Black Friday and Cyber Monday Strategies for Retailers to Maximize ROI in 2021
Explore this insightful guide on Black Friday and Cyber Monday strategies for retailers to improve campaign ROI significantly. Boost holiday sales and let your customers receive the best offers and discounts!
Last Updated:  September 12, 2022
For years, Black Friday and Cyber Monday have been helping e-commerce businesses boost their sales. Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales benefit not only businesses but also customers by letting them leverage the best discounts, offers, and deals on products.
However, only businesses that implement a proper Black Friday and Cyber Monday strategy gain the maximum profits. A company can stand out from the rest of the competition by implementing the right strategy at the right time, making it crucial for e-retailers to design their marketing campaigns carefully.
Shoppers this year are planning to spend 15% more on Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping which will reach an average value of $885.76. So, get ready to explore the most effective BF/CM strategies to maximize ROI in 2021.
The importance of Black Friday and Cyber Monday campaigns
Black Friday and Cyber Monday marketing campaigns are essential for e-commerce businesses as the majority of buyers choose online platforms to do their holiday shopping. It gives sellers an excellent opportunity to draw in potential new customers for their products and boost up their sales and revenue.
After learning its importance, if you are wondering what the benefits of Black Friday and Cyber Monday campaigns are, here are a few you should know about:
As the event offers an ideal time for marketers to clear up their stock within a short period, having a campaign in place will make it much easier.
Due to the increasing popularity of the Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales market, e-commerce businesses are getting a chance to explore new sales angles that they can achieve through experimenting with multiple campaign ideas. This practice can be highly productive for their brand.
Holiday season sales generally take place for a longer period which is known to be more profitable in comparison to flash sales. So, putting up a strategic campaign can be beneficial.
Online traffic during the time of Black Friday and Cyber Monday goes up significantly high in comparison to normal selling days. Hence, by implementing the proper Cyber Monday and Black Friday campaign ideas, e-commerce stores can get an enormous amount of exposure to potential customers.
Moreover, popular stores like Target, Macy’s, and Ulta incorporate QR Codes in both their online and printed ads to increase sales with their Black Friday deals. Also, it is very easy to create a QR Code using an effective QR Code solution.
As per surveys and estimates by DriveResearch, around 25% of US consumers like to shop from online platforms because they believe they can find the best Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals there.
16 Black Friday and Cyber Monday strategies for retailers to increase ROI effectively
Having an in-depth knowledge of your customer persona is vital to perform effective product development, content creation, follow-up on sales, and everything relevant to customer retention and acquisition.
So if you are wondering: How can I increase sales on Black Friday?
Learning about your customers’ likes, dislikes, and shopping behavior is the key.
Around 56% of e-commerce companies reported they have been earning more qualified leads using buyer personas. Moreover, 36% of e-commerce brands experienced high sales volumes within a short time just by using their customers’ persona. In addition to this, pursuing cold lead targets using a buyer persona with content comes out to be 58% more impactful in comparison to warm lead targets.
Creating customer personas allows you to personalize your Black Friday marketing to fit your target audience. Targeting customers with relevant messaging will increase the likelihood that they will make a purchase. Your customer persona is based on market research and data giving you a better idea of how to develop the best Black Friday marketing plan for bringing in the highest return.
With the increase in the number of digital consumer bases, the competition among e-commerce businesses also rises. To stand out in the market, nothing is better than offering an attractive deal to your customers. By providing holiday giveaways, you let your potential buyers experience your quality products at discounted rates. This will be beneficial for your business since you will gain the attention of more customers even in a time of high competition.
As per the National Retail Federation, generally, e-commerce stores experience a boost in sales of around 30% at the time of holiday seasons. And this estimate keeps on growing each year.
As you get your Black Friday Campaigns together, provide incentives for your customers. Hold a holiday giveaway throughout November up to Black Friday. This will help sales soar before the big day and ensure sales the day of. The giveaway never has to be large, offer more Black Friday savings or coupons. This way, they are incentivized to come back.
3. Optimize your website for the best user experience
Optimizing e-commerce websites is one of the crucial steps that every marketer should take, especially at the time of Black Friday, where your store will have to maintain speed loading as well as the quality of the site during high consumer traffic. You need to make sure you have considerable bandwidth, processing power, storage, and memory to deal with a sudden increase in traffic to make the most of holiday season sales.
