Have you started your BFCM (Black Friday/Cyber Monday) preparations? If not, you might be missing out already.

These are two of the most important days for the online shopping world. 

They represent a ferocious introduction to Q4 – the final quarter of the year, known to make or break millions of brands. In case you don’t know, the BFCM dates for 2020 fall on the weekend 27th to 30th of November.

It’s during this time everyone wonders how to increase sales and get their brand out there in the spotlight. And this year it’ll be a more daunting task than ever before. 

But there’s no need to worry! As always, we got your back. This article will help you prepare for the upcoming season and we’ll provide some examples that helped us make our clients happy.

BFCM 2020: An E-Commerce Opportunity Like no Other

It’s hard to imagine a year without videos and images of endless crowds fighting over BFCM discounted products at Walmart.

However, we’re already used to 2020 being a “glitch in the system.” The pandemic is still in full swing and the brick-and-mortar stores are feeling the heat.

According to Business From Home, it’s “The end of Black Friday as we know it.” At the end of July, two of the US’ biggest retailers – Target and Walmart – announced that they won’t open their doors on Thanksgiving. 

Of course, the unexpected circumstances were just a catalyst for something that was already in motion. The convenience of online shopping has been threatening retail stores for years.

But as one door closes, another is wide open: the era of e-commerce is finally here.

bfcm online trends 2019

Shopify released a report from BFCM 2019 that fortified the statement above. Their online merchants sold more than $2.9 million from the start of Black Friday to the End of Cyber Monday worldwide. That’s more than a $1billion increase from 2018.

Save for even greater unpredictable events than CoViD-19, the trend will continue to rise this year. So if you have a product or a brand but don’t have an ecom store set up already –it’s time to roll up your sleeves.

Preparing For BFCM / Q4 Fever

Just because most of BFCM sales will transfer online doesn’t mean ecomm entrepreneurs will have an easy job on their hands.

Quite the contrary, the challenge will increase with the additional flux ofcompetition. If you didn’t prepare everything beforehand, there’s a big chance you’ll get lost among millions of social media ad campaigns out there.

On the flip side, if set up your campaign properly, create captivating ads and optimize everything before the hot season – you’ll record the highest win of the year. 🔥

We’ve marked some great places to start your preparation.

1.     Set Up BFCM Goals

Setting up your BFCM goals goes much broader than just setting up Facebook Ads:What’s your goal? Do you want to drive traffic to the website? Increase conversion rates? All these things will impact the campaigns you want to create.

 Here are some of the many different types of goals for brands to focus on during the BFCM seasons:

bfcm goals checklist

Determine your most important KPIs and stay on track when the season becomes hectic.

2.     Prepare Discounts

Why do people love BFCM and Q4? Because of the discounts 💯

This magical word will trigger a shopping frenzy like no other. However, an everyday discount offer is by no means enough for fired-up consumers — Don’t stick a 10%, 15%, 20% tag off a particular product and think you’ve done enough.

You’ll need to up your discount game..

Last year, Numerator released intriguing research on average BFCM discounts. The average Black Friday discount was 43.3%, while Cyber Monday had 40.5%. The highest discounts included housewares, apparel, footwear, and jewelry – 50 to 60% on average. 

bfcm discounts

So make sure you do the proper research on competitive offers for your niche and don’t be afraid to attach some juicy discounts on your products and your ads.

3.     Boost Social Validation

Boosting social validation is one of the most important pieces of groundwork for a successful BFCM campaign. If you still haven’t done anything about it, now’s the right time.

Why is social validation important? Because people won’t trust any brand like they’d trust other people. If someone recommends you a product, you’re more likely to consider it than if you just see it online.

We emphasize this a lot because it’s a strategy that’s proven to work.

You can sell the best footwear, the best dog accessories, or skincare product, but if you don’t have engagement on your ads it’ll raise eyebrows among your potential customers.

Remember: It’s not only the quality that sells – it’s the hype around the brand as well. ake sure you use testimonials and reviews in your ads and you’ll most certainly profit.

If you want to find out more about social validation and tips to boost your online presence, you may want to read this article that we published recently.

