Black Friday and Cyber Monday are by far the biggest shopping events in the US.

Last year, online spending on Black Friday surged 21.6% to hit a new record $9 billion while Cyber Monday grew 15.1% to reach almost $11 billion, according to data from Adobe Analytics.

To make the most out of these two events, you need to prepare your store properly. Here are five proven methods that will help you break your own sales records in 2021.

Method #1: Provide Exclusive Discounts to Loyal Customers

Everybody loves discounts. No matter what industry you are in or where your store is located, giving discounts will make your customers happy.

In the US, 93% of shoppers use a coupon or discount code throughout the year. A study by Blippr found that online shoppers who use coupon codes spend 24% more than those who don’t use them.

Discounts sit at the base of Black Friday and Cyber Monday’s power. It’s why so many people buy in those times—they know they are getting steep discounts for only one day a year.

However, discounts can also lower your profit margins unnecessarily. Remember that a discount lowers your selling price, which is one half of what defines your profit margins. Lower your prices too aggressively, and you will lower your profits equally so.

One solution that can overcome this dilemma is to make your discounts exclusive.

The goal of this method relies on excluding people who don’t qualify for a discount. Who would you want to exclude?

  • Anyone who’s purchased under the average AOV
  • Anyone with a high return rate
  • Anyone who’s not participated in a giveaway or survey
  • Anyone who’s not in your loyalty program

Why will you target loyal customers only? Because you want to reward them.

When you reward a customer for buying from your store, you make them more likely to purchase again in the future. In this sense, a customer loyalty program becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy: your company rewards its customers, and these, in turn, keep buying from it, ad infinitum.

Bain & Company’s research found that companies with strong loyalty programs grow revenues 2.5 times faster than their competitors and generate 100-400% higher returns to their shareholders. That’s the case of a B2B plumbing online retailer that increased its AOV by 319% after implementing a loyalty program.

loyalty program email

Source: Getsitecontrol.com

Giving exclusive discounts not only will keep your profits healthier, but it will also make the discount itself much more valuable to your loyal customers.

Creating discounts is quite easy with PinnacleCart. All you need to do is enable wholesale discounts in your settings and set the discount to your desired amount. You can also create custom discounts for specific customers.

Finally, you can create promo codes and show them throughout your site through the use of popups, social media, or email marketing campaigns.

Method #2: Offer Unique Deals

Exclusivity isn’t only for loyal customers. You can extend the benefits of your exclusive discounts to everybody by making your existing deals unique.

By “unique deals,” I mean making them so that they become, to quote The Godfather, “an offer they can’t refuse.”

Let’s step back a second and think it through. Take any product you sell—that’s your offer, right?

Now, think about the way you position it. Most likely, you sell them individually, which is fine on a basic look. Whether you discount them or not, your products won’t look that special.

However, you can maximize your discount’s effectiveness by positioning them differently with a set of methods like:

  • Bundles: Offer two or more complementary products together at a discount.
  • Purchase protection extensions: You can discount the warranty extension, the extended customer support, and other purchase protection methods.
  • Gift: You can offer a free coupon for future orders, an ebook (such as those that cooking tools like InstaPot offer), and so on.
  • 2-for-1 deals: You can discount the same product if the customer buys it in bulk.

These simple techniques will make your Black Friday and Cyber Monday discounts much more unique and special. What’s more, your customers will be tempted to buy more than they would have originally, increasing your AOV.

Think about the products you plan on discounting during Cyber Week—that is, the week between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday—and how you can offer them in a bundle. Apply the same analysis to the other three unique discounting methods described above to find the right option.

Method #3: Leverage Scarcity

In 1975, a team of researchers conducted a study to understand better how scarcity impacts people’s perception.

The researchers tested offering cookies in two identical glass jars, one with ten cookies and one with only two, which the participants had to rate.

The researchers found that the participants rated the cookies in the latter jar much higher than the ones from the more abundant jar, despite the fact the cookies in both were the same.

Why does this test matter? Well, it matters because the scarcer a product your customers perceive, the more they will value it. Just as you don’t value what you have, the opposite is true.

Likewise, you can make your Black Friday and Cyber Monday discounts more enticing by making them scarcer.

I’m aware that a big part of both holidays’ popularity stems from the fact retailers offer steep discounts for a short time. However, you want to increase the discount even further by using timers or countdowns.

A timer specifies the time the customers have until a discount is gone. They should see how many days, hours, minutes, and seconds they have remaining. Your copy should expand this by reinstating the discounts will be gone soon.

timers or countdowns

Source: Getsitecontrol.com

You can also show the remaining stock you have until the offer is gone. This also adds a level of urgency that your visitors will want to take advantage of.

limited stock

Source: Econsultancy.com

Method #4: Prepare a Month-Long Pre-Launch Email Sequence

By the eve of Thanksgiving, anybody will know what’s about to happen the following day. Therefore, you may be tempted to think you don’t need to prepare your audience for all of the discounts that you will offer during Cyber Week.

Yet, that would be a big mistake.

Sure, people will know that your store will offer steep discounts, but that doesn’t mean they will know which products you will discount or how much you will discount them for.

You want to create excitement around your discounts and your products with a pre-launch email sequence, so people start buying in droves by the time Black Friday arrives.

Ideally, you want to start running it a month previous to the start of Black Friday. You want to segment your email campaign and start with your most loyal subscribers—those that open and click through your emails and even those that have purchased recently. Doing so will lead to higher revenue growth, as a study from Campaign Monitor showed that marketers who send segmented campaigns note as much as a 760% increase in revenue.

In this email sequence, you want to explain what products you will discount and how much you will discount them for. You can even offer day-long discounts—not as steep as those during Cyber Week—to prime your email subscribers for future discounts.

email sequence black friday

Source: Mailjet.com

Any email marketing tool will let you run an automated email sequence like I’m showing you here.

Method #5: Retargeting Every Visitor

During Cyber Week, you will likely see a rise in visitors from people searching for special discounts. Those that leave may never come back—in fact, 97% of people who visit your site for the first time leave without buying anything.

All your efforts to attract more visitors will be in vain…unless you retarget them.

Retargeting is a marketing tactic where you tag your visitors with a cookie and follow them along the web showing them ads in different sites they visit so they come back to your store.

Wishpond found that the average CTR for retargeting ads is 10 times higher than regular display ads. Why? Because they are relevant.

The people you retarget already know your store, making them more likely to come back. Better yet, you can retarget them with the products they saw in your store but didn’t buy. You can even retarget them to recover your abandoned carts.

To retarget your visitors, all you need to do is pick a retargeting tool like AdRoll, set up the cookies, and create a campaign like you normally would in any other advertising platform.

Conclusion

Some experts predict that Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2021 will be the largest event so far. Its effects will be seen before and after these dates, extending their benefits even further.

On November 26 (Black Friday) and November 29 (Cyber Monday), and in the days in between, you should expect to see an incredible increase in your sales. With the five methods shown here, not only will you be able to do so, but you will also make it the most profitable week of 2021.

Ivan Kreimer is a content marketer at Getsitecontrol, a leading popup builder that 5000+ Shopify stores use to get more email subscribers and sales. For the past six years, Ivan has been published in influential sites like Shopify, BigCommerce, Entrepreneur, and MarketingProfs. He also likes helping people become freelance writers on Content Fiesta.