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14 marketing tips for Black Friday and Cyber Monday

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Oct 27, 2021 10:50:36 AM
Black Friday and Cyber Monday

For years, events like Black Friday and Cyber Monday meant huge crowds of people, endless queues around the block and unbeatable deals. Nowadays, however, these two occasions are also very important for the e-commerce world and it takes extra effort from brands. 

With the changes that have occurred in the context of the pandemic, the shopping experience and consumer habits have been affected, with people increasingly preferring a virtual experience, and this is demonstrated by figures showing a growth of 3% by 2020, where online sales were 19% by 2019.

Retail ecommerce sale worldwide

With this in mind, and with growth set to increase by 2021, competition for consumer attention will be fierce. How can brands seize this opportunity and attract shoppers? Here are fourteen tips that will ensure your brand provides people with an optimal retail experience for these events that will inspire them to buy.

1. Optimise your ecommerce for the big day

The performance of your site can make or break your sales this retail holiday season - a lot is at stake, so optimising your site to create a good experience is crucial.

For example, slow loading pages can put customers off and even cause them to abandon your site before they see your products. The loading time a website should show to be in the optimal range is always below 3 seconds. To achieve this, you can, in addition to the normal actions of minimising file sizes and reducing unnecessary code on your site, ensure that you are using speed optimised widgets to display content on your product and home pages.

Another important point when optimising your site is that browsing your ecommerce site from mobile devices is convenient, visually pleasing and easy to use for online shopping. Many shoppers prefer to browse on their phones and complete their shopping cart on their laptop or desktop computer, but many others will choose to shop on a site that makes it easier for them to make their purchase. Keep this in mind. This is a big occasion, you must not let it go unnoticed, the good news is that by having your own online shop, you also have full control over when, where and how your ads are displayed on your site, therefore, we advise you to use the homepage as your welcome letter to visitors, you can use the main banner, or give the page a new look, don't be afraid to scare customers with a heavy handed advertising campaign, they are looking for obvious messages to help them find the deals of the day anyway.

2. Dress up your ecommerce and prepare for the occasion.

This is a big occasion, you must not let it go unnoticed, the good news is that by having your own online shop, you also have full control over when, where and how your ads are displayed on your site, therefore, we advise you to use the homepage as your welcome letter to visitors, you can use the main banner, or give the page a new look, don't be afraid to scare customers with a heavy handed advertising campaign, they are looking for obvious messages to help them find the deals of the day anyway.

Shoppers have too much choice and too little patience on Black Friday. Make sure you get your most important messages to the right people at the right time, one way to do this is through pop-ups and landing pages. In the case of pop-ups, they will help you among other things to guide visitors to the best deals, reduce cart abandonment or provide information about your delivery times, the most important thing is to find their purpose and schedule them in advance.

You might like to read: Landing Page Optimisation: Key to Lead Conversion

3. Prepare your inventory

During these seasonal promotions, you may not plan to discount the entire shop. We advise that before running promotions you count your inventory and determine what you have on hand. With this information you will be able to determine the items you need to sell.

These may be seasonal items, older merchandise, more expensive pieces or products that have not sold well. If you are looking to show bargains on all products, then the last thing you will need is to have insufficient stock of a hot item or excessive stock of an underperforming one. So look at your historical stock for the last 6 months by category and style, this information will help you not to order things that are already out of stock or order things that your customers don't want.

If you don't have this internal data, suppliers and competitors are the best places to go.

Read also: 8 inventory management tips for your e-commerce business

4. Prepare your customer service team

Black Friday and Cyber Monday will bring with it many shoppers, but also many queries that will want to be resolved quickly and in a timely manner - a good customer service approach is the backbone of your online shop. New shoppers may need help with your returns policy and old shoppers may ask questions about offers; either way, you should prepare for an increase in enquiries.

In addition to preparing your team to answer these questions, you need to have optimal channels for customer service.

An immediate response can make the difference between completion of a purchase or abandonment of the page, and this immediate response cannot be more than 10 minutes, that may sound exaggerated, but with a good chatbot tool and automatic email responses, this expectation does not seem unjustified.

You may also be interested in: Ways to Use Customer Service to Build Loyalty

A chatbot will help you build trust with your customers, offer the convenience of fast service and show that you are ready to answer any questions that buyers may have, if you have not yet implemented it we recommend that you do it now and have it visible on your site. Importantly, don't forget to integrate it with your CRM, this way, your customer service will have a more accurate view of what is happening with the customer, in case they have also used other channels to communicate with your company.

5. Don't forget your business partners

Finding business partners to help you increase your catalogue will be very beneficial. Not only that, but you will also have a great chance to increase your database. Some actions you can generate from this idea are:

  • Run a joint Black Friday sale ad.
  • Post ads in each other's shop.
  • Create quality content with backlinks to each other's pages.

It is important to take into consideration that some partnerships will require a contract, a cash investment or differentiated packaging, work on this in advance and don't forget to include these associated costs in your budget.

6. Redefine Black Friday and Cyber Monday

Unsurprisingly, the pandemic has had an effect on online sales during the 2020 Black Friday and Cyber Monday promotions. Adobe Analytics noted that consumers spent $34.4 billion during Cyber Monday, up 20.7% from the previous year.


