How to Prepare for Black Friday and Cyber Monday

By Thomas Bennett Financial expert at Priceva
Published on October 9, 2023
"Black Friday" and "Cyber Monday" are globally recognized as the most popular sale periods in the retail calendar. Black Friday emerged as a significant phenomenon in the United States in the mid-20th century. In the ensuing years, this successful method of stimulating pre-holiday sales continued to gain popularity and has now successfully swept the globe.
In the U.S., this event kicks off the day after Thanksgiving, marking the start of the Christmas sales season.

The Monday following "Black Friday" also received a special moniker. Given that key sales on this day are primarily online, it is aptly called "Cyber Monday". These two events even share a common acronym, BFCM (Black Friday Cyber Monday).

Discounts on these days are offered by both brick-and-mortar stores and online retailers. For each of these events, there's a dedicated aggregator website, where a plethora of offers from participating online stores are gathered in one place.

If you own an online store, it's advisable not to miss this opportunity to boost sales and prepare for this event.

Preparing for the Event

When planning your sales, focus on the coordinated efforts of your marketing, distribution, customer service, and IT departments. To ensure everything runs smoothly, your staff needs to work as a cohesive team. Every team member should know and understand their role during the event. This way, you can optimize your sales process and minimize risks in case of unexpected circumstances.

Additionally, if needed, make arrangements in advance to hire temporary staff to handle extra tasks. Whether a temp is responding to customer messages or packing and shipping goods, make sure they are trained and well-equipped to perform their assigned task effectively.

Ensure that when launching a promotion on new platforms or markets, you are adequately prepared. If you want to safeguard against unforeseen contingencies, consider hiring e-commerce professionals to ensure a smooth process.

Let's walk through the points that need to be addressed before the kick-off.

1. Calculate Your Inventory

Take the time to select the assortment for your sale well in advance. You can use various tools for inventory management and assortment analysis. Market data gives you an insight into which products are in high demand, allows you to determine sales volumes, and keeps you updated with current prices. This information will help you calculate the necessary stock for the sale period.

2. Optimize Your Advertisements

Review your advertisements and ensure they meet all requirements, are persuasive, and attractive. Aim to have ad headlines that are motivating and contain the keywords consumers use to search for products similar to yours.

Prepare high-quality images of your products for advertisements to attract buyers' attention. This is especially important in highly competitive markets.

Focus on detailed descriptions, highlight key features, and list product advantages to increase ad conversion, attract more customers, boost sales, and ultimately raise your profit.

3. Be Competitive in Pricing

Pricing management is crucial in preparing for "Black Friday" and "Cyber Monday". Most market players will participate in the sale, which means consumers will be comparing your prices with your competitors'.

Before the sale kicks off, you should study the pricing of your main competitors and especially the information about discounts and promotions they offer. This way, you can determine what prices to set for "Black Friday" and "Cyber Monday" to remain competitive in the market while not harming your company's financial health.

4. Focus on Customer Service

If you want to prepare for "Black Friday", concentrate on fine-tuning your customer service processes. Remember, high efficiency and impeccable service are the keys to the success of the upcoming sales.

If you sell your products on marketplaces, work on improving your company's rating and the ratings of the products included in the sale.

A Good Customer Experience is Essential

A thoughtful customer experience promotes sales growth. Ensure that your customer support service can answer all questions about your products or services that may arise from your customers.

E-commerce Chatbots

According to IBM, chatbots can reduce customer service costs by 30% as 68% of respondents are more likely to buy from a company that offers convenient communication.

Chatbots are a useful service for online shoppers. They can help inform when products are out of stock and suggest alternatives. They can also be used to alert customers about delivery, order status, or even suggest products depending on what the customer is looking for.

Another advantage of using chatbots is the feature of reminding customers about their abandoned shopping carts. Some customers unintentionally abandon their carts, and if this happens, a chatbot is a good way to inform them about the status of their cart and help complete the purchase.

5. Review Your Return Policy

Many online sellers underestimate the importance of their return policy. Keep in mind that longer return periods can increase your chances of boosting sales and earning higher profits. Also, analyze your competitors in the market and see what they are doing in this direction. If you see something you can borrow to improve your policy, adjust it. Don't give your competitors any advantages.

6. Expand Your Advertising Activities

Key online players increase their advertising activity in the run-up to "Cyber Monday" or "Black Friday". You should also consider stepping up your advertising activity during this period.

▪️ As 60% of consumers use social media to learn about new products and services, focus on promoting your products on social media and actively engage influencers.

▪️ Use information about your customers' behavior on your site to send them relevant product recommendations by email, which can increase your click-through rate, conversion rate, and revenue.

▪️ Use local SEO, paid advertising, and other marketing tactics to attract customers.

7. Meet Customers' Expectations for Delivery and Payment

Offer Multiple Payment Methods

The more payment options you offer, the more likely you are to engage a wider audience and make more money. Surveys show that 12% of online shoppers have canceled their last purchase because they couldn't pay for it the way they wanted.

Offer Easy Delivery and Return of Parcels

During Black Friday sales, it's important to be honest with customers when it comes to delivering their ordered goods. Be clear and inform your customers about your rates and delivery methods. Provide a clear delivery policy that ensures your customer knows how long delivery may take under current circumstances.

