Keys to surviving Black Friday and Cyber Monday in 2021

The Black Friday and Cyber Monday weekend is one of the busiest shopping weekends of the year for retail businesses across the world, and for business owners, it can also be one of the most terrifying. As the clock turns over and 12:00 a.m. arrives, retailers are expected to put all of their efforts into delivering the best shopping experience possible for their customers.

Regardless of what this looks like for each business owner, the truth is that this Black Friday and Cyber Monday madness looks very different for everyone. However, the keys to surviving this chaotic weekend are similar across the board:


Build suspense

Start communicating your sales, specials and discounts a few weeks before the BFCM weekend. Build suspense by releasing a few details about the products on special, but tempt the customer to come back on the day for even better discounts; hopefully leading to a sale!

Treat your VIPs

A loyal customer base is the backbone of any successful online store. Treat your most loyal customers with an extra sweet deal over the BFCM weekend to keep them coming back long after the sales end.

Missed your shot? Retarget!

Put retargeting strategies in place long before the BFCM weekend, so that customers who leave your site without a purchase are reminded of your brilliant products and specials. Set up these remarketing strategies in place in a Facebook or Instagram campaign, as well as on Google Ads.

Personalise it all

Add a touch of personalisation throughout the silly season. Send personalised, tailored messages to your customers to boost your sales and increase your conversion rate.

“Nearly 89% of marketers reported that using personalisation resulted in increased revenue, while 63% of shoppers expect their purchase history to direct personalised encounters from brands” (

What is your Plan B?

On a weekend as busy as BFCM, some things are bound to go wrong. So, what is your backup plan? If your stock sells out earlier than expected, how will you communicate it to customers? What will you do to ensure that you still make the sale? What will you do if your customers have checkout issues?

Ask yourself these questions and make contingency plans well ahead of time. Consider everything that could possibly go wrong and have a back-up plan in place… maybe even a back-back-up plan. Establish general messages and mailers to cover a number of issues, and communicate it to staff to ensure consistency. Set up gift cards or discount codes to send to disappointed customers. Chances are, situations may still pop up that you cannot control, but your stress levels will be greatly reduced knowing that you are well-prepared for the worst of it.

Energy: high - Stress: low

Keep your energy sky high and your stress as low as possible over the BFCM weekend. Reduce stressful situations by having back-up plans and alternative solutions in place should things go wrong and be as prepared as possible going into the weekend. Make time for regular breaks during the day, eat lots of fruits and vegetables, have a hearty breakfast, hydrate, exercise and get as much sleep as possible. Do anything and everything to keep your energy up. Unfortunately for store owners, the work doesn’t stop once the clock rolls over on the next day. Preparing your mindset for this increased workload will do wonders for your business, your customers and your team morale.


uAfrica-generated waybills are required

If you would like to track your parcel and avoid billing complications, it is vital to use the waybills generated by uAfrica. Once an order is fulfilled, a waybill is generated that you must print and attach to your parcel (remember that there must be four copies of the waybill!). This is not the driver’s responsibility; it is yours.

The use of manual shipping labels is not allowed. If a parcel is shipped on a manual waybill, the system cannot automatically apply this waybill to your uAfrica account. Without a uAfrica waybill, parcels can’t be tracked, and will result in uAfrica Support being unable to assist with shipping queries.

Use the manifests for collections

What is a manifest? It is a document listing all the shipping labels of the parcels that need to be collected by a specific courier on a specific day. Downloading and using a manifest means that the driver who is doing the collection will only need to sign one document, rather than the shipping label for each parcel. You must then keep the signed manifest as proof of collection.

Check your shipping limit on uAfrica

Black Friday and Cyber Monday means more sales which inevitably means a higher volume of shipments. It is thus very important to check your shipping limit on uAfrica beforehand and if necessary, to request an increase well ahead of time (subject to approval).

To request an increase, please make sure to do the following:

Send an email to with your account name and account number. In this email, you need to specify what you would like to increase your shipping limit to. The billing team at uAfrica will review your request and should your request be approved, your shipping limit will be increased. Please allow up to 48 hours for the increase to reflect on your account.

Book special collections with the couriers

Please make arrangements directly at least 48 hours beforehand for Special Collections with the couriers, by contacting the relevant courier directly:

To assist with the process of arranging your Special Collections, please CC in your request to the courier. Please note that additional surcharges may be applicable to special collection requests.

Select the correct service level for the type of parcel

It is very important that if you select, for example, TCG National Flyer Service to ship your parcel, that you do indeed ship a flyer. If you select a flyer service level and end up shipping a box, the courier has the right to change the service level and charge you based on the actual parcel that was sent. If this service is being misused by merchants, uAfrica runs the risk of having the service level removed for all merchants. It is a good idea to familiarise yourself with the Service Levels, Code and Delivery Times in advance. Volumes will be higher than normal, and couriers will always prioritise quicker service levels before slower service levels. Thus, selecting a quicker service level will ensure your parcel gets prioritised. However, it can still take longer than usual even on a service level like overnight.

Remember to insure your products

It is important to remember that your parcel isn’t automatically insured. Even if your parcel has been damaged or lost by the relevant courier, they will only refund you for the shipping charges and not the value of the goods inside the parcel. During fulfilment, you need to specify if you would like to take out insurance on your parcel. If you have high-value products, we would definitely recommend that you insure them! Kindly ensure that you are familiar with the insurance policies of each of the couriers.

Place your orders for stationery!

Make sure you have enough stationery before the flood of orders starts. Drivers will not wait around while your team packs orders into bags, so remember to order the courier stationery well in advance.

Not sure how? Follow the steps here.


Useful resources:
uAfrica takes the messiness out of running a successful online store. With quotes from various couriers, automated shipping labels and a multichannel feature that updates inventory and centralises order management. Logistics has never been easier!
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