4.     Prepare Stand-Out Creative

Your Facebook ads aren’t worth much if you don’t decorate it with eye-catching visuals, but during BFCM this is more crucial than ever.

Your prospects are inundated with attractive offers, beautiful visuals, and copy from your competitors during Q4 more than any other time of the year. 

You’ve got to get your creative juices flowing and make your ads stand out from the bunch.

Once you know your goals, your discounts, and you’ve worked on your social validation, you should have enough materials to create engaging ads (or hire an agency to do it for you 🤫).

If you need inspiration and an in-depth guide on great creatives, you can take a look at this article that also provides some in-house examples.   

5.     Set Up Your Ads

Now that you’ve laid the foundation, it’s time to focus on the technical part. If you don’t set up your ad properly, you won’t be able to promote your BFCM sale.

Everything from setting up your Facebook Ads Manager, setting pixels, applying segmentation, and preparing audiences falls into this category. We won’t spend as much time on this given that you’ve probably got it all set up. But if you haven’t done this before, what are you waiting for?

Head over to Facebook and follow the step-by-step instructions.

Tips and Strategies To Make BFCM 2020 a Success

The execution of your BFCM ecom strategy is an entirely different beast. However, according to Google, we’re yet to witness the upcoming entropy.

Their consumer insights state some pretty wild numbers:

·         1/3 of US shoppers who would shop in retail during BFCM said that they’ll stay at home.

·         ½ of US shoppers say that pandemic will affect the way they shop.

Overall, this means that more than 75% of U.S. shoppers will shop online more during the Q4 than they did during previous years.

The pandemic will further clutter an already saturated paid ads market. That means you may want to reconsider all your previous BFCM marketing strategies.

These are some tips we believe will go a long way:

1.     Start Early

How do you plan for Black Friday or Q4? Don’t fool yourself into thinking there’s still time until Q4 gets in full swing. There’s not. There are two reasons for this:

1. You got to capture your buyers’ attention early. There’s no use in fishing prospects amid the season when your valuable ad is just a drop in the ocean, and…. 

2. CPMs spike massively as you move closer to BFCM, making buying traffic much less profitable.

The takeaway here is that if you’re late to the advertising party, you’re probably up for a major disappointment.

A lot of marketers tone down their spending prior to BFCM and prepare to go all in for Q4. What do you think happens? You’ll spend a huge chunk of money on your ads only for them to get lost in the dark.

Instead, start with your top of the funnel campaign as soon as the Q4 starts. Build anticipation for what’s going to happen next and pre-cook your customers so you can later switch to the real deal – remarketing.

2.     Make Sure Your Ads Are Clear and Understandable

This part is closely related to your ad creative and one thing’s for certain: BFCM and Q4 are not the best time to experiment.

If you have tried and true campaigns that convert, don’t try to go too much outside the box. Make your ad creatives clear, eye-catching, and immersive.

According to Global Web Index, 86% of people worldwide would like to hear from brands that are running a particular promotion. So arm yourself with offers and discounts and make sure you present them clearly to your audience.

Remember: our attention lasts for three seconds. If it takes you more than that to transmit your brand’s message, your prospect will swim away.

One final note: research from Merkle states that this year’s spending will be focused on needs, not wants,” 💡, so you should steer your copy and creative in that direction.

3.     Focus On Remarketing

BFCM is when remarketing can see the most success.

You’ve spent so much time capturing leads, nurturing your brand identity, and growing relationships with your customers. Now it’s time to turn all that hard work into results.

With a good remarketing campaign, you’ll appeal to all those users that already had an interest in your product. Also, you’ll manage to stick in the back of their mind for whatever product you’re offering.

Since a lot of customers are transferring to online BFCM experience, there’s an option to appeal to their offline behaviors as well. Use dynamic ads such as a carousel to showcase as much of your store as you can.

Remember, a lot of these customers will miss the feeling of strolling around the retail store surrounded with products. You can take advantage of that and offer your customers an opportunity to explore other channels of your brand.

