The Black Friday/Cyber Monday holiday weekend has become a massive opportunity for brands to generate revenue.
But how do you best prepare your store? What discounts should you offer this year? What type of products should you promote?
During our Xperience Commerce event, three awesome ecommerce marketers sat down with us to chat about how brands can implement a campaign designed for conversions for Black Friday and Cyber Monday (BCFM) 2021.
Our expert panelists included Joe Vela, Customer Success Manager at Postscript; Eric Bandholz, the CEO and Founder of Beardbrand; and Val Geisler, Customer Evangelist at Klaviyo.
You’ll have the best chance at successful Black Friday Cyber Monday marketing for your store if you prep as soon as possible! And there’s no shame in planning your creative deals and tactics as early as June.
But all the same, there’s still time to make an impact on your store’s revenue with landing pages, emails, or SMS campaigns.
Keep reading to find our tips for prepping for this year’s biggest sales weekend.
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The ideal time to start early planning and brainstorming is in July or August.
Of course, as you’re reading this in October 2021 onward, we’re past that. But the next best time to start is now.
You want to give yourself time to plan for enough inventory by November and time to make changes and adjustments to your BFCM plan.
However: as Eric said:
“It’s never too late until the day of.”
You still have time to plan your campaign and decide which items you’re going to include.
Start by determining which merchandise you’re going to include in your BFCM event. Think about whether you’re introducing new products or promoting existing ones and what kinds of deals or offers you can viably make.
From there, brainstorm ideas for a campaign theme or tactics that both excite—and incites trust with—your customers.
Your goal should be to create a long-term relationship that goes beyond your BFCM promotion.
As Joe mentioned early on in the XCOM session:
“Black Friday Cyber Monday might account for 20%-40% of your revenue for the whole year, so it’s really important to develop a strategy where you maximize your conversion rate and average order value.”
There are many ways you can excite potential customers leading up to BFCM regardless of when you start planning. Drumming up excitement in your customers can lead to more conversions.
Start with what’s on offer, and build off of this.
To build a successful BFCM campaign, think about what makes a good ecommerce deal.
According to Privy, the top three offer types for BFCM are:
There are a couple of ways to use site-wide discounts.
Shopify says the best way is by focusing on average order value (AOV) or encouraging customers to purchase more.
For example, instead of a sale that offers 25% off all items sitewide, try offering a promotion of 35% of a $200+ order.
With this type of deal, you could increase your average order value and improve your profit margins.
You can also try out bundling and tiered discounts to excite your customers leading up to your event.
For example, bundle multiple items that could go together. You can do this with almost any type of product: outdoor gear, electronics, wellness items, and more!
Or tier your discounts so that everyone can get a deal no matter how much they spend.
Here’s an example of a tiered discount: $10 off $30, $25 off $75, $50 off $125.
By offering their customers a bundle of eleven of their premium products at a 25% discount, they increased their AOV by 19%.
Use BFCM as an opportunity to generate excitement (and revenue) for any new products you’re launching.
Consider the new items you might have that are worth holding onto and making a splash about on the big day(s).
Lululemon did this during their 2020 BFCM event. They created a digital promotion to generate excitement: “Black Friday starts now. Check out all the gear that just dropped.”
You’ll want a dedicated landing page to run your BFCM promotions, bundles, and new product launches when you start building your campaign.
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Once you have built out your campaign (think inventory, promotional collateral, and a dedicated landing page in your store), start marketing to your customers with SMS texts—specifically, SMS texts with opt-in keywords.
In the session with our experts, Joe Vela used the example: “Reply ‘Daily Deals’ to get all of our best Black Friday, Cyber Monday deals!”
With opt-ins like this, Joe says, “You’ll create an engaged segment of subscribers that are more likely to convert on a lot of your deals.”
According to Digiday, DTC brands are successfully using SMS texts to reach customers.
Research on SMS marketing showed a click-through rate (CTR) of 70% and a conversion rate of about 25% for SMS.
So if you haven’t given this tactic a try yet, the biggest sales weekend of the year might be a great place to start with an opt-in ahead to build anticipation for your deals.
All three of our experts agreed that they saw “big conversion rates” on big-ticket items on the Thursday before 2020’s Black Friday.
Many consumers plan all year to buy a big-ticket item during BFCM (think: TVs, new electronics, appliances).
When the week leading up to Black Friday comes around, these consumers know exactly what they will be buying and are watching for the deals to land.
Satisfy your customers, and get conversions, by offering your big-ticket items on Thursday, instead of Friday.
The early bird gets the attention!
Customers are inundated with messaging around BFCM.
Try standing out among other companies by personalizing your messages to your customers.
Work towards creating a permanent relationship with your customers, rather than just a temporary one during BFCM.
When you send out emails or SMS messages, use personal information that can surprise and delight customers.
Include their first name, the last product they purchased with you, or even an item they’ve saved for later.
By adding this type of detail, your audience won’t feel like just another customer in your database—they’ll feel a more personal connection to your brand.
Give a name and personality to your brand so that people can see there are actual people who work at your company.
For example, try what Joe Vela suggests:
“This is Joe from Postscript. I saw you abandoned your cart. Can I help you with anything?”
Val also brought up a good point about humanizing your brand by being genuine.
She illustrated this with an example of giving your email subscribers a chance to opt out of BFCM emails in advance.
Your messaging could say, “We know you’re getting a lot of emails and texts right now. If you’d prefer to opt-out of our Black Friday Cyber Monday emails but would like to stay on our email list, click here.”
This tells your audience you’re prioritizing them over any holiday promotions—and as Val said, “We’re not going to risk losing our ability to talk to you for the sake of making an extra $10.”
Use your audience’s previous purchases to tailor your messaging.
Try to create a connection between their past purchases and some of the deals you are offering during BFCM.
For example, “Hi Joe, I saw you purchased our outdoor lover’s gift bundle. We just wanted to check in to see how you are liking the product. Also, here is another product we think you might enjoy!”
To see everything our panelists had to say about preparing your store for Black Friday and Cyber Monday, watch the whole video from our Xperience Commerce event.
Start by planning which items you’re going to promote and whether you’ll run bundling, tiers, or site-wide deals.
Then, create a campaign and promotional assets to inform and excite your audience. Assemble your team and a checklist of all your tactics.
And lastly, pick a start date for when you will start messaging customers (as we said, Thursday or even earlier is super smart to collect opt-ins for your communications, and deals can start going out as early as you want that week).
Finally, as you prep deals this year, be sure to try out Shogun Page Builder to create custom landing pages that you can pair with your emails and SMS campaigns.
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