Prepare your store for Black Friday

Prepare your store for Black Friday

6 min read

Can you believe that we’re past halfway through 2021 already? What this means of course is that Black Friday Cyber Monday (BFCM) planning is now a major priority in your business at the moment. BFCM and gifting season is the period when many merchants see the lion’s share of their annual sales in the year.

Every year we have seen BFCM grow and last year was no exception with a boom in online stores and shoppers throughout the year because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Last year, Shopify store owners globally made an astounding $5.1 billion in sales during BFCM, up 76% from 2019. The average cart value was $89.20.

Being well-prepared for BFCM means that your site will be ready for the subsequent Halloween and festive season gifting period when you’ll no doubt want to maintain high quality of customer service while coping with the influx of sales. 

Find out exactly what improvements the ShopCreatify team can make to your Shopify store in time for BFCM 2021.

Get an early start on BFCM

Our best advice is to get an early start on your BFCM strategy, keeping in mind that even a modest amount of custom functionality can take over a month to progress from specification to go-live. Focusing on making your website BFCM-ready this early in the year gives you ample time to iron out kinks and squash pesky bugs in time.

There is no better time than now to look at all your processes and start doing some upgrades and housekeeping.

The size of your business will affect the scale of the undertaking but there are a few things we can point out for you to consider in making the most of the craziness that is to come.

Knowing that your platform is sound and optimized to convert the maximum sales, and that your marketing strategies have been working hard for you in the lead up to BFCM, will allow you to focus your energies where they’re needed on the big day.

Website Improvements

Your ecommerce store is the most important thing alongside your product, so use every metric at your disposal to assess and iron out any UX issues or faults before BFCM. There are always things to be done that can drastically improve your online store, not just your conversion rate but also your search results, user experience and marketability.

These will include bugs that you or customers have encountered, improvements to the User Interface (UI), new features that you would like to implement, improving website discoverability (SEO related), and other changes to boost upsell and conversions.

Review the current performance of your website using all the tools at your disposal, including Google Analytics, Google PageSpeed Insights, Google Mobile-Friendly Test, Backlink Checker, and Hotjar – a heat mapping tool – to find out where your users are getting stuck. Using real data allows you to make tweaks to the most important parts of your store. Prioritize the pain points that directly affect your customers (as opposed to backend issues that only affect you and your team).

Compare the performance results to your goals as this will also help you identify which to focus on first.

Use analytics from your Shopify Reports

Shopify dashboard


Just checking your dashboard alone will give you a good understanding of how your site is performing at a glance.

We cannot stress how vital it is to track user behavior on your website, including how your marketing efforts are converting into sales. There is a lot that you can learn from your Shopify analytics. This is what you will be able see on your Overview dashboard:

  • Compare the value of your recent sales with a previous time period
  • Compare how well your sales channels are performing
  • Track your average order value
  • See where your visitors are coming from - by region or by social media source
  • Monitor the trends over time

Product/Stock functionalities or apps

Take a moment to go back to the basics - starting with your product. Make sure it is these five things:

  1. In demand
  2. Of high quality
  3. Well explained on your website
  4. Well presented
  5. Correctly priced

If even one of these don’t meet the criteria, then you still have time to tweak your product and website.

If you have the time and capacity, consider implementing back in stock notifications, abandoned cart recovery features, and stock level indication functionality. These will help boost your sales conversions and keep customers happy.

Marketing Infrastructure

Photo by Campaign Creators

The value of digital marketing should not be overlooked as it forms a firm pillar in the model for successful ecommerce. It is a broad term that covers everything that represents your brand online as well as the processes that go into generating new business opportunities. This year you will be competing with more online stores than ever, so growing your audience as much as possible in preparation for the gifting season is key.

These are our top seven marketing initiatives to channel your energy into:

  • Organic - includes word-of-mouth, viral marketing, PR, social media, network marketing, direct sales, and anything else where customers come to you naturally over time.
  • Content- these include blogs or articles, creating education media (about your product or the need thereof), useful pieces of content like free guides or infographics.
  • Paid - online affords many places to pay for advertising including Google Ads and Facebook/Instagram Ads (this includes boosted or sponsored content).
  • Social - all the social platforms that your market frequents, often includes Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, TikTok, and Twitter.
  • Email - keep in touch with your potential customers via email through newsletters and other email campaigns. Optimize your transactional emails to boost repeat sales using tools like Spently to automate it. Get to grips with a tool like this so that you can use it for your BFCM campaigns with full confidence.
  • Automation - automated marketing campaigns can be ‘always-on’ lead generating channels. They can be set up once and run automatically, warming up leads and bringing in sales - if you start now you can have some hot leads by the time BFCM rolls in. Look into implementing an automation flow tool like Klaviyo to take full advantage.
  • Reviewscustomer reviews are new age, ‘word-of-mouth’ gold. Incorporate social proof into your completed sales follow up and your automated processes to ensure that most of your products have reviews on them.


Consider your current man-power. Will you be able to cope with the influx of sales if business, say, doubles? If your projections for the rise in sales at the end of the year are solid (perhaps based on last year’s numbers - still accounting for growth during this year) then it should be quite easy to figure out whether you’re going to cope with fulfillment and customer support.

If you need to hire some staff but don’t need a bigger team full-time, consider hiring seasonal staff or freelancers until things go back to normal. Make sure everyone is on board with the possibility of a bit of overtime during the 4-day bonanza that is BFCM and ensure they’re all on the same page about rotas and support.

Things will very likely get hectic during this period with the influx of orders and the pressure to keep up with fulfillment, without also having to deal with housekeeping issues.


Will you be able to keep up without compromising on something? Be smart about keeping track of your stock. Perhaps look into Shopify apps like Stock2Shop to monitor stock levels to ensure you don’t sell products you don’t have stock of. This helps you to avoid customer frustration and to keep shipping deadlines.

If the turnover for shipping is going to be longer, due to greater demand, make your customers aware of changes to expected delivery times or find a way to optimize your fulfillment processes. Try as much as possible to keep your fulfillment fast and efficient, while keeping your customers in the loop as much as possible.

Given the likelihood of significantly more orders than usual over this period, consider putting a little something extra in your packages this year. A handwritten note, a voucher for another purchase, a small free gift or anything else that you can budget for that will endear you to your customers and ensure a fruitful Q1 of 2022 as well as increased customer retention.


Sales and discounts

Photo by Markus Spiske

A lot of brands use this as a great time to implement incentives such as discounts, buy-one-get-one-free deals, store points, or free shipping. These are great ways to try and win over customers from competitors who may be offering a similar product range. They also encourage repeat business and customer loyalty, especially if the reward system accumulates benefits with every purchase (for example).

Warm up your customers in the weeks building up to the big event; hint at deals and discounts, encourage customers to build wish lists and share your content. You can even offer pre-ordering for limited stock items.

Don’t panic

The build up to and actual days of BFCM, while exciting, are also extremely stressful and overwhelming. We encourage you not to panic. Take deep breaths, start planning and implementing your strategies now, and if you’re not coping, hire some extra help! 

Find out exactly what improvements the ShopCreatify team can make to your Shopify store in time for BFCM 2021.

Gabi Falanga
Gabi Falanga

Hi, I’m Gabi, a communication specialist who loves writing about interesting topics. Follow me for more information.