Black Friday shoppers plan and do their research weeks or months before they buy, so retailers can’t afford to wait when planning for Black Friday Cyber Monday (BFCM) sales. It’s critical that you start working on it now so that you can integrate your BFCM strategy across your search, social and eCommerce platforms, at least 8 weeks before these key days:
Single’s Day: 11 Nov
Thanksgiving: 24 Nov
Black Friday: 25 Nov *first Friday after Thanksgiving
Cyber Monday: 28 Nov *first Monday after Black Friday
CPA around BFCM can go 2X-4X, so make sure your backend is tight. No leaky buckets.
Grow audience and increase revenue in the biggest shopping season of the year – without wiping out your profit margins.
Here are the steps you can take right now:
1. Plan ASAP
What is your goal for this campaign? Are you looking to clear inventory, get more new customers, or generate more revenue?
If you are looking to clear inventory, it won’t hurt to do so with lower profit margins, but bundle up and cross-sells whenever possible.
If you are looking to acquire new customers or generate revenue, then you shouldn’t run offers with high discounts that affect profit margins.
According to Klaviyo, the average BFCM discount in 2021 was 24%, down 5% from the previous year. Keep this in mind when planning your offers.
💡Margins are crucial if you are not clearing inventory, so measure the product performance (e.g. revenue) vs COGs vs previous marketing KPIs (if any), to determine what your offer this year is going to be.
Determine the sale mechanics
Choose products to run, and determine their start and end sale dates, prices, and their inventory level. Include bundles, upsells, and cross-sells to increase the Average Order Value. Plan for early bird deals, VIP deals, and time-sensitive deals.
💡Your sales planner can be done in a spreadsheet like this.
Optimise product page
The product page is the most important page in a buying journey because that’s where buying decisions are made. Since shoppers cannot touch, feel or try your products before buying, you’ll have to put the most effort into this page to help them to do so. A good product page should include:
– photos in white background, lifestyle images
– videos of the product in use, ‘from the owner’
– sizing chart, specs
– features AND benefits
– shipping and return info
– reviews, testimonials, social proof, guarantees
In-package mailers, free gifts
You know how we head into the fitting room to try clothes before we buy? Yea. It’s not hard to imagine that customers want that for furniture too. Previously, making purchase decisions like these A transaction doesn’t need to end after check-out. Include a card in the package to expose customers to your store one more time. It can be a Thank You card, a card with a promo code, rewards, or simply a ‘find us on Facebook’. Include free gifts to sweeten the experience.
💡Ask for referrals in your mailers.
Scope out the competition
It is easier for homeowners to “physically” see products using AR. By pointing their phones and scanning their space, homeowners have more confidence knowing your furniture looks great in their house. If they need to see minute design details, your 3D model will do the trick. If you’re thinking,
This is the time to subscribe to your competitors’ mailing lists and follow them on social media, to gather ideas from their marketing efforts. Find out what their customers say about them or their products.
💡Find the largest word/ phrase density in the reviews you’re looking at:
- Products: Amazon, Google, Facebook
- B2B: TrustPilot, TrustRadius, G2
- Forums: Reddit, Quora
- Niche: GoodReads, TripAdvisor
2. Optimise buying experience
Buying experience is the most important thing in sales. Despite its subtleties, a good buying experience has more impact than products and prices. When you optimise for the best customer experience, you are putting them first – knowing what they want before they do.
More than 70% of BFCM (Black Friday Cyber Monday) sales are made from mobile devices on Shopify alone, in 2021, and this trend is growing. Retailers must optimise their landing pages, product and check-out pages mobile-first, before expanding for larger screens.
💡Start here to see what your current website looks like on various devices.
Check website and host
Be sure your website and host can handle the surge in traffic and email handling. Doing so now ensures there’s ample time to re-platform if needed. You may want to check site health and loading speed. A slow loading site will drag your SERPs rank down, causing you to lose potential customers during this critical season.
💡Do a quick website speed check and contact your domain host to enquire if needed.
Reduce check-out friction and take customers to the ‘Pay’ button in the quickest route possible. Apply coupon codes, discounts or rewards automatically. You want to aim for the 1-click checkout experience.
💡Let customers check out as guests, with the option to save details for their next purchase – or not.
💡Enable various payment options including cards, eWallets, Paypal, or BNPL (Buy Now Pay Later) installment options.
Recover abandoned carts
You know shoppers are interested in a product because it’s added to a cart, but for some reason, over 60% of them don’t follow the sale through.
Since an abandoned cart shows some degree of interest, smart retailers put major efforts into recovering them as much as possible.
When everything is planned out, optimised and in place, it’s time to roll out the tease. Speak to your followers and prospects in multiple places, build the hype and anticipation.
Use new content angles and messaging to differentiate yourself from the crowd. If everyone’s talking about features, you talk about research. If they’re talking about ingredients/material, you talk about the convenience of use. Basically, when people zig, you zag. It’s the easiest way to stand out without changing your product).
Generate buzz on your social media channels as early as T minus 4 weeks, and use this time to test and see which creative assets work better. Include gifting ideas and stories to pique prospects’ curiosity and help them choose what to buy (your products).
💡Focus on channels that are already working. Don’t jump into TikTok just because everyone’s saying it’s “the place to be”.
Boost subscribers list
It’s time to engage as many leads as you can so you can drive them towards your upcoming offers. Encourage signups from your social media channels, website banners or lead magnets.
💡Drive anticipation with sneak peeks or behind-the-scenes of your upcoming offers. Encourage your audiences to sign up with their emails so they don’t miss the offer that’s coming. Use these emails for your BFCM email strategies.
Buy traffic early
If you are going to use paid ads, buy traffic and keywords early before demand drives prices up. Focus on keywords that strike a good balance of high search volume and small competition.
💡Track your competitors’ keywords before running paid advertising campaigns.
In T minus 2 weeks you now have a sense of what the market wants from you and how you fare among your competitors. It’s time to create a sense of urgency towards the biggest hype in your store.
Email segments you must use:
- VIPs first
Show love to your VIPs and loyal customers by creating exclusive offers/ discounts that’s only for them.
- Early bird specials
Your sale campaign can begin a little earlier than the actual day, like a soft opening – use that to generate hype and leads.
- BFCM bargain hunters
Create a segment for those who purchased in the last BFCM. Bargain hunters start their research early so make sure you let them know your best promotions well in advance.
- Haven’t purchased
Entice subscribers who have opened your emails/ clicked your links, but not purchased, with a 1-click purchase and (maybe) a discount automatically applied.
The biggest Black Friday Sale. EVER. INSANE. – are the buzzwords often used in BFCM campaigns.
💡Include hashtags for even more exposure: #blackfriday #bfcm
What gets measured gets improved. Use data from this campaign to figure out your customers and how they respond to your efforts.
💡Use at least one of these tools to begin with. For best results use all:
Re-segment your subscribers
The more segmented your subscribers are, the easier it is to identify them at the stages of funnels they’re in and retarget them for future sales.
💡Ways to segment them:
- Open rates
- Clicked links, emails
- Purchase history (types of products purchased)
- Engagement history 30, 60, 90 days
Start planning early for your BFCM sales and put yourself in a strategic position to succeed with this guide and checklist. Running a sales campaign is a great learning experience whether this is your first or not. Happy sales!