Make the Most of Your BFCM Sales With These Tips and Tools
Most businesses and marketers are already counting down the days until the next Black Friday-Cyber Monday (BFCM) sales period because they know it can be a massive boost to their bottom line. Each year seems to draw more shoppers than ever before, with news outlets reporting on the latest spike in online spending as the hours sweep by.
Whether you want to run deals for only Black Friday, only Cyber Monday, or smash the entire BFCM weekend, we want to be sure you’ve got all the tools you need to get it done right.
In this handy guide, we’ll give you the inside scoop on what works best and how to accomplish it for your Shopify e-commerce store. Creating effective BFCM sales and marketing campaigns is just the beginning. You’ll want to be sure that your brand is competitive and your inventory is well-managed, of course, but an engaging customer experience is the real difference-maker. Continue reading to get everything you need to ensure your next BFCM campaign is your most successful holiday shopping season kickoff ever.
What Kind of BFCM Sale Should You Run?
There are many different kinds of online sales you can run for BFCM. Within each category, there are several ways to present it to your customers. Deciding whether you want your BFCM strategy to focus more on pricing deals or promoting specific products will help you determine which types of sales to run. If you’re using a platform or app that gives you lots of choices and flexibility, the options are endless.
Common Types of Sales
First, pick what type of deal you want to offer your customers. Here are common ones you can choose from:
- BOGO: Buy One Get One offers are a popular way to get customers’ attention because getting more for your money always feels like a better deal.
- Discounts: Simple discounts will be one of the easiest types of BFCM offers to manage and promote. This can be created as a percentage-off discount or a dollars-off discount.
- Volume discounts: Volume discounts are powerful because they encourage customers to buy more products due to tiered price breaks. This also encourages commitment.
- Bulk discounts: With bulk discounts, you can skip the tiered pricing of volume discounts and design amazing BFCM pricing for customers who will purchase a full case.
- Goals: Give customers a goal to spend a specific dollar amount to receive a deal. This encourages customers to buy more and rewards them with a better price. For example, spend $50 and get $10 off.
- Free gifts: Retailers can entice customers by giving them free gifts with their purchases. You can create parameters like a goal sale or just offer your free gift with any order.
- Bundles: Since many Black Friday and Cyber Monday shoppers are looking for gifts and holiday sales, bundles are a way to help them cross more items off their shopping lists. This strategy is great for low-pressure upselling and cross-selling.
When picking your BFCM deals, remember that the goal is to draw new customers to your e-commerce business and also nurture engagement with existing loyal customers. So think about your target audience and what will speak to them or serve them best.
No matter which type of sale you choose (or even if you mix and match a few different offers), you can set them up easily in your Shopify store with the Ultimate Special Offers app. Plus, the offers will apply automatically at checkout. No need to worry about your customer mistyping a discount code.
Timing and Details
Once you’ve decided what type of sales you’re going to run and how they’re going to apply to your products, it’s time to think about how you want your BFCM sale to play out. Determine which products it will be applied to and whether there will be any exclusions.
Be sure to do something that grabs the shoppers’ attention and consider creating a sense of urgency. Do you want to host a VIP presale earlier in the week or some early-access specials that cut off at a designated time each day?
As mentioned earlier, you’ll need to determine if your sale will occur on Black Friday, Cyber Monday, or run through the entire BFCM weekend. You might even want to run different deals on different days or extend your sale longer. Nearly every business holds BFCM sales in their e-commerce store so it’s important to find ways to stand out from the competition.
Elevating the Customer Experience for BFCM
When thinking about your Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales, be sure to keep your customers at the top of the decision-making conversations. How have they responded to your previous sales and deals? Are you receiving feedback about pricing that provides some clues into what they’re wishing for? What kind of reports do you have access to that give you the insights you need to answer these questions?
One of the best ways to increase your BFCM revenue is by incorporating effective upsells and cross-sells.
An upsell considers whatever the customer has selected and presents a compelling “better” option. It might be a premium version of the product made from higher-quality materials or a more advanced package. By contrast, cross-selling encourages customers to try an additional product, usually one that goes well with something they’ve already added to their shopping cart.
Upselling and cross-selling provide a perfect way to enhance the customer experience with your brand. It also helps to get more variety of your products into customers’ hands. They may use the cross-sell items for themselves or use them as gifts for Christmas or other holidays. Regardless, it adds value and increases their engagement with your brand and products.
The secret to successful upselling is in the delivery, though. With slide-in or pop-up suggestions at the right moment in their BFCM online shopping journey, they’ll be happy to receive the suggestion and be more likely to add it to their cart. We love Pixelpop for the most versatile pop-ups and banners.