Provide various delivery options: to the door, to the pickup point, to the post office, to the offline store pickup point if the brand has such. If the delivery process is not made simple and transparent, this can lead to a high percentage of refusals.

8. Don't Forget About Mobile Customers

Website Mobile Optimization

The importance of sales via mobile devices cannot be underestimated. In 2021, 73% of total e-commerce sales worldwide were made through gadgets.

According to Salescycle, 56% of online sales in 2021 were made via mobile devices. Additionally, global e-commerce traffic on mobile devices is 2.47 times higher than on desktop computers.

In 2021, during the November sales days, 71% of transactions were made from mobile devices, while only 29% were made from desktop computers.

So, it's safe to say: your online store must work on smartphones and tablets, and therefore have a mobile-optimized interface.

Mobile Apps

In recent years, the popularity of mobile apps has been growing, and they deliver excellent results. Companies with a mobile app have a significant advantage over companies that do not have an app.

In mobile apps, conversion is 157% higher than in the mobile version of the online store. If you do not have an app yet, it's crucial that the website is highly optimized for mobile devices.

Mobile Search

The mobile platform is the most common platform to start a search, and in many cases, it's where the buyer's journey begins.

According to Simicart:

▪️ 48% of shoppers use a mobile device to start searching with a search engine.

▪️ 58% of Google search queries are made via a mobile device. In 2016, it was 34%.

▪️ 65% of clicks on Google paid search results come from a mobile device.

9. Use Reviews to Increase Sales

Online shoppers do research before making a purchase, gathering information about the product they want to buy. Reading user reviews about products and studying ratings is part of the purchase decision-making process.

Request Feedback and Use It

Did you know this?
▪️ 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
▪️ Only 12% of consumers ignore reviews before making a purchase.
▪️ 85% of consumers say they read up to 10 reviews before making a decision.
▪️ 50 or more reviews on a product can mean a 4-5% increase in conversion rate.

Work actively to stimulate the generation of reviews by satisfied customers, encourage them for it.

Communicate with Your Customers

A company that only has positive reviews doesn't look genuine. If there are no negative reviews, customers will suspect that they are all fake. It's well known that unhappy, offended customers are more likely to write a review than happy, satisfied customers. Therefore, the most effective strategy will be to set up a response system that can handle all reviews, both positive and negative.

One thing is for sure: bad reviews are not necessarily harmful to business. If a retailer promptly and effectively handles the negative, it often convinces hesitant buyers to make a purchase. It's essential to turn a negative review into a favorable opportunity.

10. Act in Advance to Ensure Success for "Black Friday" and "Cyber Monday"

Many companies wait too long before they start thinking about one of the most significant online sales of the year. By constantly interacting with your target audience throughout the year, you can keep your brand in the spotlight, and then when the decision is made about whose "Black Friday" and "Cyber Monday" sale to take advantage of, they will remember you.

Shoppers Start Looking for Deals in October

Start early: shoppers start looking and planning purchases in October. Tell your customers about your "Black Friday" deals in advance. The earlier they know about your offers, the better they will be able to take advantage of them. And the more revenue you will get.

Plan and Write a Checklist

▪️ What discounts and on which products should be made?
▪️ When should prices be set?
▪️ When should the text / email be sent to customers?

Test and Make Sure Your Site is Ready

Ensure your site is ready for "Black Friday" by checking it for potential malfunctions. Check whether the site can handle the expected traffic throughout the event.

What to Sell during "Black Friday"?

Google says there has been a sharp increase in queries for products and services that improve people's living and working conditions, as well as personal space.

Electronics and Appliances

During the sales, many are preparing for the New Year holidays. Appliances and gadgets are among the most popular New Year gifts, so during "Black Friday," the demand for them is consistently high.

The greatest surge of interest is caused by smartphones, TVs, robot vacuum cleaners.

Home Goods

Research shows that the new economy is a "homebody economy." People spend more time at home. COVID has accustomed many to live, work, eat, and entertain at home.

This leads to increased demand for goods that bring comfort to the home and make household chores easier.

During the sale days, such products as baking mats, food storage containers, water filters, etc., are in demand.

Beauty and Health

Hygiene and care products usually have a long shelf life and can be bought in advance. Therefore, many shoppers actively buy replacement blades, electric toothbrushes, hair products, perfumes, decorative cosmetics during sales days.

Children's Goods

In November, parents massively buy winter goods for children and what they will give for the New Year. Children's clothing and shoes, toys, and creativity sets are in demand.

Form an Assortment for Sale Considering Price Sensitivity
It's important to understand and consider different shoppers, including those with a smaller budget.

Here's what you can do to attract a price-sensitive audience:

▪️ Add affordable products/brands to your range;

▪️ Offer larger packs (family, economical);

▪️ Make sure you offer competitive prices, which is what people expect;

▪️ Allow the customer to assemble a set of goods from the list at a good price themselves;

▪️ Send personalized emails to your subscribers with discounts on products they have previously shown interest in and that you are interested in selling.

Try to understand the needs and interests of your customers. Help them make rational purchasing decisions, offer them discounts that they really consider useful.


"Black Friday" and "Cyber Monday" are important events for retail sellers. They offer the opportunity to make good money, clear the warehouse of old and slow-moving goods, and for buyers - it's a chance to buy desired goods with big discounts. If you want to properly prepare for these events, pay attention to all the above recommendations.

Good luck with your sales!

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