As per studies, if an e-commerce website takes more than 5 seconds for loading, user interaction tends to reduce at the rate of 1% with every extra second a website takes. On the other hand, if your product landing page opens within less than 1 second, then your conversion rate will increase up to 32%.
Here are a few insights from experts who confirm the importance of optimizing your website:
One way to prepare for Black Friday is to make sure your site is optimized to withstand heavy site traffic. You’ll lose customers if your page takes too long to load. Test your site speed in case any troubleshooting is required. That way you avoid missing out on any sales as a result of a poorly functioning site.
If you want to nail your Black Friday campaign, you must prepare for a potential surge in traffic. Having a large amount of traffic can potentially cause your website to shut down or get unresponsive. This is a big red flag for visitors, who will then switch to competitors. To ensure this doesn’t happen, you should test load your website and check your page speed using the free Google tool PageSpeed Insights.
Make sure your website provides a fantastic user experience. Many companies spend a lot of money on Black Friday marketing initiatives, yet their websites fall short. You can have a beautiful advertisement, but if your website is slow and difficult to navigate, you won’t be able to take advantage of this fantastic shopping opportunity.
This is one of the best Black Friday Cyber Monday ideas for your campaign, as buyers tend to start their holiday shopping in advance. Hence, the earlier a brand announces sales, the more the chances of getting customers to sign up for your push notifications, text alerts, and newsletters.
This way, you can expand your consumer base by using the FOMO strategy to build urgency among consumers to buy your best-selling products. By lowering the price, and showing off the number of shoppers purchasing products from your brand, you can build anticipation among potential buyers.
As per a study under believed scarcity situations, shoppers show urgency to buy the products, and around 56% of individuals between the ages of 18 to 30 experience FOMO.
Here’s how various businesses implement this strategy:
My strategy is to build anticipation so that your brand is on the customer’s radar. Include complementary products (everyone loves a freebie), and reward previous/loyal customers by giving them early access or an extra 10% discount.
Creating urgency is essential during this time of the year. Most customers are aware of the countdown on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Tap into this emotion and use specific elements (i.e. countdown timers, urgent sales) to help increase the conversion rate.
It’s trivial to announce a Black Friday bargain, but developing anticipation and buzz can help it become a huge hit. Start stimulating your consumers’ interest by sending them emails with previews of upcoming sales, and start posting sneak peeks of upcoming sales on social media. The sooner you start, the more momentum you’ll have when you ultimately announce the sale on Black Friday or Cyber Monday.
Our strategy for maximizing Black Friday campaign ROI at Loftera has always been to start promoting our sales earlier and stop later than everyone else. This helps us to build anticipation and ensures that potential customers are aware of our sales before competition for traffic and visitors gets too stiff.
We typically start raising awareness in early November and offer early access deals for customers who don’t feel the need to wait till D-day. We also make sure to provide something for those who missed the big day because late shoppers are just as valuable.
Firstly, commence by sending out sneak peek emails in the build-up to Black Friday. It will create urgency and show customers what to expect. Secondly, perform A/B split testing. This will help you determine which campaign(s) works best. Finally, send your campaigns over a period of time, avoiding an overload on your web server, either by grouping emails or sending hourly specials.
Bonus Tip: As your Black Friday sale comes to an end, extend it by 48 hours. This will lead you into your Cyber Monday sale.
5. Integrate live chat into your website to enhance customer service
Maintaining effective interaction and communication with customers is critical for retaining long-lasting business-consumer connections. And live chat acts as an important toolkit for a satisfying consumer experience that lets businesses directly and timely connect with their customers. The satisfaction level of customers increases as video chats offer personalized services to them.
Pro tip: By adding a live video shopping tool to your website you can offer one-to-one service on your website to your potential customers.
If we look at stats, 51% of buyers like to have a live chat with brands as it connects them with agents in real-time.
Improve your customer service by integrating live chat into your website for the season. That way, they have quick access to an agent who can take care of any technical issues or questions they might have while on your site. This reduces the risk of customers leaving your site causing you to miss out on sales opportunities.
