BFCM: The ultimate guide to eCommerce sales [2024]

September 27, 2023
BFCM: The ultimate guide to eCommerce sales [2024]

Is your online business ready for the busiest sales week of the year? Summer may be in full swing, but now’s the time to start preparing your eCommerce business for Black Friday and Cyber Monday. If you’re not sure how to tackle this hot holiday season – you’ve come to the right place.

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Black Friday Cyber Monday, referred to in the business as BFCM, is a weeklong holiday shopping extravaganza full of discounts and heavy traffic immediately following the Thanksgiving holiday. For eCommerce sellers, Black Friday Cyber Monday is a huge revenue opportunity – especially as more shoppers move online.

Keep reading to learn all about BFCM and how to increase sales this holiday shopping period, including how to leverage eCommerce financing to reach your goals.

BFCM: Fast facts

While the origins of Black Friday date back much further, retailers didn’t begin refining strategies with steep discounts and early shopping hours until the 1990s. Cyber Monday followed in 2005, offering an alternative to long lines on holiday weekends. Now, consumers could shop for eCommerce deals from the comfort of their own homes or offices.

Today, BFCM is bigger than ever before, starts earlier, and lasts longer. Black Friday 2024 will take place on November 29, kicking off the big weekend that culminates with Cyber Monday on December 2.

Here are some surprising BFCM facts:

  • Shoppers spent $9.8 billion online during Black Friday 2023.
  • Cyber Monday 2023 smashed records with $12.4 billion in online spending.
  • A record-breaking 196.7 million consumers shopped online and in store during Thanksgiving 2022 weekend.
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  • 141.9 million consumers shopped on Super Saturday 2023, the last Saturday before Christmas. The date fell on December 23, just two days before the holiday.
  • Mobile sales increased in 2023 – 75.7% of sales during BFCM were online, a staggering rise from 55% in 2022.
  • About 30% of all annual retail sales occur between Black Friday and Christmas.

BFCM tools and tips

You’re an 8-figure seller in the making, and BFCM is a huge once-a-year opportunity to help get you there. Prepare now to close out the year strong with these tools and tips:

1. Stock up early

If you want to maximize sales during Black Friday and Cyber Monday, it’s important to stock up early. Your BFCM sales will grind to a halt if you suddenly run out of stock. Plus, stockouts can do a great deal of damage to your business.

Pro tip: Stock up for Black Friday and Cyber Monday early to avoid the holiday rush. Many eCommerce sellers place their Q4 orders during the summer months to avoid going out of stock.

That’s why it’s vital to forecast demand, decide how much inventory you need, and place your orders long before BFCM rolls around. Many eCommerce business owners order their Q4 inventory during the summer months, or even earlier. There’s often a rush of orders as the holiday season approaches, and you don’t want to get caught in a pileup. Give your suppliers plenty of time to ensure your products are ready to ship early and avoid shipping bottlenecks.

2. Focus on lead generation before BFCM begins

Extend your reach this BFCM by capturing as many email leads as possible in the weeks leading up to the event. There are many ways to grow your email sign ups – giveaways, loyalty and rewards programs, social media, and more. Build your lists all year round, and you’ll have a larger audience of potential buyers once Q4 rolls around.

Another way to get qualified leads is with an email popup on your site teasing Black Friday deals and asking users to opt-in alerts. To encourage popup engagement, incentivize users with a sign up offer.

3. Offer ‘early bird’ deals to increase conversions

Just like last year, BFCM will start early and last longer than it did in the past. Consumers are starting their holiday shopping earlier than ever, with large percentages of shoppers planning to start making purchases before November even begins!

In order to capitalize on this market, you may want to start your deals early. Decide what ‘early bird’ deals you’ll offer and begin promoting them as soon as possible.

Take a page from large retailers such as Best Buy and Target and offer holiday price matching throughout the Q4 sales period. This means you’ll refund the difference of items purchased early if the prices drop during BFCM, easing shopper anxiety about purchasing before the deals begin.

4. Feature discounts on your online storefront and pre-launch page

Your customers should be able to find your discounts at every touch point, including your online storefront and pre-launch pages. Advertising future deals in the days and weeks leading up to the event will get your buyers excited. It also puts you a step ahead of the competition.

If you host your store on Shopify, the pre-launch page feature makes it easy to tease deals. The page allows customers to learn more about your BFCM offers and is a lead generation opportunity to capture their contact information. Amazon stores can promote upcoming deals on the online storefront and listing pages.

