BFCM Checklist 2021: Skyrocket Your Online Sales for Black Friday and Cyber Monday

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Kristina Gjorgievska


What is BFCM?

BFCM is a term that covers the most popular shopping events on the planet – Black Friday (28th November) and Cyber Monday (30th November). More importantly, from a seller’s perspective – it’s the most anticipated period where much of the profits are to be made. According to many U.S. media, the average American citizen spends over $400 during BFCM. This is, by far, the most profitable holiday of the year for every retailer out there. Find out more about the difference between these two terms, and how you can benefit from this year’s global shopping spree.

It’s incredibly important to prepare your online store for an increase in sales, simply because your competitors will be doing exactly the same. This pre-Christmas is often used for 2-in-1 special offers, discounts, promotions, and giveaways. In the U.S. alone, people spend over $1.5B in a period of just a few days. If you’d like a piece of the cake, there are a few things to consider before you start offering BFCM deals to all those hyped-up online shoppers.

Difference between Black Friday and Cyber Monday

Many sellers will agree – Black Friday is different from Cyber Monday in a number of ways. Generally speaking, people buy all sorts of high-ticket products on Black Friday because there are tons of discounts on the majority of merchandise. As for the tech deals and gifts (including accessories, watches, and gadgets), many shoppers eagerly await the following Cyber Monday. However, these days business owners tend to connect these two big shopping events under BFCM to create promotions that last even for one or two whole weeks.

The reason why eCommerce businesses prolong these two events over a longer period is purely for marketing purposes. This way, shoppers are able to buy different products within a few days, leaving them with enough time to spend some on Black Friday, then wait for better tech offers over the following days, ending the shopping spree the days after Cyber Monday.

More importantly, it gives retailers enough time to restock and prepare for the next wave of shoppers, no matter if it’s physical or online. However, you might still be wondering – how does all this information help your online store? In short, if you’re looking to capitalize on the year’s biggest shopping event, you need to check if your store is ready.

How do I prepare my store for the upcoming Black Friday and Cyber Monday (BFCM)?

Before you start with the BFCM checklist, you need to know that this year, online shopping is expected to increase exponentially. This is due to the current COVID-19 pandemic. People are looking to buy more, using the safest method possible, which is, of course, online shopping.

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are the biggest shopping events

Now, you need to get that store up and running without any interruptions during the upcoming weeks. Perform a small technical check, before you move on to the marketing side of it.

Check your site’s allowed bandwidth

Depending on which platform you use for your online store, exceeding the allowed bandwidth will result in profit loss. If your site shows any errors while people are trying to connect to it, many potential customers will close it within a few seconds. You can fix this by upgrading the site’s bandwidth with your web hosting provider.

For instance, if your store is based and built on Shopify, you’ll have no issues with customers leaving your store due to slow loading time or any other similar issue. Shopify always seeks new ways to improve user satisfaction and have optimized every subscription plan to work flawlessly, regarding the amount of traffic coming to your site. On the other hand, if you have a WordPress-based store using GoDaddy, Bluehost, or any other popular web hosting company, you might want to talk to them about increasing your website’s bandwidth, switching to a more expensive subscription plan, etc.

Focus on customer support

Many customers will be asking for additional information on the products, such as size, color, and shipping costs. You can either use an automated chatbot to ask and respond to all questions or hire an experienced customer support representative on an hourly basis, to help deal with the majority of customers.

Of course, it’d be great if you can also set the working hours visible someplace, as there are 24 time zones around the planet. In case you’d like to install a live chat app, there are tons to choose from, such as LiveChat, Crisp, Tidio, Freshdesk, etc.

Calculate discounts

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are all about quantity. Selling hundreds, even thousands of products with setting the profits at just 5%, will earn you a decent amount of profits. However, you can still calculate the profit margins (if any) set by your supplier, then optimize them for more sales.

Prepare your BFCM discounts

The point of it is not to be overwhelmed by greed, but to play it right and earn more during those crucial days. Then, hopefully, reinvest all those money into improving your store. Let’s talk about how you can prepare everything for the upcoming BFCM shopping holiday.

BFCM Landing Pages

First, you’ll need to design, create, and publish a landing page. This is especially important due to several reasons:

  • All the visitors coming to your site will be able to see the variety of special discounts, offers, etc.
  • It’s easier to collect new emails by offering them to participate in a BFCM ‘wheel of fortune’ event for extra discounts and gifts.
  • You can check out and analyze how they react to all the offers and products, and get a better understanding of what customers love the most. This can be used for future advertising campaigns and marketing efforts.
  • Finally, you’ll need to connect this landing page to all your Google Analytics, Facebook Pixel, and other tracking software. They will reveal many valuable insights on what you can do next with your store.

Landing pages are mainly used to best promote products or services of any industry. Most business owners create landing pages based on holidays. Thus, most of the competition will use the same method to try and get more sales. For every major holiday, you can create a separate landing page template, which will really save time for next year’s marketing activities.

