Say what you want about rampant consumerism–there’s no getting around the fact that Black Friday and Cyber Monday are two of the biggest shopping days of the year. And if you’re a surf retailer, this presents a unique opportunity to boost your sales before the holiday season.

The only drawback? You and your competitors will be fishing from the same pond and most likely offering similar discounts. So what’s to differentiate your business from the others?

Admittedly, I haven’t worked with heaps of brands to retool their BF/CM messaging, but I’ve worked with enough to know what works and what definitely doesn’t.

Here’s how you can make the most out of BF/CM as a surf retailer (or any surf business, for that matter).

Black Friday vs. Cyber Monday: What’s the difference?

While both Black Friday and Cyber Monday are intertwined with the holiday shopping season, they do have distinct characteristics.

Black Friday, traditionally the day after the American Thanksgiving holiday, is a brick-and-mortar event that’s been around for decades. It’s characterised by early-bird specials, doorbuster deals and (if you’ve seen the crazy videos) frenzied shoppers vying for discounted high-demand items in physical stores.

Cyber Monday, on the other hand, is a newer phenomenon. Spawned in the age of the internet, it’s the Monday following American Thanksgiving. Cyber Monday was created by retailers to encourage people to shop online. Over time, this digital shopping day has become increasingly popular.

The convenience of shopping from home or work, along with the avoidance of crowded stores and long lines, have made Cyber Monday more appealing to many consumers.

Additionally, the ubiquity of smartphones and tablets has further simplified online shopping, making it possible to snag deals while on the move. As a result, Cyber Monday has seen increased traction over the years. For example, a study from Credit Karma found that 70% of people from Britain prefer buying online and via mobile nowadays (this percentage was less that 50% pre-pandemic).

Of course, this is just a snapshot of one country. And when it comes to online shopping, we need to take in international trends. In saying that, there’s not denying that for surf retailers, Cyber Monday is becoming the day of the year for sales.

IMPORTANT: The biggest missed opportunity during BF/CM

It’s easy to throw out a few Instagram posts announcing that you’ve slashed prices for BF/CM, but the best brands know that marketing for Black Friday and Cyber Monday requires a little bit more thought.

Blog articles, paid ads, Instagram stories, Facebook posts, newsletters (learn how to write them here)–all of these channels must work together in harmony, speaking to the same message, while being tailored for their specific channel. However, you also need to be ready to field an increase in customer inquiries and shipping demands.

At this point, it’s worth mentioning that I subscribe to a bunch of online surf retailer newsletters. And one thing I’ve noticed is that only a few brands take advantage of perhaps the biggest ancillary benefit to BF/CM: the opportunity to clean up your email list.

Here’s a recent example of an email I got from one a leading online surf retailer on continental Europe.

See how easy it is? You needn’t create a whole campaign in order to refresh your email list. A single email will bring the following benefits:

  • Ensure that your emails aren’t sent to junk inboxes, thereby destroying your open rates
  • Prove that you have the customer’s interests at heart
  • Allow you to preempt and remind subscribers of Black Friday/Cyber Monday
  • Provide you with an opportunity to segment your list and send targeted emails based on past purchasing behaviour.

5 BF/CM technical and messaging tips for online surf retailers to sell

1. Recycle your BF/CM URLs

This might sound somewhat silly, but adding the year or dates to your BF/CM URL isn’t the way to go.

Instead, you want to have one generic www.brandname.com/BlackFriday and one www.brandname.com/CyberMonday URL (instead of BlackFriday23 or CyberMonday23) that you can use every year.

This prevents you wasting time on adding new backlinks or having to build page authority each time BF/CM roll around. Rather, you can simply reuse a pre-existing page.

Now, I’m not a technical SEO copywriter AT ALL… but c’mon. Even I know that makes sense.

2. Send an opt-out email 3-4 weeks before BF/CM

If you’re doing BF/CM right, you’re probably going to be sending more emails than usual. And that’s totally fine… if that’s what your subscribers signed up for.

How do you know if your subscribers are cool with being bombarded with offers? You ask them! Simply send an email to your list a few weeks before BF/CM, acknowledging that you’ll be sending more emails during this time and offering them the option to opt-out.

This ensures that you’re not annoying subscribers who aren’t interested in BF/CM deals while also showing that you’re considerate of their inbox.

3. Support your discount with info about shipping, returns and warranty

Literally every brand will be offering a discount on boards, wetsuits, gear and apparel. That’s the whole point of BF/CM–to offer deals to consumers.

Let’s be honest though… anyone can slap a discount on a product and push it. How you can differentiate yourself further is by reminding customers of your excellent shipping, returns and warranty policies. For example:

Instead of saying this: “We’re now offering 40% off wetsuits”

Say this: “Get 40% off wetsuits plus free shipping and returns”

See the added power of the second line? You might already offer free shipping and returns, but when combined with a discount, it becomes an even more enticing offer.

4. Update product descriptions so they’re not seen as duplicate content

Duplicate content refers to having the same content on multiple pages of your website. This can hurt your search engine rankings and ultimately, reduce traffic to your site.

To prevent this, don’t simply copy and paste product descriptions from one item to the next. Instead, take the time to update each product’s description with unique content and relevant keywords.

Another tip is to add customer reviews or testimonials to your product pages. This not only adds fresh content but also builds trust with potential customers.

Learn how to write better product descriptions, faster, here.

5. Add a countdown banner to your site and emails

Last but not least, one of the most important aspects of selling anything is to create urgency. And when you consider that BF/CM deals are only valid for a number of hours, it’s the perfect time to incorporate a countdown banner on your website.

By adding a countdown timer to a prominent place on your homepage or product pages, you’re creating a sense of urgency for customers to act fast before time runs out. This can significantly increase conversions and sales during BF/CM.

You can even add countdown timers to specific emails. The copywriting company whom I trained with (Copyhackers) recently conducted a survey of the effectiveness of countdown timers by taking date from six of their biggest clients… and the results are impressive:

“The average increase in click-through rates from emails and on-site messages was 30.49%, click-through rates increased by an average of 231% and overall conversion rates increased by 200%.”


Are you ready for Black Friday and Cyber Monday? With these tips, you’ll be better equipped to maximise your sales during this busy shopping period. Remember to recycle your BF/CM URLs, ask for opt-outs, highlight shipping and returns policies, update product descriptions and implement countdown banners. And don’t forget to clean up your email list too! Good luck and happy selling, frothers!