Shopify Design Best Practices for BFCM and the Holiday Season Sale

The biggest shopping festival is right around the corner and we know you’re busy making preparations. 

As an eCommerce store, this is your moment to shine. So take it! After all, it’s your time to end the year on the best note for your business.

Black Friday Cyber Monday (BFCM) sales let you not just tap into the sale-crazy mindset of consumers and get them to buy more from you, but also lets you push out your low-selling, cold products by bundling them up in good deals and presenting them as a ‘steal’.

However, it isn’t always about what offers your store will provide.

Great design is that secret sauce to attract customers to your brand that no one really considers that much. Along with helping establish a sense of trust and credibility, design can also smartly be used to upsell, cross-sell and increase sales overall.

Consider this, would you buy something from a poorly designed online store - especially during the BFCM, when the deals are all too unbelievable?

This means apart from preparing your inventory and the discounts you would be offering, you also need to make a few adjustments to your Shopify store design to get them noticed

But don’t you worry! We got your back. 

Here’s a list of simple and strategic additions and alterations that can be implemented in your current Shopify store design with ease. 

Shopify design best practices for BFCM and holiday season

1. Think mobile-first

Think about the last time you made a purchase from an eCommerce store. Most probably this order was placed from your very own mobile phone, right? Consider this about your store customers as well. 

According to Statista, “Worldwide, e-commerce growth is primarily being driven by consumers using their mobile devices, phones and tablets, to acquire goods and services”.

mobile commerce statistics

Source - Statista

This is why you need to prioritize how your eCommerce website looks on smartphones rather than just on a regular desktop. No one wants to shop from a poorly designed store. Remember that. Even if the deals are crazy good, you Shopify store design needs to be so simple and easy to move around that a purchase can be made in minutes! 

2. Add an announcement bar

Think about it this way. Your announcement bar is your website’s notice board. You pin everything you want your customers to immediately know or not miss here. 

It is the easiest and most UX friendly way to gather your customer’s attention.

This is so because unlike pop-ups or push notifications, announcement bars do not blatantly interrupt a user’s shopping experience. It’s subtle yet eye-catching. So it does the job very effectively.

While adding this bar during your BFCM sales, you should use a sticky announcement bar. This will ensure that no matter where the visitor lands or browses to on your store, they can keep seeing the sale message at the top. This makes the announcement hard to miss. 

This is the perfect addition to your shopify store design honestly.

You need to hype your customers up, right? Excite and entice them into purchasing from you. So what different types of announcements can you make to achieve this? 

Here are a few things you should consider this shopping season: 

  • Use it before BFCM and simply display a countdown timer or add a direct button to your pre-launch page here
  • During BFCM and holiday season sale, create a sense of FOMO by showing how many products are sold or how many hours more before the customer will miss this amazing opportunity
  • You can even promote tinier yet interesting offers like discounted or free shipping that you may be offering during this period

Here’s an example of an announcement bar: 

announcement bar ecommerce shopify design

You can set up an announcement bar easily with our app Scaleup Multi Announcement Bar. It comes with pre-designed announcement bar templates that you can further tailor to match your Shopify store branding. 

3. Change your hero banners

Prepare for the fiesta that’s going to follow. Deck up! It’s time to flaunt your best outfits!

No, really! We mean that literally.

Customize and ‘decorate’ your website cover images.

Don’t stick to one either. Change them as needed even during the course of the same sale. 

Use one to first announce the sale is coming up in a few days. One, once it is live, and another announcing you’re quickly selling out!

Additionally, ensure the image you design is best-suited to match the look and feel of that period while also screaming your brand story. 

For instance BFCM usually points to the colors red and black, the festive vibes of christmas. So have something with these colors along with elements like let’s say, Santa or snow.

Here’s Amazon setting a good example that no matter how big your store is, you need to join in the madness during the season. 

amazon bfcm banner image

And here’s another example wherein the store is promoting early access to the deals before the BFCM sale kicks in! 

pre bfcm banner image

Read about setting up a BFCM pre-launch page like this one here

Pro tip: Don’t just have attractive banners; also make sure that they link to the BFCM or holiday season deals. You want to make it easier for your store visitors to explore and buy from your deals. 

