BFCM: Guide for Black Friday and Cyber Monday | Atlasmic Blog
October 27, 2021
Marketing
10 min read

BFCM: Guide for Black Friday and Cyber Monday

Marketing tools and strategies to reach more customers on the most important sales of the year.

Domas Bitvinskas
Co-founder, Atlasmic
For online retailers and e-commerce people, there probably are no four letters that get their heart rolling just as much as
BFCM
. This abbreviation is for Black Friday Cyber Monday and it indicates the biggest online sale of the year. It’s also the chance for you to make a lot of money and/or increase brand recognition. But, in order to do that - you need to prepare. In this article, we’re going to tell you all about how to prepare your Shopify or online store for
BFCM
. Let’s begin!

First of all - How does BFCM work?

At the end of November, each year, the largest sales happen. On the final Friday of the eleventh month, there’s Black Friday. There are huge discounts on everything. It’s a reasonably old tradition that started in the US in the mid-2000s. It’s probably the best day for retailers and shops around the Western world because there are literal lines of people, lining up just to get something at a discount.
Cyber Monday comes after that and is oriented toward e-commerce. It takes place on the Monday after Thanksgiving and offers huge discounts online. Here’s a calendar to help you out understand dates.
Since it’s the busiest day of the year, everyone wants in on the
BFCM
action. Regardless of the huge numbers of sales made, you have to do research and prepare a strategy in order to be successful during the Black Friday Cyber Monday shopping marathon.

Preparation for BFCM - Marketing

If you’re set on making money on Black Friday Cyber Monday, preparation is key. There are a lot of things that you can do in order to make the customer feel like they’re getting a good deal which is what matters during those days. Nevertheless, it’s important to think about every aspect of the process to avoid technical or other issues during the busy day as it will be very disappointing if you aren’t able to capitalize on the opportunities.
So, let’s look at how you should prepare:

Step 1: Think about your digital design choices

Black Friday and Cyber Monday have to feel special. The discounts themselves can be just above average but if you promote it well, you will be successful.
Make sure to either include noticeable visuals, indicating the huge sales or prepare a new version of the web’s design specifically for Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Just take a look below.
Walmart can be labelled as one of the Founding Fathers of Black Friday.
Walmart is a huge, and thus, conservative company. They chose a simple, mild but very noticeable approach. A huge bold font, bright colours, and centred position clearly show that Black Friday is coming and shoppers should prepare. Think about how your digital design could engage, hype, and make your customers feel like they’re getting great deals here!

Step 2: Look at your stock and choose appropriate discounts

Picking the right discounts may not be as simple as you think. It requires some insight into your customer, competition, and the products, in general. You might be lucky by just randomly selecting a discount strategy, but in general, some strategizing and mindfulness are necessary.
Your Shopify or another online store, if you want it to succeed during BFCM, has to have a great but unique discounting strategy that is appealing when buying your products and/or services. For example, if you sell tools, the buy 1 get 1 free idea might not be a good choice because people don’t necessarily need two hammers or two electric drills. Here are a few discount strategies that are worth exploring.
Flash sales
. Popularized by Amazon and Aliexpress, flash sales are incredibly high discount rates that are only available for a short, limited period of time.
2 for 1.
Buy 1 get 1 free - one of the most popular ideas in advertising. Just be careful not to go in the red and lose too much money doing so. Make sure your profit margins and business model allow you to utilize such a promo. A better alternative may be - buy 2 get the 3rd one for free, etc.
Progressive discounts
. These need further clarification but they’re generally quite effective. Progressive discounts work by incremental increases in the proportion of the discount in correlation with money spent.
For example - 20% off from orders costing less than 30 USD, 30% off from orders costing less than 60 USD, 50% off from orders costing over 60 USD, etc.
If you’re dwindling about doing something special for the BFCM marathon, look at the image below.
On any given day, almost two-thirds of consumers online are waiting to buy products as soon as they go for sale.
This number is undoubtedly much higher during Black Friday and Cyber Monday. So, appeal to the masses by offering discounts.

Step 3: Think about a dedicated BFCM landing page

A dedicated landing page, specifically for your BFCM campaign may be a good investment. With a unique design and information about the upcoming event, you can create hype and add anticipation for your current and potential customers.
Your dedicated landing page should feature the most important information about the deals and discounts that you’re going to offer. Share one or two really exciting ones in detail but don’t give too much away!

Step 4: Advertising

Your Black Friday ad campaigns (the same applies to Cyber Monday) should be drafted and prepared at least a week prior. Make sure you know how much you will be spending on the advertisements and allocate that budget before publishing the ads.
BFCM advertisements for online stores are usually found in your email inbox, seen on social media and Google paid ads. Other methods can be used (like radio or even TV advertisements), but preparation for these has to happen way before the actual discounts are applied. So, social media, search engines, and email marketing are the ways to go.

