Black Friday Playbook

The busiest sales weekend and one of the biggest opportunities of the year is just around the corner! With Black Friday Cyber Monday (BFCM) approaching soon, it is time for marketers to prepare for the holiday season with the right arsenal to roll out a successful marketing campaign. In 2021, Shopify merchants saw $6.3 billion in total global sales – a 23% increase from 2020. Even a small percentage of this could translate into your biggest revenue week of the year.

As an ecommerce business owner, you probably already know that you cannot design a campaign overnight. You will have to prepare well in advance if you want to navigate the uncertain economic climate, the barrage of online retailers and fluctuating consumer behavior. Nevertheless, you’re in luck! 

Black Friday Cyber Monday by numbers

Over 5 years of working with reputed brands in fashion and lifestyle. 

Every year, brands have the chance to make the most of the wave of customers looking to purchase at the year end. With a detailed plan of action and impeccable execution, you can use BFCM to drive sales and traffic to your website. Follow these steps and you should be set for BFCM 2022!

1. Start Here!

Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday is the Monday after Black Friday. Start by preparing for this online shopping weekend by creating a timeline. 

It is ideal to start a week or two before BFCM weekend. By defining a timeline, you can put things into motion so that customers are tempted to buy online, from the comfort of their homes rather than stepping out. A whopping 70% of US shoppers plan to participate in BFCM sale offers and you need to tell them about the upcoming sale in advance. You can create a reference guide for gifting ideas since it is the holiday season. 

Keep in mind that customers are not simply making a purchase for Black Friday or Cyber Monday but they are also thinking about the next big holiday –

Start by giving your customers a minimum of 2 weeks to plan their purchases and start your communication early. You can even extend the offers and sales post Cyber Monday. 

2. Discounts & Offers

Any offer that you propose has to be absolutely irresistible to the customer. Now you may wonder what an irresistible offer might be? 

Discounts & Offers

For example, have a site-wide discount or free shipping! The discount could be anywhere between the range of 30-70% based on your margins and available inventory. You can even offer bundle discounts based on the purchase value for higher AOV. 

Offer discounts across your website instead of making customers use a coupon code. Get creative. Make your discounts engaging and exciting by incorporating concepts like Spin The Wheel, Product of The Day or Deal of the Day. Create a planned sales map of how you want to offer discounts. 

3. Creatives

There is no better way to attract customers than with eye-catching creatives!

Make your products look visually appealing and showcase your bestsellers. Your BFCM creatives should cover all the basics,  without looking too crowded.

Include your company logo and have a common theme running through all your creatives that you use across platforms. Customers will find it easier to correctly identify your ads and respond to them! Your creatives will also include pop-ups, banners, your homepage, and product pages. 

At a time of deep discounts, it is crucial to highlight the discounts and offers in your creatives. If you’re running Google Ads, make sure that you have the correct aspect ratios in place. 

4. Website navigation

One of the most crucial points on this checklist is our website. The more efficient and fast a website is, the more sales you will see. Since COVID, customers have gotten used to shopping online and now expect and anticipate to find the right products easily. Your website should be 3 things primarily- fast, easy and user-friendly. Optimize your website to look engaging, handle the oncoming traffic, and create a generally pleasurable shopping experience. 

Website navigation

You have an extremely short window of time to make visitors stay on your website! If a website does not load in 3 seconds, 90% of visitors will bounce. 

Around 75% of visitors will browse websites on their mobile phones, make sure that you declutter it and showcase clear offers, without confusing your audience. Highlight your bestsellers or hero products and have a specific Call To Action. 

5. Communication Strategy

Just like a house needs a solid foundation, your BFCM campaign will need a robust communication strategy that will anchor it in place. When you have finalized your discounts and offers, optimized your website and made striking ad creatives, it is time to plan how your communication will work. 

Communication Strategy

Try to see what your competitors are doing and follow the trend to an extent. Your offers should ideally match theirs or be better! Be consistent across all channels and get the messaging out clearly and concisely. For example, if you plan to run a pre-BFCM sale, promote it across all platforms and communicate the timeline, the discounts, and the products well in advance. 

6. Inventory and Delivery

Since the onset of the pandemic, the supply chain has taken a hit across most industries. You should plan early and order the products that you want to promote, especially if you rely on suppliers. 

Use the previous year’s BFCM data, look at the current trends and try to forecast the demand in order to prepare for BFCM. Identify your best-performing products and stock up on them while also ensuring that you get rid of dead stock. 

Your shipping strategy is something that you do not want to overlook. Periods like BFCM are a good time to rethink your shipping strategy. The idea is to find a balance. 

