Everyone knows that Black Friday and Cyber Monday (BFCM) are huge shopping days. According to Payability, eCommerce sales on those two days alone were over $19.6 billion in 2021. And that’s not counting the sales leading up to this intense shopping weekend.
In recent years, Black Friday has transformed into Black November, where many businesses try to hook shoppers with Black Friday-type sales as early as November 1. And, of course, Cyber Monday is now part of Cyber Week, extending the savings even longer. According to the National Retail Federation, 20% of total annual sales occur during the holiday season, most of which happens on Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
As an eCommerce company, you can’t afford not to be ready for the rush of the holiday season. This is the time to make up for a slow year or to set new sales records. But to be successful, you need to have your marketing strategies in place to ensure you get your fair share of the holiday shopping frenzy pie. So, don’t delay getting ready for one of the biggest paydays of the year. Keep reading for time-tested strategies, tactics, and a detailed checklist to get your eCommerce company ahead of the BFCM rush.
When are Black Friday and Cyber Monday?
In 2022, Black Friday falls on Friday, November 25, with Cyber Monday following on Monday, November 28. So plant your BFCM seeds early by starting your sales strategies at least a month in advance. With the number of stores shifting toward eCommerce, competition has never been more fierce.
Best Practices For Best Results: Your Holiday-Ready Checklist
Why wait until the season is upon us? As you prepare for BFCM, make your brand stand out from your competitors. Consumers are all about the experience — how can you provide a customer experience that sets you apart? Are your products more sustainable than the competitors? Do you have an unmatched return policy? Be creative when driving your selling points home.
Once you know what your offers and limited-time deals will be, prepare for the rush with plenty of supplies, inventory, and the following checklist, strategies, and tactics to successfully get you through the biggest shopping season of the year.
2022 Black Friday Cyber Monday Checklist
Black Friday Cyber Monday is rapidly approaching. Are you ready to take advantage of this important shopping holiday? We’ve put together this simple checklist to give you a headstart over your competition.
Prepare for the Rush of Holiday Traffic
- Collaborate with suppliers to guarantee an appropriate inventory of products
- Ensure your website will handle traffic surges by testing your infrastructure
- Test any third-party integrations or apps and update if necessary
Offer a Seamless Consumer Experience
- Test and optimize your website speed. Consumers want more than just discounts on BFCM. Nearly 70% of consumers say that slow pages affect their shopping experience, which negatively affects their buying decisions
- Improve your site search and SEO to increase conversion rates
- Make your website look amazing by optimizing it for smaller screens (mobile browsing) and ensure it’s easy to navigate and interact with
- Enable abandoned cart notifications
- Offer the convenience and functionality of gift cards
- Choose the best way to promote your holiday products (Organize gift ideas by price or create a Holiday Gift Guide?)
- Make checking out easy with single-page, guest checkout capabilities
- Make the buying decision simpler for your customers by offering peace of mind with shipping insurance and product protection plans
- Encourage your customers to pay how they want to pay by accepting digital wallets or buy now pay later (BNPL) options
Reach More Customers With an Omnichannel Strategy
- Enable cross-border selling
- Use Big Commerce integrations to popular digital marketplaces like Walmart, eBay, Amazon, and Google Shopping
- Use social commerce like Meta and TikTok to boost your consumer engagement and brand awareness to sell more via Instagram and Facebook Shops
- Meet all your omnichannel strategies by connecting your shop to the most popular selling channels
- Ensure your channels work with one another
- Offer a dynamic, personalized experience across all channels
- Integrate your online and in-store experiences
- Make your customer journey unique
Have a Solid Shipping and Fulfillment Strategy in Place
- Create binge-worthy shipping offers — your competitors will have them. For example, free shipping over $X, gift wrapping, or a promo code for X% off shipping
- Excite your customers with a unique packaging and unboxing experience
- Make your return or exchange policy clear to your customers—misunderstandings usually equate to unhappy customers. Having an easy, flexible return policy improves trust and increases sales
Perfect Your Promotions and Marketing Strategies
- Write holiday-specific ad copy
- Use SEO in your holiday content
- Build BFCM landing pages
- Fully integrate your campaigns across all your channels
- Use marketing automation to clean your email list to ensure you’re reaching the right people
- Offer a customer loyalty program to promote and reward repeat business
- Personalize your customer’s shopping experience wherever you can
