Black Friday Checklist: 13 Tips to Prepare for BFCM

black friday checklist shopify store

Written by Adriana Pope

November 23, 2022

Our Black Friday ultimate Guide for Shopify merchants will tell you exactly how to make the most money from the holiday shopping season.

Spoiler alert, this year’s strategy revolves around offering subscription products on your store!

According to Zippia, shoppers spend roughly $8.9 billion online during Black Friday in the United States alone.

Black Friday online sales are jumping by 32% each year, so that this year will be even bigger than last year.
Black Friday is around the corner, and you might wonder what to do to prepare.

This guide will cover the top ways to increase your sales on BFCM. 🎉

Watch our quick 5 minute video

1) Offer Free Delivery on Black Friday + Cyber Monday.

free shipping black friday checklist guide

You might be shocked to hear that free and fast shipping was more important to shoppers than price.

Although people love saving money, they also want to ensure they can get the product they buy quickly.

Emphasize fast and free shipping throughout your site, including on an announcement bar, on your homepage, and in bold on the product page. This will up your chances of getting a sale.

People expect free shipping on Black Friday & Cyber Monday, so you might have to recalculate your current product price to make this a reality.

Remember to calculate your margins, so you’re still making a profit at the end of the day.

2) Offer at least one Subscription product in your store.

offer subscription products on shopify store black friday checklist

If you have a product customers love, they’ll always want to receive it.

Having to go back to your website and order it all over again from scratch can be tiresome.

Offering a subscription option on your product pages offers your customers the convenience of getting the product auto-delivered.

The beauty of subscriptions is that it works with auto-pay, so your customers can quickly enter their credit card info once and then get their package regularly.

Not having a subscription option leaves a lot of money on the table because you’re missing out on potential recurring revenue.

So many merchants have started with subscriptions and are surprised by how many recurring orders they get so quickly…give it a go!

3) Put the “Subscribe & Save” button front and center on your homepage.

subscribe and save on homepage black friday checklist tips

It’s essential to have a call to action on your homepage for a high-grossing purchase.

Call to action is popular because folks these days give you 3 seconds before they hit the back button.

If you want someone to do something on your website, it’s best to get their attention immediately so they can buy something.

Here at Ongoing, one of the best things we see merchants do is have a call to action on their homepage.

A standard call to action has a button on the homepage that says “Subscribe & Save 10%,” and when they click that, it takes them straight to
build a box.

The build-a-box feature allows their customers to customize their order by choosing precisely what they want and has the option for a minimum order amount.

This makes your customers happy to be able to mix and match, but it’s also a fantastic way to increase your average order value.

Instead of having one product in their cart, they might have 2-6 products because they are bundling and saving money while earning you a recurring order that continues forever until they cancel.

4) Offer a Subscription Build a Box on your website

The Build a box feature is a new thing that is gaining popularity because it allows customers to subscribe to many products at once.

Build a Box is a great way to help boost your revenue on your shop by offering your customers a fun new way to shop.

Customers love seeing many products at once, so they can skip clicking around your shop.

It also helps you create a sales funnel with a higher conversion so you can capture more purchases.

Build a box is a digital showroom for your products to be on display, allowing your customers to add many products to their cart simultaneously.

If you don’t have to Build a Box, you’re taking advantage of a huge opportunity to get subscription orders with a high cart value.

Your customers will love the idea of Bundle & Save because they can choose what they want while saving money.

As a merchant, you’re incentivized to push Build a Box because customers spend more money with larger subscription orders than buying a one-off product.

5) Have a minimum item amount to get a subscription discount

Discounts are amazing, especially when there is an incentive. Having a minimum item amount to get a subscription discount is an excellent idea because it allows you to upsell your customers to buy more to get the discount. It works out in the end for everyone because maybe that person would only buy the products if they got a subscription discount.

It can make the difference between getting the sale and not.

Having a minimum item amount can also help if you have tight margins and need the customer to buy more to make sense for you to offer a discount.

We usually recommend having a minimum item amount of 2 on the Build a Box feature by Ongoing, and typically customers order between 4-7 items at once.

6) Offer at least three different subscription frequencies

When stores only offer one subscription frequency, like monthly, this kills me.

What if your customer wants to order the product at a different frequency, and you don’t offer that? That’s a lost sale.

What if they go through the product slower and want it every three months? Or every two months? It would be a total loss not to offer more frequencies.

The opposite issue would have too many frequencies. More than four frequency options are overkill and can lead to option fatigue.

7) Don’t be caught creating “Option Fatigue.”

Option Fatigue is when customers are overwhelmed by too many options, so they choose none. That’s right, that means zero sales.

Refrain from being guilty of option fatigue because it can hurt your sales.

How many are too many? I would say cap it at four options max.

If you go over this, people’s minds will wander away into never-ever land where purchases aren’t made.