4. Add product labels to discounted items 

During this period people are on the lookout for the best deals at a steal price.  

You can enhance this experience by making it easier for them to find the products that have some discount running by adding appropriate product labels to them.  It helps highlight products.

Remember, ease to find something on your store is directly proportional to your conversion rate. 

You can use different types of labels indicating what % offer is running on that product, or a best seller label or even a basic ‘BFCM Sale’ label. It all comes down to what works best for your target audience.

The basic idea is to make these products easy to spot. 

product labels - shopify store design tips

5. Add countdown timers to product pages

Adding a little ‘urgency’ around your products is the oldest trick in the book…...yet, still massively effective.

It does this while also building interest around it. It’s the perfect premise set-up, really!

A 2015 Psychology Study says that,“...Results from five experiments demonstrate that people are more likely to perform unimportant tasks over important tasks, when the unimportant tasks are characterized merely by spurious urgency (e.g., an illusion of expiration).”

It’s a design and conversion element that won’t force you to change much in your product page layout as well.

All you need to do is find a countdown timer app and place it on your product pages during the whole sale season!

Here’s an example of it: 

countdown timer shopify design tips

6. Add an exit intent popup promoting your BFCM and holiday deal 

Even after making all the above mentioned alterations and additions, there is still a chance your customers could miss out on the deals you’re offering. 

Now you don’t want that, do you? 

So make sure you target them right before they leave your site as well. This will (probably) be your last attempt at making an ‘irresistible’ pitch. 

This is usually done with a popup displaying your discounts and deals to get them to pay attention. These are called exit-intent popups.

This is a technique where a user's mouse movements are tracked, and depending on when the cursor moves outside a fixed boundary, a popup window is shown.

Today, there are so many tools and apps out there to integrate this technology to your site hassle-free!

Here’s an example of what the exit intent popup looks like: 

exit intent popup for bfcm

7. Optimize your checkout for faster purchases 

Yes, you may have designed your checkout process very thoughtfully and at length.

However, during this heavy sale season, people want to bag deals and discounts from every possible brand they love and get products they have been saving for. So they want to move faster.

This means you need to further optimize your checkout process. 

According to Baymard Institute, lack of guest checkout is the second most common reason why customers abandon their checkout before making the purchase. Don’t miss out on sales because of something as small as this. Ensure to add a guest checkout feature to your Shopify store.

Payment methods are crucial as well. However, user preference for different payment modes may change over time. As an online store owner, you need to know the recent trends so you can offer it in your store.  For instance, payment options like Apple Pay or Google Pay are more seamless and smooth in comparison to other modes, so most users prefer these.

Also read: 15+ Shopify Cart and Checkout Best Practices for More Conversions

8. Simplify your navigation 

What’s a menu optimization recommendation doing in a list of best design practices you might ask? 

Well, all your different menu elements are technically still elements of design. 

The goal here is to help your customers navigate to actually making purchases. To do so, you need to make it easier to easily direct your customer’s towards the crazy deals you’re offering.

So you can create a separate category for the discounted products too during the sale or a collection of it and link to them in the navigation. 

holiday season sale shopify design tips


9. Add ‘how much you save’ next to pricing

Give adequate attention to how you display your price (breakdown). 

Make the deal ‘irresistible’ for the customer by clearly showing them how big of a steal the discount offered by your store is. Strike off the original price with some bright color like red and show the discounted pricing during the sale.

It gives a design touch while also understanding and making the most of consumer psychology. It helps persuade the user to make the purchase.

how much you save - product page design


This is just the tip of the iceberg really. There is so much you can leverage from design to boost your sales especially during the festive seasons. 

Read more about Why Your Shopify Store Design Is Important to Increase Conversion Rates and if you’re looking for more BFCM resources, don’t miss our: 

The Complete Guide To Prepare Your Store For The BFCM Sale

We hope you're ready to make the most of the biggest shopping season of the year!

Need any help? Reach out to us

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