Everything you ever wanted to know about discounting for your brand for BFCM

Boost Your Brand with Effective Discounting Techniques for BFCM

As we delve deeper into the holiday season, one pressing question remains at the forefront of every brand’s strategy: “How can we optimize our offers and promotions to cater to our unique customer segments?” 

The truth is, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer. Your optimal approach will hinge on various factors, from the products you offer to your specific price points and overarching brand strategy. Whether you’re a brand that traditionally offers discounts or one seeking innovative alternatives, this article aims to guide you through several proven strategies. 

Our mission is to foster a forward-thinking mindset, equipping you with the insights you need to make the most of this BFCM season. So, let’s dive in and explore the strategies that will set your brand apart!

Let’s begin by looking at three major trends from the 2022 BFCM (Black Friday Cyber Monday) sales:

Increase in Discount Amounts:

The average discount rate went up compared to previous years.

Globally, the average BFCM discount was 27%, and in the U.S., it was 30%.

This increase in discount rate was attributed to the market moving back in favor of consumers, suggesting a rebalancing after the impacts of supply chain issues and high product demand during the COVID years.

Retailers also saved their best discounts until the end of the Cyber Week.

Focus on Average Order Value (AOV):

Brands were trying to maximize the revenue from each order.

The AOV during BFCM went up by 6.2% compared to the previous year.

Two potential factors contributing to this rise were the prevalence of “buy now, pay later” options, allowing consumers to spread out payments over time, and the introduction of tiered and bundled discounts, motivating consumers to spend more to save more.

Remember that bundling isn’t merely about lumping products together for a discount; it’s an art and strategy combined. A brand selling supplements, for instance, could use this method effectively. Instead of simply offering individual vitamin or protein products, they could create a curated wellness package. Consider bundling the top-selling supplements like Omega-3 capsules and Multivitamin tablets with other supplements that aren’t selling as quickly. This not only optimizes stock turnover but also presents customers with a well-rounded wellness deal that might typically cost more when items are purchased separately.

The key is to strike a balance—ensure that the bundle provides undeniable value to the customer, while also serving your business goals. A catchy pricing model, like “Wellness Bundle for $99,” can be more attractive and memorable compared to intricate pricing structures.

Make bundling fun. Come up with your own bundle name. Crafting the perfect bundle isn’t just about grouping products together; it’s about resonating with your target audience through relatable names and benefits.

For instance, if you’ve observed that a significant portion of your customer base hails from California and you’re offering wellness teas, consider naming it the “California Zen Tea Collection.” This adds a regional touch and makes the bundle feel tailor-made for that audience.

Alternatively, emphasize the benefits. If you’re selling a top-tier detoxifying herbal supplement paired with an immunity booster, ditch the generic “Wellness Combo” title. Instead, opt for something compelling like the “Total Body Reboot Kit.” It directly speaks to the outcomes and aspirations of the consumer.

Lastly, tuning into specific customer demographics can create a personal touch. Say you’re offering a collection of supplements for fitness enthusiasts; rather than a plain “Fitness Essentials Set,” go for the “Marathon Runners’ Essentials.” This not only specifies the target audience but also gives them a sense of identity and belonging with the product.

Segmented Offers:

Instead of a “one size fits all” approach, where every customer gets the same discount, brands shifted towards more personalized offers based on their different customer segments.

This change was in response to feedback from 2021, where customers voiced displeasure over generalized offers.

Personalized, segment-specific offers were more successful, and according to HubSpot, segmentation and personalization remain the most effective email marketing strategy.

These trends reflect a shift in consumer behavior and preferences, as well as brands’ strategies to adapt to these changes and maximize their sales and revenues during the BFCM season. So, what do we actually do from here? Let’s dive into specific types of discounts and offers.

The Power of Daily Deals: Capturing Attention and Driving Sales

Discounting has long been a strategy retailers leverage to attract and retain customers. Traditional methods often revolve around price discounts, tiered discounts, mystery offers, cashback or rewards, and even free shipping. But for the purpose of this article, let’s zoom in on the three prime contenders: price discounts, tiered discounts, and the intriguing world of mystery discounts.