- Consumers are more generous during the holidays, so now’s the time to support those in need — make it clear that a portion of every purchase goes to those in need or incorporate a PayPal donate button at checkout
- Optimize your Google ads to ensure your business shows up in searches
- Use a BFCM marketing calendar to keep track of and know when to activate your promotional offers
Offer Unmatched Customer Service and Support
- Dedicate specific customer service resources for chat, phone, and email
- Consider using freelance customer service agents or an external agency
- Prepare your team to move quickly
- Make your FAQs and contact information easily accessible
- Leverage support automation
- Use AI and chatbots to acknowledge and respond to simple consumer inquiries in real time
- Add self-service options like order tracking, FAQs, and returns
- Provide omnichannel customer service support
- Proactively acknowledge and resolve any shipping delays
- Simplify your return policy
- Request customer feedback on how to enhance their experience the next time they shop with you
- Keep the interaction going with your customers post-purchase
Evaluate Your Success
- Define your goals and KPIs for measuring your success
- Integrate an analytics solution
- Use the data to make real-time changes
- Apply 2022’s insights to your 2023 BFCM sales strategy
BFCM Tips and Marketing Strategies
With so many companies vying for attention, grabbing and maintaining your consumers’ attention isn’t easy, especially during the holiday season. So your best approach is to offer an omnichannel experience — it gives you the best chance at winning your target audience because it allows several different opportunities to get your eCommerce business front and center of consumers. Pair the omnichannel experience with the following strategies, and your business will stand well above the rest.
Strategy #1: Make the Most of Email Marketing
You should email early and often to get ahead of the BFCM game. Email is one of the best marketing tools for BFCM promotions because it enables you to connect with longtime and potential customers.
However, the number one rule in email marketing is personalization. So, how do you personalize an email when marketing to hundreds, if not thousands of people? It’s as simple as using a marketing tool that uses email list segmentation and personalization tags.
A few facts about personalized emails:
- A recipient is more likely to click on and open an email if it has their name on it
- They come across as tailor-made and highly relevant to the recipient
- It strengthens your customer experience when you send the right content at the right time to the right people
Thankfully there are tools like email builders that, while automating your email marketing, can create messages targeted to individual customers while keeping that personalized touch and strengthening your relationship with your customers.
Here are some automated email tactics that actually work:
- Product awareness: Use their purchasing and browser history to educate your customers on the features and benefits of the products or services they’re interested in
- Share the excitement: Let your customers know exactly when your Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales begin and end, where they can find promo codes ahead of time, and use links to send them straight to your site
- Introduce new customers to your brand: Welcome recent subscribers with a greeting that builds brand awareness and showcases upcoming sales. Start them off with a special BFCM offer
- Abandoned cart: Send a gentle reminder that items in their cart are still available along with a promo code to use on that purchase
- Invitation: Send a special invitation for consumers to join your Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales events
- Thank you: Confirm purchases and thank your customers by extending a current sale just for them
- Follow-ups: Post-purchase inquiries about how they like the product or service along with recommendations for complementing their purchase
- Reviews: Ask for a review of their complete shopping experience. Honest and authentic reviews are an essential tool for other prospective customers
Strategy #2: Bring them Back With Retargeting Ads
Don’t lose out on potential Black Friday or Cyber Monday customers just because they left your site without making a purchase. Instead, use a promotional tactic called “retargeting ads” to bring those customers back to your site by advertising while they browse through competitors’ sites.
This strategy really helps to drive sales. According to Skai, retargeted ads have a 10 times higher CTR (click-through rate) and perform better than regular display ads. So, offer your customers a real-time reminder of the products they viewed on your site and bring them back!
Strategy #3: Optimize Your Landing Pages
Landing pages can make or break your sales. When it comes time for customers to start shopping on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, many may feel overwhelmed sifting through your complete product list. BFCM shoppers are usually on the hunt for the perfect gift. They have already decided to buy something, but they may not know what that perfect something is yet. Offering too many choices in one place can lead to stress and indecisiveness, making the consumer move on to a competitor's site.
