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The Acceler8 Labs
BFCM Playbook

Dive into our playbook and ignite the biggest BFCM your brand has ever seen.

Is your brand ready to take Black Friday / Cyber Monday to new heights?

Welcome to Acceler8’s ultimate Black Friday and Cyber Monday (BFCM) playbook — your guide to not just surviving, but thriving, during the busiest shopping season of the year.

This isn’t just about discounts: We’re talking about targeted marketing campaigns, optimizing customer journeys, insightful data analysis, and more. In this playbook we drill down into the nitty-gritty, providing insider knowledge to empower your brand to score big in BFCM. 

These steps will cover everything from the initial inventory planning and site optimization, to crafting irresistible deals and mastering the art of post-BFCM customer retention. Each step is a crucial building block, contributing to a comprehensive and robust BFCM strategy.

"This time is the Super Bowl for companies around the world, especially those targeting consumers. For the first holiday season since 2019, we are expecting the platforms and market to be much more predictable and reliable, especially with the performance updates from platforms like Meta and Google!"
Niket Shah
Co-Founder, Acceler8 Labs

#1 - Mobile Optimization and Site Performance.

No two ways about it: this is the #1 most important step to help not just survive BFCM, but to thrive on BFCM.

It is crucial to ensure that your website is not only mobile-friendly and responsive but also capable of handling increased traffic effectively.

By optimizing your website for mobile devices, you can provide a seamless user experience across different screen sizes and improve accessibility for a wider audience.  Additionally, having a website that can handle increased traffic without crashing ensures that your visitors can access your content even during peak times, maximizing engagement and potential conversions.

Avoid relying on too many 3rd party plugins, analytics or pop-overs: these can all dramatically affect your site’s performance. For BFCM keep your site lean, clean and customer friendly.

🔍 INSIDER INFO:

It’s not just E-commerce that benefits from a mobile friendly site: According to MarTech.org 77 Percent Of Smartphone-Driven Retail Purchases Happen In Physical Stores. The report states: “Mobile shoppers are in fact using their devices for comparison-shopping before and after an in-store visit. “

Don’t miss your opportunity to convert retail customers with a bad site experience!

#2 - Landing Pages and Product Page Perfection

Establishing a strong brand identity is crucial when it comes to landing and product pages.

Sure, mobile friendly is a must: but also ensure that these pages not only load quickly but also reflect your brand’s unique identity. Forget giving your customers an “out of the box” experience: Make sure your tone, colours and visual identity are front and centre throughout. 

Don’t go overboard with product copy: By keeping your pages clear, concise, and on-brand you can provide a satisfying user experience while effectively communicating your brand’s message. 

For maximum impact, also create Shopify collection pages that highlight your BFCM deals, best sellers, starter bundles and other options that help boost your AOV. 

💬 INSIDER INFO:

According to Shopify, 91% of shoppers read at least one review before making a purchase. By incorporating reviews, video testimonials or press reviews into your product pages with a tool like Shogun, you’ll be able to give customers the assurance they need and help complete their journey.

#3 - Leverage Meta Ads & Google Campaigns using the power of AI

Everybody will tell you “Creative is the new targeting”, but they don’t ever tell you WHY.

That’s because the secret is out: AI ad-tech has arrived and it’s delivering incredible results for brands that understand. 

Utilize the cutting-edge AI capabilities of META ASC+, Google Demand Gen and Google PMAX Campaigns to precisely target potential customers. By leveraging advanced algorithms and data-driven insights, these campaigns optimize ad spend efficiency and ensure that your carefully crafted message reaches the right audience at the most opportune moments.

No more wasted dollars on the wrong audiences that have your message fall flat, now you can create offers for your perfect customer and let machine learning do the rest.

 

 

#4 - Not having great shipping & delivery can cost you sales

According to Shopify, “free shipping” is the number one driver for sales on DTC sites. To ensure a seamless shipping experience, DTC merchants should partner with reliable carriers and provide clear shipping options. By implementing real-time tracking, customers can easily monitor the progress of their orders. Offering free shipping not only enhances the overall customer experience but has also been proven to be the most effective option.

📦 INSIDER INFO:

The best prepared brands know that partnerships are crucial to BFCM success. Leveraging the expertise of a 3rd Party Logistics (3PL) expert like OrderGrid can not only save your sanity when dealing with multiple warehouses, shipping rates and border-crossings, but boost your bottom line by delivering a great customer experience to your shoppers. 

