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How to Prepare Your Brand for Black Friday

Get your store ready for Black Friday/Cyber Monday - the biggest weekend in the retail calendar. Learn how to optimise your website to increase your store's conversions and average order value.


Winter is coming and so is Q4 for brands all around the world. Black Friday/Cyber Monday (BFCM) approaches towards the end of November and this is where millions around the world make most of their Christmas purchases and part with their money for the juicy deals brands will offer.

It's an amazing opportunity to find new customers, re-engage previous purchasers, and finish off the year with a great revenue boost.

You're probably thinking, where does my brand/business fit into this?

For DTC brands, it's time to start thinking of your game plan when it comes to BFCM. This November is going to be CRAZY as people shop online more than ever and plan their Christmas presents. Money is ready to be spent, and you have to direct that to your store.

Especially, with COVID restricting consumer's movements and some people not feeling comfortable going shopping, let alone with the close-contact madness that's typical of a BFCM weekend, they'll likely be turning their purchasing attention online.

There's a lot to think about from promotional ideas to optimising your site to get the most out of your visitors, so we've put together a detailed list on how to improve your store's experience while also converting visitors into customers.

1. Site-Wide Discounts

This is a pretty straight-forward tactic to gain new customers and incentivise them onto your site and to purchase.

Okay, you might lose some profits by offering a big discount, BUT the goal here is to convert new customers into your remarketing pipeline so that you can get them back onto the site in the future and purchase again in a more profitable manner.

What does that mean? So say you sell a product for $50 but you offer a 40% discount -> that's now $30 and $20 off your profits. But we now have them as a customer, meaning we can retarget them with Facebook Ads or Google Ads with similar products for them to re-purchase with us.

Over time, their $30 order can be 10x or 20x that. These numbers can play into your acquisition costs but it's important to consider the lifetime value of a customer, rather than the initial purchase.

Some examples of a site-wide discount can be: 

  • Free Shipping
  • % Discount
  • Discount after X amount is spent
  • Category Discount

With any kind of promotion, it's important to remind your customer that this offer won't last forever. Create a sense of urgency with countdown timers and reminders of when the offer will end.

This will help prevent customers prematurely leaving the site and will further incentivise them to buy NOW rather than later.

Short Description: 

Simply, taking a % off every product you sell. It's Black Friday, you take a cut on profits, but you now have this customer in your remarketing and potentially newsletter.

That's where you really make your money by getting their Life-Time-Value up.

2. Bundling Products

Bundling products can be a great way to increase your customers Average Order Value (AOV) and increase the value of a cart by 2-4x from what it would have been.

It also adds an easy 1-click option where your visitors would otherwise have had to take multiple clicks to add all the products. More clicks means more friction, which in turn means the likelihood of the average visitor to add all those products is severely reduced.

For example, if someone is on your store to buy eye-lashes, you can review your store's data and identify what people commonly buy with eye-lashes.

You see that eye-liner, mascara, and eye-shadow are commonly bought with it and so you can make a bundle of all four products, potentially with a slight discount, to give your customer an opportunity to buy them all. Not every customer will, but with the option your Average Order Value is sure to increase.

This method is essentially taking your 'people who bough this product also bought...' section and instead of linking the pages, adding an easy upsell.

These bundles can be readily available throughout your store, or they can be responsive to when someone adds a specific product to their cart. Then, they are suggested the bundle.

Short Description: 

This is how you increase your Average Order Value. Bundle products commonly bought together for a 1-click ATC.

Make it easy for your visitors to add them all in one go.

When someone adds one of these products, automatically suggest the bundle.

3. New Product Release

A lot of brands use the Black Friday / Cyber Monday weekend to drop new products to their store and use it as a way to gain more traction and attention.

This can work very well especially for brands with an already strong base of customers. It can be less effective if this isn't already established, but in the lead up to BFCM, some hype can be generated.

How do you do this? 

You can create a sense of hype around a new drop by: 

  • Creating a sense of exclusivity through email marketing
  • Hinting and teasing on social media channels
  • Remarketing to previous customers about the pending release.

One important factor of this is to have a plan in place for what you're going to do with this hype. A common strategy is to direct people to 'release coming soon' page, which has an email field for customers to be notified of the products drop. This is an easy way of getting early sales, as you have an email list of people waiting for it.

All you then have to do is send an email when it's released and you'll get a bunch of high-intent visitors to that products page.

It's also important to consider how you want your customers to buy this product. Do you want them to just buy that product, or do you have up-sells or cross-sells to offer them as well?

You can always add an incentive to increase the Average Order Value, such as "Purchase X and receive X discount on another product". This can get the lower-intent shoppers over the line and could always be used as a down-sell if someone was to begin navigating away from the page.

Short Description:

Use email + remarketing + socials to create hype and direct people to waiting page and grab emails for notification on the drop.

Think about how you want people to buy this. Buy on it's own or upsell to another product?

i.e. "Grab our New Product and receive 'X' Free or 'X' discount on X." Not always necessary to add an extra incentive if there's enough hype around the drop.

But if you're just adding a drop last minute, it might be worth considering adding one.

4. Newsletter Sign-Up Incentives

Email marketing is one of the most cost-effective way of bringing customers onto your site, as they have usually an established relationship with your brand and have likely purchased from you previously.

Not only does email marketing not require ad-spend, but it can account for 20% or more of your stores entire revenue.

Wherever you can, you should attempt to grow your email list so your pool of free advertising can become more lucrative.

Here's where you can do this: 

  • Opt-in during checkout
  • Newsletter section on site
  • Newsletter pop-up with discount incentive upon sign-up
  • Promote on socials
  • Email customers who didn't opt-in on checkout if they'd like to receive email notifications on discounts and offers on products similar to what they've bought.