6. Amplify email and SMS collection
This strategy is essential as not every e-commerce purchase takes place through the official brand website. Many buyers make purchases using their email, phone numbers on Instagram, Facebook, and other social channel stores. Hence, collecting contact numbers and emails can generate reliable leads that help you boost the number of touchpoints you have with your future customers.
Further, you can send reminders, alerts, relevant notifications, and confirmations through email and SMS to stay in touch with your customers.
As per a 2020 Global Messaging Engagement Report, people prefer SMS and email as convenient mediums to communicate. Hence, making SMS and email collection a priority in your communication toolset will be beneficial.
I have been the marketing manager for an online jewelry business for over 10 years.
One of the biggest tips for maximizing ROI I can give is making sure businesses ramp up their email and SMS collection before the holidays. This way, they can maximize their subscriber lists to market towards on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Having more emails and more phone numbers before these dates equates to more sales/leads for businesses.
7. Perform keyword research to help users find your campaign easily
If you want to hit your SEO goals, carrying out seasonal keyword research is a must. Doing so will help you draw in high Black Friday and Cyber Monday traffic to your site.
Also, tracking previous shopping trends during this season of the year will help to reap better sales outcomes.
Using keyword research tools like Google Trends and Keyword Planner can help you find the best long-tail, seasonal, and industry-related keywords. And by using such keywords in your content, you can gain full visibility in the Black Friday shopper community.
As per a survey by BrightEdge, 68% of users’ online experiences start with using a search engine. Moreover, up to 53.3% of total traffic on e-commerce comes from organic search.
Keyword research is the blueprint for online marketing efforts, driving every decision, and making everything in the pipeline of marketing more efficient. Search engines use keyword relevancy to determine how relevant your keyword is according to the search. Thus, determining the right keyword for the Black Friday campaign can do the work.
Stephen Curry, CEO and Marketing Director at CocoSign
Using multiple social media strategies is one of the best Black Friday Cyber Monday ideas that every e-commerce seller should include in their campaign. Strategies like social selling, social media ads, promotions and posts related to products, and sharing of user-generated content are proven tactics that boost up sales during holiday seasons. Hence, you can deem how important this strategy is for your overall business growth.
As per research, 78% of businesses that provide social selling facilities generate 45% more sales. Also, 25% of US citizens between the ages of 18 to 34 were using social channels to buy goods within the period of 6 months last year.
Businesses will participate in Black Friday, developing a solid holiday marketing strategy to acquire new consumers and compete with the big boys. Strengthening your social media presence is one Black Friday marketing campaign advice I can give you. Social media is a good marketing tool that can impact customer buying decisions. It is also a digital marketing platform that allows direct audience participation for e-commerce businesses. Use social media to listen to customers’ demands and keep them satisfied during the event, in addition to boosting awareness about Black Friday specials.
Regardless of the sales season, a business must have a robust email marketing strategy in place for better business growth. When it comes to Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales, emails are a key driver of your marketing campaign. Focus on building the email subscriber list and offer pop-up notifications with attractive discounts, offers, coupons, and others. Adding a compelling CTA to every email content increases the chances of conversion.
Here are some tips from businesses on how you can leverage email marketing:
One of the best ways to get maximum ROI from your Black Friday marketing campaigns is to consistently utilize email marketing. Specifically, consider segmenting your subscriber base into (1) Repeat customers who have purchased in the past 60 days, (2) new customers who have purchased within the past 60 days, and (3) old customers who have not purchased within the past 60 days. Then, organize discounts, giveaways, and exclusive bundles for each segment. My recommendation: provide bundle access to repeat customers, new product discounts to those who have not purchased within the past 60 days, and an unbeatable site-wide discount to first-time customers who have purchased within the past 2 months.
One of the best ways to increase your ROI from Black Friday marketing campaigns in 2021 is through the use of email marketing. This can be automated to get prospects who are not yet customers into that state. Black Fridays are great for impulse purchases, so get these customers before they decide on their purchase with emails containing promo codes, discounts, and other promotions. Or, send newsletters with detailed breakdowns of your savings just in time for Cyber Monday. Communicate all the benefits of being a customer during this time period by including timely content about newly reduced prices or newly reduced shipping costs, respectively. Create an event landing page online so you can showcase savings exclusively available during this sale season while still spreading the word via your regular channels like social media.
