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What comes before Christmas? Black Friday and Cyber Monday!

Who needs a sleigh when you’ve got Black Friday and Cyber Monday? If you’re running an eCommerce business, it’s time to prepare for your biggest sale of the year.

Want to maximise your eCommerce store’s profitability this festive season? If so, it’ll take more than slapping a 10% discount code on your website. You’ll need to put time into boosting your website’s performance and crafting killer email and social media campaigns – all hands on deck!

This article reveals the three key steps to running a successful Black Friday and Cyber Monday marketing campaign. It will arm you with valuable tips and ideas to kickstart your campaigns and help you smash your holiday sales targets.

What are Black Friday and Cyber Monday?

Black Friday and Cyber Monday straddle the last weekend in November (just after the American holiday of Thanksgiving). They are usually the two busiest days of the year for retailers. Many retailers run sales and promotions for festive shoppers during these two days. Black Friday traditionally marks the start of the Christmas shopping period, even though, in reality, many of us are already hunting for gifts well before then. 

The term ‘Black Friday’ has been used in its existing context (to denote a significant boost in sales during the Christmas run-up) since the 1980s. However, Cyber Monday is a more recent phenomenon. The term was first coined in 2005 but didn’t become well-known in the UK until Amazon rolled out its first UK Cyber Monday sale in 2010.

While you can shop until you drop both in-store and online during Black Friday, Cyber Monday focuses on eCommerce. Many retailers hold flash sales and extended promotions during this busy weekend to attract more website traffic and boost their holiday sales.

The hype is real, and many shoppers now hold back on their Christmas shopping until this mega shopping weekend rolls around to ensure that they snag the best deals.

Why participate in Black Friday and Cyber Monday?

With Christmas shopping and preparation in full swing, consumers are ready and willing to part with large sums of money during the Black Friday and Cyber Monday weekend. People are searching for the perfect prezzies for their loved ones and shopping for food and household items to prepare their homes for visitors during the holiday season. It’s already a busy time for retailers – so running your own Black Friday and Cyber Monday events is a bit of a no-brainer – why sit out when you can stand out?

According to Adobe Analytics, in 2022, consumers splashed out over $9.12 billion on Black Friday and $11.3 billion on Cyber Monday, and guess what? Those figures are only expected to keep growing this year! Ker-ching!

Neglecting to prepare for Black Friday and Cyber Monday is like leaving money on the table. If your store remains silent whilst your competitors are running killer sales, you may as well hand them your customers on a silver platter.

So don’t miss out! Keep reading to discover what essential Black Friday website preparation you need to get started on to maximise your profits this festive season.

Preparing for Black Friday and Cyber Monday

Preparing your eCommerce business for Black Friday and Cyber Monday can be roughly divided into three parts.

Whip up a marketing strategy

First things first, you need to do your research, don your thinking cap, and cook up some dazzling deals and irresistible offers that your customers won’t be able to resist.

Craft your marketing materials

Next, you need to research Black Friday design trends and Cyber Monday layout tips before getting creative and designing promotional graphics to communicate your Black Friday and Cyber Monday events to your customers. Once you’ve got your messaging and graphics lined up, you can begin creating the email marketing sequences, social media posts, blogs, and more that you’ll use to create a buzz around your events and spread the word.

Deck out your website

Finally, assess your website and ensure it’s ready for the throngs of shoppers about to descend on it. Does it offer an excellent user experience, and is it optimised for conversions? If the answer is “Um, maybe?” then get to work optimising and bullet-proofing it so it won’t crash under pressure.

Now that you’ve got the basics let’s look at each of those steps in more detail.

Black Friday Sale graphic

Creating an effective Black Friday and Cyber Monday marketing strategy

A carefully crafted marketing strategy is key to getting the most out of this lucrative festive shopping weekend.

Planning the basics

To begin shaping your marketing campaign, you’ll first need to ask yourself some questions to build its foundations; these should include:

  • What is your budget? Establish a realistic budget to cover all preparations and promotional activities.
  • How long will the campaign run? Black Friday and Cyber Monday may be the two big dates on every eCommerce business’s calendar, but many stores now extend their campaigns beyond this weekend to capitalise on holiday spending. Remember that Cyber Monday is the biggest day for eCommerce, so save your best deals for then!
  • Which products are going in the sale? Think about which items you want to discount – will the discount apply to everything in your store or just certain items? If you’re only discounting certain items, how will you decide which ones? Use sales reports from previous years to identify items that sell well during the holiday season. Remember to ensure you’ll have enough inventory of the items you’re discounting.
  • What type of discount are you offering? Will you offer shoppers a percentage off, buy-one-get-one-free, or something else? Remember that the bar is being raised, and discounts are getting bigger; consumers expect to make big savings. According to Adobe, in 2022, the average Cyber Monday discount peaked at 25% off electronics and 34% off toys.
  • Which platforms will you sell on? Multichannel selling can help your eCommerce business reach a broader audience this Black Friday and Cyber Monday. While your website is key, don’t forget about social media and offline channels if relevant.
  • How will the discount be applied? Consider the technicalities behind how the discount will be applied. Will they be automatic, or will customers need to enter a discount code at the checkout?

Ironing out the details

  • Craft your messaging – Next, you need to craft the messaging that you’ll use to promote your Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales and offers. The messaging should be clear, concise, persuasive, and compelling. It should tell customers why they should shop at your store over competitors.
  • Assess your shipping strategy – Evaluate your existing shipping strategy and consider whether you could amend it over the festive season to attract more customers. Offering free shipping when customers spend over a certain amount, faster shipping, or tracked shipping can all add to the appeal of shopping with you over competitors. Display your holiday shipping policies somewhere prominent to reduce customer queries and complaints during the busy period.
  • Reward loyal customers – If you already run a customer loyalty program, consider offering member benefits like early access to the sale, bonus points on all purchases, or exclusive discount codes. 