However, it's important to remember that email marketing shouldn't just be used to squeeze money out of our list at every given chance.

It should be used to build your relationship with your customers by telling your story and letting your customers know about your journey. Otherwise, they'll grow tired of repeatedly being marketed to.

Short Description: 

Email marketing = easy money in ecomm. Minimal risk. No Ad-spend. Can be 20-30% of your stores revenue.

What incentives are you going to use to get people to sign-up? Discount? Free shipping?

How is it presented? A pop-up or just a section?

5. Delayed Shipping Email Sequence

Black Friday/ Cyber Monday can put pressure on brands to get their orders processed/fulfilled at the best of times, but especially with COVID and the probability of more shoppers moving online this year, that pressure is further heightened.

However, the bar for customer service in online retail is very low, and most customer frustration can be relieved by simple and effective communication which can be automated in apps like Klaviyo.

Most frustrations come when a customer is waiting longer than expected for their order, with no update from the brand they brought from.

How do we solve this?

In your email marketing platform, set up an automation that when an order has been processed but NOT shipped after X days, an email automatically goes out explaining the reason for the delay and that you haven't forgotten about them.

This simple message and act as proactive transparency goes a long way with your customer base, and you can turn a pain point into an opportunity to build your relationship with your customers and increase their trust and loyalty in you.

Short Description: 

Covid. BF/CM. Orders might be delayed. The bar for customer service is LOWWW.

If someone's order isn't sent within 5 days, send an automatic email explaining the delay and you haven't forgotten.

Transparency = trust = loyalty.

6. Fresh Content

This ones for the brands that maximise the use of their content pool to within an inch of its life. Now, we're all guilty of this to some extent, but it's vitally important that you rejuvenate your content pool for BFCM to bring a freshness to your ads.

Over the BFCM weekend, it'll be a battleground for attention on people's timelines, so you need to stand out. If you're pushing the same old content, the likelihood of maximising your returns reduces.

When you make this content, here are some things to consider:

  • Make the shots short and snappy. 1-4 seconds ideally.
  • Use User Generated Content to build your authenticity and trust.
  • Show off the main features of the product.
  • Show off the product in use.
  • Use text overlays to clearly explain benefits, features, and pain points/solutions.
  • Use a model that is your target audience.
  • Make Call to Actions obvious.
  • Use banners to consistently remind of your offer/deal/promotion.

As well as these points, make sure to use different pieces of content for different stages of your customers journey in your funnel i.e. don't use your prospecting creatives on your remarketing to purchasers audiences.

When you get back in front of anyone in your funnel, you want to give them a chance to experience your brand in a different, yet familiar light that allows them to further consider your product.

Short Description: 

Especially if you've been saturating your current content, it will be V hard to grab attention. Get your BF/CM content sorted early and switch it out for the stale one.

Make CTA's and Incentives CLEAR AF, while outlining product benefits/features.

7. Christmas Incentives

BFCM is just before Christmas and where a lot of shoppers do their Christmas shopping. It's a chance for them to grab some great deals and have everything ready for Christmas.

However, they'll also be buying for themselves. This means they may forget or miss and opportunity to buy for someone else. By including simple reminders, you can get them to buy multiple of the same product that will be used for gifts.

Here are some ideas of how to drop subtle hints to help increase your Average Order Value:

  • Perfect for a friend this Christmas
  • Make Christmas easy this year by buying this for a loved one too.
  • Order today to be under your tree by Christmas.
  • Perfect for the whole family. Add a family pack for X discount.
  • The perfect stocking-filler. Grab 4 today for the price of 3.

If you're selling a product that one person can have multiple of, make sure to easily outline what the bulk prices and selections are.

  • 5 for $25
  • 10 for $47
  • 20 for $90

Our goal is to increase our customers Average Order Value, so by having these selections and suggestions, you're making it an easy decision to buy more.

8. Product Page

The product page is one of, if not the most important pages on your store. This is really where the visitors decision making is done.

So, with that in mind, we want to be able to give them all the information they need to make that decision, and increase the likelihood of the converting. Here are some things to consider including to build your authority and desire around your product:

  • Include reviews
  • Include sizing charts
  • Include related products
  • Make the ATC Button Obvious
  • Newsletter sign-up
  • Specific Product Promotional videos
  • Multiple images of product
  • Comparison images for comparable products e.g Eye-lash sizes/thickness
  • UGC Content

9. Home Page

Similarly to the Product Page, the Home Page plays an important part on how your customer navigates through your website.

If there isn't enough information and Call to Actions, then the customer can become disinterested. Conversely, if there is an overload of information, then the visitor can become confused and navigate away.

  • CTA's in Hero Section e.g. straight to product/category
  • Best Sellers within 1 scroll
  • Newsletter bottom of page
  • Navigation SIMPLE (next point)
  • Varied product image (Ideally not same model)
  • Mainly professional content/images
  • UGC Section (e.g. Instagram Timeline)

Now, it's not critical to have all of these on your home page, and it'll be up to you to decide what suits you and your brand most, as well as what you have available in your resources.

10. SIMPLE Navigation

The navigation bar may seem like a trivial element of your site to mention, but having an over-complicated nav bar can add 'clicks' to a customers journey. More clicks means more friction, and more friction means a lower conversion rate.

The most important thing about the Nav-Bar is to keep it simple. Don't overpack it with unnecessary pages that don't lead to the prospect of your visitors buying from you.

The main pages that should be included are: 

  • Home
  • Mens
  • Womens
  • Best-Sellers/Shop (Dropdown)

EVERYTHING else can go in the Footer. About, Stockists, Blog, Contact, Policies, etc are just going to distract your visitors from shopping.

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