3 Month Black Friday Cyber Monday 2023 Prep Strategies for Shopify eCommerce [+ Free Checklist]

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3 Month Black Friday Cyber Monday 2023 Prep Strategies for Shopify eCommerce [+ Free Checklist]

We've got the ultimate guide to the best black friday deal strategy, how to incorporate loyalty to amp up your results, and cyber monday sales mastery in 2023.

Are you bombarded yet with messages about preparing for Black Friday? This year we want you to be something other than a list-minute-linda with your campaign prep. Most of our brands last year made >30% of their revenue for the year in the last six weeks of the calendar year. 

Black Friday and Cyber Monday (BFCM) aren't just days; they're phenomena. Every year, these events redefine the benchmarks for both ecommerce strategy and-commerce success, and as a Shopify merchant, you're right in the thick of it. But here's the catch: success during this period isn't just about the deals you offer; it's about the strategy behind them.

When is Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2023?

bfcm sales graphic between 2020 and 2023
BFCM sales hit a record peak in 2022 even amidst economic uncertainty. Who knows what 2023 holds. 2020 had just over $9 billion, with 2021 at just shy of that with $8.9 billion, 2022 had $9.12 billion and who knows what 2023 has in store.

If we're considering the typical promotion length for BFCM is 1 week long (if not more), then this year Black Friday starts the week of November 20th through the 24th, peaking at Noon EST on Friday the 24th. Saturday and Sunday also see record sales with repositioned offers, and Cyber Monday sales peak around 4pm on Monday November 28th 2023.

Sales should remain high, but maybe not at the record-breaking levels seen in 2022

As previously shown, Black Friday 2022 witnessed a groundbreaking online spending of $9.12 billion in the United States. Moreover, there was a noteworthy 12% rise in in-store consumer spending on Black Friday 2022, as reported by Mastercard. This emphasizes the significance of consumers still willing to spend more despite an economic uncertainty.

According to Adobe, Cyber Monday continues to dominate as the largest shopping day for ecommerce and online shoppers. In 2022, a whopping $11.3 billion was spent in the US, surpassing the $10.7 billion spent in 2021. This significant increase in Cyber Monday spending highlights its continued importance in the retail landscape.

According to a CNBC report cyber week, online sales in the US amount to around $2 to $3 billion on an average day. Amazon also experienced an impressive surge in revenue on Black Friday, with a significant increase of 128%. The only other comparable event in terms of sales is Prime Day.

Start Your Marketing And Promotions Early

Arq's Flawless funnel framework freebie graphic

Free resource: Our Flawless Funnel Framework - your 3 month guide to preparing your Black Friday & Cyber Monday. Grab the freebie when you sign up to our email list.

Why is this funnel so crucial? 

Think of your sales funnel as the roadmap to your BFCM success. It's the journey you craft for your customers, leading them from mere awareness to loyal advocates. A well-structured funnel ensures that no potential customer falls through the cracks, and every interaction is optimized for conversion. But, like any journey, you'll end up lost if you don't know where you're going.

Why Plan So Early? 

The early bird gets the worm, and in the world of BFCM, the early planner reaps the rewards. Planning ahead allows you to understand your audience, learn essential data skills refine your marketing strategies beforehand, and ensure everything runs smoothly when the big days arrive. Remember, during BFCM, every minute counts. A delay in an email or a glitch in a loyalty reward can mean lost sales.

Harnessing the Power of Loyalty Programs for Black Friday Success

Loyalty programs have long been a cornerstone of effective customer retention. When combined with targeted email marketing campaigns, they can be a potent tool, especially during high-stakes sales events like Black Friday. By rewarding repeat customers with exclusive deals, sneak peeks, or early access, businesses can create a sense of exclusivity and urgency. This not only drives sales but also fosters brand loyalty, ensuring that customers return even after the holiday sales are over.

The Power Duo: Email & Loyalty. 

Integrating Email Marketing with Loyalty for Maximum Impact for your 2023 BFCM sales

In today's digital landscape, email marketing stands as one of the most potent tools for e-commerce businesses, especially in the wellness and beauty sectors. It's not just about sending out newsletters or product updates; it's about crafting a narrative, building a relationship, and guiding your audience through a meticulously designed sales funnel. When executed correctly, email campaigns can drive significant traffic, foster customer loyalty, and, most importantly, boost sales.

