The biggest sale season is here

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are undoubtedly stressful times for many store owners as they get their sales and businesses ready for an increased influx of traffic, sales, orders to fulfill, and support requests.

Due to the uncertain circumstances of the previous years, shopping habits shifted dramatically. We saw an increase in online sales as most consumers chose ecommerce over brick-and-mortar stores to avoid crowds and minimize the loss in potential sales.

When compared to October, Black Friday sales in Europe last year generated +165% sales, with significant sales spikes in all EMEA markets.

The revenue potential from BFCM is huge: In 2021, a whopping 47 million shoppers took advantage of the BFCM sales from Shopify-powered businesses. Shopify store owners collectively made a whopping $6.3 billion USD in sales globally between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, adding up to a 23% increase compared to the earnings in the previous year. The average cart price was around $100.70 and the peak sales per minute amounted to $3.1million.

Black Friday/Cyber Monday, or BFCM in short, is a game changer for many businesses, holdin

g the potential to generate record-breaking sales.
In the next part of this blog, we’ll talk about a BFCM marketing checklist that will help you make the most of your store and the biggest sales event of 2022.

In short:

  • Start planning early
  • Prepare & test your site
  • Get your product listings dolled up
    • Prepare your product descriptions
    • Get your product image game up
    • Don’t forget your Search Engine Optimizatin
  • Offer the right discounts
  • Don’t forget to cross-sell
  • Plan out your marketing content calendar
  • Make use of Social Media channels
  • Get your email and sms campaign ready on time
  • Find alternative ways to reach your customers

Marketing team brainstorming for BFCM

1. Start early

Start planning for Black Friday as soon as possible! According to recent market research, many consumers start their holiday shopping planning and deal hunting for weeks before the actual date of the sale. This is the time to draw customers with coupon codes and special deals. Buyers are eager to make purchases, so don’t wait until Thanksgiving weekend to begin your promotional activities.

2. Check your site speed: Slow site means no sales

A slow website will cost you sales. Make sure your store is not a victim of slow loading speed before the big event, because your customers will leave if your store crashes, takes a long time to load, or becomes unresponsive mid-purchase. 

Use Google’s PageSpeed Insights or GTMetrix to speed up your website, and make sure to implement the recommended changes.

Check Your Site Speed

3. Make sure your product descriptions sell

Tap into emotions, provide your customers’ value, and make it easy for search engines to find your products. Be witty, play up the limited-time bargain and urgency with some of the following phrases:

  • Limited time only
  • Only one left
  • Selling out quickly
  • Best deal

Product descriptions play an important role in making your product appealing to customers, so don’t pass up an opportunity to use them effectively.

4. Use Good Product Images

A good product image is a must. Your customers will undoubtedly want to see your products after reading about their features and benefits, so make sure your product images accurately represent what you’re selling. There are several approaches to product photography, but no matter which approach you choose for your store, there are several common pointers that are universally important for all merchants. Those include the following:

  • Being consistent with the type of product photos you publish, and staying on point with your branding.
  • Be mindful of the lighting. The right light setting can transform even the dullest-looking product into its best form.
  • Keep your image resolution high, as low-quality images can make you appear unprofessional or untrustworthy, so it’s best to avoid such risks and lose potential customers.
  • Pay attention to the product size – setting up your photo scene can cause a faulty representation of the product size, which in turn might lead to a poor shopping experience, and can affect your ratings. Hence, it is important to remember the image aspect ratio guidelines before planning to shoot.
  • Show multiple angles of your product. It is always better to have a few photos of your product than just one or two. This is because the people whom you are selling it might not have experienced the product physically yet. They have no idea what your product looks or feels like. Therefore, it is vital to give them an ample amount of pictures shot from different angles.
  • Finally, keep your product photos clear, and steady and avoid adding too many additional elements into your product shot, as it might take the attention away from the main star of the photo, your product.

5. Offer suitable discounts

During Black Friday and Cyber Monday, most people are looking for at least 20% off the items they buy. You want to be competitive, but also creative with your own discounted offers. Most retailers offer at least 20% off Black Friday items this weekend, but how many of them will provide discounts for first-time buyers, discounts for 5 or more items, free shipping, or a special gift card? 

Make your discounts as unique as possible, as that will create a bigger window of opportunity and draw more customers to your store. 

Some tips for your Black Friday discounts:

  • Display discounts clearly – this helps your customers see exactly how much money they will save during Black Friday and Cyber Monday. 
  • Include a countdown banner – A countdown banner creates urgency and excitement.

6. Cross-selling

BFCM is a great time to step up your cross-selling game. Don’t expect your customers to buy what they want and then leave your site. If you have a customer who is about to make a purchase, you should suggest something that will naturally fit together. Consider socks and shoes, paper and pencils, yoga mats and straps, and so on. It has been proven that AOV helps to generate up to 35% of e-Commerce business revenue,  so it is important to concentrate your efforts on increasing it for this year’s BFCM.