Spreading the word

Next, plan how you will promote your Black Friday and Cyber Monday marketing campaign; this could include:

Pay-per-click (PPC) ads – PPC ads on Google and social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram allow for a very high level of targeting. Ensure you understand your target demographic to make the most of the granular targeting options and get more out of your ad budget.

Retargeting ads – Use retargeting ads to re-engage visitors who have viewed products on your website or added them to their carts without checking out.

E-shots and social media – Use social media and email marketing CTAs to start teasing about your Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals well before the event to generate a buzz, get people excited, and keep your brand at the forefront of their minds.

Create Black Friday and Cyber Monday marketing materials

During the next phase of preparing your Black Friday and Cyber Monday campaigns, you must create impactful marketing materials to generate attention and drive website traffic. Let’s find out what should go on your Cyber Monday website to-do list.

Design promotional graphics – Create vibrant, eye-catching graphics that promote your Cyber Monday deals or Black Friday sale. Use the same style of graphics across all channels to spread the message. Consistency helps enhance brand recognition and leaves a lasting impression.

Create holiday-themed content – Have a content writer prepare a series of holiday-themed blogs and social media posts to promote on your website, in emails, and on social media in the run-up to your Black Friday event. These could include information about offers and deals, product gift guides, or a look behind the scenes. Use this content to build anticipation and give shoppers a reason to choose your store over competitors.

Create engaging social media posts – Craft compelling social media posts that showcase your offers and engage your audience. Whether it’s a countdown to your Black Friday sale or interactive polls about what deals they’d like to see, use social media to start conversations with your audience and generate a buzz around your brand.

Design an email marketing sequence – Plan an email marketing sequence that will keep your audience hooked from the first pre-sale teasers to the last post-event thank you message. Segment your email list to offer personalised recommendations to your subscribers and increase the chance of winning more conversions.

Create PPC ad campaigns – Create highly targeted PPC campaigns on platforms that align with your brand and offerings. A PPC campaign targeting the right demographics can offer an excellent ROI and significantly extend your reach.

Cyber Monday graphic

Preparing your website for Black Friday and Cyber Monday

Next, let’s walk through the essential steps for getting your eCommerce store in top shape and ready for Black Friday and Cyber Monday, including Cyber Monday design considerations to ensure your online store is fully optimised to maximise revenue.

Mobile responsiveness – A SalesForce article found that 76% of Cyber Week eCommerce traffic came from mobile devices. This makes it important to test your eCommerce store’s mobile-friendliness and accessibility well before your Black Friday and Cyber Monday events. Optimise the design to ensure an intuitive and smooth purchasing process for customers viewing your store on mobile devices.

Page load speeds – Customers are impatient and don’t care how many other people are browsing your website; they still expect pages to load extremely fast. The longer your page takes to load, the more likely you will lose customers to competitors. A delay of just 0.1 seconds could be a deal-breaker, according to a study by Deloitte. This study found that increasing page load speed by 0.1 seconds could increase eCommerce conversion rates by 8%! Use a PageSpeed Insights tool to check how fast your web pages load and discover how to increase the speed.

Optimise for conversions – Make sure your eCommerce site is optimised for sales by incorporating clear, concise, and action-oriented calls to action. Provide comprehensive and engaging descriptions on your product pages and make shipping and returns information transparent and easy to find to reduce cart abandonments and increase conversion rates.

Simplify the checkout process – The Baymard Institute has found that, on average, 70% of carts are abandoned online. Reduce cart abandonment and increase conversion rates during Cyber Monday sales by simplifying and streamlining your store’s checkout process. Consider reducing the number of pages customers have to click through, introducing one-click payments, and enabling auto-filling for saved customer information to make your store’s checkout process fast, frictionless, and hassle-free.

Integrate new features or functionalities – Think about introducing features or functionalities that could boost sales during your Black Friday and Cyber Monday events. This might include ‘Buy Now, Pay Later’ options, product bundles, or a product recommendation feature.

Chatbots – It can be hard to keep up with answering customer queries during high-traffic periods. Integrating a chatbot on your website could help to provide customers with immediate answers to common questions, reducing the likelihood of them abandoning their carts during the busy Black Friday and Cyber Monday weekend.

Load and stress tests – Before busy periods, it’s crucial to test how well your site can handle increased traffic. Conduct thorough load and stress tests to simulate various scenarios and volumes of traffic and then make adjustments accordingly.

Use a CDN – Implementing a Content Delivery Network (CDN) can help distribute the load, saving your website from potential crashes and enhancing user experience by speeding up content delivery.

Performance tracking – Keep an eye on your website’s performance metrics for both security purposes and to preempt any crashes. The last thing you want during your biggest sales event is to have a website that can’t cope with the demand.

Partner with Create8 to prepare your eCommerce store for Black Friday and Cyber Monday

Is your online store prepared for the festive shopping period? If your website isn’t yet ready, don’t worry, it’s not too late! At Create8, we offer a range of digital marketing and eCommerce web design services that can help amplify your revenue this festive season, especially during the high-traffic Black Friday and Cyber Monday weekend.

We can help you implement the strategies in this article to ensure that your eCommerce store is ready and optimised to maximise your revenue potential.

Don’t let the holiday shopping season pass you by! Whether you need help to improve Black Friday banner visibility, resolve Cyber Monday mobile responsiveness issues, or enhance Black Friday CTA performance, contact us today to discover how our services can help you surpass your sales targets this Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Create8 at the Stockport Business Awards being award Best Creative Agency