Skip to content

12 min read

Black Friday and Cyber Monday. For many of us, these words bring images of people tearing through stores, ripping toys from shelves in a frenzy. 

But whether you sell or shop on Black Friday or Cyber Monday, these days are about buying gifts for the people we love.

Because money is often tight at the end of the year, we look for deals that give us the most value. How will your small business meet that demand this year?

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are important for small businesses everywhere. Are you ready to prepare your business for major growth—before, during and after?

Black Friday and Cyber Monday Deals: Your Guide to Holiday Ecommerce for Business

Black Friday and Cyber Monday: A Short History

Cyber Monday? No, Cyber Week

Cyber Monday and Black Friday: Plan for Greatness

8 Unique Cyber Monday Deals You Can Offer

5 Ways to Prep Your Cyber Monday and Black Friday Advertising and Market Smart

Create a Black Friday and Cyber Monday Email Marketing Plan

7 Ways to Get Your Site Ready for Black Friday and Cyber Monday

Black Friday and Cyber Monday Tips to Keep the Sales Coming

Pin this post for later

Pinterest graphic for an article called Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals: YOur guide to holiday ecommerce for business from Selz the ecommerce platform for growing businesses

Black Friday and Cyber Monday: A Short History

The term “Black Friday” came out of Philadelphia in the early 60s after a weekend of intense food traffic. It didn’t become a term for the mega-shopping weekend it is today until the 80s.

Cyber Monday was born in 2005 to give small businesses a leg up over the big chains dominating Black Friday promotions. 

For a long time, Black Friday was for physical stores and Cyber Monday was for online only. With each year more rules change. Black Friday is online too, and starts as early as 4 pm the day before (Thanksgiving Day in the US). 

Cyber Monday? No, Cyber Week

Many people start buying early for Cyber Monday too. Almost 90% of retailers offer sales on Cyber Monday, with deals starting as early as October, going until the end of January.

New records are set each year for sales on these days, and there are eight times as many sales made today as there were in 2009.

It might as well be Cyber Month. Shoppers are looking for a personal experience and a month of savings. Many deal hunters start early online, and according to Facebook, talk of Black Friday deals is already trending online. 

It seems early to start thinking about the holidays, but the biggest sale day of the year, black friday, takes a lot of preparation

Cyber Monday and Black Friday: Plan for Greatness

If you plan to sell online, you should prepare for Black Friday and Cyber Monday now. There’s a lot of competition from brands big and small. To make the most of big sale season, we recommend being ready by October 15. Not sure where to begin?

Let’s get started.

Plan Your Black Friday and Cyber Monday Deals and Discounts

Your shoppers aren’t just looking for discounts, they expect discounts on the products they want to buy.

Pricing

Start with your best-selling products. Look at your data from the last year, and what kind of difference your discounts made to your sales. 

Most people are looking for at least 20 percent off. Take this step to look at the big picture. It’s important that your prices are competitive, so get creative. Do you want to offer different discounts on the same products at different times? A bigger discount for just one day? 

Determine the revenue you need during this time period, and calculate what kind of discount you can offer.

Upsell and Cross-Sell

This is also a great time for upselling and cross-selling. Create enticing product combinations that will improve the value for your customer. This is a great time of year to add digital products or services to your product offerings as an upsell that doesn’t cost more for shipping. 

Timing

Look at your analytics to see what time of day most of your shoppers are online, and what times they were online last year. You may want to save your special sales and promotions for later in the day – noon or later – because big stores often focus their special offers in the early morning or late evening.

Stay Organized

Create a spreadsheet to track your discounts and codes so you’re ready to go when the time comes.

Free Shipping

Free shipping is a  popular special offer that makes a big deal to holiday shoppers. 

Consider free shipping for a limited time, maybe Cyber Monday only, to stay competitive. You may also want to consider offering free shipping after a shopper has purchased a set amount. 

If these aren’t options for you financially, find other ways to sweeten the deal. Offer real-time shipping rates to reduce surprises during checkout or offer deluxe wrapping before shipping. These details show a personal touch, and let your buyers know you are going out of your way to give them more.

It’s also important to be clear about shipping wait times. Let customers know if a product may arrive after the holidays. It can be helpful to offer something your buyer can print and share for gift opening in case a package doesn’t arrive in time.