BFCM deals, promotions, and offers

Here, you’ll need to provide customers with more than just discounted offers. While at it, why not reward them somehow for being loyal to your store? Better yet, why not take advantage of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, and make sure the majority of those visiting your site for the first time come back soon, for another purchase?

Every discount needs to be calculated so that the profit margins stay around the same. For instance, if your store is based on WooCommerce, they offer a great ‘buy one get one‘ feature. With it, you’re most likely notice a sharp increase in sales. Moreover, you should include ‘free shipping’ offers, special gifts for multi-buy customers, percentage discounts, and much more.

On the other hand, you can add another great feature that you’ve most likely seen around the Internet. Product bundling is a process where resellers increase the total value of sales, to allow customers a less complex shopping experience. They do it by offering specific products as a complete package, with special discounts. These are especially popular for electronics and gaming consoles during Cyber Monday. You can find strategies for bundle pricing online.

Black Friday and Cyber Monday (BFCM) Newsletter

Creating effective email campaigns during BFCM is crucial. Let your existing customer base know about the current best offers. This will just increase the sales even further, as you can focus more on outbound marketing. Outbound marketing means using various marketing methods to find new customers. They are usually found visiting and shopping from your competitors.

Remember, it’s BFCM and you’ll have to create personalized newsletters with specific CTA buttons to grab their attention the same second they lay their eyes on it. Include multiple discounts and special offers, provide a variety of products and product bundles, and make sure they see both the old and new prices. This will allow shoppers to recognize the value of the product, meaning they will start calculating how much they’ve saved by purchasing during this shopping holiday. If you can contact some local charities and make a deal with them, you can even donate a percentage of the profits. Many customers feel better when they find out that part of what they’ve just purchased will help those in need.

Include videos wherever possible

According to sources, creating a video on the landing page may as well increase the conversion rate by over 85%. Keep in mind – some competitors won’t have videos posted on their websites, which is good news for your store.

Start the countdown for your BFCM deals

Start the countdown

In the past few years, creating ‘limited-time offers’ invokes a feeling of ‘pressure’ into buying the product before it expires. Placing countdown timers is often used, even by the most popular marketplaces. This time, you can use it for ‘Special BFCM Limited-Time Offers’, which is perfect to increase the pressure of shoppers, in a positive manner.

Include referral programs

There are other useful methods you can put into practice before and during Black Friday. Referral programs can be implemented, whereas your most loyal customers will bring even more customers to your store. In return, they can earn points, which they can later exchange for even bigger discounts, small gifts, or even gift cards.

The best way to announce the good news is by posting it on all your social media pages. Also, don’t forget to include relevant hashtags to these posts, because you’ll most likely reach an even more active audience. Alternatively, you can still send weekly newsletters to all existing customers, highlighting this part to them.

Hashtags

Although they say hashtags aren’t as popular as before, they can still play a part in your marketing efforts. The most common hashtags include #BlackFridayDeals, #CyberMonday, #BFCMWeek, #BlackFridayWeek, and other related terms.

In case you need to find a database of similar hashtags, use tools such as Best Hashtags.

Mobile optimization

Let’s not forget the single, most important thing you need to optimize for your online store. If you’re wondering why we put an emphasis on this essential step, it’s best we explain it through simple facts and numbers.

  • At least once a day, over 91% of all Internet users surf the Internet using their mobile devices. Some of them even shop impulsively;
  • On a global scale, there are over 4 billion people using social media today;
  • As for smartphone usage, we’ve already passed the 50% mark, with over 5.2 billion unique users and counting;
  • According to the latest statistics, the average online shopper spends at least $500 every year, ordering all sorts of products.

Thus, there are more than 5 billion reasons for you to create a mobile-friendly site. It has already proven to help increase conversions and retain new customers.

Use Social Media advertising

BFCM, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday will be some of the most browsed keywords on the Internet in the following couple of weeks. It’s what happens every end of the year, and explains why they cost so much per click during this period. Either way, if you want to scale up, it’s something that you must take into consideration.

You can even turn all paid visitors into recurring customers. Make sure they give their email addresses so that you can include them in your newsletters. However, keep in mind – it all needs to be transparent.

BFCM Checklist: Summary

In short, you can use some, or all of these methods to make it work. Thank you newsletters with follow-up emails are a great way to retain most customers, and social media will help you further increase your sales. If you get ready in time, it could turn out to be the most profitable month of the year. Remember to make sure that your online store can take hundreds of shoppers at any given time. With the amount of data we’ve provided, you can achieve much during the BFCM weekend.

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About the Author


Kristina Gjorgievska
Kristina, Head of Content at BrandsGateway. Eternal inspiration: The Doors music and lyrics, Bernardo Bertolucci's timeless “Stealing Beauty”, and the dynamic and meditative Ashtanga Yoga.

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