A particular model of price discounts that’s gaining traction is the “Daily Deals” approach. So, what’s the magic behind Daily Deals?

Understanding Daily Deals

The essence of Daily Deals lies in offering a unique promotion for a particular product or category on a specific day, thereby igniting a palpable sense of urgency among consumers. This tactic is especially effective for businesses with a diverse product range catering to distinct customer personas. For instance, if you’re in the beauty industry, you might offer specialized deals on skincare products one day and makeup essentials the next. Similarly, a beauty store might showcase exclusive offers for organic skincare enthusiasts on Monday and fragrance lovers on Tuesday.

A quintessential trait of Daily Deals is their fleeting nature. Often lasting for just 24 hours, these promotions create an aura of exclusivity and a “now or never” sentiment. The fleeting nature of the offer is its biggest strength, prompting customers to act quickly to snag the deal.

Why Opt for Daily Deals?

There are several compelling reasons to embrace the Daily Deals strategy:

Appeal for Everyone: By rotating deals, you ensure there’s something attractive for every segment of your audience over a given period.

Urgency-Driven Engagement: The limited timeframe creates an inherent sense of urgency, potentially leading to higher conversion rates.

Data Collection: Especially for businesses new to the BFCM season, Daily Deals can act as a testing ground. By rolling out different offers, you get valuable insights into what resonates most with your audience, helping fine-tune future strategies.

Boosted Engagement Rates: If your past campaigns suffered from lackluster open or click rates, the dynamic nature of Daily Deals can rejuvenate customer interest.

In summary, Daily Deals are more than just short-lived promotions. They’re a strategic tool to engage customers, gather insights, and boost sales, making them a worthy consideration for brands aiming to make a significant impact in today’s competitive market.

The Power of Tiered Discounts

Tiered promotions have emerged as a potent strategy, particularly in industries like beauty and health. The essence of this approach is simple yet impactful: Reward customers incrementally as they spend more. Instead of a standard discount, tiered discounts operate on the principle of “the more you spend, the more you save.”

Consider this: if your typical Average Order Value (AOV) is $50, you might introduce a promotional tier at $60. For those with an AOV around $150, the tier could begin at $160. The core objective? Gently persuade customers to add an additional item to their cart, elevating the overall value of their purchase.

In the health and wellness space, an intriguing variation of this method involves gifting customers with vouchers. Imagine an organic tea brand promoting an offer: Spend $70 and receive a $30 gift card for a subsequent buy. To a consumer in the midst of a Cyber Monday shopping spree, this deal effectively feels like a $40 expenditure.

The beauty industry, too, has harnessed the power of tiered discounts effectively. Brands might delineate three distinct discount thresholds: from $80 to $140, offering progressively higher discounts at each bracket. At the $80 mark, a customer might benefit from a 15% markdown, which escalates to 20% upon reaching $100, and so on. Additionally, to sweeten the deal, brands could sprinkle in free products or samples corresponding to each tier. This strategy not only encourages higher spending but can also serve as a means to offload surplus stock or spotlight new product launches. Particularly for high-end beauty brands or those operating with narrower profit margins, this structure ensures that while customers receive steeper discounts with increased spending, the brand’s profitability remains intact.

Beyond the allure of discounts and deals, the magic also lies in personal connection. Amidst a barrage of promotional noise, a simple, plain-text email from a key figure in a company can resonate profoundly. Visualize getting an email that reads, “Hey, it’s Alex from OrganicTeas. Our exquisite blends are selling like hotcakes! I wanted to personally ensure our cherished customers, like you, aren’t missing out.” This direct, genuine outreach often fortifies loyalty, proving that sometimes, authentic communication outshines the most elaborate graphics.

In essence, while promotions are pivotal, their success hinges on strategic execution. As brands devise their next big promotional push, integrating tiered discounts and maintaining a personal touch can foster enduring customer relationships.

Mystery Discounts in the Beauty Realm: Unmasking the Potential

Our next spotlight falls on a tantalizing promotion strategy: the mystery discount. This approach is perfect for the beauty industry, known for its flair, drama, and excitement. If you represent a beauty brand with a deeply engaged fan base, perhaps one where followers eagerly share your latest shade of lipstick or skincare hack, then the mystery offer can be your secret weapon. By gamifying the shopping experience, it instills curiosity and sparks the “I must know!” instinct.

