It’s that time of year again when businesses all around the world gear up for Black Friday and Cyber Monday. These two shopping events are some of the biggest on the calendar, and if you’re not prepared, your Shopify business could miss out on a lot of sales instead of seeing an influx of online traffic. Not quite what you want, right?
In this blog post, we’ll give you our top tips on preparing your Shopify store for these two events. Since it’s all backed by our experience, you can be sure that following our advice will help you make the most of these shopping holidays. So, whether you’re a seasoned pro or a first-time business owner, make sure you read on!
Black Friday vs. Cyber Monday – what’s the difference?
When it comes to Black Friday and Cyber Monday, there are a few key differences that you should be aware of. Firstly, Black Friday takes place on the day after Thanksgiving day, which is always the fourth Thursday of November. Cyber Monday, on the other hand, is always the Monday after Thanksgiving weekend.
Another key difference is that Black Friday used to be more of a brick-and-mortar event, while Cyber Monday takes place online (hence the name – Cyber). Even though it has changed slightly over the years, Black Friday might still be known more for its in-store sales, while Cyber Monday focuses on online retailers.
More and more brand stores are combining Black Friday and Cyber Monday into one big weekend of sales. Shoppers are also becoming smarter, searching for the best bargains no matter which event they are part of.
When is Black Friday in 2023?
Black Friday falls on Nov. 24, 2023.
When is Cyber Monday 2023?
Cyber Monday falls on Nov. 27, 2023.
Plan your Black Friday ecommerce strategy for a great customer experience
Creating a Black Friday marketing strategy is necessary to boost not only revenue during Black Friday weekend but also further holiday sales. Below, you’ll find a few good practices on how to boost both sales and customer satisfaction.
Start WAY earlier than on Black Friday
Businesses that prepare well for Black Friday and Cyber Monday (BFCM) sales often have more success than those that take a more laissez-faire approach.
Not only do these businesses tend to have more promotions and discounts, but they also often start planning earlier and think carefully about their marketing strategies.
For example, they might:
- develop detailed pricing strategies based on past trends
- conduct market research to predict consumer behavior
- send out brand promotional emails well in advance of the sale period
Overall, businesses that approach BFCM with meticulous planning and a clear focus are more likely to see successful results. Whether they are focusing on generating revenue or attracting new customers, these businesses approach the Black Friday holidays with anticipation and excitement and reap the benefits by the end of the season.
Provide various payment methods
In today’s modern economy, customers have a wide range of payment options available to them when making purchases online.
In particular, credit cards are one of the most popular payment methods for online shopping, providing customers with the convenience and security of a fast, streamlined checkout process.
However, many people still find themselves running into issues with their credit cards from time to time; perhaps their card has expired or they don’t have access to funds at that moment.
In these situations, many customers turn to alternative payment methods like buy now, pay later (BNPL), which offer the convenience of paying for purchases over time without worrying about traditional financing requirements like interest rates or credit checks.
And it seems like these alternative approaches are becoming increasingly popular among online shoppers: according to the recent Shopify report, buy-now-pay-later spending was up a whopping 438% when compared to 2019 levels.
Many consumers opt for these convenient financing tools instead of using traditional credit cards. Perhaps it’s because it offers an easy way to make impulse buys or larger ticket items without disrupting their monthly budget.
Whatever the case may be, one thing is clear: alternative payment methods like BNPL continue to gain popularity in today’s digital landscape, offering flexibility and convenience to anyone looking to make a purchase online.
Shop Pay Installments can make it easier for buyers to budget their holiday shopping, and merchants see up to 28% fewer abandoned carts.
Offer BOPIS options
In recent years, customers have embraced flexible shopping options like buying online, and pickup in-store (BOPIS), which allow them to extend their holiday shipping window. Merchants that offer BOPIS have seen tremendous growth during the last two weeks of the holiday season, with some reporting nearly 2x growth compared to their non-BOPIS peers.
This is perhaps not surprising, given that 59% of consumers are interested in BOPIS-type options.
As a result, merchants would be wise to consider offering BOPIS during the holiday season, as it can help attract more customers and boost sales in the key final weeks of the year.
By creating a seamless and convenient shopping experience for customers both online and in-store during Black Friday, retailers can set themselves apart from their competitors and tap into the highly lucrative holiday market.
Advertise your Black Friday deals widely and early
The louder you are, the more likely you are to be heard. And when it comes to driving awareness for your Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals, that’s exactly what you need to do.
There are a number of ways to make some noise and get people talking about your business during the holidays.
You can start by sending out promotional emails to your subscribers featuring exclusive deals and discounts that will be available during the sale period. However, you need to be aware that probably everyone and their dog will have an email marketing strategy for holiday shoppers, promoting a Black Friday sale. That’s why yours has to stand out, follow the right sequence, and provide extra value.
