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10 Ways to Stand Out on Black Friday & Cyber Monday

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By Susan - October 28, 2020- in Go-Getter Blog

Ecommerce shop owners looking for big wins are stepping up their Black Friday & Cyber Monday (BFCM) efforts. History shows we see record wins year after year, with the holiday sales extravaganza hauling in a record $7.4 billion for Black Friday and $9.4 billion for Cyber Monday in 2019. 
However, it takes more than jumping in & discounting your products to earn sales. You’ll still need a winning strategy to stand-out from the competition and stake your share of the market.

1. Launch a Countdown

It’s never too early to get a jump on Black Friday & Cyber Monday and get your customers excited about your upcoming offers. Use Shopify’s Countdown Sales Timer or similar apps to start a real-time countdown & create more urgency in your sales. Make sure to pair the countdown with emails about upcoming offers, including early-bird specials and exclusive VIP access.
It’s also important to tie-in your countdown strategy throughout your promotions for a cohesive marketing strategy. Add Instagram stories or video clips on your favorite social media channels and count down to the sales with teasers about what’s coming up. Make sure the content also offers some great value, like showing how to create a fabulous Thanksgiving Day centerpiece to tie into your decor sale.

2. Offer VIP Access

Stand out on Black Friday & Cyber Monday with exclusive VIP access. Entice new customers to sign-up for your email list to stay in the know, and remind loyal customers about sneak peeks and first shopping access. 
VIP access also works well with upsells and cross sells so you can move more products, even if they’re not part of your Black Friday or Cyber Monday deals. Use Shopify’s Cross-Sell products app to create personalized recommendations for customers based on what they’re looking at & interested in purchasing. Customers see your handpicked cross-sells on product and cart pages, so you never miss an opportunity to increase your sales.

3. Create Shareable Content

Unless you’re selling truly unique products, your audience has likely seen it all before. They’re stopping by your ecommerce shop for the deals but will stick around for the shareable content. Start rolling out focused content around your products & services and keep it fun, informative, and action-packed with value. Here are a few ideas to help shape your content marketing goals:

  • Video tutorials
  • Interviews with past customers or clients
  • Style guides
  • Instagram Reels with a fast-paced video showing how your items work
  • Who (wore it, said it, did it better) with a mash-up of celebrities using a product you sell
  • Pitch yourself as a guest on a podcast to talk about running an ecommerce shop, all while building brand awareness

Customers aren’t averse to sharing marketing content, provided it’s creative & useful. Be bold & daring with your content strategy and make it an experience worth sharing.

4. Promote Scarcity

Customers don’t have much of an incentive to buy if there’s no sense of urgency around it. Convert customers before they start shopping around for the best deals by promoting scarcity. An app like Ultimately Scarcity Pro allows Shopify store owners to set stock bars to encourage customers to buy before supplies run out. There’s also an announcement header bar to give a shout-out to your limited time sale, as well as an option to share social proof and reviews.

5. Encourage Self-Gifting

While everyone else is focused on gift-giving, remind your customers to treat themselves with strategic email campaigns and product copy. Encourage self-gifting as a way to save money, reward themselves after a challenging year of work, and take advantage of YOLO. Why wait for someone else to buy you a gift when you can give it to yourself?
Spread the word by promoting your self-gifting strategy with a relevant hashtag & engaging content. This is also the time to connect with your audience on Instagram or YouTube on an emotional level by encouraging the need to self-indulge & practice self-care this holiday season.

6. Promote a Charitable Partnership

Give back this holiday season and stand-out from the Black Friday & Cyber Monday crowd at the same time. Choose your favorite charitable partnership to donate part of your holiday sales’ proceeds. There are also fun ways to get your audience involved in the promotion & spread more awareness for your ecommerce shop & chosen charity. Allow your audience to vote on their favorite charity to donate proceeds by tagging your shop & using a relevant hashtag to cast their vote.

7. Outsource Your Production & Fulfillment

Lightning-fast service & shipping is the cornerstone of any Black Friday or Cyber Monday promotion. Handling all of your production and fulfillment in-house is risky business during the holiday sales season. You could end up leaving money on the table by selling out products with insufficient inventory. Getting stuck with excess inventory with nowhere to sell it is also a very real possibility. Beyond inventory troubles, it’s also challenging to keep up with fulfillment & deliver on the seamless service and fast shipping customers expect.
Instead of dealing with the headaches yourself, outsource your production & fulfillment needs and stay ahead of the competition. CustomCat offers a comprehensive solution for ecommerce store owners to help you stay competitive. We also white labels your orders, so your customer only sees their own design and branded product. We’ll also send an automatic tracking email directly to your customers to free up your time & resources and streamline the process from start to finish.

8. Refresh Your Offers

Black Friday & Cyber Monday is a frenzy of excitement that moves quickly. Customers shopping around to different shops want to see refreshed offers that entice them to buy again & again. Make it part of your strategy to switch up your inventory selection or offer a limited-time lightning sale for even deeper discounts to those who act quickly. 
Refreshing your offers also means switching up your marketing & ads game. A/B test your Facebook or Instagram ads to see what’s working & what’s moving inventory the fastest. 

9. Turn Your Customers into Marketers

Your customers are among your biggest brand advocates, but even casual audiences can be turned into eager marketers. Give consumers an incentive to promote your business with a contest or giveaway. Ask them to share their favorite products from your store, tag your business, and share a specific hashtag. In exchange, draw a winner at random with an app like ViralSweep and give away a coveted product. 
Deploying contests throughout the Black Friday & Cyber Monday season also keeps your offers on the top of consumers’ minds. Start your promotion with an unbelievable giveaway & pepper in smaller contests before ramping it back up. The idea is to keep customers guessing while continuously promoting your ecommerce store for you.

10. Make a Connection through Storytelling

Sometimes the best way to stand out from the crowd on Black Friday & Cyber Monday is about the connection you make with the audience. Be unique by being vulnerable. Open up by sharing the story about your company, your struggles, your wins, and the unique parts of your journey that brought your ecommerce store to life. The more customers can relate to you as a person behind the brand, the more likely they are to resonate with your store. 
You can look to your competition to see how they’re weaving storytelling into their own promotional strategy. Just remember that you can’t truly make a vulnerable connection with your audience without being authentic at the same time. Savvy consumers know when something feels genuine & when it feels like a tired sales promotion. Respect your customers & walk a fine line between fostering a relationship with them while selling products at the same time.

Whatever strategy you choose, remember that consistency & persistence is really the only way to see traction in your Black Friday & Cyber Monday promotions. Focus on a few ideas that resonate with your brand & goals the most and chart a course for steady success.

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