5. Engage with multichannel influencers

Consumers love feeling like they’ve discovered a product organically, which is why influencers are a great way to widen your reach on multiple platforms. You can also utilize UGC, or user generated content, to generate interest in your brand. UGC is extremely effective at building trust in your brand. Consider asking your customers to post about the products they purchase from you in exchange for discounts or other perks.

TikTok is another powerful marketing tool with over 1 billion users worldwide, and statistics show that influencer engagement rates on TikTok outshine those on Instagram – and it’s not even close. According to Upfluence, TikTok micro-influencers had an average engagement rate of 17.96% compared to 3.86% on Instagram and 1.63% on Youtube.

6. Send shoppers personalized texts and emails

Nearly 3 in 4 customers say they only engage with personalized messaging and 8 in 10 are more likely to purchase from brands that offer personalized experiences. During the holiday shopping season, competition is fierce so standing out is essential.

You can personalize your marketing in a number of ways, including user-based landing pages, text messages, behavior-triggered emails and more. Sales events are also a great time to re-engage casual customers with personalized offers and incentives. Personalization doesn’t have to be difficult, either. These days, there are a number of tools to help personalize your customer experience, many of which utilize AI.

7. Offer free shipping with minimum purchase

Did you know that 49% of shoppers abandon their carts because of extra costs such as shipping? In fact, unexpected costs during checkout are the number one reason consumers will abandon their shopping cart. Prevent this frustration by putting a free shipping plan in place during BFCM. In fact, customers are often more willing to buy a product for a slightly higher price if it includes free shipping.

If Amazon Prime has taught us anything, it’s that customers love free and fast shipping. If you aren’t an Amazon FBA seller, offering free shipping may mean footing the bill yourself. To offset the cost, include a minimum purchase amount such as “free shipping on purchases of $75 or more.” This also helps raise your AOV, or average order value, which contributes to higher revenue and profits.

8. Use retargeting to convert abandoned customers

Even with free shipping, cart abandonment is bound to happen during the shopping frenzy — and that’s okay. With that said, it’s easier to convert a customer who has already expressed an interest in your product than to replace them with a new customer, which is why a retargeting strategy will help convert more sales on BFCM.

Here are a few ways to retarget customers effectively:

  • Segment your audiences so you can retarget customers in different sales funnels, and send the top deals to loyal customers who are more likely to convert.
  • Use social media ads to remind customers about products they viewed but didn’t purchase.
  • Send an email with an exclusive discount immediately after cart abandonment occurs. Cart recovery emails are particularly effective and can help you win back 3%–14% of sales.

9. Use FOMO marketing tactics and social proof

Used correctly, marketing psychology tactics can help online sellers convince consumers to buy products. You can use FOMO, or fear of missing out, to tap into shoppers’ fear of missing out on deals and opportunities. When inventory is low, highlight stock levels to let customers know there are only a few items left to purchase.

This encourages them to make their purchase now, instead of waiting. Another way to use FOMO is to offer deals for a limited time only, and let potential customers know how much longer they have to take advantage of it. People will feel the need to act fast to snag the deal, and you’ll be more likely to close the sale. In fact, a whopping 60% of consumers buy something due to FOMO, and most of these purchases occur within 24 hours.

Showing consumers that other people are buying an item is another great use of marketing psychology, as social proof is a powerful motivator. Including consumer reviews on your product page also plays on the idea of social proof, showing consumers that other people like them have purchased and enjoyed your product.

10. Optimize your storefront and listings for mobile

Mobile commerce, sometimes called m-commerce, is on the rise. We saw a record number of shoppers turning to their mobile devices during BFCM 2022, and experts expect that number to continue to increase. In fact, m-commerce is predicted to account for 6.5% of sales in the United States in 2023.

That means it’s important for eCommerce sellers to make sure their online stores and listings are ready for mobile shoppers. Double check your store on a mobile device to make sure that it’s user friendly and works properly. If your mobile experience isn’t up to par,  you could lose sales and customers.

Look at your listings on a smartphone too, in order to ensure that important words and descriptions don’t get cut off. Check your images to make sure they show up properly and that buttons are large enough and responsive on touch screens.

As you prepare for BFCM 2023, use the tips above to get the most out of your increased site traffic. Impress potential customers with smart marketing, good deals, and a store stocked with the inventory they need this holiday season. And if you’re in need of extra capital to stock up on inventory or invest in marketing campaigns, 8fig is here to help. With our innovative AI CFO technology, 8fig provides eCommerce business owners with both the personalized funding and cash flow management they need to succeed during Black Friday Cyber Monday. Sign up here.

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