You can also create social media posts and ads that highlight your special offers, driving traffic to your site or brick-and-mortar location.
And don’t forget about traditional advertising methods like print ads, radio spots, and TV commercials; these can also be highly effective in reaching your target audience and generating excitement for your Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals.
No matter what mix of marketing channels you choose to use during Black Friday sales (and beyond), the important thing is to get the word out about your business and let people know what great deals they can expect from your Shopify business.
Work on increasing average order value, at all times
Your goal for the holiday season should be to increase the average order value (AOV). AOV is a key metric that can have a big impact on your business’s bottom line, and there are a number of ways to go about increasing it.
Offer free shipping thresholds; this encourages customers to add more items to their cart in order to reach the free shipping minimum and avoid paying for shipping charges during Black Friday.
You can also create bundles and package deals that offer a discount when customers purchase multiple items together.
And don’t forget upselling and cross-sell methods; these are key strategies for increasing AOV, and can be especially effective during the holiday season when people are looking to buy gifts for loved ones – or just deals for themselves in your online store.
Don’t forget about your most loyal customers!
Don’t forget about your most loyal customers during the Black Friday rush. These VIP customers have consistently shown their dedication and support to your brand throughout the year.
Rewarding them with exclusive Black Friday deals or early access to sales can strengthen their loyalty and make them feel valued.
source: Nikkia Joy
Prioritizing your VIP customers not only boosts sales but also fortifies long-term relationships and brand advocacy.
Best Ecommerce Black Friday Marketing Strategies
Are you ready to take the most out of Black Friday fever? Check out these tested Black Friday strategies.
#1 Intensify your customer support during the Black Friday sales
It will be hectic – no doubt about that. You will have a lot more visitors to your business site, which means more questions and inquiries.
Prepare yourself for the influx of questions:
- train your customer support team ahead of time so they are ready to handle any situation that comes up
- set up an FAQ page on your site that covers all the most common questions and concerns.
- provide multiple channels for customer support, such as live chat, email, and phone
get more agents to help you deal with upcoming sales
If you want your customers to have a positive experience on your site and are able to get the information they need in a timely manner, you need to get prepared for the increased volume of customer support inquiries during the Black Friday period.
#2 Optimize your site speed
A fast website is a must-have, not just during the Black Friday season but all year round. But it becomes even more important when you have a surge in traffic and people are trying to purchase items from your site.
If your site is slow, there’s a good chance people will get frustrated and leave without making a purchase. And since Black Friday is fast approaching, you should identify bottlenecks as quickly as possible.
There are a number of tips to optimize your site for speed, such as:
- compress images so they load faster
- minimize code on your pages
- use a content delivery network (CDN) to deliver content more quickly
- use caching to improve loading times
- create a mobile-friendly version of your site
Making sure your site loads quickly is one of the best things you can do to improve the user experience and increase sales during the Black Friday season – and afterward.
💡 With Shopify Speed Optimization, this mundane task can be made way easier.
#3 Make the most of checkout extensibility
Checkout extensibility is a game-changing feature for merchants on the Shopify platform. With this new capability, partners can build custom checkout integrations that allow merchants to implement unique offers directly into their checkout process.
Whether you want to offer customers a discount on their next purchase or help them save money on an item they have been eyeing for some time, checkout extensibility gives you the power to do it all and boost your brand sales.
Checkout extensibility provides merchants with a huge advantage – unparalleled flexibility and control over the checkout experience.
Whether you are running a small store or a large e-commerce empire, this feature allows you to tailor your checkout process to suit your unique needs and achieve maximum results for sales.
And that’s what your customers are seeking – believe us.
💡 With Shopify Plus development, you have even more options to leverage. Find out how it can transform your e-commerce business today.
#4 Leverage daily offers
For merchants looking to boost sales during the busy holiday season, daily online offers can be a great way to maintain momentum and keep customers coming back.
By offering something new each day, merchants can target different customer segments and tailor their messaging to capture the attention of shoppers at different stages in the buying cycle.
In addition, a steady stream of fresh content can help to increase email open rates, as consumers will be eager for news on any available discounts or special promotions.
#5 Use the Gift With Purchase approach
At first glance, gift-with-purchase (GWP) promotions might seem like a simple marketing strategy that simply offers customers an additional item in exchange for their order in your online store.
However, these promotions can actually be incredibly motivating for customers, as they offer them a chance to feel like they’re getting the best deal possible and getting something extra on top of it.
On top of that, GWP promotions are often a great alternative to sitewide discounts, as they help merchants protect their margins while providing customers with great value.
One particularly effective way to use GWP promotions is to offer special, exclusive products or services as gifts. For example, a retailer might create an exclusive product make it available only through GWP promotions.
