As the leaves change color and the air turns crisp, it's not just the weather undergoing a transformation. We can feel the excitement building in the eCommerce world, and it can mean only one thing – Black Friday Cyber Monday (BFCM) is right around the corner.
You see, BFCM isn't just another event in the calendar; it's the heartbeat of eCommerce. It's the time when businesses can go from red to black, and customers eagerly scour the web for the best deals.
Preparation, my friend, is the linchpin of success during BFCM 2023. That's what sets the winners apart from the rest.
We are not here to give you the same generic advice you've seen a hundred times before. We are here to take you through an in-depth, step-by-step journey, focusing on 8 critical areas that are keys to BFCM 2023 success.
As we delve into the nitty-gritty of preparing for Black Friday, consider this your backstage pass to a successful holiday season. It's time to roll up our sleeves and get ready for the biggest shopping event of the year.
Let's dive into the ultimate Black Friday checklist!
1. Website Optimization
Regarding BFCM 2023, your eCommerce website becomes the battlefield, and optimization is your armor. The slightest delay in loading time, or a non-responsive design can cost you valuable customers. So roll up your sleeves and get your website in the best shape.
1.1. Check for Website Speed and Performance
We can't stress this enough – the speed and performance of your website can make or break your BFCM success. Shoppers today are impatient, and a slow-loading site is a quick route to shopping cart abandonment. According to Akamai, a 1-second delay in page loading time can lead to a 7% reduction in conversions.
To ensure your website is firing on all cylinders, here's what you need to do:
- Run performance tests: using tools like Google PageSpeed Insights, WebPageTest, BrowserStack, and LoadviewTesting. These tools offer insights into your website's performance and give you specific recommendations for improvement. Take action on their suggestions, and you'll see a tangible difference.
- Optimize images: the size and quality of your images can significantly impact loading time. Compress and resize images without compromising quality to speed things up with the holy grail such as TinyPNG or Image Compressor. According to a report by HTTP Archive, images make up 23% of a typical website's page weight. That's a lot to carry, and unnecessary image heft can slow things down!
- Implement browser caching: browser caching is a process that involves the temporary storage of resources in web browsers. This reduces the load on your web server by storing some data in your local visitors' browsers. Returning visitors won't have to reload all your site's assets, resulting in faster page loading. The data shows that browser caching can lead to significant speed improvements. In fact, a study by GTmetrix found that it can reduce page load times by up to 60%.
- Make sure all buttons and links work: it might sound basic, but the data tells a different story. Broken links and malfunctioning buttons can lead to high bounce rates, lost sales, and harm your business reputation.
Learn how to fully optimize your eCommerce website.
1.2. Ensure Mobile Responsiveness
In the age of mobile shopping, mobile optimization is no longer optional - it's a necessity. According to Statista, mobile commerce sales are projected to account for over 72% of all eCommerce sales in 2024. To ensure mobile responsiveness, follow these steps:
- Test the website on various mobile devices and browsers: it's not just about how your website looks but how it functions on different mobile platforms. Test rigorously, and remember that a small investment in mobile optimization can lead to significant returns. Here you can leverage some easy testing tools such as BrowserStack and LoadviewTesting.
- Create tailored designs on different devices with Foxify page builder: Creating a responsive website is more than just resizing images, it’s also about re-arranging and removing any element to create an optimized interface for each screen. It’s a complicated task. However, Foxify made it easy here. This page builder allows us to choose different device views, in which we’re free to create unique designs for each view, ensuring that your website looks and functions optimally on any device.
1.3. Review and Fix Any Broken Links or Errors
A smooth user experience is paramount, and broken links or errors can be a frustrating roadblock for your customers. Here's how to ensure your site is error-free:
- Conduct a thorough website audit: use tools like Screaming Frog, Ahrefs, SEMrush, and others. These tools provide comprehensive insights into your website's health and can highlight areas that need improvement. Data from these audits helps you pinpoint issues and take action.
- Fix any broken links, 404 errors, etc: eliminate any SEO-related issues that could impact user experience. According to a survey by Akamai, 79% of online shoppers who have trouble with website performance say they won't return to the site to buy again. Fixing errors and broken links is a crucial step in providing a seamless shopping experience.