Bonus: Build your remarketing database easily as you head into the Q4 with useful tools such as Vyper. You can use Vyper to gamify the giveaway experience which will both boost your validation and ramp up your email list for later remarketing.

4.     Optimize Ads For Mobile

U.S. consumers are now using smartphones more than any other device. Thus, they’re more likely to encounter your awesome ad while scrolling on their mobile.

In fact, Shopify records increase in conversions via mobile year after year, and after the 2020s, it’s predicted to drastically increase.

For that reason, it’s best to optimize your ads for mobile. The same goes for your landing pages as well – the responsive design may look great, but it’s not always convenient for mobile phone users.

bfcm smartphone users

5.     Salvage Your Abandoned Carts

The majority of marketers think that driving traffic to the website and capturing leads is half the job done. However, when you understand the full scope of the consumer journey, you’ll know it’s far less than that.

Statista released new research in March 2020 saying that 88% of carts on average were abandoned worldwide.

This means that you need to set up a few remarketing campaigns that will appeal to all those users that have abandoned those carts.

Luckily, most social platforms allow you to target cart abandoners with special ads to try and convert them one last time.

Usually, these ads go with special offers, discount codes, free shipping, etc, that can push the prospect for that one final click.

Short Case Study: TGM Ads That Crushed BFCM 2019

The proof’s in the pudding. Don’t think we’d let you go without a few examples!

BFCM Ad Example 1

Bare Performance Nutrition (BPN) had huge goals during last year’s BFCM. The performance supplements were on the way up and a great Q4 would skyrocket their growth.

Why is BPN an interesting example?

There was plenty of testing involved prior to the peak season. We wanted to set up the stage on time by testing creatives, interests, and lookalikes while the CPMs are lower.

The funny part here is that some of that targeting initially didn’t work but after some time conversions started kicking in.

We concluded that some people needed some time to reconsider before buying – hence why we emphasize remarketing.

We decided to run the ads regardless.

The results?

BPN absolutely destroyed the BFCM season – thousands of purchases and 7-figure total revenue with over 10 ROAS.

Best performing ads?

This is one of the ads that we tested during prospecting. The video showcases Nick Bare, the face behind the brand hitting those body goals, saying – this could be you. The copy touches all the most important questions: safety, quality, money-back guarantee, and validation.

The remarketing did remarkably well during BFCM. This is just one of many ads that boosted the conversion rate. It’s one of the explainer ads that we like to talk about. This one in particular focuses on the ingredients and the variety of different tastes.

BFCM Ad Example 2

Last year, Samii Ryan was looking to make a major breakthrough in the apparel niche with her By Samii Ryan brand. We’ve set up prospecting and remarketing campaigns on time, wanting to boost their social validation for future campaigns.

Why is By Samii Ryan an interesting example?

The results Samii Ryan made were great. Our core prospecting campaigns brought a lot of interest while remarketing crushed the conversion.

But what’s important to notice here is how important a good BFCM is for the future of the brand.

The BFCM prospecting we did in October and November did wonders for the December campaign as well. And the growth passed onto the next year.

Now, the results we considered successful in 2019 are ten times less than what Samii Ryan makes on average during Facebook ads!

The Results

The huge success of the campaign reflects in static and dynamic remarketing having a combined ROAS of 7.5!  

Best Performing Ads

We talked about these types of ads in the article. When on mobile, users can open the collection of ads in a new window where they can browse a variety of products. Considering that retail experience will be much lower this year, these ads are practically a good alternative.

A nice little discount with a promo code always works well with remarketing, especially when you target cart abandonments.

Buckle Up – BFCM’s Gonna Get Wild

Keep in mind that these are just some of the possible tested strategies that should help you increase sales and crush Q4. Of course, we can’t share all our precious tips for success (nothing personal!)

Nevertheless, this should provide a necessary foundation and, hopefully, trigger a creative spark that will help you achieve your Q4 targets.

What else do you do during your BFCM preparation and execution? Do you have some BFCM ad strategies that you’d like to share? Leave a comment below and let us know what you think!

Also, if you want more similar articles, tips, and case studies, feel free to contact us or subscribe below so you never miss a post.

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