Shopify Black Friday Cyber Monday is almost upon us, and that means you’re probably running around trying to make sure you’ve got everything prepared.
In this guide, we’ve outlined all the areas you need to consider to maximise your sales across the biggest shopping weekend of the year.
We recommend going through and noting down any areas you’ve missed, then returning to this checklist the day before your sale starts to double check everything.
Deals & offers
Identify your offer (products and % discount)
The first step toward a successful Shopify Black Friday Cyber Monday weekend is to work out what offer you’ll be running.
Here are the main types of Black Friday offers:
- Percentage discount
- Buy one, get one free (BOGOF)
- Free gifts with purchase
- Free shipping over a certain spend
- Bundle discounts
You can pick one or multiple, but choose something out of the ordinary.
If your standard sale discount is 10%, offer 20% across Black Friday. If your competitors are offering 20%, then one-up them by going with 25%.
The average Shopify merchant discounted products by 14.3% in 2022, so if you want to stand out among the crowd, go higher.
Start your sale early
In 2023, 35% of customers plan to start their Black Friday shopping earlier - up by 13% compared to 2022.
Starting your Black Friday deals even just a few days before means more opportunities to get customers through the door.
Black Friday is a great way to re-engage old customers and draw in new ones, so extending your sales period allows a greater opportunity for customers to take advantage.
Not to mention, ad costs are highest across the weekend, so starting early helps bring your CPA (cost per acquisition) down.
Whatever day you decide to start, make sure your audience knows. You don’t want to start early but half your audience think you’re kicking off on the Friday.
Loyal customer exclusives
Instead of thinking about your Black Friday offers as a whole, separate them by your customer type.
Running exclusive offers for your most loyal customers shows you appreciate them, making it more likely they’ll stay loyal.
You can also run exclusive offers for mobile app users, first-time buyers, and cohorts who frequently have a high order value.
Running special promotions through your Shopify mobile app is easy with the right Shopify mobile app builder.
Make sure your homepage visuals are updated to reflect your Black Friday offer, using similar imagery and language to your marketing campaigns to ensure they’re cohesive.
Prepare for mobile visitors
73% of all Shopify Black Friday Cyber Monday traffic in 2022 came from a mobile device.
So if you’re still thinking desktop-first, then you’re not catering for the majority of your customers.
Make sure to test how user-friendly your mobile website is. How easy can you navigate between pages? Are there readily available CTAs? How quickly does your site load?
If you want to ensure your store is mobile-friendly whilst driving 3x more sales, consider using a Shopify mobile app builder.
Test for speed and traffic surges
Nearly 70% of customers state that page speed impacts their likelihood of buying from an online retailer.
Tools like Google’s PageSpeed can give you greater insight into how fast your website loads and what areas can be improved.
If you have a slow page speed, here are the most common issues:
- A high volume of images
- Images with large file sizes
- Long pages with lots of elements
- Excessive pop-ups and apps
Ease of navigation
The BFCM weekend will (hopefully) bring a lot of new customers to your store, but is it obvious how they get around your site?
The easier they can navigate your site, the more likely they are to convert.
Here’s what you need to create an easy-to-navigate Shopify store:
- A clear and straightforward search bar at the top of your page
- Product categories with simple labels
- Strategically placed call-to-action buttons
- Uncluttered pages with a good mixture of imagery and easy-to-read text
High-quality, varied images
High-quality product images offer a variety of benefits, including:
- Visual Appeal - The better you can make your product look, the more enticing it’ll be for potential customers
- Trust and Credibility - High-quality images are a clear sign of a trustworthy brand. Nobody’s going to buy something that looks basic, poorly lit, and blurry.
- Social Sharing - Good-looking products get shared, and the better looking they are, the more likely they are to be sent around. One of the best marketing tools is word of mouth, and there’s no better way to create a better first impression than with a good image
- Differentiation - Do your images look the same as your competitors? Do they stand out? Do they represent your brand identity? Are you using videos as well as static images?
It’s also important to have enough product images. Shoppers want to see at least three product images, according to Salisfy.
Make sure your product descriptions don’t just sell your product, but answer any potential customer queries, such as:
- Care instructions
- Collection details
- Products to pair with
- Delivery details
- Colour options
- Customer reviews
You can separate these out as opposed to putting them all in one long paragraph, but make sure they’re covered somewhere on the product page. Using bullet points for key information is great for readability.
According to Salsify’s survey, Shoppers have three main issues when it comes to product information:
- "Not enough info on a product."
- "Ordering a product online that looks different than what I receive."
- "Not enough photos of the product."
If you can cover all those bases on your product pages, you’re onto a winner.
You also want to make sure you’re using keywords in your descriptions, helping shoppers discover new products both on your website and through search engines.
You’ll (hopefully) have a lot more new customers visiting your store across Shopify Black Friday Cyber Monday, so aim to have at least 5 reviews on every product page.
Utilise Buy Now, Pay Later options
Buy now, pay later options allow your customers to do just that: purchase the item immediately whilst spreading the payment over several months.
Don’t worry, you get the full payment upfront with Shopify footing the difference, leaving your customer to choose the repayment terms that suit them best.
Around 25% of Americans have used BNPL as an option, according to one survey.
By helping your customers feel more comfortable with larger orders, you can drive up your AOV and total sales volume.
Setting up BNPL is easy with Shopify Shop Pay.
Free shipping can be an incredible tool for increasing conversion rates.
You can also use free shipping to drive higher order values by only setting it or orders above a certain spend.