2. Sales and Marketing
2.1. Make Sure Your Content Marketing Plan Is in Place
BFCM is your time to shine, and without a well-thought-out content marketing plan, you might miss out on the spotlight. Your marketing strategy should encompass various channels, including email marketing, social media, and your blog. A comprehensive plan ensures that your customers are interested in your BFCM deals and promotions.
- Email marketing: at this stage, you must have well-crafted email contents to notice and recall your customers about the deals. Do not put all eggs in one basket, make sure to divide your mailing list into different parts and execute A/B testing to get the most out of email marketing. Moreover, you should schedule all the mails you want to send at a suitable time. By doing that, you not only save time but also maximize email performance since you can send email in your customers’ peak hours (which can be found through analytic features in any email marketing tool).
- Social media: having a solid social media content calendar in place is essential. Planning ahead helps you avoid last-minute scrambles. Additionally, consider designing a promotional look for your social media pages to capture shoppers' interests. Visual consistency and appealing graphics can make a significant difference in attracting potential customers.
- Blog: publishing blog articles related to BFCM sales is one of the most effective ways to attract traffic to your website. Within your blog content, strategically link to your product pages and BFCM sales page. This strategy will help drive a substantial amount of traffic directly to your offers, increasing your chances of conversions and sales.
2.2. Discount Codes or Special Offers
Discount codes are the heart of BFCM success. By creating suitable and well-structured discounts, you appeal to a broad spectrum of customers and encourage them to act swiftly, capitalizing on the urgency of the sale.
There are 2 types of discounts that you should try to promote during the sale season:
- Tiered discounts: offer tiered discounts for different order values. This encourages customers to spend more, increasing your average order value. Planning and scheduling these discounts ahead of time helps you stay organized during the BFCM sales frenzy.
- 10% off for orders under $50
- 15% off for orders between $50 and $100
- 20% off for orders over $100
- Promote flash sales or limited-time offers: the effect of urgency or scarcity can be a powerful tool. In a study by Market Tailor, it was found that orders with urgency messaging and limited offers had an impressive 33% uplift in conversion rates. When customers know that a deal won't last forever, they're more likely to make a purchase. Use these limited-time offers strategically to drive sales and create a buzz.
- There are 43 discount codes of 69% OFF left, hurry and get yours!
- Sale up to 70%, just for today only.
Besides, there are a lot of creative ways for BFCM discount codes or special offers including: establishing a mystery bundle, gamified offers, breaking into daily deals, etc.
Let’s take Loot Crate as an inspiring example. This game and anime-related souvenir store launched a mystery bundle program, in which shoppers will buy a bundle to save 30% off money on a purchase and receive a $40 mystery gift.
In this way, the store not only boosts BFCM sales but also delivers intriguing shopping experiences for shoppers with a factor of mystery and surprise.
2.3. Apply Upselling and Cross-Selling Features
When a customer lands on a product page, it's the perfect time to showcase related, upgraded, and additional products. In other words, it’s the perfect opportunity to leverage the power of upselling and cross-selling to boost your average order value.
Here’s how it works:
- Implement product recommendations: on your product pages, and suggest related items that complement the one your customer is viewing. This increases the likelihood of them adding more to their cart.
- Cross-sell related products during the checkout process: when customers are in the buying mindset, it's an ideal time to introduce them to additional products that enhance their purchase. This is a surefire way to increase the average order value and make the most of each transaction.
Wanna know a professional tool that allows you to include and manage all these features effortlessly? Let’s meet FoxKit, an all-in-one sales boost Shopify app.
With Foxkit, you can set up a wide range of upselling and cross-selling features like product bundles, volume discounts, etc, and manage them in a friendly user interface.
More than that, FoxKit allows you to keep track of those features’ performance through FoxKit Analytics, which helps you to identify which features are the most effective to focus on, and which features don’t get results so that you can eliminate them.
2.4. Set Up Your BFCM Sales Page with All the Deals
Your BFCM sales page is your stage, and you want to showcase your best acts. Create one or more BFCM sales pages featuring juicy deals, bestsellers, and limited-time offers. This is where you spotlight your most enticing offers and make it easy for your customers to explore offerings.
One landing page may not be enough to effectively showcase all your BFCM offers. Consider creating dedicated BFCM sales pages to cater to different customer segments or product categories. Here's a breakdown of what these pages can include:
- BFCM deals: Highlight all the special discounts, promotions, and deals you offer during the event. Whether it's substantial price cuts, buy-one-get-one offers, or bundled deals, make sure they're front and center.