Read more: Ecommerce Packaging Tips for a Successful Holiday Season 

Woman preparing packages in her office for the black friday and cyber monday rush

8 Unique Cyber Monday Deals You Can Offer

Everyone has a sale going this time of year. These ten ideas are a great way to get your products the attention they deserve. 

1. Create a gift guide for each member of a family or group

Dads are notoriously hard to buy for and great ideas are always welcome! Gifts for roommates, teachers, co-workers—the possibilities are endless.

Reach out to blogs in your niche with your gift guide, or offer your products to add to their holiday guides!

2. Sneak peek

Save a new product for Black Friday and Cyber Monday, and tease it through ads, email, and social media. Consider offering your sneak peek in a presale for your most loyal and active customers.

3. Gift cards 

Create unique gift certificates or store credit offers. Shoppers see these offers as more valuable than dollar discounts. You can also create a tiered offer for your gift cards. Give shoppers one amount before a certain date and more for the same amount later. 

4. Exclusive daily or hourly deals

Temporary discounts and shopping codes are a great way to create urgency for your shoppers. Make each sale focus on a different product category with a unique discount. Build a rotating product schedule in advance where you can decide what products you want to sell and how much you want to sell them for. 

5. Big one-day deal

Create a buzz around a big sale on your best selling product, the one you’re best known for. Another idea is to offer a limited edition product, maybe a product you have in small amounts, or a special product you’ll create just for this sale.

6. An offer just for your newsletter subscribers

Use customer feedback to find an offer your current customers will love and want to talk about. Encourage not only buying, but sharing holiday purchases on social media to continue to build your customer relationships and increase holiday sales.

7. Personalized upsell

Many shoppers do a lot of “accidental shopping” during the holidays. Chances are, if a customer loves your products for someone they love, they might also want one for themselves. Offer a buy one, buy one for yourself discount to encourage this other kind of holiday giving.

8. Last-minute deals to capture late shoppers

You might be a planner, but not everyone is. There are many things you can make and sell to have on hand for last-minute shoppers hoping to find everything they need online. 

Looking for more ideas? 

10 Simple Things to Create and Sell for the Holidays 

Best Selling Consumer Products for the Holidays 

4 Easy Side Hustles You Can Start in Time for Christmas 

5 Ways to Prep Your Cyber Monday and Black Friday Advertising and Market Smart

Customers start looking for good deals as early as October, when companies start teaser offers. If you start too early, you may deplete your ad budget. Start too late, and not enough customers will see your ad to make a difference. It’s important to have a plan in place to help customers find for your fantastic products.

1. Landing page

Create a Black Friday landing page or a Cyber Monday deals landing page to drive email signups in advance. Then, send out emails with details on your special offers leading up to Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

2. Store announcements

Write copy in advance for store announcements on your site and home page. You can use these to promote new sales to buyers on your site during the weekend. 

3. Social media

Prepare Black Friday and Cyber Monday images and copy for your social media accounts. Almost a third of shoppers will look at your Facebook page first if they want to know about holiday offers.

4. Retargeting

Think about retargeting. The shoppers most likely to buy from your store are buyers who have seen your brand a few times before. Watch for trending hashtags that you can use. Find ways to connect your products to new holiday trends as they pop up.

5. PPC 

Plan your ad spending. Do you want to focus on Facebook Ads? Shopping Ads? Google Ads?

Look at what has worked best for you, and where you’ve been seeing the best returns in the last three months. You might want to run some A/B testing this month because ad prices can rise a tad during the festive season.

If you want to draw the right shoppers for your audience your marketing has to be well thought out. Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals are coming from every direction. How will you stand out? With Selz, the ecommerce platform to grow and scale your business

Create a Black Friday and Cyber Monday Email Marketing Plan

Email marketing is your best way to get strong returns during the most competitive season of the year. You’ll want to plan and write your email marketing campaign now, before things get hectic.

Start collecting emails as early as possible. This way, as the holiday period draws closer you’ve got a bigger audience to promote your upcoming sales with. Make sure to use your MailChimp, Campaign Monitor, or Active Campaign integrations so that every buyer you get becomes a subscriber to your mailing list.

Make your emails shine with your personality. In addition to your usual newsletter and automations, create unique holiday email content. 

Create a welcome email automation for Cyber Week shoppers and subscribers. Maintain this group as an email segment and send them unique content over the year to keep them coming back. You may also want to think about combining SMS and email marketing automations to increase customer engagement leading up to your big sales.