Identify your key performance channels
Identify the key areas to promote your Black Friday offer and outline a strategy for each.
You’ll want to maximise your returns across the weekend, so put the most time, effort, and spend into your most historically successful channels.
Here’s a list of the most common channels to consider:
- Social (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, Pinterest, Snapchat, YouTube)
- Mobile push notifications
Commit to a budget
To properly plan your marketing strategy, you need to commit to a rough budget with leeway for unexpected peaks and dips.
For example, you may commit to spending £10,000 across the weekend. However, if your sale’s going better than anticipated, then you might bump that to an upper ceiling of £15,000 to squeeze as many results as possible.
Plan your organic strategy
Don’t just think about your ads.
Whilst ads will be where most of your sales and traffic come from, the more you can get from your organic channels, the better your ROI.
Make sure you have a scheduled posting strategy for your social accounts and a suitable email flow to maximise your sales from owned audiences.
Set up remarketing campaigns
A core part of your performance marketing strategy will rely on effective retargeting campaigns: send ads to audiences who have already interacted with you.
Here are the key audiences to consider:
- Existing customers: anyone who’s bought from you in the past
- Add to cart: anyone who’s added to cart, but not purchased.
- Product viewers: customers who have looked at your products but not yet made a purchase.
- Social engagers: audiences who have engaged with your social content.
- Email subscribers: anyone signed up to your mailing lists
A good strategy is to run cold or prospecting ads (ads to new audiences) for a few weeks prior to Shopify Black Friday Cyber Monday to build up your remarketing audiences, then funnel more money into your remarketing campaigns across the BFCM weekend.
Consider dedicated landing pages
Dedicated landing pages allow you to personalise messages toward key audiences.
For example, you could show your social engagers different content to your mailing list depending on how their behaviour and interests differ.
Or you could set up a separate landing page for your most loyal customers compared to audiences finding you for the first time.
Post Black Friday Cyber Monday
Analyse the weekend
Running a successful BFCM campaign doesn’t stop when your sale’s over.
To have an even better Black Friday weekend next year, you need to analyse the weekend just gone.
Note down your results and compare them with your strategy, and then ask yourself:
- What went right?
- What went wrong?
- What would you change?
Answer these questions in enough detail so that next year, you can get even better results.
Set up a post-BFCM email flow to inform new customers about your brand story, what makes you different, other products they may not have seen, and any support information they might need.
Operations & Support
Customer service is one of the best marketing tools around.
Better customer service means better customer experiences, equalling more positive reviews, better word of mouth, and increased conversion rates.
And the faster your support can resolve customer problems, the more likely you are to convert that customer.
Companies whose biggest focus is customer service reported 11% higher overall conversion rates compared to those who don’t place it as a focus.
However, you might not have a 24/7 customer service team, which is where chatbots come in.
Chatbots won’t be able to solve all your customer issues, but they can solve a lot of them, leaving more time for you to deal with the more complicated requests.
Another easy way to solve customer complaints (as well as help your chatbot solve more problems) is to create an FAQ page or help centre.
Write down all your most common customer problems and queries, such as shipping costs, estimated delivery dates, return and refund policies, etc. and put them all in one place.
The faster customers can find answers to their questions, the more likely they are to buy from you.
Readily available returns and refunds policy
Don’t just keep your returns and refunds policy on your FAQ stage, include it on your product pages, checkout flow, and customer communications.
It’s imperative to keep your customers comfortable with their purchases. They need to know there’s an easy way they can get their money back or swap their product if they’re unsatisfied.
It’s particularly important over Shopify Black Friday Cyber Monday, where customers are making more purchases and spending more money than normal, and are therefore taking a greater risk with their money.
This one’s simple: you don’t want to run out of stock on the first day of your sale.
Remember: you’ll be getting a lot of new audiences finding your brand for the first time, so less-popular products may receive more interest than you expect.
Shopify Black Friday Cyber Monday FAQ
What can small businesses do for Shopify Black Friday Cyber Monday?
The BFCM weekend isn’t just for big businesses - small businesses can make a massive profit from the correct approach.
Here are a few tips:
- Focus ad spend on your best-performing audiences, building up your retargeting audiences in the weeks before to then maximise your returns across the weekend
- Leverage upselling in the checkout to drive higher average order values
- Make the most of organic platforms such as social media and email
- Lean into the fact that you’re a small business, encouraging people to support you across the weekend opposed to buying from larger retailers
- Utilise tools like ChatGPT for high-converting copy and marketing ideas
Check out our dedicated guide for how small businesses can approach Black Friday.
What are the top-selling products across Shopify Black Friday Cyber Monday sales?
In 2022, the top 3 highest-selling product categories on across Black Friday on Shopify were:
- Apparel & Accessories
- Health & Beauty
- Home & Garden
Read our dedicated guide on how to drive more sales this Black Friday.
What’s the best way to make more Shopify sales this Black Friday?
In 2022, 73% of Shopify Black Friday Cyber Monday sales were made on a mobile device. So If you’re not focusing on mobile, you’re missing out on sales.
Mobile apps convert 3x better than mobile websites and 1.5x better than desktop sites, whilst delivering a 10% higher average order value.
Not to mention, they have an 85% higher add-to-cart rate and 74% of customers use apps with the intent to purchase.
And 85% of shoppers favour mobile apps over mobile websites, so they’re beneficial for you and your customers.
If you really want to skyrocket your sales across BFCM and beyond, you need a Shopify mobile app builder.