulfilment? Contact us for a FREE ad consultation and a custom quote.
Step 2 – Offer live support
The BFCM period is absolutely crazy. There are just so many things on sale that a typical online shopper might just get all too overwhelmed. Not being able to choose the right product or variant can result in product page abandonment and cart abandonment. These are high-intent shoppers; they just need a little help in making a purchase.
So, implement a live chat during the BFCM sale to tackle such concerns and queries. You can even automate certain answers to guide the shopper to pre-existing information available on your store – like the size guide, refund or return policy, etc.
Step 3 – Keep shoppers up-to-date about their orders
Post-purchase order delivery anxiety is real. Especially during BFCM when customers are constantly fretting about their orders being confirmed, but not delivered. Further, any delays in order fulfilment, make them more panicky. This results in endless WISMO (where is my order) calls to your store’s customer support.
Worst case, if a customer is not able to track their order, they might request cancellation too.
The best way to avoid this during BFCM is to keep your shoppers up-to-date about their orders. You can do this in two ways:
- Branded live order tracking pages
- Order status notifications on email and SMS
Recommended app(s): ClickPost
Step 4 – Promote your referral program benefits
Want to get more shoppers to your store? Want to get your products and BFCM offers discovered faster? Don’t wait to start on word of mouth promotions for after. Activate your referral program by nudging everyone who makes a purchase, to share their order or experience with their friends and family.
But remember, this works only when the shoppers see some value coming their way too. So you could offer them an additional discount for every referral that purchases from your BFCM sale. Include the details on your thank you page for maximum participation!
Step 1 – Identify your best-selling products
Hopefully, you have made a lot of sales during the period. But your work doesn’t end there. Now it is the time to take stock of how you performed and then optimize your future efforts to make sure you’re able to drive as many sales even when the BFCM hype is over.
The first step to ensuring that is to understand which of your products did well. Looking into product analytics can tell you what’s a hit with the customer’s you’re targeting. By restocking items that they’re more likely to purchase, you reduce your warehousing costs on cold products drastically and can double down your marketing efforts on what’s popular.
Now instead of spending too much time creating excel sheets to track the performance of all your products, use RevTap.
RevTap connects to your store and analytics apps to generate an easy-to-understand product analytics report. It segments your products into top-selling, high profit, cold and other segments based on the demand shown during the BFCM sale.
Recommended app(s): RevTap
Step 2 – Get to know your customers
The next step is to look into what kind of shoppers came to your store and made a purchase during the BFCM period. Now, this is important so that you can focus on targeting only similar kinds of customers instead of trying to reach a wider audience that is less likely to convert. Understand what motivated shoppers to make a purchase from your store, their demographics and more with RevTap eCommerce customer analytics.
The Shopify app connects to your store, your Google Analytics and your marketing apps to create clear customer segments based on their shopping behaviour. You wouldn’t have to go through endless data on excel sheets to figure out who you need to market to.
Recommended app(s): RevTap
Step 3 – Actively collect reviews and ratings
While you’re working on optimizing your inventory and understanding who your ideal customer is, we would suggest getting your ACT together to start collecting social proof. Because your future sales depend a lot on what your BFCM customers now think about your products and your brand in general.
Reach out to all your customers on email, web push, SMS or even the Facebook Messenger, to request them for reviews, ratings and testimonials. Remember to add a note about how important their opinion is to you, and make it easy for them to submit their reviews, to get maximum participation.
Step 4 – Get customer feedback
On the same note, don’t just collect reviews and ratings for your product. Reach out to all your BFCM customers and request them to share feedback as well. This is an important part of your post-BFCM strategy as it will give you insights into what your ideal customers expect from your brand and where you can improve what you offer.
A simple feedback form with only the most important questions sent across when the order is placed or when the order gets delivered can help you understand your customers better than ever before.
Recommend app(s): Qrite
Step 5 – Promote your loyalty program
You know who your customers are. You also know which one of them are high-value, VIP customers to your brand. It’s time to seal the deal with these customers so that you can have them coming back for more purchases in no time. This is when you need to start promoting your loyalty program.
Nudge your customers to join your loyalty program. Highlight the benefits they will get out of it – for example, access to exclusive deals, early access to upcoming sales and more. Make sure you set up a drip campaign on email, web push, SMS and Messenger to remind these shoppers to join your loyalty program.
If you don’t have a loyalty program, you can set one up by identifying what is it that made these shoppers buy from you and how you can add more value to them in the coming future.
Step 6 – Set up retargeting and remarketing campaigns
Who said retargeting and remarketing campaigns are only for abandoned cart recovery. You can use a shopper’s on-site purchase and browsing behaviour to retarget them with promotions of discounts and other products that are similar to the ones they availed.
Showing your customers more of what they have displayed a tendency to like, is like recapturing their interests only to nudge them to buy more from you. Even when your store is not on massive BFCM discounts.
Not sure how to set up retargeting and remarketing campaigns? Reach out to the Shopify experts at Spin to get a FREE ad consultation.
Step 7 – Optimize your marketing and advertising efforts for maximum ROI
As we always recommend, the spray and pray marketing and advertising efforts could win you some traffic. It could even win you some sales. But with the increasing amount of competition, you’re going to end up struggling for customer attention – considering now that you don’t have those massive BFCM discounts to entice them.
Take a look at your marketing channels. See which ones were able to bring you traffic during BFCM and which ones actually drove sales for you. Also, take note of the demographics that were the most engaged and the most converted during the period.
Now use this data to streamline your marketing and advertising efforts in the coming time. Trust us, you’ll be spending way less and still get more sales by being in the right place at the right time, for the right people.
Now collating all this data can be tedious. That’s where using a Shopify analytics app like RevTap comes into play. The app gathers all your marketing data onto one platform to create easy-to-understand, actionable traffic and conversion reports, highlighting which channels worked the best and the ROI on them.
Double down your post-BFCM strategy to make the most out of those channels to drive in more sales!
After BFCM Get ready for Black Friday Cyber Monday before your Competitors
You could leave this guide and bookmark it for later. You could also use this as your last-minute BFCM strategy or checklist. But do you really want to leave things for the last minute? Do you think you’ll be able to look into each of the steps above carefully before, during and after BFCM when the sale is actually on?
The answer is NO.
Even the likes of Amazon pre-prepare for their big sales and that’s why they convert a whopping 20% of non-Prime members too, while others struggle to convert 2-3% of their new visitors.
Your Shopify store’s analytics is an untapped opportunity to grow your sales. Make your data work for you. Give RevTap a spin!
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Turn online shoppers into customers and untapped opportunities into more revenue! (before your competitor does)