Even if you are not in retail, Black Friday and Cyber Monday are days most of us are keenly aware of. As consumers, we are tempted by incredible deals like free one-day shipping, free returns, or special deals that are just too good to pass up. For retailers, these days are equivalent to the Superbowl. Teams prepare all year for Black Friday and Cyber Monday (BFCM), developing their strategy and plans. Results can determine financial success for the entire year, and in many cases, important decisions and actions occur in mere seconds.

So what happened this year?

Adobe Analytics reported a record $9.8 billion in Black Friday online sales, up 7.5% from 2022, not accounting for inflation. And for Cyber Monday, consumers spent $12.4 billion online, a 9.6% increase from 2022.

Some interesting trends to be aware of:

  • Sales started earlier
  • Advertising costs were higher
  • eCommerce still grew over in-store
  • Discounts were a driver for more sales
  • More consumers than ever paid with buy now, pay later options (BNPL)
  • Key Learnings from Black Friday and Cyber Monday

Companies that know their customers the best and can act the fastest – will win. Let’s look at some examples of acquisition, cost optimization, and retention.


Timing is everything. Send offers and messages when buyers are most likely to engage – and personalize them. 76% of shoppers are more likely to purchase when communications are personalized.

Example: If you offer subscriptions, look at this impact on conversions and revenue per session. When the messages were sent based on “industry best practices,” this brand was seeing a conversion rate of 3.8%. When messages were sent based on store-level reorder intervals, that conversion rate jumped to 7.85%

Finally, when the messages started to be sent based on per-product level reorder intervals via Repeat the conversion rate took yet another jump to 9.19%

black friday and cyber monday

Source: Wonderment, Alex McEachern

In this example, changing the timing of the offer led to a 140% increase in conversion! Now, imagine if you can do this in real-time based on website behavior or other inputs. If a shopper decides to order more products for the holidays, and in that moment they are given loyalty points – this could improve conversion in the moment, ultimately boosting sales.

Cost Optimization

Be smart with spend. Paid advertising works, that is why we use it. But it is critical to spend valuable dollars on key segments and if they convert, to stop the ads. Real-time data helps teams quickly move ad dollars around and not waste spending on customers who have already purchased.


Drive repeat activity post-BFCM. A 5% increase in retention can boost revenue by 25%. Have a strategy to drive repeat customers. You are paying a premium for first-time shoppers. Make sure you bring them back.

Here are five ideas:

  1. Offer a loyalty program (for a review, provide points, offer specials early to this group). A special trick is to promote the loyalty program early and offer exclusive perks – build up points to encourage purchases post-BFCM.
  2. For cart abandoners use SMS + email and offer free one-day shipping
  3. Send updates around items that are back in stock or even going fast
  4. Consider offering a subscription option based on purchase patterns
  5. Ensure the post-purchase process is optimized and buyers have a good experience. Use transactional texts around key details like the order was received, or even if a shipment is delayed. Get feedback in the moment (rate this experience). Also, ensure website and offline data sources like call center and in-store point of sales data connect in real time so shoppers have a streamlined experience.

Whether it’s next year’s BFCM or the real Super Bowl (coming soon!), companies that win understand their buyer’s preferences and communicate personally, on the channels they see the most engagement. Technology like real-time CDPs play an instrumental role in collecting data in the moment (like behavioral web data) and whether it’s combined with data from a warehouse, or used alone, acting on this quickly could cut conversion time down significantly.

Imagine that your team can act on real-time behavior in the moment and conversions are improved even by 5%. Small changes can have significant impacts that can give your company the edge this holiday season and beyond.

Post Author

Heidi Bullock
Heidi is the Chief Marketing Officer at Tealium.

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