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BFCM Prep: 10 ways to set up promotions for Black Friday and Cyber Monday

BFCM Prep: 10 ways to set up promotions for Black Friday and Cyber Monday

Reviewed and updated fo BFCM 2018.

As Black Friday and Cyber Monday approach, many Shopify merchants are wrestling with how to attract customers with the best possible offers — while still remaining profitable.

Here’s a quick roundup of some of the most popular ways to offer great deals on BCFM, along with how to implement them on your site quickly and easily.

Shopify free shipping

  • Free shipping: Shopify has a built in free shipping option to easily allow for this popular offer.

Black Friday percent discount

Shopify fixed discount

  • Dollar off discounts: Create discount codes for flat dollar amounts, using the minimum order feature is needed. You can also create and distribute multiple codes based on “tiers” of flat rate discounts.

Shopify product discounts

  • Specific product offers: Create a discount code that is limited to select products or collections. Also keep in mind, with all discount codes, that Shopify lets you restrict discount codes to a total number of uses or one use per customer email address.

Shopify limited quantity sales

Shopify flash sale

  • Loss leaders: Use the “sale price” feature to temporarily lower the price of select items. Alternatively, use a discount code restrict your discount to a specific item or collection.
  • Flash sales: Instead of using a third party app, simply update your pricing manually when the deadline passes. This will also allow you the flexibility to extend the offer if sales are on a roll.

Shopify quantity left

  • Quantity limited sales: Create a product using the special price with limited quantities and temporarily hide the normally priced on. If you don’t normally track inventory, enable this feature for this product during your sale. Apps can also add this functionality and automate the process, but controlling it manually can be a good way to extend the offer if you’re getting good momentum. To add a sense of urgency, enable the "quantity remaining" feature if your Shopify theme supports it.

Free gift

  • Free gift with purchase: Use the “gift wrap” feature to let customers select if they want the free item (this does require offering the same gift to any order, regardless of size). Alternatively, use your “terms and conditions” text on your cart page to remind users that they will get the free item with purchase. Another alternative is to add some custom code with text about the free gift with purchase.
  • Free gift card for later use: The easiest way to do this is to use a discount code disguised as a gift card (this also lets you offer “gift cards” without having a gift card enabled Shopify plan). Either create a batch of codes that can be emailed out to customers one by one or simply use what appears to be a unique, random string of text to send to all eligible customers. If you use this method, you may want to set an expiration date for the “gift card” (most locales allow promotional gift cards to expire) and a note that the code must be used all at once since the code can’t be updated to offer different discount amounts for unused balances (again, in most areas this is legal, but check your local laws to be sure). You likely will want to limit the code to one use per customer.
  • Also, in 2018, Shopify added "BOGO" or "By X Get Y Discounts" as well as the ability to apply these types of discounts automatically. These two features are not only a great way to use strategies such as "free gift with purchase" but also make it apply automatically — no discount code required.

As with any business promotion, you’ll want to carefully weigh the costs of your offers as well as your long term business goals. For example, if your business offers products that customers may buy again in the future, it may be worth creating more enticing offers to acquire the customer — and then use carefully planned follow up to encourage repeat orders.

On the other hand, if customers are unlikely to need to buy from you again in the future, be sure to consider this when creating your offers.

It’s also worth consider how “giftable” your products are — and, if they are, you may be abe to get two future customers out of a single offer. Of course, this depends largely on what you are selling and who is buying it and who is receiving it.

For example, a man buying a gift for his wife may not be likely to buy your products for himself, but there is the possibility he might buy for friends or relatives. If your product has broader appeal, however, both the gift giver and recipient may be potential lifetime customers.

Black Friday promo bar

Finally, be sure to market your special offers through the use of your theme’s promo bar, special sections, email marketing, social media, advertising and other efforts.

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