Consider, for instance, a ‘Click to Reveal’ offer. As users click to unveil their surprise discount, it amplifies the exclusivity of the experience, making them feel fortunate, especially if they secure the highest possible discount, say up to 25% off. Witnessing such a steal could very well be the nudge they need to fill up their carts!

So, how does one roll out this enigmatic promotion? There are multiple avenues to explore. A straightforward method is an A/B test with each variant presenting a different offer. Alternatively, catering unique offers to specific segments ensures a personalized experience. Platforms like Klaviyo offer seamless integration for such campaigns.

If you’re reflecting on past metrics, particularly from the 2022 beauty sales, or even the general trend of your brand’s engagement, consider this tactic. An impressive open rate with a lukewarm click-through rate might be a sign. A mystery discount can be the intrigue that transforms mere curiosity into action. After all, who can resist the allure of unveiling a secret offer?

Having delved into three quintessential discounting methods, it’s imperative we touch upon a crucial point. Utilizing these time-honored discounts can be a double-edged sword. While they might be an attractive bait for potential customers, sustaining their interest beyond that initial allure requires finesse.

A word of caution: If you successfully entice customers through these discounts, prioritize cultivating and deepening those newfound relationships. Elevate their entire journey, from the first click to continued brand loyalty. Historically, patrons who gravitate towards a brand primarily due to discounts tend to anticipate such offers regularly. If maintaining perpetual sales isn’t in your playbook, this dynamic is something to bear in mind when strategizing customer retention.

The beauty industry is not just about the dazzling deals during peak sales times, like Black Friday Cyber Monday (BFCM). It’s essential to have a vision that transcends these peak moments. Should you win over a customer with a tempting discount, what’s your game plan for keeping them enthralled?

Lastly, if constant discounting doesn’t align with your brand ethos, or if you’re pondering diversifying your incentive strategies, let’s delve into innovative alternatives to entice your beauty-savvy clientele.

Venturing Beyond Traditional Discounts: Creative Incentive Strategies in the Beauty Industry

All right, let’s get creative! While traditional discounts might not be everyone’s cup of tea, the beauty industry offers a lot of unique opportunities to engage and entice customers. Let’s dive into some of these intriguing alternatives.

Gift With Purchase Strategy

The allure of a complimentary gift is timeless. As seen in the earlier tiered discounting mentioned, customers receive additional gifts based on their purchase amount, sans any discounts. 

The rationale behind this approach is multi-fold. Primarily, it appeals to the convenience seeker. These freebies can also double up as gifts, particularly pertinent during the holiday season. A compelling strategy for consumable goods, such as cosmetics, these gifts can entice recipients to transition from one-time users to loyal customers. Many brands have mastered this technique. They give out freebies, which often leads customers, like myself, to return and purchase the full-sized version. Especially for brands unable to offer standard discounts or those aiming to bolster retention and customer lifetime value, this strategy is gold.

Product Launches Ahead of Peak Sales Season

Contrary to popular belief, the run-up to BFCM (Black Friday Cyber Monday) can be an opportune time for product launches. Instead of joining the BFCM clamor, a brand can provide early access to a new product to their loyal subscribers. The broader launch can be followed a week before Thanksgiving. Accentuating the product’s exclusivity, the brand can draw attention before the peak sale madness set in. Such tactics resonate with brands boasting loyal followers or those with VIP programs. The results? Stellar sales, an impressive open rate, and a robust click-through rate.

Donation Incentives – Aligning Brand with a Cause

A donation-based incentive is a heartwarming approach, especially in today’s socially conscious landscape. Here, a fraction of each purchase goes to a relevant charity. 

The cornerstone of this strategy is post-sale communication. Let your customers comprehend the impact of their purchase. Share how much was donated and the consequent difference made. 

Brands with robust conversion rates could find this approach especially rewarding. With a steady customer base that’s inclined to buy irrespective of discounts, the donation incentive only sweetens the deal. 