But one thing they also noticed is that shopping continued after these days or weeks of discounts, so shops started to extend their promotions and in some cases bring them forward.

And while you don't have to run the same promotions during the extended Black Friday or Cyber Monday period, you can offer other benefits to help your visitor save. These include daily deals, limited time offers and other promotions to protect your margins. Either way, any promotion will help generate traffic and, with all that holiday shopping intent, increase sales.

But don't end up being like the rest, there are some retailers who win on Black Friday in their next or previous promotions, because they go above and beyond, turning these days into their own, renaming them or making them fun and memorable, offering giveaways and asking in their anticipation mails to set their alarms for the big day.

Either way, it is important to make the most of these days of shopping madness in the run-up to Christmas.

7. Use email marketing and your database effectively.

Effective email will help you to create a good impression on your shoppers, whether it's a first time shopper or a first time account creator, make every opportunity a moment to surprise them. The use of automated emails is a key part of this strategy, for example, on occasions such as, account opening, orders, abandoned cart, feedback, purchase reviews, satisfaction surveys, these emails will strengthen your relationship between you and your customer and help you achieve sales that may have been lost.

Another way to use email marketing is to make your messages more personalised with exclusive promotions or special offers that will not be shown to the rest of the audience. With this personalised treatment you can educate, upsell and cross-sell with relevant and timely offers and promotions.

Your database is gold for the company, with it you can reach out directly to existing customers and get them excited about your Black Friday or Cyber Monday promotion. Don't forget, loyal customers account for an average of 65% of a company's annual revenue.

Mind you, we are not saying that you are going to use only your current customer database, you should also increase your email list with subscribers who are interested in your upcoming offers, one way to do this is to put a pop-up window weeks before the big day, where you invite your visitors to subscribe and receive first hand Black Friday offers that will not be visible to the general public.

Consider the visual representation of exclusivity in the design of the pop-up and the benefit-based call-to-action (CTA) button: "Give me the best deals".

If you want to win this battle, your first goal must be to get noticed in your subscribers' inboxes. Therefore, a well-written subject line is crucial. Some brands use funny subject lines in their email marketing emails, others rather intriguing, in the end what you need is for the person to open the email and not be left behind like hundreds of others they will receive these days.

An example of an intriguing subject line is: If you are wondering why we are cancelling Black Friday, you must open the email. You may be wondering, funny, I didn't cancel Black Friday, because this subject line would work for me. Well, according to the recommendation above, redefining your Black Friday can also mean a change of date or name.

8. Use quality content to attract leads

Quality content has several advantages, take advantage of these dates to create blogs that help people find your brand, remember, life is made up of moments, time to find ideas for my Ugly Sweeters party or time to find the perfect gift for a tech lover.

Build content that is relevant and helps people solve those moments, this will guide potential sellers to your site and you can tap into that holiday spirit to give people a glimpse of your Black Friday promotion. This will also give people an idea of what they can expect to find on offer and give some inspiration to those shoppers who don't know what to buy.

Learn how to build blogs: Ultimate guide: 10 steps to create a blog you'll love

9. Use social media to your advantage

As we come to the end of the year, your annual marketing budget may well have been reduced. However, we hope you haven't forgotten these days of shopping madness. As a rule of thumb, small retail businesses allocate 5% to 10% of their annual revenue to marketing. The best thing you can do to ensure you have sufficient funds to execute your Black Friday and Cyber Monday outreach campaign is to start planning ahead and work on a roadmap to help you calculate how much each piece of the puzzle will cost. Some initiatives may cost only a few dollars while others, such as advertising space or partnerships with other companies, may be more of an investment.

Either way, planning and budgeting ahead of time will allow you to execute a great Black Friday marketing strategy without affecting your bottom line. 

The good news is, social media is a marketing channel that works overtime during the holiday season. Consumers spend more time scrolling through their Facebook, Twitter and Instagram feeds, and you want your followers to notice your products. Use this to your advantage with organic posts with new products or urgent discounts, this will keep your current customer base up to date on everything related to your brand.

In addition to popular social networks like Instagram or Facebook, you can also add Pinterest, Twitter and other sources, but Instagram and Facebook should reach the majority of your customer base. Here you can share promotions, images and previews to generate excitement around your Black Friday sale. You can start the season of anticipation with stories and hashtags to avoid being too aggressive with your followers. Then, closer to the actual sale, ramp up your social marketing with paid posts and ads.

You may be interested in: Integrating social media into e-commerce

10. Use the element of surprise and a sense of urgency to your advantage.

Having surprise elements during Black Friday is a great way to get people to visit your website on a recurring basis on the day. However, you still need to market your surprise and generate excitement for your secret deals as you would any other. You might also consider revealing a store-wide offer and saving secret discounts for smaller deals on Black Friday.

One idea for a surprise offer is to run at specific times of the day with a reduced time frame, thus promoting sales throughout the day. For example, you can promote a 25% discount all day and a 50% discount in the morning hours, which, according to statistics, is when sales are lowest.


