Black Friday and Cyber Monday are now two of the busiest and biggest online shopping days of the year. Are you ready?

What's the difference?

Black Friday falls the day after Thanksgiving in the US, and Cyber Monday is always the following Monday. Black Friday has been around longer and originally existed as a solely bricks and mortar shopping trip. Some of the traditions of Black Friday have carried over; people expect some fanfare, such as free gifts or giveaways, which tend not to be as expected with Cyber Monday. Cyber Monday was originally the online equivalent to Black Friday, but now both are an online event, and high street shops have also started to get involved in Cyber Monday.

Quick facts:

  • Black Friday now exists in both physical stores and online
  • Cyber Monday shoppers care more about pricing than brand
  • Cyber Monday shoppers complete more online research
  • UK spent £3.3 billion between Black Friday and Cyber Monday last year
  • Traffic was 60% higher on Cyber Monday than on a normal 2015 day
  • Sources:

    Tips and Best Practice

    Free shipping or gift

    People have come to expect free shipping as part of the deal. It's not easy for everyone to offer this, especially if margins are already tight because of discounts, but if you can you're likely to see a higher conversion rate. If you can't offer free shipping, you could try another incentive such as a free gift with every Black Friday or Cyber Monday purchase.

    Banners and artwork

    It's not just about creating offers, you need to let people know they exist. Have offers arranged and agreed with plenty of time to get graphics produced such as landing page banners, advertising for affiliate marketing if you're using it, and images for mailouts if you're announcing offers that way as well.

    Social media advertising

    Use Facebook and Twitter advertising to target your demographic and to focus on those looking for deals on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. It's some of the most targeted advertising around, allowing you to promote to specific interest groups and geographical locations. You'll also get a few welcome Likes for your business page along the way.

    Dedicated deal page

    Make sure you have a specific landing page on site that has everything on one page, so shoppers can quickly see what's available and when. Ensure it's clearly laid out so your most prominent/successful offers hit people as soon as they enter. And don't be afraid to change the order of things based on what's selling and what's not.

    Scheduled deals & limited offers

    If you're organised enough you could release new deals every hour to keep the excitement levels at a premium. Again, it's something that larger websites do and therefore shoppers can relate to. Features like countdown clocks are a great way of adding to the excitement as well.

    Last year's statistics

    Look at your analytics system to see what happened last year to try and predict how shoppers will act this year. What are they buying, how much are they buying, and where are they coming from? This information will help you decide this year's deals and where to advertise.

    Make sure your site is ready

    Spend extra time preparing by boosting your hosting plan, optimising landing pages and the checkout process. This will obviously help if you receive a spike in traffic on the big days, but it's also a good chance to sort out any problems you've got with your site ahead of the Christmas period.

    Start early!

    Retailers like Amazon and Argos have started Black Friday discounts nearly 2 weeks early this year. You could try getting ahead of the rush to see if you reap the benefits.