Preparation for BFCM - Shopping & Convenience

Luring customers in with advertisements and big discounts is just one part of the whole equation. If you want to succeed during the BFCM shopping marathon, you also have to be sure that your clients are getting the best possible shopping experience. Consistently providing an exciting and unique shopping experience is super difficult and super expensive. But, if you ought to just be ready to exceed your current standards for just a week or so, that is definitely possible.
Here are a few pointers that will help your business improve the shopping and convenience aspect of your online store for Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Be sure that the increased traffic would not slow load speeds

Customers do run into occasional bugs and issues throughout their online shopping experience. But if they encounter tedious loading times and unresponsive, broken web pages, they will leave very quickly, disregarding the discounts and promotions.
The best way to ensure excellent connectivity is to have a dependable hosting provider for your website. Also, make sure traffic is redirected to the visitor’s corresponding location-based version of the site (domain extension). Platforms like Shopify have great technical support and thus, shouldn’t post any problems, but if you have manually chosen a hosting provider, maybe, just for the week of the sale, choose the best possible service plan with the highest traffic capacity and make sure that loading times are good enough.

Customer support has to be fully ready

With more orders coming through your website, there have to be enough resources to cover the increased need for customer support. If you expect people to just be more patient, for the time being, you’re missing out on a golden opportunity to attract new clients. Just look at this first chart.
Research shows us that more than half of people follow recommendations from others or reviews about great customer service.
Imagine that someone spreads their shopping experience by word of mouth and it’s a positive experience. Free advertising and more chances of attracting new customers to your business.
Besides, in this competitive landscape, you always need to be on the lookout for opportunities to stand out. Check out this next chart.
Almost 90% of customers that have a bad customer experience will consider and in the end do business with your competitors. So, you just can’t afford to have these negative experiences piling up. On the other hand, thanks to positive reviews on customer experience, you can expect to capitalize on the mistakes made by your competition and add their clients’ business.
Here is where tools like Atlasmic come into play (Learn more). Manage live chats with ease, reduce response times, and have tremendously insightful analytics on customer service right at your fingertips. Atlasmic is flexible and scalable. Prepare for BFCM shopping madness with the right tools at your disposal.
Consider working at 100% capacity for the whole weekend and a couple of days after Cyber Monday. You can even hire temporary help.

Set the foundation for the customer to return

Stop thinking about BFCM as just a short-lived shopping bonanza. It’s a golden opportunity for both small and big businesses to attract new people and their businesses, gradually or even instantly making them loyal customers. With so much more opportunity for new traffic, you just have to set a solid foundation to have people wanting to return. How?
Well, there are many marketing tactics and strategies that you can employ for that. The first is upselling through incentives. Look at the chart below.
That’s called sales funnelling. You can also replace offers to become a member with personalized product suggestions. But if you do have a loyalty programme with discounts, create appealing visuals to sell becoming either a free or paid member of the program. For BFCM customers you can offer a 3 months trial period. Also, tools like Atlasmic can help to make sure everything is set up and ready.
Personalization & retention
Before BFCM starts, have a personalized email system. Even though people look at them for a few seconds, having a personalized email is a small, but very efficient touch that helps keep customers happy.
You retain customers by having them follow you on social media and/or having them subscribe to your newsletters, sending automated abandoned cart reminders, mailing them in physical mail, etc.
Retargeted ads
If a customer abandoned your cart or has purchased from you, don’t let that stop you. It should encourage you to pursue their business. Make sure they get different ads with different deals. Widget and gallery ads can work well because you can show ‘Similar items’, ‘Frequently bought together and other relevant products.

Launch your BFCM campaign

Once you’ve prepared marketing material and taken care of the technical things, you have to monitor how it's doing once BFCM is underway. Social media can show you up-to-date stats on ads. Platforms like Shopify display them in real-time and offer you insights and give chances for improvements on the fly.
Make sure you incentivize reviewing to get the most benefit from increased traffic. If your store has numerous employees, you can make one employee in charge of overlooking the BFCM campaign to have a hands-on approach and more streamlined problem solving with proper delegation.
Finally, it’s a must to do a post-campaign review and analysis of how things went. Try to find at least a few things that could be improved for next time.

Summary

So, that was all there is to know for the preparation of your Black Friday Cyber Monday campaign. Divide your preparation into two areas - marketing and technical. They need to be taken care of at least 1 week prior to the launch of your campaign. Allocate and assign more resources to customer support to ensure maximum customer satisfaction. Try and squeeze additional value from each purchase by trying to upsell and having people subscribe to newsletters, etc. If you’ll be able to do that, your campaign is going to be successful!
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