Keeping things interesting and elements of surprise are great ways to engage shoppers. Help your customers find the magic of surprises.

You can also use those surprise moments in your emails, for example, send a random code where the person will have to find out how much the discount is when they use it. This is a clever way to make your Black Friday offers more interesting. It will also increase your email opens and encourage more subscribers to visit your site and proceed to checkout.

11. Don't forget your most loyal customers

Your VIP or loyal customers are your biggest asset, so giving them extra incentives could be a great strategy. Some ideas you could implement are offering early access to offers, exclusive deals, insider information or other rewards and prizes that will inspire them to buy.

You can also reward your customer base by sending them updates on your Black Friday sales before the rest of your newsletter subscribers. Not only will this announce the sale to your most important customers, but it will also generate excitement. You can further segment this for VIP customers who have spent more than a certain amount with you in the last year. Does your ecommerce have an abandoned cart strategy, no, then it's time to implement it. This can usually be achieved with automation tools, one tool we highly recommend is Hubspot's CRM, in addition to achieving automations of this and other types, it can also give you a 360 visualization of what is happening with your customer in each of your communication channels.

Read also: 4 Ways CRM supports Loyalty Strategy

12. Improve your cart abandonment strategy

Does your ecommerce have an abandoned cart strategy, no, then it's time to implement it. This can usually be achieved with automation tools, one tool we highly recommend is Hubspot's CRM, in addition to achieving automations of this and other types, it can also give you a 360 visualization of what is happening with your customer in each of your communication channels.

If you already have it in place, we advise you to review your subject line and content, make it user-friendly and provide time-based prompts to ensure that no sale is left behind.

13. Offer gift cards 

A popular gift item for the holiday season is gift cards. In fact, the global prepaid card industry surpassed $2 trillion last year in the United States, thanks to gains in gift cards, according to estimates by Global Industry Analysts. With such accelerated growth, the market should reach $4.1 trillion by 2027, about 50% more than the company's pre- pandemic estimate.

So why not take advantage of this growth by promoting them on Black Friday and/or Cyber Monday. One way to do this is to offer free gift cards on purchases over a profitable amount, another way to offer them is by giving a discount or offering extra money, for example, you can offer an extra $10 for every $100 loaded on your card.

You can also create rules in case you don't want your customers to use the card for the same promotions, so you can restrict their use until after the week or weeks of promotions. This will also help encourage people to come back to you after the holiday season.

14. Find the best ways to offer your discounts or gifts.

It is obvious that on Black Friday and Cyber Monday people expect discounts, let's not forget that they came to our ecommerce trying to save money, therefore, know well what your online shop platform offers you, some ideas of what you can offer are:

- Discounts in the catalogue

This type of rules are applied before the products are added to the cart, so they can be displayed in the shop without opting for the purchase option.

This is perhaps the most common type of discount used by e-shops on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, these discounts are usually configured through rules, in which you must define 3 aspects:

  • The rule information: Rule name, description, status, client group, date range and priority.
  • The conditions of the rule: In this option, you will configure the indications that will allow the rule to be executed. In which categories, for example.
  • The actions of the rule: For example, a discount of 15% is set.

- Discount Coupon

Provide users with a Black Friday discount code for your website and be sure to market that code throughout your most aggressive marketing campaign.

Activate the code for use at midnight on Black Friday and make sure you have staff who can manage their online orders as they come in. The last thing you want is to save your orders for the end of the day and realise that you oversold items and no longer have inventory.

To avoid these pitfalls, we advise you to integrate your ecommerce with a POS system, this way your inventory will be updated in real time online, so you don't have to worry about posting out of stock merchandise.

- Buy X and take Y

This is called a BOGO offer, and it's a great way to manage high volume inventory and get people to buy things they may never have considered. Important, check if your CMS platform allows you to do this kind of discounts, in our experience many ecommerce providers don't have all the rules we need or that could help us in our Black Friday strategy, as Magento does.

- Multiply gifting opportunities with bundle discounts also known as Bundles

Another offer you can try for Black Friday is bundle discounts. This means that when you buy certain combos you get a percentage discount. For example, you can offer three puzzles for $15, when an individual puzzle costs $6. Bundle deals are a great way to get people to make unplanned purchases, buy more than they planned and clear out some old or surplus inventory.

- Free shipping

Providing free shipping is the most common way to increase the average ticket on an order.

Just be sure to set the minimum purchase amount high enough above the average ticket for your product that shoppers must buy another product to reach it rather than simply opting for a small add-on to reach the required minimum.

For example, if your average product price is $45, don't offer free shipping on all orders over $50. Instead, offer free shipping on orders over $75. This will ensure that customers buy more than one product to get free shipping.

We hope these tips have been helpful, and remember, your ecommerce is likely to have the best deals and the fastest delivery options, but you won't be the only company making these claims.

On this day, all retailers will be fighting fiercely for orders. And it won't be easy for consumers either; they will have to check and browse through many shops, make comparison shopping lists and struggle to buy before they run out.

So, look for creative ideas and redefine Black Friday, we hope you have found some solutions to apply to your business this year.

We'd love to hear your feedback. Which of these strategies are you going to try this Black Friday?




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