6 eCommerce Lessons from Black Friday Cyber Monday 2017

The biggest eCommerce event of the year is done and dusted.  But what eCommerce lessons did we learn from Black Friday Cyber Monday (BFCM) 2017?

Shopify reports that its eCommerce sites alone saw over $1 billion in BFCM sales this year, reminding us of the huge potential to increase revenue over this period.

In this blog post we explore six takeaways from the eCommerce marketing we saw this year, to help you plan for a successful in BFCM 2018.

1) Tease to build anticipation

The eCommerce brands that win at BFCM sales are those that tease consumers with a glimpse of what to expect from their sales event before it starts.

This helps to build anticipation. Sending a teaser email before the sale starts primes shoppers to snap up the items they’ve had their eye on as soon as the sale event starts.

This teaser from Very was framed as a newbie’s guide to Black Friday. The way it allows consumers to browse the upcoming deals in advance and “save for later” works well.

BFCM lessons Very teaser email

2) Pre-release to loyal customers

By pre-releasing your offers to loyal customers, you are able to spread out sales and traffic across a longer period.

VIP and pre-release offers make the BFCM sales period work harder for you. Doing so also helps to reward loyal customers and strengthen their belief in your brand. Here’s how Adidas employed this tactic:

BFCM lessons adidas VIP offer

3) Make discounts easy to understand

It might make financial sense to offer a 18% discount, but will it make sense to your customers?

It is important to make the discounts you offer easy to understand—and calculate—at a glance. Shoppers get easily distracted online, so don’t give them a reason to pause and end up clicking away from your site.

4) Apply offers across your whole inventory

You may have specific categories that you want to discount, but doing so may exclude some shoppers who might have bought from another category.

Try to apply your offers across your entire inventory to make your sale relevant to all of your potential customers.

This example from Levis shows how to do this well:

BFCM lessons sitewide discount Levis

5) Always send a last chance email

Our fifth tip is that you should always send a last chance email. Doing so when the offer has only 24 hours left to go will help you get a second wave of traffic.

Often last chance emails generate more sales than release emails because they hook into the consumer’s fear of missing out.

Here’s a strong example of a last chance email from MyProtein. The brand reduced the discount amount with a countdown as the end of the sale approached, to encourage people to take action quickly.

BFCM lessons myprotein last chance

6) Extend your sale beyond Cyber Monday

In 2017, some retailers extended BFCM out into a whole week of sales.

A lot of customers are busy and might not have time over the weekend to take advantage of deals, so don’t be afraid to extend your offers beyond Cyber Monday.

This tactic can give you a competitive edge if your competitors are only running until Monday. Here’s an example from Timberland of this approach in action:

BFCM lessons extended sale


We hope our six eCommerce lessons from BFCM 2017 have given you a head start on your planning for this busy sales period next time round.

If you’re in the process of planning your eCommerce marketing strategy for 2018, you may be considering whether your current software is working hard for you. We’re here if you want to talk through your challenges.

Find out how our eCommerce solution can help you make more money from your website.