This encourages customers to spend more in order to get their hands on the exclusive product, helping the merchant meet their sales targets and protecting their bottom line in the process.
Alternatively, merchants might choose to limit the quantity of these exclusive products or services, offering them only to customers who place larger orders or meet certain spending thresholds.
With these kinds of campaigns, customers feel like they’ve scored a great deal and received something truly special, all while keeping your business’s profits protected.
#6 Capitalize on tiered discounting
Tiered discounting is a powerful sales technique that has been proven to increase average order values significantly.
By offering Black Friday tiered discounts based on how much a customer spends, brands are able to incentivize customers to buy more items in order to reach the next tier and receive even greater savings. For example, a brand might offer customers 20% off their order if they spend $100 on Black Friday, 25% off if they spend $150, and so on.
Another approach is to combine tiered discounting with retention activities, such as providing customers with additional discounts for their next purchase.
For example, a customer might get 10% off their current Black Friday order as well as an additional $10 off their next order if they spend $100 on apparel and accessories or more.
With this approach, customers are not only rewarded for spending more during the sale period, but also for being loyal to the brand over time.
Overall, tiered discounting is an incredibly effective sales strategy that enables brands to boost both acquisition and retention by offering great deals and encouraging increased spending among customers. Whether used alone or in combination with other techniques, it remains a powerful tool for driving sales and maximizing revenue across all touchpoints of the customer journey.
#7 Leverage post-purchase upsells
Many online retailers overlook the power of the post-purchase phase. After a customer has made a purchase from your ecommerce store, there’s a golden opportunity to offer them a timely upsell. This can be especially effective during the Black Friday online shopping rush.
By setting a minimum purchase threshold for these upsells you can boost profit margins. Furthermore, offering exclusive deals to existing customers can build loyalty and drive repeat customers back to your site.
#8 Run community-driven flash sales
In the weeks leading up to the biggest online shopping event of the year, engage your community with exclusive flash sales.
A slow website can lose customers fast, so ensure your ecommerce site is optimized for heavy traffic.
Collaborate with physical stores or other ecommerce merchants to broaden the appeal of these sales. Flash sales can be promoted on your Black Friday landing page and can be a unique way to differentiate your ecommerce business from others.
#9 Gamified shopping experiences
Creating an engaging shopping online experience can set your ecommerce store apart.
Incorporate interactive elements such as quizzes or spin-to-win wheels to enhance the customer’s shopping experience. Offering early access to these games for previous customers can be a great way to drive traffic.
Ensure your product pages are optimized for these gamified elements. As a bonus, consider integrating these games into your Black Friday promotions.
#10 Cross-promotion with non-competing brands
Many ecommerce businesses focus solely on their products during the holiday rush. However, partnering with non-competing brands, especially brick-and-mortar stores, can provide mutual benefits.
These collaborations can be promoted through email marketing campaigns, offering bundled deals that can enhance profit margins.
By cross-promoting, you’re also likely to reduce customer service requests as customers get more value from a single transaction.
#11 Personalized retargeting with dynamic content
Customers expect personalized experiences, especially when shopping online.
Using a customer’s browsing and purchase history from your ecommerce store, serve dynamic retargeting ads to bring them back. Poor site performance can hinder these efforts, so ensure your product pages are optimized.
Consider creating a dedicated Black Friday landing page for these retargeting efforts. Lastly, start preparing your retargeting strategies well in advance to maximize their effectiveness during the sales event.
#12 Introduce value-driven loyalty programs for Black Friday
For many online retailers, Black Friday sales are a significant portion of their annual revenue.
To capitalize on this, consider launching a loyalty program specifically tailored for the Black Friday ecommerce frenzy. By offering exclusive Black Friday deals to your most loyal customers, you not only reward their loyalty but also encourage higher spend.
This practice also ensures that during the holiday shopping season, your most dedicated customers feel valued and prioritized. As you start preparing for Black Friday marketing, integrating a loyalty program can amplify your online sales.
#13 Set up early bird promotions and teasers
The buildup to Black Friday is just as crucial as the day itself.
In the weeks leading up to the event, start preparing your audience with teasers about your upcoming Black Friday deals. An early bird promotion can incentivize shoppers to commit to your brand before the holiday shopping season fully kicks off.
source: Frank And Oak
Combining this with a dedicated Black Friday marketing strategy can drive anticipation and increase ecommerce sales. Remember, the early bird doesn’t just get the worm; it often gets the best Black Friday deals too.
#14 Prioritize site performance for peak traffic
Nothing hampers Black Friday ecommerce sales like a slow website.
As online sales surge during the Black Friday period, ensuring optimal site speed is crucial. Many online retail giants invest significantly in optimizing their infrastructure for the holiday shopping season.