A clever shipping strategy will be a mix of affordable options, will be able to meet customers’ needs and will align with your eCommerce logistics. This will in turn improve your cart conversion and increase the average order value (AOV). 

Customers will expect free and fast shipping. This is relative to your location and customers’ expectations but remember that your shipping strategy will affect your conversion rate and profit margins. 

Decide if you want to absorb the shipping cost so that it is “free” to the customers as this will spur them on to buy more.

You can even decide to do free shipping on the purchase of a minimum amount. 

Whatever decision you make, communicate it to your customers. Have a shipping policy page or add it in your FAQs to further enhance the shopping experience. 

7. Social Media Strategy

Harnessing the power of social media can give you excellent results. A good place is to start by looking at the past and build on the same. Learn from previous mistakes and analyze previous metrics such as impressions, engagement, click-through rate, conversion rate to design a social media campaign for BFCM. 

Along with giving compelling discounts and offers, you will need to stay on top of current social media trends. Draw a plan for- 

  • The type of content (videos, static posts, reels, stories) 
  • The type of offers / messaging / communication (make sure you are consistent across all platforms) 
  • Length of promotion 

Lastly, it is always wise to keep all your social media collateral ready in advance so that you can roll out the content smoothly. Follow a calendar and stay organized so that you don’t miss out on any key communication. 

8. Target Audience & remarketing

Target audiences are probably one of the most important aspects of creating an ad. 

Your ad can be fully optimized with the correct budgets and creatives with the right CTAs, but if it is being delivered to the wrong audience, it will not give you the results you expect. 

Some ways to identify your highly converting audience are:

  • Extensive market research about the types of people that would be interested in your product.
  • If your product is on the lower AOV side, targeting a wide audience age makes sense. On the other hand, if your product is on the higher AOV side, then targeting a narrow audience with more maturity will give better results as they would have a higher purchasing power.
  • Always use interest-based or demographic – based targeting to make sure that you are really reaching out to that specific audience that will definitely interact or make a purchase on your website
  • If this is the first time you are running ads, we suggest the Pan-US approach, and over time with enough data, you can segment it into specific states, depending on your learnings.

9. Lifetime Value (LTV) and Velvet Rope Marketing

The Lifetime Value (LTV) of a customer can be defined as the projected revenue that a customer will generate during their lifetime. 

Velvet Rope marketing is marketing specifically towards your existing customer base as a bid to increase their Lifetime Value (LTV) to your brand.

This creates higher revenue, more periodic purchases and loyalty towards your brand from this specific target audience. A few ways to achieve this:

  • Giving your existing customer base a sneak peek to your website before the sale goes live.
  • A coupon code can be emailed to them for additional discounts or a complimentary product.
  • Giving them exclusive access to certain products and launches to make them feel valued and important to the brand.

10. Growth Marketing

The best way to optimize your marketing spending is by using growth marketing to your advantage. With the use of growth hacking techniques to experiment with different channels and strategies frequently, you can improve results to drive growth. 

This kind of relentless experimentation and testing across platforms such as Meta, TikTok and Google forms an important part of your BFCM checklist.

Growth marketing will ensure that you reach your target audience and create awareness. If you want to be a part of the big sales numbers that many brands see during BFCM it is crucial to use growth marketing to your advantage. You can even use remarketing to target past visitors. 

For example, on Facebook, Dynamic catalog ads are one of the best ways to run prospecting ads and acquire new users and customers. On Google, during sale Search Ads and Performance Max ads work best for conversion. 

With the right creatives, copy and growth marketing techniques, you can attract the right customers. 

11. Ad Operations

We have finally arrived at the end of this exhaustive but impactful checklist! 

Lastly, but most importantly, is Ad Operations. This will allow you to reach the exact type of customers that will make a purchase and ultimately increase conversions. 

There will come a time when your in-house resources just won’t be enough to run and optimize a big number of ads. This is where agencies such as Tech Bay Leaf come in with our vast resources. In order to crush your BFCM goals for 2022, you will have to scale your business for the last quarter and do this efficiently. 

Tech Bay Leaf has run 1000+ ads and spent $1 million on ads during BFCM sales in 2021! Keep this solid, proven checklist handy for 2022.

This Black Friday Cyber Monday checklist can be used to ensure that you are running on time for a successful marketing campaign. Remember to track your progress and stay motivated!👍

Click here to check how ready is your brand compared to the industry standards for one of the biggest sales of the year!

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Paige Pat
Paige Pat
1 year ago

I think this checklist will be very helpful for marketers..

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