#5 - Optimize your inventory and upgrade your logistics

We know, this sounds like a “good problem to have”, but far too many DTC and E-Commerce brands are caught off-guard by their own success and let their customers down with ‘Out Of Stock’ as their first impression.

To ensure you have enough stock to meet the demand during BFCM, it is crucial to carefully assess your inventory needs. Consider analyzing historical sales data, monitoring market trends, and collaborating with suppliers to determine the optimal stock levels. 

Striking the right balance between meeting customer demand and avoiding overstocking will not only help you avoid stockouts but also provide a seamless shopping experience for your customers.

#6 - Craft irresitable offers and compelling calls-to-action

Create enticing Black Friday and Cyber Monday (BFCM) offers that are hard to resist, and craft compelling Call-to-Actions (CTAs) throughout your site that drive visitors to take action, while keeping in-mind that customers want a fast, clean and easy to navigate site.

By offering attractive deals and using persuasive CTAs, you can capture the attention of potential shoppers, increase conversions, and ultimately boost your average order value (AOV) during the BFCM period.

CTAs come in many shapes and sizes: From tweaking your Button’s CTAs to test between “Buy Now!” or “Add To Cart”, adding banners that stay top-of-mind as uses navigate your site to effective (but potentially obnoxious) pop-ups, there are many ways to improve your BFCM performance while keeping user experience front and centre.

#7 - Optimize conversions and "always be testing" with 3D Measurement

As one of Canada’s leading conversion optimization agencies, we know that Continuously testing elements like headlines, images, and CTA buttons on your website to identify and implement incremental improvements can massively impact your conversion rates.

Even small improvements in conversion rates can have a significant impact on your revenue growth when BFCM hits. By optimizing your website through CRO techniques, you can make data-driven decisions that lead to better customer experiences and higher conversions.

For example: using Acceler8’s INSIGHT dashboard can allow you to see the links between your testing, marketing efforts and referrals to get immediate results and make better decisions. Did that TikTok live shopping session help spur sales or just site visits? Was “10% off” more effective than “Free Shipping” for 1st time buyers? These data points are all part of your 3D measurement landscape and can be tested and improved. 

The key here is employ trustworthy, accurate data and surface it in an actionable way, not to leave it in rows and columns locked in 3rd party analytics. 

#8 - Start practicing Email marketing excellence

Email marketing remains a powerful tool for driving sales and building customer loyalty. By delivering targeted and relevant content to your subscribers, you can effectively nurture leads, recover lost sales, and generate excitement for your BFCM offers.

Craft personalized and segmented email campaigns aimed at nurturing leads, recovering abandoned carts, and announcing promotions. Implement strategic email flows to engage customers at the right time.

📧 INSIDER INFO:

Email marketing doesn’t just stop at your list. With trusted partners like Klavyio you can use your Email contacts to integrate seamlessly with our other partners Shopify and Meta for seamless and instant audience sharing. This “1-to-1” targeting can be unrivaled in it’s value to your campaigns.

#9 - Build and expand your affiliate partnerships

Leverage the capabilities of Shopify to manage affiliate products, inventory, and sales channels. Collaborate with complementary brands for cross-promotions and joint BFCM sales initiatives.

Strategic partnerships can help streamline your affiliate operations, minimize risk, expand your reach, and potentially lead to future mutually beneficial collaborations. By teaming up with like-minded brands, you can tap into new customer bases and create a win-win situation for both parties.

#11 - Making data driven decisions to improve your customer funnel

At Acceler8 Labs, no campaign launches come without trusted data to back it up. Sure, there’s always a gut feeling about what we think could work, or industry knowledge to give us a starting point, but that’s nothing without comparing it to the data we’ve already collected for our clients.

Analyze data from previous BFCM events to gain insights and make informed decisions on pricing, inventory management, and marketing strategies. Optimize every stage of the customer journey, from awareness to purchase, to create a seamless and personalized experience for shoppers.

By leveraging data-driven insights, you can identify trends, understand customer behavior, and tailor your BFCM strategies accordingly. Optimizing the customer funnel ensures that you are effectively guiding shoppers through their purchasing journey, rather than bombarding them with generic messages.

Data-driven strategies might feel mechanical, but they maximize ROI, refine the customer funnel, and minimize costly mistakes.

