BFCM: Why It’s Important for eCommerce

Efrem Epstein
November 21, 2023

BFCM may only trend for a few days a year. But during its season you are likely to see the hashtag everywhere. So what is the meaning of BFCM?

The acronym is actually a composite of the initials the two days bookending the weekend after Thanksgiving: Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

The Origins of BFCM

While there are many theories as to the origins of Black Friday, the most plausible and accepted one dates back to the early 1960s. The day after Thanksgiving was a busy shopping day in many cities, but it made a distinctive impression on local officials in Philadelphia.  A 1975 New York Time Article noted that Black Friday “is the busiest shopping and traffic day of the year in the Bicentennial City as the Christmas list is checked off and the Eastern college football season nears conclusion.” Black Friday in Philadelphia was often especially chaotic for police and bus drivers since the Army-Navy game would commonly be played there the next day.

The other half of BFCM, Cyber Monday, made its debut on November 28, 2005. The term was coined by the National Retail Foundation as a way for eCommerce stores to receive a seasonal revenue boost that was enjoyed by brick-and-mortar stores.

“With the growth of online shopping, online-only players like Amazon were looking for a way to capitalize on Thanksgiving weekend sales,” said Katherine Cullen, the NRF’s vice president of industry and consumer insights in a 2021 NBC News piece. “The Monday after Thanksgiving became dedicated to online sales, differentiating it from Black Friday.”

BFCM in 2023

For eCommerce stores, BFCM continues to be one of the biggest revenue-generating events. In 2022, Cyber Monday was the biggest online shopping day ever, resulting in $11.3 Billion in sales. Shopify reported $7.5 Billion in BFCM sales from their platform alone.

With the rising stakes comes an increasing urgency for eCommerce stores to capitalize on this important four-day period. Prioritizing, and preparing for, BFCM is crucial for maximizing revenue during this seasonal opportunity.

How to Prepare

Here are three ways for an eCommerce store to prepare for BFCM in 2023:

1) Create a dedicated ad campaign for BFCM. Your competitors are likely doing one, so you should as well. Moreover, creating a BFCM ad campaign is a great way to simultaneously increase customer conversion while also growing your larger general audience.

2) Develop about a discount strategy that resonates with your audience. There’s no one way to do it. Buy 1 get 1 free, works better for some products than others. If a strategy has worked in the past for other seasonal sales, there’s reason to believe it will work for BFCM as well.

3) Analyze your holiday shipping strategy to ensure timely orders. While this should be true year-round, it’s especially important with BFCM. Customers will likely reward good service with return business in future years. As noted by Boost Commerce, “To really delight shoppers, you need to leave no room for mistakes when it comes to shipping and delivery...Be sure to clearly state the expected delivery times for each option so your customers are well informed.” Old Salt Coffee is a great example of an eCommerce company that has done this well. And as a company founded by former sailors, it offer new meaning to excelling in shipping!


BFCM is an important annual event for eCommerce stores. But it’s also a key opportunity to convert customers and boost revenue.

Putting in the extra effort to plan properly for BFCM can reap huge rewards. Wishing a Happy BFCM to the eCommerce world and a Happy Thanksgiving to all!