Continuing on with our exploration of innovative promotional strategies, here are some additional tactics that can help set your brand apart during the bustling holiday season:

Off-Season Teasers: Launching holiday arrivals in October or even sooner can stir early-bird excitement among shoppers. A brand did precisely this by unveiling their holiday collection in October and playing on the ‘limited stock’ sentiment. Such strategies harness the innate human tendency towards urgency, nudging them to make purchases sooner rather than later.

Trending Gift Guides: We observed a significant surge in this trend last year. Brands curate lists of their most popular or recommended items, providing customers with a hassle-free shopping guide. When the festive frenzy grips consumers, and they’re at a loss about what to gift their loved ones, these guides can be saviors. The idea is to simplify the decision-making process, ensuring that even the most indecisive shoppers find something they’d love to gift.

Celebrate Small Business Saturday: Tailored for the entrepreneurs and SMBs among us, Small Business Saturday is an excellent opportunity to showcase what makes your business unique. Are you veteran-owned? Do you have a rich family legacy? Share these stories with your customers, drawing them into your world. Personal touches, like a heartfelt note from the founder, complete with a genuine signature, can amplify this connection. People are innately inclined to support businesses they feel a bond with, and this could be your chance to foster such bonds.

However, an underlying principle that needs to underscore all these tactics is transparency. In a market replete with offers, discounts, and sales, clarity is crucial. Your promotions should be easy to comprehend. The last thing a customer wants is to navigate through a maze of conditions to redeem an offer. If the process becomes too convoluted, it could deter them from finalizing the purchase.

While it’s essential to get creative with your promotional strategies, it’s equally vital to keep things straightforward. The combination of uniqueness and simplicity can be your winning formula this holiday season.

Audience-Specific Promotions: Catering to Varied Customer Personas

Having thoroughly delved into the mechanics of various promotional methods, it’s crucial to understand that one size does not fit all. Different customer segments have varied needs and preferences. Hence, tailoring promotions and communication to individual segments can significantly boost your conversion rates.

Let’s dissect some primary customer personas and understand how best to approach them:

The Deal Hunters:

These bargain aficionados are always scouting for the most attractive deals. Loyalty for them is not to a particular brand but to the best price they can secure. Their purchasing behavior is dominantly steered by discounts and special offers.

Strategy for Deal Hunters:

Your promotions should underscore value and savings to capture their attention. Display your most significant discounts prominently. Engage them with flash sales, limited-time offers, or bundled deals. Recognizing that they’re likely sizing up your prices against competitors, make sure your promotions stand out. 

But here’s the trick: it’s not just about the discount. It’s about how you present it. Using phrases like “best discount available this year” not only highlights the exclusivity of the deal but also instills a sense of urgency. Letting customers know that such a golden opportunity is rare and won’t come around again is an effective way to drive sales. By emphasizing “you’re never going to see this again,” we’re compelling our customers to act now rather than later.

For a more targeted approach, use past data to identify those who have predominantly shopped during sales events like Labor Day, Memorial Day, or previous BFCMs, and aim your most aggressive promotions at this exclusive ‘Deal Hunters’ list.

Brand Loyalists:

These customers have a steadfast devotion to your brand, often valuing your brand’s essence, quality, and ethos more than mere discounts. Recognizing and rewarding their loyalty during sale seasons can fortify this bond and enhance their brand advocacy.

Strategy for Brand Loyalists:

Grant them exclusive pre-access to BFCM deals or a special loyalty bonus to make them feel cherished. Early bird specials or access to limited-edition products can serve as a nod to their consistent allegiance.

Occasional Shoppers:

Neither strictly loyalists nor just deal hunters, these customers shop sporadically. The BFCM season offers a golden opportunity to transition these occasional shoppers into more regular patrons.

Strategy for Occasional Shoppers:

Tantalize them with personalized product recommendations based on their prior purchases or browsing patterns. Special combo offers, bundled deals, or curated lists can be a great way to pique their interest and induce purchases.

First-time Visitors:

The festive season invariably ushers in fresh traffic to your platform. Strategizing for these first-time visitors can metamorphose them into future brand loyalists or at least coax them into their inaugural purchase.