Looking for more ways to increase engagement with holiday shoppers? Find ways to get them to return to your online store, such as offering a come-back special where they take advantage of your Black Friday deals to activate exclusive Cyber Monday deals. Pulling off marketing strategies like that can be a headache on the back end of your online store, but you can easily conquer upsells on Shopify with the Ultimate Special Offers app that gets it all done seamlessly.
Nail Your BFCM Marketing Efforts
Your marketing plan can make or break your BFCM sales, so it’s critically important to have a solid strategy that will be implemented on time. You’ll want to plan your marketing tactics well in advance to make sure your audience is prepared.
If you have an email list, you can set up a series of emails scheduled to go out before and during BFCM. Build excitement, send exclusive coupons, and hype up your subscribers! If you’re going to offer special deals on social media, make sure to tell your email subscribers so they can follow you on social as well.
Make sure you’ve got plenty of content for your social channels leading up to BFCM. Then, have posts ready to go on each day of the sale reminding followers what your promotions are. Once again, consider cross-promotion: Tell your social followers that you’re going to offer exclusive discounts to your email subscribers to encourage them to sign up for your mailing list.
If you have a blog in your store, BFCM sales are great content. You can link to blog posts in email and from social media. A blog post is especially helpful if your sales are somewhat complicated — say, if you’re running a different deal for each day of the BFCM weekend. You can lay everything out in one place and keep directing people to that post.
How are you going to talk about your deals? How will you ensure your language is compelling and concise? How do you typically talk about deals and discounts for your brand? Just a few copy-related questions to think about!
Copy and Design
Ensure that all of the copy and design for your BFCM marketing messages are concise and consistent. You’ll need graphics to jazz up your messaging — for social posts, emails, and on your website. Try sites like Canva or Snappa to build graphics with their pre-made templates for social media to help you get all your sizes exactly right.
Schedule Ahead of Time
All of this marketing work can be preplanned and scheduled for posting/sending way in advance. Even if you’re on a budget, there are free tools like MailerLite, Brevo, and Omnisend for email marketing as well as Planner and Later for social media planning. Keep an eye on pre-scheduled content in case it needs to be tweaked closer to launch.
If you run paid ads for your business, now is a great time to make sure you’ve got a campaign going. However, this may not be the best time to start exploring paid ads if it’s not something you’re experienced in. If you’re new to paid ads, consider testing at a quieter time of year and then ramping up for the next BFCM sales period.
Logistics: Get It Running Like Clockwork
Setting up and testing your deals ahead of time is incredibly important. The last thing you want is a barrage of messages from customers on Black Friday telling you that their carts don’t show the correct totals.
And speaking of a barrage of messages, e-commerce support teams get extremely busy in the weeks leading up to late November. If you do have issues or questions related to your e-commerce platform, or a sales app or plugin, you’ll want to get support well ahead of BFCM.
Follow these steps to get set up and tested:
- Figure out what tools you’ll use to run your sales. The Ultimate Special Offers app is the easiest way to go and avoids common headaches of e-commerce sales. Remember that apps can conflict with one another, so experiment with just one at a time. Also, be aware that apps can leave behind code after being uninstalled, and this can continue to cause conflicts.
- Configure the platform, app, or plug-in according to what kind of BFCM sale you’re going to run. (If you’re not sure whether an app has the functionality you want, you can always send in a pre-sales question.)
- Test the BFCM sale! Does it display and function the way you want it to? Use an incognito window and different browsers. Test how it works on mobile devices.
- Test again closer to the start of the sale. Other apps or changes to your theme could cause changes in how the sale works.
We have a detailed testing post on our blog that really gets into the nitty-gritty of testing out sales.
The logistics of inventory and shipping will need special attention as you plan your BFCM sales, too. It doesn’t matter how successful your revenue is if you can’t deliver the goods promptly and end up upsetting the shoppers. Be sure the items you want to promote (and the necessary packaging components!) will be stocked and that you can easily access more if needed.
If you’re struggling with getting everything done or need a little extra help with implementing your BFCM marketing calendar, testing the sales, or customer support, consider hiring some expert freelancers or utilizing some AI chatbot automation. Both options are great for getting the help you need without increasing your payroll.
Slay Your BFCM Sales
Whether you’re ramping up for your first-ever Black Friday-Cyber Monday weekend or you’re experienced but looking for ways to have a more successful BFCM than last year, the tips and suggestions in this guide will create a solid foundation.
Get started with the Ultimate Special Offers app if you haven’t already—it’s designed to help you make the most of your Shopify store!
This blog post is brought to you by Liz, Orbit’s Marketing Generalist.
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