It’s the biggest holiday shopping period of the year: the Friday after Thanksgiving through the following Monday. Thanks to the convenience of the internet, Black Friday Cyber Monday (BFCM) means customers can take advantage of some of the best online sales of the year, right from the comfort of their own home.
With so many direct-to-consumer stores to choose from, there’s no need to wait in painfully long lines at retail stores when the next discount is just a few clicks away.
Let’s dive into the meaning of BFCM and explore some key ways how you, as an ecommerce seller, can take advantage of this spike in buyer interest and position your business for success.
What is Black Friday Cyber Monday (BFCM)?
BFCM is a blockbuster online shopping weekend that begins once the dust has settled after everyone’s Thanksgiving dinner. In short, the definition of this occasion, and the BFCM meaning, is to have a dedicated purchasing opportunity where massive deals are on display.
Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving, and Cyber Monday is always the Monday after Black Friday. In terms of where it lands on the calendar, it’s an ideal time during the holiday season when people are starting to think about what gifts they want to get their friends and family for Christmas and other Q4 celebrations.
Brands typically offer their biggest promotions of the year during this stretch, and customers have come to expect some pretty sweet deals. As an online store owner, it’s the perfect chance for you to elevate your game and deliver on this expectation, maximizing the wave of customers that are visiting your site.
With the right blueprint in place and flawless strategic execution, BFCM can be used to grow your customer base, increase your number of conversions, and get products out the door faster than ever before.
When is BFCM?
BFCM kicks off the Friday after Thanksgiving and runs through the beginning of the following week, on Cyber Monday. In 2022 this falls on November 25 and November 28, respectively.
For those who make a living in the ecommerce space and pour a tremendous amount of effort into building an online brand, it’s safe to say that BCFM is the highlight of November. Sure, turkey and cranberry sauce are great, but tons of new visitors to your storefront is even better.
How to Prepare for BFCM?
As an ecom store owner, there are a number of steps you can take to get ready for this sales event and make sure your operation is buttoned up ahead of time.
After all, you want to do everything you can to get as big a sliver of the BFCM pie as possible. In 2021, Shopify merchants saw $6.3 billion in total global sales, which was a 23% increase from 2020. Even a tiny percentage of this could mean your biggest revenue week of the year.
So, what can be done to prepare for the occasion and get things ironed out beforehand?
First, optimize your website, for desktop as well as any mobile device. This means improving your site speed wherever possible, and fixing glitches that may persist. You don’t want customers abandoning their carts–or even worse, never adding items to their cart to begin with–because a page is not loading properly or they get redirected to the wrong location.
Test, test, and test some more to make sure everything is running smoothly when the big weekend arrives. Not sure what to test? Download our Conversion Rate Optimization Checklist for a structured list of items to prioritize ahead of BFCM.
Next, review your arsenal of apps. Are there any you might be able to add that would either upgrade the backend of your storefront or improve the customer experience? Would replacing certain pieces of software allow you to run a more effective, streamlined operation? Conduct a thorough, app-by-app analysis to make sure you are getting the most out of your add-ons.
With BFCM being the perfect opportunity to entice buyers with your offerings, and with people primed to open up their wallets when the right deal appears before them, make sure you have impactful upselling and cross-selling apps in place. A tool like Rebuy allows you to make personalized recommendations to your customers while they are shopping, which can ultimately increase your average order value (AOV).
One of the most important things you can do to make sure you are BFCM-ready is to verify your inventory is replenished. You don’t want to engage in a significant amount of legwork only to run out of stock.
Triple check that you will have enough units in your warehouse for each of your SKUs. If not, make sure you get your orders in with your suppliers with enough room to spare, to account for any lead times or delays.
If this is not your first year in business, and you have historical data to reference, look at how much you sold last year during the same period, and how much your business has grown since then, to arrive at a projection for the quantity of product you will need.
Without adequate inventory during BFCM, you won’t be equipped to take advantage of the deluge of shoppers who will be eager to buy and receive your items.
Luckily, with the right preparation, a high volume of orders can be fulfilled without a hitch.
Getting your coupons and discount codes ready several weeks in advance is another concrete step you can take to prepare. Calculate your profit margins to determine how much buffer you have to deduct from your listing prices. While you don’t want to slash so much off the top that it eats through your net earnings, you want to coax your shoppers with the kind of irresistible offers that guarantee your BFCM is a smashing success.
BFCM Marketing Ideas
This BFCM, be sure to implement a series of thoughtful, strategic marketing efforts to alert your customer base to the variety of deals you’re planning to make available. If people don’t hear from you, they won’t know what they’re missing.
Make shoppers want to choose your store over the competition. Better promotional efforts could be the difference between someone buying from you and deciding to wander over to a different storefront, all because they had more captivating content.
So, make it your mission to generate fresh, exciting creative across all the platforms where your brand has a presence. BFCM-specific postings for sites like Pinterest and Instagram can go a long way toward drumming up organic interest.
One way you can fine-tune your brand messaging is to survey a pool of prospective customers with a service like PickFu. This allows you to receive in-depth comments and feedback from an audience similar to the one you’ll be pitching to ahead of time.
You can also partner with influencers using an app like Dovetale. This platform can be used to establish valuable relationships with brand ambassadors and keep track of all your affiliate offers. By leveraging other social media accounts outside of your direct circle, this enables you to further spread the word about the promotions you plan on running during BFCM.
It is also highly recommended that you increase your ad budget during this time period, so as to capitalize on the spike in web traffic and clicks. Analyze key metrics and properly measure customer purchases with a tool such as Triple Whale. This will help you keep tabs on the different platforms you are advertising on throughout the BFCM festivities, and track attribution across your entire marketing ecosystem.
Follow-up outreach with Postscript can also be a tremendous benefit. This can be used to initiate automated conversations with your shoppers, and contact those who may have had second thoughts and abandoned their cart during the frenzy. Make it known just how attractive your BFCM deals are by shooting them an SMS reminder, enticing them to complete their purchase with an exclusive discount code.
You can also set up email flows with Klaviyo. This tool allows you to build out your contact list and create highly targeted email campaigns. By segmenting shoppers according to their browsing behavior and buying history, you can deliver fully customized, branded emails that are crafted to boost engagement.
Using several of these marketing techniques can help you solidify a loyal tribe of customers and make the most out of the hottest online shopping weekend of the year. With personalized marketing outreach, putting the right deals in place, and having a plan to handle the avalanche of orders you’ll be seeing, you can be certain that this won’t be the last time you’re sending products to the customers you acquire during BFCM.