Strategy for First-time Visitors:

An initial purchase discount or a welcome token can be potent lures. Additionally, presenting them with a curated ‘Bestsellers’ or ‘Most Popular’ catalogue can provide direction in their shopping exploration and enhance their shopping experience.

If you’re using Klaviyo and you’re interested in knowing how to create these segments follow this link: https://help.klaviyo.com/hc/en-us/articles/360000407272

The New Timing Norms for BFCM

It seems the BFCM sales playbook has been rewritten. Gone are the days when brands initiated their sales on the Wednesday just before Black Friday. The trend now leans toward launching promotions even earlier, sometimes as far back as the previous week. Why? Brands strive to be top of mind, capturing a larger share of the customer’s budget before it’s exhausted elsewhere.

Imagine a consumer’s budget as a pie. Once slices are claimed by purchases from various brands, less remains available for others. By the time Black Friday actually arrives, many might have already spent a chunk of their budget on early deals, leaving a smaller slice for those brands that waited. Hence, the push to capture that “share of wallet” as early as possible.

For emerging brands, one effective approach is giving an exclusive sale preview to their top 15% of customers a week before Black Friday. Utilize tools like Shopify to identify these high-spenders and craft a special promotion just for them. This VIP segment could include loyal subscribers, brand ambassadors, or even friends and family.

Strategy for the Broader Audience

For the general customer base, consider kick-starting promotions on the Tuesday before Black Friday. While it’s essential to have a blockbuster deal on Black Friday itself, leading up to it with attractive offers can maintain buzz and momentum. This could range from site-wide discounts to free gifts with specific purchases.

Creating Engaging Sale Moments

At its core, Black Friday is about grabbing attention. The more distinctive sales moments a brand can create, the better. For a health and wellness brand, perhaps Friday focuses on a holistic health package, Saturday features relaxation essentials, and Sunday highlights nutritional supplements. Such a segmented approach also provides varied reasons to reach out to customers multiple times.

Emailing: How Much is Too Much?

On Black Friday, a suggested frequency is four emails: a midnight kickoff, a morning reminder, an afternoon update on stock levels, and an evening last call. Over the weekend, if the offer remains consistent, maintain engagement with daily morning emails, with possible lunchtime updates. If multiple offers are running, the recommendation is four emails on Friday, three each on Saturday and Sunday, and perhaps four again on Cyber Monday.

The table below captures the essence of the email strategy during the BFCM period. Adjustments might be needed based on specific offers and audience engagement.

DayNumber of EmailsReason for Email
Pre-BFCM Week1Exclusive early access: Notify VIPs of their special early sale access, emphasizing their importance to the brand.
2Reminder of early access.
Tuesday1Sale Introduction: Announce the start of early Black Friday deals, emphasizing exclusivity and limited time offers.
Black Friday1Midnight kickoff: Introduce sale items and promotions.
2Morning reminder: Highlight ongoing deals and any special early bird offers.
3Afternoon update: Notify about stock levels, emphasize bestsellers, and possibly introduce flash deals.
4Evening last call: Remind customers that the day’s promotions are ending soon.
Saturday1Morning reminder: Refresh on ongoing deals and emphasize day-specific promotions.
2(Optional) Lunchtime update: Share any changes, stock updates, or new incentives.
3Evening nudge: Push for conversions as Saturday promotions near their end.
Sunday1Morning kickstart: Outline day’s sale, focus on any unique Sunday promotions.
2(Optional) Lunchtime nudge: Spotlight any fresh deals or stock updates.
3Evening countdown: Remind customers of any ending promotions, last chance for the weekend deals.
Cyber Monday(Varies)Continue with a strategy similar to Black Friday, adapting based on specific offers and customer response.

In the flurry of BFCM and the holiday sales season, understanding and segmenting your audience is paramount. Whether catering to deal hunters, cherishing brand loyalists, engaging occasional shoppers, or welcoming first-time visitors, the key to success lies in personalization. Tailor your strategies to each customer profile, ensuring promotions resonate with their unique behaviors and preferences. This not only amplifies sales but deepens brand loyalty and fosters lasting connections. After all, beauty isn’t just skin deep—it’s about resonating with values, emotions, and building enduring relationships.