15 Experts Reveal How 7-Figure Stores Can Maximize Revenue This BFCM Weekend
Most ecommerce brands can’t go toe to toe with the likes of Amazon, Walmart, or Wayfair on Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
For starters, you can’t outspend them on marketing and advertising—Wayfair spends $6.9 million on just Google Ads each month. Slashing your prices to the level that the biggest companies do will also put you on the fast route to a going out of business sale.
Playing the games the biggest companies use isn’t a viable strategy for most smaller ecommerce players and scrappier DTC brands.
But, a successful, profitable BFCM Weekend is still possible.
So, we reached out to more than a dozen ecommerce experts to see how they plan to maximize revenue this Black Friday.
1. Raise the stakes with your offers
Many ecommerce brands think you have to lower prices and offer steep discounts in order to compete with Amazon and Walmart. But, the exact opposite can be more effective.
For a great example of tiered discounts in action, take a look at Long Wknd’s “bundle & save” offer from Black Friday 2021:
The brand advertised an “up to 30% off sale.” But, shoppers had to purchase a certain number of units to get to that 30% level.
The details of the sale can be seen in a nice drop down on the sticky bar that follows shoppers around the site:
Overall, it’s a great tactic to encourage people to buy more volume and earn more revenue per customer.
In addition, you can also get creative with how you raise the stakes by incorporating gamification.
Depending on where shoppers land, they can get up to 20% off their first order. This discount serves as an incentive for new shoppers who are on the fence or price-conscious.
2. Plan ahead
If you are like most of the ecommerce brands we speak with, you make a significant chunk of your annual sales during the Black Friday and Cyber Monday weekend. You shouldn’t leave that up to chance.
The more time you have to start planning, creating contingency plans, and fine-tuning your offers, the more prepared you’ll be for Black Friday, and the easier it will be to adjust in the moment.
Some brands start preparing for Black Friday as early as April and May. However, if that isn’t possible, you should begin planning no later than three months before Black Friday.
This way, you avoid the cold start problem and already have some momentum on your side.
Plus, an additional reason to plan ahead is you can test-drive offers before Black Friday.
For instance, if you have a brand new offer, you can roll it out to a small segment in September and October to gauge how it lands.
3. Simplify your offers
A golden rule in copywriting is clarity over cleverness. Clear, specific language will always outperform trying to be too creative, cutesy, or clever.
Clear, simple language is even more critical when crafting your BFCM offers. If the offer is too complicated, shoppers will go elsewhere to buy their holiday gifts.
For instance, Neutypechic practices what they preach with this popup. It is a simple offer (i.e. 10% off) designed to drive first-time sales:
However, even if it doesn't lead to a sale right away, they still have the shopper’s email address. They can send follow-up, educational emails as well as personalized BFCM offers.
When it comes to the offers you create, you should tread lightly with offers that rely on complex conditional logic as it can force shoppers to second-guess their purchases. For instance, get 25% off for only the items in product category A, category D, and category X.
You may be able to get away with this logic in-store. However, online shoppers will just abandon their carts.
4. Add a bonus gift
Speaking of simplifying your offers, one of the easiest ways to do this is by adding a bonus gift.
You don’t necessarily have to give away a free gift to reap the benefits. You can also use this same tactic, but replace the free physical gift with free shipping or an extended warranty.
5. Prepare your website for increased traffic
One of the worst things that can happen is for your website to crash on Black Friday or Cyber Monday. Or, your site is up, but your checkout is broken.
While there are some things that are out of your control (i.e. your ecommerce platform having a major outage or someone hacking your site), there is a lot you can do in advance to make sure your website stays online.
For instance, one of the simplest and most effective ways to optimize your website is to pretend you are a first-time shopper and click on every page and link on your website.
If it is impossible for you to be objective, ask a friend to do this or hire someone on Fiverr or Upwork for a few dollars to be a “secret shopper.”
Here are some things you should ask yourself when going through your website.
- Does your website load quickly? (Ideally, within two seconds)
- Is it intuitive to find and add any product on your site to your cart? Repeat this process on your laptop, tablet, and your smartphone.
- Are there any unnecessary elements, including popups, that show up on the add to cart and checkout pages that could cause visitors to second-guess themselves and abandon their purchase?