Your email marketing should be on point, meaning that your target audience should easily land on your sales page. The key to running a successful campaign is to start as early as possible. This will ensure that your emails are seen by your customers who most probably won’t check their emails during the holiday vacations. Don’t send the same email to everyone. Segment your audience into groups and create customized email templates for them. Don’t forget to take into account factors such as culture and geographic location in addition to other elements while segmenting your audience.
Reward your loyal customers with free shipping, early bird, or time-sensitive discounts, and have a remarkable impact on your sales numbers. It answers your concern on how you can increase sales on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Also, holiday shopping seasons are the best time to accelerate loyalty program sign-ups by visitors as well.
As per stats by Salesforce, up to 78% of buyers tend to make purchases with companies that offer loyalty programs.
An online company, for example, might offer loyal customers Black Friday discounts or send customized offers to their segmented email list. You can safeguard your margins by offering discounts to those who truly need to make a purchase by segmenting your target audience and finding those who require additional incentives to buy.
Focusing on customers who are most likely to buy from you will save you money and bring you referrals. Reward your loyal customers with exclusive Black Friday deals to incentivize them to make a purchase. This will make them feel special and more likely to tell others about your offers which will help boost sales.
Desiree Medellin, Co-Founder and Chief Brand Officer of Peels
Abandoned carts cause a loss of around $260 billion to e-commerce businesses. Hence, it’s needless to say that sending cart abandonment emails and SMS templates to re-engage your customers is of utmost importance. Also, make your check-out process smooth, and be transparent about additional charges to help decrease the volume of abandoned carts.
Numerous research states that hidden taxes are the number one reason for cart abandonment by customers. In fact, 60% of users leave the cart because they find additional costs to be unreasonable.
Here’s how Gaurav Sharma, Founder of Attrock, utilized cart abandonment emails to help a client:
One of the most effective strategies for maximizing the ROI of a BFCM campaign is sending out cart abandonment emails. People scout for deals during this time of the year but seeing the pricing, they may abandon their carts sometimes. You can send out emails to all of these customers about a price drop and nudge them to buy from you. The likelihood of customers buying from these emails is higher as they’d have gotten a better bargain. This can drive up your conversion rate as well.
We leveraged this strategy for one of our clients – a beauty store. SEO and other marketing campaigns helped us get a lot of traffic to their website. The client had already put up a great discount offer in place. However, we observed that many customers were dropping out after adding products to their cart, especially the ones with lower discounts. We sent out automated cart abandonment emails to them and gave them an instant discount coupon. This saw a lot of customers returning to complete the purchases. It helped us drive substantial sales for our clients.
12. Personalize your campaigns
Personalized content in e-commerce has always been satisfying to customers. It is vital to address customers’ unique requirements to build better relationships with them and eventually increase sales. With the help of insights on consumer data, the majority of brands offer relevant product recommendations to customers, which increases the chances of a purchase.
80% of customers tend to purchase from a brand that offers a tailored experience. So, this Black Friday, offer your audience a special and personalized experience with your brand.
To get maximum ROI from your Black Friday marketing campaigns this year, you’ll need to truly look at the personalization of your marketing content. Especially as a result of the pandemic, consumers are looking for a more “intimate” experience from brands. In other words, they want to feel valued and see that brands know exactly what they want specifically, rather than seeing generalized content. By putting more effort into personalization, you’re more likely to build a strong relationship with each lead and target them with content that they want to interact with, therefore increasing the likelihood of them making a purchase on Black Friday.
If you want to give customers the feeling that you care about them and their experience with your brand, personalization is key. Use Facebook Custom Audiences or an email list to curate a list of each customer’s name, age range, number of children, pets’ names, and favorite sports team – whatever might matter to them so you can thank them by name for shopping with you. This kind of gesture makes shoppers much more likely to come back again and again because they feel valued as individuals rather than just one in a sea of anonymous faces.
With dynamic remarketing ads, businesses access the next level of providing a personalized experience to their customers. It helps you display advertisements to your site visitors that mention services and products they previously viewed in your store. This practice brings back your past visitors and encourages them to complete their purchases.