If you haven’t already, start preparing by collaborating with your hosting provider or even considering a partnership with a specialized shipping company. Efficient site performance not only boosts sales but also enhances the customer’s shopping experience.
#15 Think about intelligent product bundling and cross-selling
One of the most effective ways to increase the average order value during Black Friday is through cross-selling.
As customers navigate your online store looking for Black Friday deals, strategically place complementary products together. This practice, combined with a strong Black Friday marketing campaign, can entice customers to purchase more.
For example, if a customer is buying a camera, cross-selling with a discounted camera bag or lens can be effective. Intelligent bundling can be a game-changer during the holiday campaign, elevating your Black Friday ecommerce success and making your Black Friday campaigns a real success.
#16 Build a bespoke customer experience
Don’t forget about the customer experience! Most shoppers are looking for a great customer experience as much as they are looking for a great deal. In order to provide a truly bespoke customer experience, consider using some of the following tactics:
- Use data and analytics to segment your customers and personalize their experience.
- Create a seamless omnichannel experience by providing consistent messages and offers across all channels.
- Make sure your website is optimized for mobile devices and easy to navigate.
- Offer customer support throughout the entire sales period, in case any questions or issues arise.
- Create targeted landing pages with attractive images to encourage higher sales volume.
- Send discount codes to your subscribers – e.g. customers based in a specific location can get special discount codes to use in your Shopify store.
- Retrieve lost sales from past customers or potential customers by sending abandoned cart emails to your past visitors.
- Offer next-day delivery (as long as your stock allows) for your shoppers.
- Put a persuasive ad copy across your social channels, including Facebook.
- Plan Cyber Monday sales in advance and match them with your ecommerce offers.
- Use tools to streamline your internal processes and experience for shoppers.
- Consider migration to Shopify… if you haven’t done it yet.
How to track performance on Shopify Black Friday & Cyber Monday weekend?
In order to determine which tactics worked and which didn’t in your Black Friday and Cyber Monday strategy, you need to monitor their results (during and after). Here are some tips to remember.
Define your goals
What are you hoping to achieve over the Black Friday Cyber Monday period? Do you want to increase sales by a certain percentage? Do you want to acquire new customers? Without taking this step, it’s either difficult or impossible to track your progress and determine whether or not your efforts are successful.
Check website traffic
As a Shopify store owner, you have access to a wealth of data that can be used to track your store’s performance. One of the most important metrics to keep an eye on is website traffic, as it will give you a good idea of how many people are visiting your site and potentially contributing to sale.
You can use Google Analytics to see how many people are visiting your site and which pages they are viewing. This information will give you a great indication of whether or not your Black Friday Cyber Monday marketing strategies are driving shoppers to your website.
Verify conversion rate
It’s awesome to drive website traffic, but if those visitors aren’t converting into customers, you’re not making any money. Over the Black Friday Cyber Monday weekend, it’s crucial to focus on Shopify conversion rate optimization.
You can use Shopify’s built-in conversion tracking tools to track how many of your site shoppers are actually completing an order in your store. With this data, ecommerce businesses are able to see how effective they are in driving sales.
Google Analytics 4 is also your friend here, as it can show you the conversion rate for each individual website page. This information will be valuable in determining which ecommerce pages are performing well and which need to be improved to drive more visitors, and in turn, shoppers, to your business – and sell more.
There is a billion in sales lost by many online stores on approaching Black Friday in the wrong way. Don’t make that mistake!
Track average order value
With AOV, you can see not only how many orders are being placed, but also how much money each customer is spending. This metric is especially important for Shopify merchants that offer high-ticket items, as it will give you a good idea of whether or not your customers are actually buying those items in your online store. However, as long as you sell anything, you should be tracking it for a better head start on Black Friday.
Also, this metric can be used in conjunction with your business conversion rate to check the effectiveness of your marketing efforts. For example, if you see a high conversion rate but low AOV, it’s possible that your marketing is driving a lot of traffic but not necessarily the right kind of traffic. That’s a sign for you to change something in your brand positioning to sell more.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday are around the corner
Interestingly enough, this is where a lot of store owners and marketers make the mistake of thinking that their work is done. The Black Friday Cyber Monday weekend has come and gone, so they can just sit back and relax, right?
The most important thing to do after the Black Friday Cyber Monday weekend is to get as prepared as possible for the following year. This means analyzing your data, understanding what worked and what didn’t, and making the necessary changes to your online store strategy.
Only by constantly improving and adapting your strategy will you be able to stay ahead of the competition and maximize your sales during the most important shopping period of the year. Shopify stores that don’t take this seriously will quickly fall behind and miss out on a lot of revenue.
We hope you enjoyed this article and that it gave you some valuable insights into how to prepare your Shopify store for the Black Friday Cyber Monday weekend!