Other advantages of concentrating your efforts on increasing AOV for this BFCM include:

  • It is quick and efficient; you do not need to work on complex marketing plans or lengthy research phases. 
  • You can easily convert new prospects without changing your current marketing strategy. 
  • And it helps to protect your online business from traffic drops. 

Shopify has a variety of easy-to-use apps that can help you with this. In the Shopify store, you can find apps that will provide you with an additional interface, popup, feature segment, or other, so your customers can receive an offer with complementary products to the one they are currently looking for. This allows the customer to select one of the complementary items and increase their shopping cart’s AOV.

7. Plan your marketing post calendar

Your planned assets should be ready at least a week before launching your Black Friday marketing campaigns. Fortunately, there are numerous free planning tools available to assist you with this aspect of your marketing preparations. 

When creating and planning your promotional content, make sure to focus on capturing both human and search engine attention. 

Make a content calendar outlining what content assets you intend to share and when you intend to share them. What you would want to have read ahead of time is your: 

  • Graphics, images, and videos 
  • Social media posts for Black Friday 
  • Copy for advertisements, emails, and websites 
  • Plans for giveaways and special discounts 

When planning your post, make sure to research and include hashtags and catchy Black Friday phrases.

business plan schedule

8. Make use of social media channels

Social media is an excellent platform for your online store. As a result, you’ll want to create social media campaigns that are highly engaging and shareable, because organic engagement and interactions with your posts can skyrocket not only your seasonal sales but your brand as a whole.

Keep in mind, however, that you don’t just want to get your ad in front of a pair of eyes; you want to get those ads in front of your targeted audience. 

Keep an eye out for hashtags and keywords that you can use as Black Friday and Cyber Monday approaches. Determine which hashtags your customers are using and how you can incorporate them into your boosted posts. Also, make sure your social media plug-ins are integrated with social media platforms so that your customers can share your deals with their friends, giving you even more reach.

Another factor to consider is the algorithm that the current social media channels are using, which prioritizes short videos over images, so make sure that when you plan your social media assets, you include some short promotional videos in your campaign as well.

9. Email marketing campaigns

According to many reports, email marketing accounts for more than 25% of Black Friday sales. As a result, it pays to plan your email marketing campaign ahead of time. Email marketing allows you to communicate directly with your loyal customers as well as those who have joined your email list. This also gives you the opportunity to provide them with a special discount for their loyalty.

Begin planning your email marketing campaign at least a week before Black Friday. You want to pique your customers’ interest, so make sure you have the copy, images, and email ready to go. If you plan ahead of time, you will have enough time to review everything before the big day, leaving little room for errors in your campaign.

Start your email campaign a month ahead of time and send weekly emails for four weeks until Black Friday. Send an email the night before Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday. Finally, on the big day, send out an email about the discounts. This ensures that your email list is aware of the discounts you’re offering.

However, don’t stop there. After Black Friday and Cyber Monday, follow up with a request for feedback and an invitation to return to your store. You might want to include an automated abandoned cart recovery email to keep customers from leaving. If they get to the checkout and don’t make a purchase, they’ll get a follow-up email with abandoned cart emails. This feature comes standard with Shopify, so make sure to get good use out of it.

10. SMS marketing campaigns and push notifications

According to previous year’s data, smartphones accounted for 71% of online retail sales during the entire holiday season in 2021. From browsing and researching to comparing and purchasing, mobile is now an essential part of how consumers shop. Because people rely so heavily on their mobile devices, it’s only natural to communicate with them through a direct channel like SMS.

According to data from Salesforce and Klaviyo, SMS marketing saw a significant increase in adoption since last year, particularly during the holiday season. During 2021 Cyber Week, messaging via push notifications and SMS increased by 101%.

Because many brands will rely on email during BFCM, incorporating SMS marketing into the mix is a sure way to capture consumers’ attention—and a portion of their wallets. 

Even outside of the holiday season, forward-thinking businesses are seeing excellent results from SMS campaigns. According to Klaviyo’s SMS benchmark data, the average SMS click rate is 8.33%. DTC brands and ecommerce merchants see a conversion rate of 0.11% and $0.09 revenue per recipient.

As ecommerce grows at a rapid pace, and personalization and human touch become increasingly important, businesses must find a way to build and nurture strong customer relationships all year round. Including SMS marketing in the mix can assist ecommerce merchants in engaging customers and personalizing the shopping experience even when sales are not in effect.

Final Takeaway

To round up our checklist, we have to throw in a grain of reality here. Even if you have a good offer and a good campaign to promote it, you must keep in mind that, at this time, everyone will be flooding the same channels that your customers will be checking.

Even on a regular day, consumers are rejecting traditional marketing and advertising;

  • 94% of consumers skip pre-roll video ads
  • 91% have unsubscribed from mailing lists
  • 44% of direct mail is never opened

While larger brands increase their media and ad spending, there is always a more personal, intimate channel: conversations. During this over-exposed season, that channel will cut through the noise and bring you extra traffic. So get the message out there and spread the word to get a head start on this seasonal sale period.

Customer Completing a Purchase