Email marketing, when done right, can be the bridge between your brand and your loyal customers. Segmenting your email list based on loyalty program tiers or points allows for more personalized and targeted campaigns. For instance, offering your top-tier loyalty members an exclusive Black Friday preview can drive early sales and reduce website traffic congestion on the big day. Furthermore, integrating these campaigns with our Flawless Funnel Framework can streamline the customer journey, ensuring higher conversion rates and increased customer satisfaction.

The key to a successful email marketing strategy lies in understanding your audience's journey. From the moment they land on your site to the post-purchase phase, every touchpoint matters. This is where our Flawless Funnel Framework comes into play. Designed with the modern Shopify merchant in mind, this framework provides actionable insights and strategies to optimize every stage of the customer journey. By integrating proven tactics from this framework into your email campaigns, you can ensure that every message you send out resonates, engages, and converts.

Email marketing, especially with a platform as robust as Klaviyo, offers unparalleled opportunities for personalized customer engagement. It's not just about sending emails; it's about sending the right emails. Combine this with a loyalty program like LoyaltyLion, and you have a recipe for success. Loyalty programs incentivize repeat purchases and foster a community around your brand. The synergy between Klaviyo and LoyaltyLion can amplify your BFCM results, turning one-time shoppers into lifelong brand advocates.

Your Month-By-Month BFCM Action Plan

September calendar graphic

September preparation: optimize your theme for conversions, spend money on building your email list, launch a loyalty program.

September: Lay the Foundations

Preparation, Generation and Optimizing: Start with Understanding Your Audience

Preparation is key! Spend the first two weeks of September before diving into your Black Friday Sale by laying the groundwork and taking some time to understand your audience fully. Do this with site & email audits, brainstorming some loyal customer perks you can offer to build retention in your following, analyzing your audience's behavior, research a few different advanced strategies that could be implemented with your specific audience (a great resource is the Klaviyo Help Centre), prepare some audience segmentation for more targeted. The time and planning into your marketing strategy is future cashflow investment here will be an invaluable resource for a successful next holiday shopping season for your online store.

Plan your promotions

If you wish to be successful on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, you should plan well ahead. Leaving it to October means you have little runway to execute on the minimum 14+ emails, landing pages, site turnover graphics and more you need to maximise online sales. Lucky you: LoyaltyLion (our preferred loyalty app for Shopify merchants) even has a guide on what kind of promotions your VIPS prefer based on their market research.

Decide what products should be promoted.

Keep it easy by picking your no-brainer best sellers, or even change your tactic with your overstock and offer mystery boxes or deeper discounts for out-of-season items. Or offer a limited time bundle, seasonally packages giftable products fit for influencers and more.

Prepare your content and optimize for your links to be ready

It involves updating descriptions and pictures, improving the search engine rankings, and creating blog content related to this product. How many different premutations of the sale will you have for loyalty members, VIP, early access, last chance, and cyber monday vs black friday variations? Will you be doing a shipping cutoff? All of these marketing messages add design demands to your different mediums like email, display, social, and paid ads.

Key things to work on in September before you execute on your Holiday Campaigns:

  1. Increase product discoverability and number of product views per customer. Unless you create retargeted landing pages for ad funnels, your PDP should flex the most for you. Help customers find new products and accessories to match.
  2. Create messaging consistency from ad to PDP - Going from a disjointed UGC video to a product page that looks like a completely different business is a recipe for ad failure. Make sure your messaging and ad creative have parity in the copywriting and positioning so you don't make the customer re-learn your product pitch all over again.
  3. Prioritize your mobile experience. More than 80% of all traffic is now on mobile devices, and most templates don't do a great job of being conservative with limited real estate. We work with brands to develop thumb-friendly and quickly digestible layout improvements with our CRO improvement service to maximize Add to Cart potential in each screen of the experience (meaning we put MORE customers in your email retention automations to get more money on the backend).

Your September Checklist

1. Understanding Your Audience

  • Segmentation Secrets: Group your audience for targeted campaigns.
  • Customer Journey Mapping: Pinpoint touch-points and opportunities.

2. Email Marketing Kick-off

  • Building Your List: Start strategies to grow your email list.
  • Engaging Content: Draft emails that resonate and convert.