Abandoned carts are also a frequent occurrence this time of year. Prepare a holiday-themed message for your abandoned cart follow-ups for a less automated feel.

Read more: Ecommerce Email Marketing for the Holiday Season 

8 Ways to Get Your Site Ready for Black Friday and Cyber Monday

You’ve planned your discounts and promotion, but is your online store ready? Use these tips to prepare your small business and online store for greatness.

1. Check your site speed

46% of shoppers have said they’ll never return to a slow website. 

Use tools like Pagespeed Insights or Load Impact to check your site speed and troubleshoot any speed issues.

2. Clearly mark limited stock

There’s nothing worse than adding a product to your cart only to discover it’s unavailable when you’re ready to buy. Clearly mark limited-edition products and let customers know how many are available. This can work to your benefit, and create a great incentive for your buyers too!

3. Get all your products online

Don’t have products online yet? Setting up a new, professional store can be simple with the right ecommerce platform

Keep in mind, shoppers want to buy where they are, anywhere the inspiration to buy strikes. 

If you write a convincing blog, think about adding a buy it now button in the sidebar. Popular on Facebook? Add a Facebook store. Getting good traction from your Instagram stories? Use Instagram shopping to direct more buyers to your products.

4. Backup your site

Make sure that you have backups for everything- site code, product images, and descriptions. You don’t want to miss out on sales because something is missing from your site. 

5. Optimize for Black Friday and Cyber Monday SEO

Trending terms change every year, and you may want to do a keyword search on Google trends to see if there are new ways to describe your products. Add these new terms to your product descriptions for an SEO boost.

6. Test your checkout process

Run through your checkout process, make notes, and make improvements wherever you can. 

This is also a good time to revisit your delivery and return policies. Make sure everything is clear and easy to understand. 

As you do your personal holiday shopping, think about the shopping experience each site gives you. Bookmark sites where you enjoyed the checkout process. Save copy you like in a separate file and go back to it the next time you want to update your site.

7. Optimize your site for mobile shopping

Shoppers don’t just use sites for mobile purchases this time of year, they use them for price checks and product comparison too. 

Picture your shopper in a store in front of a competing product. Can they get everything they need to choose your product instead from your site? Learn everything you need to know to get the most from mobile ecommerce here.

8. Show customers that your site is secure

Many new brands pop up around the holidays. Online shoppers who have seen late delivery or false claims from online businesses could be wary of trying something new. So, make it prominent on your home page that your site is secure, and has a valid SSL certificate.

It's never too early to prepare for a strong black friday and cyber monday, and these tips will help you cover all of your bases for strong sales and holiday ecommerce success

Black Friday and Cyber Monday Tips to Keep the Sales Coming

You’ve done everything you can to show your customers what you’ve got this holiday season. But is everything in place for the big day? Check these items off the list to confirm your small business is ready for sales- Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and beyond.

Staffing

It can be tough to keep people online during a holiday weekend, but your customers come first. You’ll need hands on deck, especially your tech experts and social media pros, to handle customer complaints, questions, and technical issues.

You’ll also want to make sure everyone on the team is aware of every discount and new product. Create a shared document with every holiday sale and discuss how these sales could affect other business processes.

Ecommerce competitors

Be sure to monitor your competitors during this busy season to ensure that your prices stay competitive. 

Follow your competitors on social media, sign up for newsletters, and use sites like Ahrefs to track specific keywords. You may also want to bookmark some price comparison websites to monitor similar products online. Small Business Trends recommends this list of comparison sites. 

Black Friday and Cyber Monday customer experience

Over 40% of Black Friday shoppers regret buying something during this time. 

Find ways to offer valuable experiences for your shoppers who are buying holiday gifts. With dazzling deals, great checkout and delivery you can draw in a new group of customers who love your products and keep them coming back for more. 

If you want more ideas to boost sales when the Cyber Monday deals are done, check out these tips for boosting sales after Cyber Monday

About the author

Jana Rumberger

Jana Rumberger

Jana is Content Manager at Selz. She has expertise in ecommerce strategy, selling products online, and small business solutions. Jana combines diverse experience in education, design, and manufacturing to craft engaging content.

In addition to her writing, she is an active visual artist and foodie in Portland, Oregon.

2 comments

  1. Mary Fielding

    Excellent plan of action for a business. Thank you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *