The Black Friday and Cyber Monday period (also known as "BFCM", which is just as convenient) stretches over four days: only four days, but four days that represent a real event for e-tailers, who sometimes wait impatiently for it all year round. And when you look at the figures for this period, it makes perfect sense: it's safe to say that this is the biggest sales week of the year.
Every year, Black Friday falls on the day after Thanksgiving, while Cyber Monday takes place on the following Monday. As you may have guessed, these two commercial events originated in the United States, and have gradually spread to Europe and the Middle East over the past few years to achieve the devastating worldwide success they enjoy today.
This year, Black Friday 2023 will be celebrated on Friday November 24, and Cyber Monday on Monday November 27. Although it should be noted that, little by little, the distinction between these two dates is becoming blurred, so that they can be combined under a single date: "Cyber Weekend".
In 2022, BFCM week sales worldwide amounted to over $211 billion. Let's face it: that's a lot. Want a piece of the action? We understand... You'll still need to apply a few key tips to implement your BFCM strategy effectively, and since we love you so much, we've compiled fourteen of them in the following article.
But that's just because it's you!
1 / Start early
Really, start as soon as possible. No, not right away , just wait until you finish this article (and maybe after you've shared it with all your friends and family, oh, we're not against that). It's always an advantage for you to be one step ahead of the competition, and the holiday season calls for early organization to have a really positive influence on your sales.
2 / Conduct your own survey
Learning from your mistakes and those of others is the best way to improve in life, and it works for your marketing strategy too. Before developing your strategy, you'll need to answer a number of questions: What were your store's bestsellers last year, and what were the bestsellers on the market? Which products in your catalog do you consider to be the best sellers? Which marketing strategies seem to have proven their effectiveness? Finally, what products do customers seem to be interested in this year, particularly according to Google Trends? This analysis may seem tedious, but it really isn't, and it's essential for building a solid foundation for your marketing strategy.
3 / Plan your promotions
They are at the very heart of this marketing event: promotions are an excellent way for any e-merchant to convert visibility and increase the average customer basket. When setting up your promotions, think quality rather than quantity: it's counterproductive to offer as many as possible, as it confuses the customer experience and risks erasing their impression of accessing an exclusive offer.
As for the nature of the promotion, you're spoilt for choice: it can be an automatic percentage added to your prices, a "flash" sale, a discount on one or more specific products, coupons, "bundles" (a grouping of products at a reduced price, such as a "gift box"), etc. Anything goes, as long as the consumer is convinced he or she is getting a good deal.
4 / Think of free shipping
As you can read in our infographic above, it was the promise of free shipping that prompted 49% of consumers to take the BFCM plunge. This is clear proof of the marketing leverage offered by free delivery!
So offer them, but do it cleverly, for example by imposing a minimum purchase just above your customers' average basket, to encourage them to buy more.
5 / Imagine a VIP programme
Your customer is human, first and foremost: he likes to be pampered, to be made to feel special and important. With this in mind, what better way, in the middle of a period of exclusive offers, than to offer them even more exclusivity?
Above all, don't neglect your existing customer base. The probability of selling to an existing customer is between 60 and 70%, compared with 5 to 20% for someone who has never ordered from you. That's why customer retention is so important to your business! A previous positive experience will of course play an important role in keeping your customer loyal, but it's important to remember that setting up a VIP-type loyalty program can be another way of keeping them happy... In the context of BFCM, offer your most loyal VIPs discount codes that are specifically reserved for them; when you consider that an existing customer is likely to spend 31% more than other consumers, it's well worth the effort, isn't it?
6 / Gamify the customer experience
We can well imagine you reading this title with a puzzled eye, wondering: gamiwhat? What we're talking about here is gamification, a process that aims to add elements of play and reward to the customer experience, such as trophies or badges, for example. All these techniques have a real added value and actively contribute to customer loyalty and therefore, indirectly, to increasing your revenues...
There's nothing like an occasion that promises increased traffic, such as Cyber Weekend, to add a touch of fun to your online store. Apply this tip, for example, with a "Spin-to-win" game (Wheel of Fortune) to give access to advantageous discount coupons.
7 / Consider advertising on social networks
You've probably heard of it, but have you ever taken the plunge? Advertising on social networks, embodied by the famous Facebook Ads, is an excellent way to increase your brand's reach. Many have understood this: in 2020, for example, 82% of store owners planned to advertise on Facebook and Instagram for BFCM. Don't want anyone to miss out on your Cyber Weekend offer? Organizing an advertising campaign on social networks could be a good idea. Please note that advertising on social networks isn't free: if you're planning to use it, start by thinking about your advertising budget.
8 / ... And don't forget your social networks!
