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5 Promotion Ideas for BFCM, Without Heavy Discounting

by Brett Bernstein on

Originally published in the Klaviyo Community

It may be cliché to say it, but where did the year go?! Somehow the holiday season is drawing near, and clients and consumers alike are all gearing up for the BFCM / Black Friday Cyber Monday frenzy. 

As someone who does all his clothes shopping for the year during the holiday weekend, I personally can’t wait! My wife thinks I’m crazy but I love all the energy, promotions and deals that brands put together for the “superbowl of ecommerce”, and I make buying decisions based on which brands offer the best messaging and offers. True Classic I’m looking at you!

While we all think of pricing cutting during BFCM, offering steep discounts may not be the right approach for your brand, or you may want to offset the margin compression with some other promotional ideas that increase your top line revenue.

In this post, we'll explore five ideas that will help you stand out and drive engagement during BFCM, without heavily discounting your products.

1. Exclusive Bundles, and Gift Sets - Make holiday shopping even easier

The power of bundling cannot be overstated, especially holiday themed bundles that make for easy gifts and stocking stuffers. Create exclusive product bundles or gift sets that combine complementary items, offering a touch of convenience and savings without sacrificing perceived value. Make these gift sets exclusive to the holiday season so there’s that added layer of exclusivity and scarcity to drive more conversions.

2. Limited-Edition or Customized Items: Crafting Scarcity and Desire

Similar to the first idea above, the allure of limited-edition and personalized products are a win. I just learned about a promotion Allbirds did with Shakeshack a few years back and now I wish I had a pair. So cool! So by designing and promoting new products exclusively available during BFCM, you’re tapping into the psychology of scarcity. Shoppers are more likely to act swiftly when faced with the fear of missing out on unique offerings. Harness this urgency to drive purchases and create a buzz around your brand's exclusivity.

3. Early Access and VIP Offers: The Art of Making Your Audience Feel Special

Roll out the red carpet for your most loyal customers and ambassadors. It’s a surefire way to grab their attention, fuel excitement and drive more word-of-mouth for your brand.

Combine this with the first two ideas above, by offering early access to new products or bundles to your VIP customers and ambassadors first. This exclusive early access will make them feel special and drive more organic exposure to the products when they become available more broadly.

You can also tease these upcoming promotions in the weeks leading up to the product drop, to entice sign-ups for early access.

A tool like Gatsby (which I founded) will help you identify your most influential customers, track their posts and more.

4. Gamified Shopping Experience: Playful Engagement, Memorable Results

Inject an element of playfulness into the shopping journey by gamifying the experience. By encouraging customers to participate in giveaways, play games to win mystery prizes, or offer a limited-time point increase in your loyalty program, you will not only boost engagement but also inspire repeat visits to your online store, amplifying your BFCM impact.

5. Charitable Initiatives: Shopping with Purpose, Making a Difference

Align your BFCM promotions with a charitable cause or social responsibility initiative. This approach taps into the growing demand for purpose-driven shopping experiences. Consider pledging a percentage of BFCM sales to a chosen charity or allowing customers to allocate a portion of their purchase towards a cause they care about. This will not only help drive sales but also forge a stronger emotional connection with your audience. 

A tool like ShoppingGives will help you run a campaign like this with ease.


As BFCM gets closer, you have the opportunity to embrace alternative promotion strategies that extend beyond steep discounts. By curating exclusive bundles, presenting limited-edition items, offering early access, gamifying the shopping experience, and incorporating charitable initiatives, you can create a memorable and engaging BFCM event that resonates with your audience on a deeper level. 

If you want to brainstorm specific strategies for your store or following up with any questions, please let me know. I’m the founder of Gatsby, and if I’m not the best person to answer your questions, I’ll be sure to bring in someone who can.