If you want to offer prepaid plans on top or gift subscriptions, consider creating a separate product page just for these unique subscription options.
People like simple, easy-to-understand products to buy, so give them that.

8) Offer a one-time discount code on your subscription products

We recommend letting customers stack discounts on Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

There are two tricks you should follow!

Tip #1 You can create a discount code that applies only to subscription products, this way, you can push people toward subscribing to a recurring order!

Tip #2 is you should make that discount code only apply to the first recurring payment.

That means if the discount code is for an additional 5% off, and the subscription product is already 10% off, the customer will get 15% off their first order, and then it’ll go back down to 10% off for all future recurring charges.

You can email customers this discount code as a marketing promotion to get people to subscribe.

The downside to coupon codes is that some people might only see them if you advertise them in an email or an announcement bar.

9) Make your subscription discounts just a little deeper for BFCM

If emailing a discount code isn’t your style, what about creating a heavier discount for your subscription products just for the BFCM

The beauty of having a deeper discount is that new customers can sign up at this great new price.

Existing customers will stay at their current discount.

The pros to this are it’s much more attractive to sign up at a deeper discount, so if you usually have 10% off, you can offer 15% or 20% off.

The recurring discount, in this case, would be forever, unlike the discount code (which is typically set up for only the first payment)

The advantage of this approach is the customer doesn’t have to enter a discount code to see the more considerable saving. It’s automatic. And they can see the new price discounted instantly on the product page.

Another advantage is that you can change your subscription discount to what it was after BFCM.

10) Create a Subscription Landing page

A subscription landing page is a great way to educate shoppers about the benefits of subscribing.

An excellent example of a subscription landing page is UWU Subscription Box, which explains how their subscription box works and the perks of being part of their community.

People love subscribing but want to ensure they will be taken care of.

Having a subscription landing page helps you get people onboard with your subscription program.

Benefits you can cover on a landing page:

Subscribers can Cancel or Pause anytime
Emphasis on the savings they’ll get by subscribing over a one-off purchase
Please talk about the community they’ll join.
Access to a Subscriber Portal where they can make changes
If you have any other perks for subscriptions, like a Discord chat or gifts, you can mention that as well
Auto-ship ( if you offer free delivery, remember to talk about this!)
The convenience of Auto-Pay

11) Offer Gift Subscriptions

Gift subscriptions are a great way to get more revenue in your store by attracting customers that want to purchase a product for a friend or family.

Gift subscriptions are attractive for the holiday season; it’s perfect timing during BFCM because people are looking for a Christmas gift.

If the customer orders on BFCM, they can get delivery in November, December, and January. Or you could delay your fulfillment and do deliveries in December, January, and February (totally up to you!)

During the holidays, people are searching for that special gift for someone else, and if they already love your products, they’ll want to buy from your website first.

The way gift subscriptions work is that the sender can choose 3/ 6/ 12 months prepaid, and the product will be delivered every month.

So the difference between a regular subscription and a gift subscription is after the 3/6/12 months, the deliveries would stop.

12) Make sure you have good customer reviews

Another shocking fact is that shoppers care more about good reviews than price.
That means if you don’t have any reviews or you have bad reviews, you might lose some sales.
Shoppers care a lot about a store with good reviews and are likelier to buy a product on Black Friday with a five-star rating.
If you are wondering what review apps you should be getting, check out this article here.
If you already have great customer reviews, that’s awesome! Just remember those reviews live on your website only and aren’t visible on google search results unless you have a “rich result code” on your website.
Don’t get worried. Although this crazy lingo sounds super complicated, it’s available automatically from the Shopify app, such as Get Clicked SEO.
Get Clicked SEO helps to display your customer reviews on google search results so people can see those reviews when searching online.
Google reviews get your clicks and drive traffic, and can land you a sale!

13) Make sure your website looks good & works perfectly on mobile

According to Zippia, 43% of Black Friday sales are made on mobile phones.

Sometimes when I meet merchants in person and show them how their website works on my phone, they are shocked.

The number one issue I see is not finding products quickly. Make sure you have a collection for “all products” and make this accessible directly on the homepage.

The standard top navigation links on the homepage are “Shop.”

The second most common issue is difficulty finding their subscription box or product.

Is the thing you want me to buy buried under many page clicks? If so, that’s a bad sign.

The third most common issue is needing a search bar on your website. If someone wants to look for something quickly, give them that option.

Try testing it out! Grab your phone or iPad and go to your website.

Pretend you’re a customer and want to buy your product, place it in the cart, and try to see how the checkout works.

Are you having any issues? See any problems? Make sure to fix these issues on Mobile before Black Friday.

Grow your Revenue with Ongoing Subscriptions

Check out Ongoing Subscriptions which is an amazing app for helping you to create subscription products instantly so you can start getting recurring revenue.

Try the Ongoing Subscriptions app for free, get a 30 day free trial.

black friday sale shopify store guide

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