Hey, we understand: not everyone has the budget to invest in an advertising campaign. Especially when you're just starting out in online sales! Paying for a campaign, having to end the month eating pasta every day when the result isn't even guaranteed? It's not necessarily the stuff of dreams, that's for sure.
If this is your case, here's our advice: publish on your social networks, and let your existing audience know what you've got cooked up for Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Firstly, because, as mentioned above, those who have already been customers with you are more likely to spend more on your store... But also because some of your followers may have been waiting for just this: a special offer!
9 / Use powerful hashtags
If you choose to reach your audience organically, i.e. without using advertising campaigns, you should know this: no, you're not stuck or obliged to remain confined to your existing follower base. Even if your followers are great, even if your Auntie Brigitte is always there to comment and show her support, you may still want to reach out to potential new customers, and that's normal! To do this, we advise you to use hashtags on your publications, and not just any hashtags: the seasonal Cyber Weekend hashtags, real little visibility bombs.
We're just kidding: you didn't think we'd leave you in the lurch, did you? We've done a little research and come up with a list of highly effective, ready-to-use keywords!
Your Cyber Weekend hashtags
10 / Design eye-catching visuals
On your social networks, through e-mail campaigns or even directly on your store with special banners: are you planning to promote your Black Friday and Cyber Monday offers? You're on the right track. But in our opinion, you can't do it just any old way. You need visuals that click, and not painfully: that click in the right sense of the word!
As we all know, not everyone has an aesthetic eye: but fortunately, websites such as PlaceIt or Canva have entire sections of customizable graphics dedicated to Cyber Weekend... All you have to do is help yourself!
11 / Prepare your store for increased traffic
Remember those mythical images of stores opening for Black Friday in the USA? Of those hordes of bargain-hungry individuals, ready to throw themselves under the iron curtains and fight over hair dryers as if their lives depended on it?
And that's exactly what's likely to happen to your BFCM store: a sudden and spectacular influx of customers. At least, that's what we're hoping for. Having said that, you can't cope with this traffic without being prepared for it: you'll need to check your website's performance beforehand to find out whether it's capable of handling large numbers of visitors simultaneously. Yes, it would be a shame if your potential customers were put off by slow loading times or a malfunctioning shopping cart!
We therefore advise you to prepare yourself properly for the arrival of the BFCM by testing the order process on your store yourself (or having a friend test it), in order to highlight any anomalies. You should also be aware that there are many tools and plug-ins available for analyzing the loading speed of your web page!
12 / Optimize your referencing
How about a quick summary of SEO? It's the mobilization of relevant and effective keywords on websites to optimize their presence in search engine results. Often, in the search for bargains during Cyber Weekend, consumers will be looking for the keywords "Black Friday" or "Cyber Monday": once you've reached the BFCM period, don't hesitate to use these terms in your page titles, in the main titles of body texts, in the file names of your photos, in your URLs... Of course, don't overuse them, but it would be a shame if consumers couldn't find you even though your offer is relevant.
13 / Adapt your store to cell phones
The practice of shopping on a smartphone is referred to by a term: "m-commerce". We recently spoke to you about it in a guide dedicated to the subject... Remember this?
Every year, the use of mobiles for online shopping seems to grow in popularity. In 2022, 48% of Black Friday purchases were made using smartphones: that's almost half of the total, and by no means a negligible proportion.
We can therefore confirm that it is becoming increasingly important for e-tailers to prepare their stores for m-commerce. We advise you to start by checking your website's optimization for mobile devices using the tool provided by Google, then perhaps take action if your store isn't proving itself (by opting for a more mobile-friendly theme, for example).
14 / Prevent cart abandonment
Ah, shopping cart abandonment... A scourge for all e-commerce players. It's frustrating to realize that, so close to the goal, a potential customer has turned away from our offer for some mysterious reason. If it's easy for them to be dissuaded, it's potentially just as easy for you to convince them again. One thing's for sure: it won't cost you a thing to try.
There are a number of ways to do this: for starters, you can send your customers who have abandoned their shopping carts an automatic e-mail, including photos of the products in the cart in question or, if you want to be more persuasive, a special discount coupon for them. These automatic e-mails can be configured free of charge on Shopify; if you're a WooCommerce user, free extensions are available. Similarly, plug-ins are available to send push notifications to your customers after they've turned away from their shopping carts. In any case, don't give up: an abandoned shopping cart isn't doomed to stay that way - there are options available for you!
We're no fortune-tellers, but we know one thing for sure: this year's Cyber Weekend will be your brand's chance to shine. We're counting on you to maximize your chances by applying as many of the tips we've just shared with you as possible. Once the euphoria is over, don't forget to collect your performance figures - they'll help you next year!
Don't forget to be yourself, TPartenaires, and may profit and profitability be on your side this year!
Statistical sources : Finances Online, Criteo, Adobe, Marketing Metrics