Winter is coming, are you prepared for BFCM 2017?

It’s officially late October, which means Thanksgiving is right around the corner—and you know what that means! America’s favorite post-turkey pastime: Black Friday and Cyber Monday! Love it or hate it, BFCM is hands-down the most important shopping weekends of the year. It’s kind of ironic that it happens directly after Thanksgiving though, right? Retail business owners, especially those running their sales with Shopify, will probably have more to be thankful for after the weekend is over, but that’s beside the point. Today we’re talking about how to prepare for the mega-mania that is BFCM. At last year’s peak point of sales, Shopify processed $555,716 in just one minute- one minute! That’s only sixty seconds out of the BFCM mayhem, and 2017 is poised to break this record.

There’s much to be done in preparation for the weekend. I’m not talking about harvesting the vegetables, cooking for the feast of gratitude or mustering the strength to be the biggest, baddest door-busting, people-shover in Black Friday history. I’m talking about Shopify’s BFCM 2017 toolbox a.k.a everything you need to get ready for one of the biggest shopping weekends of the year. Here you’ll find guides to get set, get seen, and get selling! This includes a free four-week webinar series, every Friday starting Oct. 20 – Nov. 10, featuring a 26-point checklist to prepare your store, strategies to increase your site’s traffic, ways to create a buying frenzy, and analytics to measure your success.

Shopify shared the five biggest lessons learned from BFCM 2016, and we’re breaking them down here. First of all, BFCM-fever begins in early November when customers first start searching for deals and promotions. So you need to be ready! Second, while Thanksgiving might be an American-only holiday, BFCM is worldwide, so there’s going to be a lot more international action in sales. Also, since we expect to be able to do pretty much everything on our phones these days—admit it, you do—online shopping happens across multiple platforms. To account for this increased layer of activity, your marketing plan also needs to be multi-channeled. Another important thing to keep in mind is that BFCM is huge for small businesses competing with the big box stores. Often times the smaller brands don’t have the advertising budget to reach as wide of an audience as the big name department stores. BFCM gives small business owners the chance to strengthen their customer base by offering special deals and promotions to loyal customers through email subscriptions, which brings us to our final point. Email marketing is super important for BFCM this year as it was the most profitable channel based on Shopify’s research of 2016.

The information that came out of Shopify’s research and analytics of BFCM 2016 is staggering! You can see a visual-breakdown of how it all went down here, but before you get distracted with all of this jaw-dropping data, get hooked up to Shopify’s BFCM 2017 toolbox. It’ll be one of the best things you do this season because guess what shortly follows the craze of November and BFCM… that’s right. Holiday shopping baby! Winter is definitely coming! Put your coats on. And some nice warm socks. And if you’re really looking to heat things up, some long underwear would be in order. Speaking of, you should probably keep an eye out for the best deals on long underwear come BFCM—I bet you’ll be able to find a really sweet deal on those bad boys!