Deep Dive: What are the data points we look at

to help us determine what to do for BFCM?

Deep Dive: What are the data points we look at to help us determine what to do for BFCM?

Data Points: What To Analyze

Data Description
Top Selling Product(s) on First Order
Which product(s) are most frequently purchased by first-time customers?
Top Selling Product(s) on Subsequent Orders
Which product(s) are most frequently purchased by customers after their initial purchase?
Customer Lifetime Value (LTV) / Average Number of Orders
What is the average Lifetime Value (LTV) or the average number of orders placed by a customer during their tenure with the client?
Average Order Value (AOV)
What is the average value of orders during a single checkout?
Highest Margin Product(s)
Which products yield the highest profit margin?
Best Performing Ad Audience
Which audience target generates the best Return on Ad Spend (ROAS) per advertising channel?
Best Performing Ad Creative
Which copy, creative elements, promises, products, and value propositions are yielding the best results? Which imagery or video is most effective and why?
Most Viewed Website Page
Which pages do site visitors spend the most time on? (Segmented by non-purchasers, first-time purchasers, and repeat purchasers.)
Most Engaging Organic Social Content
Which products used in organic social content drive the highest engagement?
Top Performing Discount(s)
Top Performing Discount(s)
Best Performing Messaging
Which messaging has led to the highest conversion rates?

How do we use this data?

It varies, depending on your brand and your product offering/niche. That said, these data points still inform what product(s) could be put on sale or bundled, which discounts to offer, and what customer target to go after.

Example: DTC Wellness brand

At Acceler8 Labs, we have a wellness client who sells a Starter SKU that is a great entry product into the rest of their product line. 

The data tells us that there’s a huge return-purchase rate from Starter SKU purchasers, who then come back and buy other products from this brand.

With such a high return purchase rate, it makes sense to offer a discount on that SKU, knowing that a lot of the customers will then come back for more (and spend more.) 

We also know that a store-wide 40% discount for this brand is rare, so when they offer it, they get a huge influx of orders, especially from new customers (who bought the starter SKU.)

Knowing that 40% is a very rare discount (and that it really drives sales) and that people who buy the Starter SKU usually purchase again, the data tells us that it’s worth the cost of giving a big discount for BFCM, as customers will come back and purchase again.

In action: a winning formula

For a single product on sale:

First, take the product price [Product], then minus cost of the product (Cost of Goods Sold) [COGS] and the product discount amount [Discount] to get your product profit:

[Product] – [COGS] – [Discount] = [BFCM Unit Profit]
$40 – $5 – (10%[$4]) = $31

For a site-wide sale:

First, take the Average Order  value of your store [AOV], then minus the Average Cost per Order (ACO) [ACO] and the sale discount amount [Discount]
to get your average BFCM order profit:

[AOV] – [ACO] – [Discount] = [BFCM Unit Profit]
$150 – $40 – (40% [$60]) = $50

#12 - Explore emerging platforms: TikTok, Pinterest & Snapchat

Building brand awareness is key to energizing your top-funnel and priming your ad campaigns for their important learning phase, where audiences that engaged with your content are used as fuel to power subsequent decisions. Don’t discount platforms like TikTok, Snapchat or Pinterest as a great way to get an edge on your competition for attention.

 

#13 - Start early: pre-BFCM sales, discounts and loyalty

Build anticipation with teasers and exclusive offers before Black Friday and Cyber Monday (BFCM). By providing sneak peeks and limited-time promotions, you can generate excitement among your customers, enticing them to start shopping early. Additionally, implementing post-purchase strategies such as personalized recommendations, loyalty programs, and referral incentives can help foster customer loyalty and encourage repeat purchases.

☀️ INSIDER INFO:

Did you know that 25% of holiday shoppers finish in October to get the best deals? Don’t wait until your competitors begin to overtake you, start early andbuild the runway you’ll need to succeed.

#14 - Scaling your Infrastructure and past BFCM analysis

Analyzing your website’s performance post-BFCM can provide valuable insights into the effectiveness of your strategies and identify areas for improvement in future sales events.

If you’ve survived another BFCM by the skin of your teeth, a paid media audit might be the key to ensuring your future success.

A Media Audit dives deep into your paid media accounts with insider’s expertise and ignites your potential for new growth, while exposing gaps in your sales strategy, inefficiencies in your account management and technical issues with APIs and attribution tracking that might be holding you back.

Let's get started.

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