3. Sales Funnel Setup

  • Landing Page Basics: Begin crafting high-converting landing pages.
  • Upselling & Cross-Selling: Plan strategic product placements.

October: Deepen Engagement, Refining, & Gearing Up

October calendar graphic

October preparation for black friday and cyber monday sales: Plan special offers for your VIPs, Test your promotion during key holidays, Build your email list with paid proven ads.

Building Engagement

Creating some content doesn’t end in September. You need to continue building that engagement through the month of October so your brand is top of mind for your audience come November and so you can continue collecting data about your audience's likes and dislikes. This will make your marketing campaigns, and promos a lot more efficient if you continue to look at your audience as a group built up of different users with different needs. Blasting a large group with the same content for three months is a recipe for disaster.

Refine your Engagement 

This is your opportunity to see what worked and what didn’t. Look at click rates, and open rates, and maybe look into gathering feedback so you can continue refining your content making it more and more of a return on your investment.

Gear up! 

You are about to enter BFCM month (November)! Preparing and optimizing your November planned offers with all your emails pre-scheduled. Ensure your user journeys are clear and you reach the right segments of your audience with the most appropriate offers for their needs and likes.

Your October Checklist

1. Email Marketing Mastery

  • Automation & Sequencing: Set up nurturing and selling email sequences.
  • Engaging Content: Refine and schedule your email campaigns.

2. Loyalty & Retention

  • Loyalty Program Introduction: Launch or revamp your loyalty program.
  • Engaging Your VIPs: Plan special offers for your top customers.

3. Sales Funnel Refinement

  • Landing Page Perfection: Optimize for conversions.
  • Abandoned Cart Strategy: Draft techniques to recover potential sales.

November: Execute, Monitor & Maximize

November calendar graphic

November Black Friday action plan: Integrate your feedback for final touches, turn up the heat on your ads, execute, monitor and maximize.

For November, the focus should be on execution, monitoring, and maximizing opportunities. As we're in the thick of the sale season, the phases can be: Launch, Monitor, Close.


This is about rolling out all the strategies and campaigns planned.

Monitoring & Adapting

Keeping a close eye on how things are progressing and making real-time adjustments.

Maximizing & Closing

Ensuring every opportunity is seized and ending the month with strong campaigns to keep the momentum going into December.

Your November Checklist

1. Email Marketing Excellence

  • Final Touches: Ensure all sequences are optimized.
  • Feedback & Reviews: Start encouraging product reviews and testimonials.

2. Loyalty & Retention Boost

  • VIP Engagement: Roll out offers and exclusives for top customers.
  • Feedback Integration: Adjust based on early November feedback.

3. Sales Funnel Finalization

  • Upselling & Cross-Selling: Implement and test strategies.
  • Abandoned Cart Recovery: Launch recovery techniques

Here's how you can leverage it for yourself before you go into a season of discounting to drive sales.

To scale your sales during Black Friday, you have three levers you can pull for your revenue growth without even needing to offer any deep discounts on your products.

  1. Increase the number of customers - a.k.a. more traffic. As we all know, cost of acquisition peaks at NOON on the day of Black Friday and is at it’s most expensive during this period. Try running more video ads and DO NOT turn off your evergreen ad content. We also recommend increasing your ad frequency and retargeting budget on video watchers specifically. 
  2. Inrease your AOV - Having the same amount of customers buying more, adding upsells, or higher ticket items in their purchase more quickly. Having no-brainers to add in cart to reach a free shipping threshold is a straightforward way to eke out a few extra dollars and offset the shipping cost.
  3. Increase the purchase frequency - have your best customers come back, subscribe, and utilize an intelligent Loyalty program strategy to leverage your existing customer base. (PS did you know we now offer an Integrated Loyalty implementation service? You can go from 0 to launch in as little as 3 weeks).

Our Flawless Funnel Framework is designed to optimize every step of the customer journey, from awareness to conversion. By integrating loyalty rewards into your email marketing funnels, you can incentivize actions that lead to sales. Whether it's a bonus loyalty point offer for early Black Friday purchases or exclusive product bundles for top-tier members, the opportunities are endless. Ready to supercharge your Black Friday sales strategy?

Download our Freebie: Flawless Funnel Framework and start crafting a sales journey that converts!


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