As per the survey, at least 37% of digital consumers tend to click on remarketed advertisements because they like the item shown.
Rohan, the founder of Biking Know-How, ran dynamic remarketing ads and witnessed a 23% increase in conversions. He says:
Running dynamic remarketing ads has been most effective for me because firstly, setting them up is very easy on the Google Ads platform. Secondly, through dynamic remarketing ads, I could target my audience (shopping cart abandoners) with highly personalized messages (ads had images of products that customers added into their shopping cart but did not end up buying).
14. Use exit pop-ups on your website to convince customers to purchase
During Black Friday week, there will always be shoppers who won’t be wooed easily and would want to leave your site empty-handed. Using exit pop-ups is an excellent way to try and change their minds. Exit pop-ups are those that come up whenever a visitor clicks on the ‘close’ button to leave your site. Make an attractive exit pop-up that highlights your best Black Friday deals so that whenever a visitor intends to leave, they are once again reminded of what you have to offer. These pop-ups might just change their minds and make them shop from you!
15. Create relevant ads and landing pages to promote your discounts
Relevancy has become a critical aspect for retaining your loyal consumers and acquiring potential buyers for your brand. Designing dynamic landing pages that are ideal for consumer interest and every visitor’s current and past shopping patterns is on-trend among e-commerce sellers now. This practice helps businesses gain customer loyalty.
So, offer your consumer-specific Black Friday and Cyber Monday discounts with a suitable CTA on your ads and landing pages. Studies say that 90% of your site’s visitors who come across your content also tend to read your call-to-action (CTA).
Ecommerce businesses can start with website personalization and use web push notifications, email marketing campaigns, and emerging channels like Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp Business to drive conversions and revenue.
For instance, an online store can also send Black Friday discounts to loyal customers or send targeted offers to their segmented email list. By segmenting your target audience and identifying the ones who need extra incentives to buy, you can protect your margins by offering discounts to the people who really need to go through with a purchase.
The reality of Black Friday campaigns is that you could create the best deals for your product, but unless you find a strategic way to market them, they will not bring in the expected ROI. This is why the first small yet crucial tip would be to start working on your Black Friday strategy way in advance. The priority of your Black Friday marketing campaign should be gaining maximum exposure, not creating the best deal out there, although both are important.
This means creating unresisting ads and landing pages outlining your Black Friday discounts and making them as visually capturing and accessible as possible. Customers should not look for your Black Friday deals; they should be constantly reminded of their existence. Spreading your campaign across various social media channels and making sure everything is mobile-friendly is the trendy yet effective way to succeed at this.
Landing pages are essential for any new marketing campaign that you launch. They can help you notify every website visitor about your new campaign and can call them to take immediate action on it. With a suitable theme, design, and CTA, a landing page can help increase the ROI of your Black Friday campaign. You can conveniently use landing pages to market all the discounts and sale offers you are offering to entice customers to make a purchase.
16. List your business on Black Friday and Cyber Monday deal pages
List your business on relevant deal pages such as Google My Business, Bing, Facebook, Yelp, Apple Maps, Foursquare, Dun & Bradstreet, Yellowpages, LinkedIn, and others. Doing so will optimize your Black Friday and Cyber Monday marketing strategy and increase visibility.
Cross-promotion of your Black Friday and Cyber Monday campaign by partnering with other brands further broadens your brand’s exposure. Plus, ingraining backlinks in your blogs and articles authenticate your content’s information. All these are highly valuable deal page tactics that you must try during holiday seasons.
If we look at the stats by OptinMonster, e-commerce websites with higher counts of backlinks get an upper ranking on Google Search engines.
Pick a Black Friday and Cyber Monday campaign strategy that works for you
We hope that the above-mentioned stats and strategies have enhanced your confidence in the profitability earned from strategic Black Friday and Cyber Monday promotions. Before planning your holiday season campaign, check out what methods your store can use to attract customers on Black Friday and Cyber Monday the most. Focusing on the buyer persona and listing your deals on available Black Friday and Cyber Monday deal pages should be in your checklist to help maximize exposure and profits.
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