Black Friday eCommerce Strategies
October 7, 2022
Black Friday is one of the biggest days of the year for online retailers, but it can also be one of the most challenging. Meeting the expectations of so many new customers is no small feat.
Fortunately, you’ve got time to plan for success with a Black Friday eCommerce strategy— and we have all the tips you need below!
What is a Black Friday eCommerce strategy?
Black Friday is the day after the American Thanksgiving holiday and is one of the biggest shopping days of the year. Customers expect deals and promotions from their favourite retailers. In turn, they reward businesses with big spending. In 2021, US shoppers spent $9.03 billion dollars on Black Friday.
The dawn of eCommerce ushered in a sequel to Black Friday which is Cyber Monday when online retailers break out their best offers. Last year, Cyber Monday surpassed Black Friday for spending among American shoppers, with $10.90 billion in sales.
Those big numbers translate into a lot of traffic to your online store. You’ll want to prepare with a solid Black Friday eCommerce strategy.
That means a marketing plan in the lead-up to Black Friday so that you can capture your customers’ attention and get them excited for your online sales. You’ll also need to prepare for an influx of shopping cart orders and customer inquiries on the day, which will need a rock-solid customer support strategy.
Are you starting to sweat? Don’t worry! We’ve mapped out the must-have eCommerce tools and tactics to include in your Black Friday strategy below.
Black Friday eCommerce tactics you should try
1. Optimize your website for SEO
Whether you sell lip gloss or jet skis, increasing your search ranking will literally help you rise above the competition and boost conversion rates. For starters, use a free SERP checker ( that stands for “Search Engine Results Page”) to see how you’re ranking. See room for improvement? Here are some things to try:
• Speeding up your loading time. Sites that take forever to load a landing page suffer in the search rankings. Here, Google comes through with another free tool to check your site speed. Compressing your images and upgrading your hosting service are two ways to improve site speed.
• Refining product names and descriptions. This will help customers discover your products when searching and ease the user experience. You can use free Google tools to determine the best keywords for your product pages.
• Posting quality content on social media. We ran an experiment a few years back and found that having an active, engaged social media presence reflects well on your search ranking.
2. Make sure your site is mobile-friendly
In 2021, Shopify reported that 79% of all Black Friday Cyber Monday purchases happened on mobile devices. Mobile shoppers surpassed desktop shoppers in 2014 and their numbers have been growing ever since. Test your website and make improvements now, before you miss out on mobile shoppers.
3. Start your campaign early
Remember, every other retailer is also going to be running a Black Friday campaign. You don’t want to leave yours until the last minute, you should be nurturing your followers on social media and email months in advance. That way, when you roll out your deals, you have a captive and engaged audience. Here are some tips:
• Offer exclusive early access to Black Friday deals for email subscribers. Encouraging customers to sign up to your email list will extend the reach of your offers, and pay dividends after the Black Friday Cyber Monday sales event ends.
• Test your ads. After all, you don’t wait until the day of the marathon to start training. You should be refining your creative and running A/B tests on your campaigns to figure out what works best for your audience well in advance.
• Build buzz. Tease your Black Friday promotions in advance. Let your customers know you’ll be dropping the details on social media and email. This will boost your followers and reward your engaged followers, improving customer experience in the long run.
4. Make sure all stock information is accurate
This is also a good time to restock your most popular items, and plan special deals or offers to get slower-moving products off your shelves.
You can expect to see an influx of new customers on Black Friday. That means the shopping experience should be easy and intuitive, to avoid causing confusion or hesitation. Product pages should include all the important specs, like size, weight, and materials.
Ensure every product has high-quality images and videos. Also, include customer reviews on the page— even one review can increase sales by 10%.
5. Have customer support at the ready
Ever wandered around a department store, growing increasingly desperate to find an employee who can help you? Then you know how annoying it is to have to wait for help. And if your customers get frustrated, they’ll split!
To keep up with the volume of shoppers on Black Friday, invest in a retail chatbot. A chatbot which provides instant customer service that can answer up to 80% of customer inquiries. That frees up your customer support team to respond to the remaining 20% in a timely fashion.
This is especially helpful during Black Friday Cyber Monday. Remember, you’ll have brand-new customers who are less familiar with your store and inventory. (According to Bluecore, 59% of Black Friday sales were made by first-time shoppers in 2020!) A chatbot can help your customers find exactly what they’re looking for, by directing them to the size, color, and style they want. They can also generate personalized product recommendations, upselling, and cross-selling on the average order. These can drive sales even higher— especially when you consider that 60% of Black Friday purchases are impulse buys.
6. Work with influencers
Influencer marketing is a powerful tool. One recent survey found that 8% of shoppers had bought something in the past 6 months because an influencer promoted it. That figure increases to almost 15% for 18- to 24-year-old shoppers. Collaborating with an influencer on your Black Friday strategy can help you reach new customers and boost your sales.
7. Create BFCM promo codes
Offering promotional codes and coupons for Black Friday Cyber Monday creates urgency. These encourage your customers to take advantage of the big discounts you’re offering.
However, you want to make sure your customers can find and apply the promo codes easily. Otherwise, they might abandon their carts in frustration.
How to ensure your discount codes are easy to spot:
• Use a pop-up on your eCommerce site. This will announce the discount code, and give your customer a chance to apply it at check out with a single click.
• Ask customers to enter their email address to receive the promo code. This helps with your email marketing and remarketing efforts, too!
• Add a floating bar at the top of the page with the discount code. This makes it too obvious to miss.
• Apply the code automatically at checkout. This is the simplest solution for your customers. Sephora used it for their 2021 Black Friday sale. Customers received an automatic 50% discount at checkout:
One tip: Make sure your discounts are competitive. According to Salesforce, the average discount in 2021 was 24%— lower than in years past. But on Black Friday, customers are still looking for serious deals, so 10 or 15% off is unlikely to sway them.
8. Run an email discount campaign
Promote your Black Friday Cyber Monday sales through email. This is an effective way to reach your already-engaged customers. It’s also the perfect way to build a buzz in advance of Black Friday. Tease upcoming offers and get your customers excited about the deals to come. Offering early access to your Black Friday sale is also an effective way to grow your email subscriber base.
Plus, it gives you the opportunity to segment your offers, which increases their effectiveness. Klayvio found that segmented emails yield three times as much revenue per customer as general marketing messages.
Show returning customers discounts on products they’re likely to be interested in, based on their shopping history. Or provide an exclusive gift-with-purchase for your VIP shoppers, as a way of building loyalty.
9. Extend your BFCM deals
There’s no reason to end your sale on Monday at 11:59 PM. Extending your Black Friday Cyber Monday offers through the week can help you catch customers on their second shopping lap. It also gives you the chance to add steeper discounts, in order to clear more inventory before the end of the year.
As many shoppers will be planning for the holidays (more on that below), make sure you’re clear on shipping dates. Shoppers will want to know whether their package will arrive by Christmas.
You can also extend your deals in the opposite direction, to get out ahead of the competition! For example, fashion retailer Aritzia runs an annual “Black Fiveday” sale. It kicks off a day early, on Thursday.
10. Create a holiday gift guide
Black Friday is often considered the beginning of the holiday shopping season. For many people, it’s the time for crossing as many names off their gift list as they can. Creating a holiday gift guide makes their work a lot easier.
Pro tip: Segment your guides by the recipient (“Gifts for Mom,” “Gifts for Dog Sitters”) or theme (“Sustainable Gifts”). This will help your customers find what they’re looking for.
You can also share your gift guide on social media by creating an Instagram Guide. These are curated collections of images, accompanied by titles and descriptions.