Black Friday and Cyber Monday are held the first Friday after Thanksgiving (last week November) and the following Monday. Essentially these are now the same thing - selling discounted products in the run-up to Christmas. 

The next dates are:

Black Friday 27th November 2020

Cyber Monday 30th November 2020

How long will your event last?

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are no longer limited to just those days. 

A lot of retailers run the event over a 7 day period and a third of shoppers buy before the event. 

Big retailers are therefore running events that start as early as 10th October.

Tip: Read how to turn BFCM shoppers into loyal customers at the end of this article.

What are your objectives & supporting ad budget?

  • What are your overall objectives and daily revenue targets? (using last year as a reference)
  • How many visitors will you need to achieve that?
  • What ad budget will be needed?
  • Do you have sufficient stock available to meet demand?
  • Do you have reliable fulfilment services to match demand?

Limited Ad budget? 

Send email campaigns to your existing customers and prospects and post out on your social media.

Organise your sales and fulfilment  

  • How much do you intend to sell each day?
  • Which products will you be targeting to sell more?
  • Do you have enough stock and ability to ship reliably?
  • Do you have a 'jaw-dropper' offer to headline your campaign? Either a single item or a product bundle?
  • How many different promotions will you run to keep buyers interested rather than a simple blanket discount

Plan your marketing

  • Create your timetable so that you know what you will be promoting each day
    • Using Google Ads for the first time? Allow at least a week to get your data set up and into Google.
  • Use the Top Products Report  to check which products are:
    • often viewed but not sold to price check and run promotions on them - sort by Unique Views
    • bestsellers which can lead your promotions to pull people in - sort by Quantity Sold
  • Consider which channels your will promote through such as Google Ads, facebook and Instagram, twitter etc
  • Include 'sneak peaks' to send out in the preceding weeks to pique customers' interest
  • Reward loyal customers by:
    • emailing them the BFCM offer early to beat the rush
    • putting coupons covering the BFCM period in with their deliveries in the weeks prior
    • giving them more exclusive group pricing for an extended period
  • Work out the type of deals you will be offering including 'shareable offers' (single use per customer coupons)
  • Put your coupon deals on voucher sites - example sites to try
  • Create promo banners for your website
  • Create email campaigns and ensure your email address databases are clean and ready to send out.
    • Neverbounce have a low cost data cleansing service
    • Use our Mailgun integration when sending emails via REC+ Email Manager
  • Calculate the traffic needed to achieve your sales targets based on known conversion rates
  • Set up ads (including retargeting previous customers and visitors) and email campaigns ready to go
  • Set up your abandoned cart emails to tempt shoppers back and reduce the time after which they are normally sent
  • Set up timed special prices that became available automatically at the start of your event
  • Send thank you emails that go out post-event

Calculating & protecting your margin

Giving away a blanket discount like '15% off for the Black Friday weekend' may cut into your overall profitability more than a 'spend more to save more' deal which pushes up your average order value. 

Example: Blanket discount versus 'spend more, save more':
"20% off when you spend over £200" may be more  than "15% off all products today".

Other deal types could include free delivery, product quantity break prices, gift sets / product bundles, including a free gift with orders from clearance stock, sending out samples.

Adding undiscounted cross- and up-sell items to product pages (alternate / associated products) can also help lift margins and average order values.

Use Price Compare to check competitors' pricing and make sure your offers are not too far below theirs so you can retain more of your margin.

Review your customer support to help customers and boost conversion

  • Make sure your delivery and returns policies are clear and as hassle-free as possible
  • Add live chat to your website if you are able to staff it, like Tawk which is free-to-use 
  • Add 'Expert Answers' to product pages to capture and reply to queries and publish useful ones which help others
  • Ensure your phone number and email contact is easy to find

Keep an eye on your competitors

  • Track your competitors' pricing - for example using our Price Comparison app which is free to marketing clients.
  • Buy a product on their website and identify extra features / offers they have in place
  • Subscribe to their email offers and check their website and social media

Monitor your event & follow up with key buyers 

Track the progress of your event on a daily basis and adjust your deals based on what works, what doesn't work and product availability. Check which key customers have not opened your emails and follow up with them via personal contact i.e. email them a link to the email content with personalised message or ring them up directly.

Review and learn from your event

Once the event is over, review performance and takeaway any learning points for the next event you run.

Turn Black Friday shoppers into loyal long-term customers

Here's some ideas on how to do that:

  • On your BFCM order confirmation emails include coupon codes that can be redeemed in the run up to Christmas
  • Similarly, include time-limited coupons and a mini-catalogue / flyer in your parcels
  • Extend your promotion all the way up to the last shipping day before Christmas
  • Upgrade buyers spending over a certain level to be VIP members and receive more benefits
  • Send targeted emails to buyers for associated products relevant to their original purchase
  • If you sell replenishable goods, send repeat purchase emails after a set amount of time
  • Continue to run highly targeted email campaigns in the New Year and beyond
  • Similarly, create ongoing social media campaigns and competitions