- Best-sellers: Showcase your top-selling products. These are the crowd-pleasers that customers are often looking for, and featuring them prominently can drive significant sales.
- Limited offers: Create a sense of urgency by displaying limited-time offers. Let customers know that these deals won't last forever, encouraging them to purchase immediately.
To make your landing page creation a breeze, consider using a powerful tool like Foxify Page Builder. It allows you to craft high-converting sales pages that dazzle your audience.
The investment in a well-structured landing page always pays off.
2.5. Careful Planning with Paid Ads and Retargeting
Paid advertising is a key driver of BFCM success. It's your opportunity to get your message in front of potential customers and stand out in the crowded online marketplace. Here's what you need to consider:
- Retargeting: Not everyone purchase their first visit to your site. That's where retargeting comes in. Use targeted ads to re-engage potential customers who have shown interest in your products. It's like giving them a friendly nudge, reminding them of your fantastic BFCM deals.
- Budget management: Set a clear budget for your paid advertising campaigns. It's essential to have a spending limit to ensure you don't go overboard during the BFCM rush. Efficient budget management allows you to maximize your ROI.
3. Inventory Management
Effective inventory management is crucial for a successful BFCM sales season. Ensuring you have the right products in stock, avoiding stockouts, and creatively addressing slow-moving inventory can significantly impact your bottom line. Let's explore the strategies to help you manage your inventory effectively.
3.1. Ensure You Have Enough Stock for Your Popular Products
Before the BFCM frenzy hits, we must ensure you have a solid stock of your best-selling items. Running out of these hot products during the shopping rush means missed sales opportunities. Here's how you can prepare for Black Friday inventory:
- Analyzing historical sales data: Dig into your past BFCM sales and peak seasons. This will help us uncover patterns and trends, especially for your star products. Understanding what your customers will likely grab during the upcoming BFCM event is key.
- Re-ordering in advance: We won't restock at the last minute. Early communication with your suppliers is essential. Place those orders well ahead of time. Remember, suppliers might face higher demand during BFCM, so early communication and orders are crucial.
- Automatic re-order alerts: To simplify your life, consider setting up automatic reorder alerts based on inventory levels. Inventory management software can assist with this. Configure alerts to notify you when product quantities drop below a set threshold. This proactive approach ensures you restock your inventory promptly, reducing the risk of running out of stock during the crucial BFCM period.
3.2. Consider Bundling or Promoting Slow-Moving Inventory
When it comes to managing those slow-moving items during BFCM 2023, let’s get creative with the 3 ideas:
- Consider bundling: One smart approach is to create bundle deals that pair up these slow-moving items with your more popular products. This way, you're offering value to your customers and moving inventory simultaneously. Customers love a good deal, and this strategy can help increase the visibility of your less popular items.
- Special discounts: Let's offer special discounts on slow-moving items to sweeten the deal further. Pricing can be a powerful motivator, and discounted prices might just be the nudge your customers need to give these items a try. It's a win-win situation - you clear out excess inventory, and customers get great deals.
- Highlight on your BFCM sales page: Ensure these deals aren't buried in your website. We'll highlight these bundled and discounted items on your BFCM sales page, where the action happens. This will attract attention, and when customers see value and savings, they're more likely to purchase.
So we're taking these slower-moving items and turning them into valuable assets during BFCM. Customers get enticing deals, you reduce excess inventory, and everyone is happy. It's all about maximizing your sales opportunities during this key shopping event.
Now You’re 50% Prepared for Black Friday Cyber Monday 2023
The first part of this ultimate BFCM last-minute checklist has covered 3 big sections including website optimization, sales & marketing, and inventory management.
However, this is just 50% of the preparation you need.
If you want to be 100% prepared, let’s checkout the second part of the ultimate BFCM last-minute checklist where you can find valuable checkpoints with real examples and practical tips about 5 categories including shipping & fulfillment, customer support, analytics & tracking, customer retention, and contingency plan.
Bonus: There are 2 products mentioned in the article that would help you prepare better for the upcoming BFCM 2023: Foxify & FoxKit. They help you build stunning and high-converting pages with persuasive promotions, and succeed in any holiday season.