- What’s the checkout experience like? Are there any form fields that are unnecessary that you can remove? Again, repeat this process on your laptop, tablet, and smartphone.
- What emails and/or SMS messages are customers receiving once they purchase something? Are there any broken images or links?
If the idea of auditing every single page and link on your website sounds too daunting, focus on the 80:20 version.
That's to go through the purchase process and remove any potential distractions. Any friction in your checkout process will decrease your conversion rate and increase the number of abandoned carts.
For example, let’s take the checkout experience of Tyler’s, a fashion apparel brand out of Texas. It is designed to minimize distractions and reduce friction:
6. Create a delightful mobile shopping experience
During BFCM 2021, 71% of all Shopify merchant transactions were on smartphones.
More than two-thirds of shoppers will likely buy from you on their phones. This means you should obsess over faster site speeds, reducing distractions, and a frictionless checkout experience.
Not every mobile shopper will be ready to buy. In these scenarios, it is best to focus on getting them to sign up for your SMS list.
For instance, Cuddle Clones used ConvertFlow to drive 150,000+ new SMS subscribers with one triggered popup:
7. Run retargeting ad campaigns
It is not rocket science. The people who are the most likely to buy from you are the people who are already familiar with your brand, especially past customers.
If you are running retargeted ads to people who have been on your site but have never bought anything before, setting up a relevant abandonment popup can be an effective last-minute tactic to get a hesitant shopper to buy an item.
An alternative approach for your exit-intent popup is to collect visitors’ email addresses or phone numbers. This way, you can send personalized email or SMS campaigns, like what Cuddle Clones does, to educate and persuade subscribers to buy your products.
8. Build FOMO and urgency
One of the best tactics to deploy for both your Black Friday offers and especially with any exit-intent popups is to drive FOMO.
FOMO marketing taps into some key psychological responses like the scarcity principle, loss aversion, and social pressure.
Here are some effective FOMO hooks you can use with your BFCM offers:
- Only XX number of items left in stock
- Only XX days, hours, or minutes left to get this deal
- XX people have already bought this product in the last hour
- You just missed it. The last item in stock just sold.
- XX number of people have given this product five stars
- XX influencer/celebrity just bought (or shared) this product
For instance, if you have a product that is 50% off on only Black Friday, you can use a flash sale sticky bar in ConvertFlow to display a countdown timer.
When you tap into the right amount of FOMO and see sales skyrocket, it can be addicting.
You may be tempted to fake it. However, if shoppers realize that you are deploying fake FOMO to sell more products, this can destroy your brand’s reputation and credibility. They won’t believe you when you use FOMO the next time.
9. Invest in building relationships with your brand ambassadors
If you are a six or seven-figure ecommerce brand with loyal fans, you can do things that don’t scale well—like building genuine relationships with every key brand ambassador or superfan. These ambassadors will promote your brand/products on your behalf.
Here's a great example of exactly what Brian is talking about in action for one of his brands:
As your ambassador or influencer marketing programs get more prominent, it is essential to build out your influencer guidelines and set clear expectations upfront about what is and isn’t allowed.
This is something that many ecommerce entrepreneurs, including Bill D'Alessandro, learn the hard way:
In Bill’s case, his company lost over $100,000 when some shady ambassadors posted their codes on Honey and RetailMeNot.
So, they ended up paying out twice since they were giving out 20% off discounts when they didn’t have to. And then, they were losing more money in affiliate commission payouts.
10. Focus on quality, not quantity
As we’ve alluded to earlier in this post, slashing your prices because your competitor or Amazon is doing it can backfire.
Instead, position yourself as a premium or higher-quality option to open up additional BFCM playbooks that you can use.
However, if you are positioned as a premium option in your market, you don’t have to resort to discounts.
Instead, you might resort to creating a high-quality, curated BFCM or holiday gift guide.
Or, you can use personalization to create highly targeted offers.
Launch your BFCM campaign today
Playing the same game the biggest companies play is a recipe for sub-par BFCM sales. Instead, these ten strategies can help you increase your average order value and maximize revenue.
The good news?
ConvertFlow has all you need to get your on-site campaigns ready to go.