Avoid this potential loss by showing your consumer only what they want to see, so optimize your landing pages to target select audiences and direct them to their preferred shopping page. This will quickly have them looking at products they’re interested in, and they can make purchases without feeling overwhelmed, rushed, or distracted.
You can use specially built landing pages in a few different ways to boost sales on Black Friday and Cyber Monday:
- Motivate your customers to load up on their favorites
- Establish a sense of urgency with key phrases like “while quantities last”, “limited quantities”, or “limited time offer”
- Showcase your most recent products
- Offer them an irresistible promo code
- Feature your best selling products
Businesses without eCommerce capabilities can even set up shoppable landing pages to take advantage of BFCM sales.
Strategy 4#: Take Advantage of Social Commerce
During the holiday season, shoppers spend more time browsing through their Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter feeds, exploring new brands and products, so the point of omnichannel marketing is going to where your consumers are. Recent stats show 2.9 billion active Facebook users, 2 billion active Instagram users, and 217 million Twitter users. And let's not forget about the 2.2 billion active YouTube and 1 billion active TikTok users.
Publishing organic posts about new merchandise, holiday gift ideas, the latest trends, and time-sensitive discounts keep your customers in the loop on everything they need to know about your brand. Plus, it keeps you at the front of their minds when it comes time to shop!
Social commerce makes purchasing easier and more accessible than ever by enabling brands to sell directly from platforms where shoppers already spend so much of their time.
Use the following tactics to make the most of your social commerce strategy:
- Optimize your Instagram and Facebook shops: Help customers quickly discover your products by connecting your product catalog with Instagram and Facebook. This tactic also allows consumers to share your products with friends and checkout directly from your shops
- Tag your products often: Over 130 million people click on product tags to learn more about products on Instagram every month. Keep tagging across different formats like stories, feed, IGTV, Reels, Live, and captions. According to data from Facebook, merchants who tag five or more days per month see an average increase of 278% in product page visits, 231% in purchases, and 216% in sales
- Reflect your brand with creative design: Enable Shops on Instagram and Facebook to access merchandising features that help you customize your customers' shopping experience. For BFCM specifically, this option enables you to organize your collections based on seasonal moments like upcoming launches and holiday promotions. Arrange your offerings so that consumers can see your new and featured items first.
- Add a strong CTA: Using a clear call to action (CTA) encourages customers to take the next step in their shopping journey. A strong CTA is essential in any marketing campaign but especially during the busiest sales of the year. For example, using phrases like “Start shopping now” on Instagram informs consumers that they can shop for your products directly through the platform
Strategy #5: Create an Emotional Connection
Create an awesome brand experience and build your customer database by fostering an emotional connection with your consumers. Customers are 3x more likely to purchase or recommend your products if they connect emotionally with your brand.
Create content that has meaning to your customers. For example, use trending cultural topics that your brand and customers care about, and share your mission and vision along with your brand story.
Here are some ways you can easily create an emotional connection with your consumers:
- Know and understand your audience
- Be real by using true stories that people can identify with and relate to
- Speak about real struggles
- Create trust with authentic reviews and testimonials
- Show interest in your customer
- Acknowledge their pain points to show you care
- Personalize wherever you can
- Partner with and give back to a charitable organization
Strategy #6: Purchases that Multiply
You know someone is interested in your products once they add them to their shopping cart. So there’s no better time to offer them related items to complement their purchase and package deals for multiples of the same thing.
This is incredibly strategic during BFCM because people are looking for gifts for multiple people on their list. Plus, it never hurts to buy a little something for yourself, now does it? Make it easy with an offer they just can’t resist.
Up- and cross-selling during checkout is a simple way to increase your share of the holiday shopping frenzy pie.
Ready to Boost Your Sales During BFCM?
November will be here faster than you think. The stress of preparing for BFCM can leave you exhausted. And getting ready for the biggest holiday sales event of the year can be tough to navigate, even with the most detailed checklists, tips, strategies, and tactics.
Gear up for BFCM by setting the stage for your best-ever holiday sales season with Parkfield Commerce — a streamlined solution that offers growth consulting, marketing, and award-winning eCommerce store design to increase conversions, boost ROI, and take the stress out of the holidays.
Ready to take your brand to the next level? Let’s chat.