8 Tips of Kick Ass on Black Friday

8 Tips to Kick Ass on Black Friday

By John Rogillio in eCommerceMagento

At a time with Fall promotions and sales are in full swing, retailers are scurrying to prepare for the holiday seasons, namely Black Friday. Topping over $1 billion in eCommerce sales last year, Black Friday increased online sales by over 26% since 2011, according to Comscore. With sales growing at such a staggering rate for this famous shopping day, store owners need to start preparing now to have a successful day of sales on Black Friday.

So how do you prepare an eCommerce store for the holidays? The key is to start planning and preparing now!

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Increase inventory & verify that your platform &

server can support an increase in traffic & transactions. 


Work on your  content for web banners, online ads, emails, etc.


Finalize & launch your promotions. 

Black Friday / December

Provide remarkable customer service for your

holiday shoppers. This will help you attract new & returning

customers every year. 

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Email Marketing

Despite being an older form of marketing, emailing your customers is still important. One of the main benefits to using email is developing contact between the customer and your brand. With the emergence of smartphones, customers are able to read emails anywhere and at anytime during the day, so it is important to create email titles that attracts their attention.

One Week Before

Promoting your upcoming sale is your goal. Tell your customers your spectacular deal either with smooth content or compelling images. You only have their attention for a few seconds so say a lot without saying much. Remember, your goal is to promote your upcoming sale, not to sell them right then and there.

This jewelry company took a unique approach to marketing their upcoming Black Friday sale by offering new specials every Friday leading up to Black Friday:

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Day Before

As a gentle reminder of your sale, send out an email to your customers reminding them the Black Friday deals you are offering. Be sure to mention popular products that will be for sale.

Black Friday

Consider an email the morning of Black Friday as another reminder of your special sales. You could even consider adding an additional 5% off promotional code in this email to attract more customers to your site.

Holiday Banners

Creating banners for your website it a great way to build awareness and excitement for your upcoming sale. If your sale last longer than Black Friday, be sure to include the dates the sale will be active. Below are some great examples of banners that were designed to excite customers about the upcoming sale:

Holiday Categories

Spice up your list of categories to include seasonal categories such as Gifts for Men or Women, Black Friday Promotions, etc. Your Black Friday strategy needs to focus on making it as easy as possible for the customer to find a product and to purchase it. Instead of sifting through endless categories, create a new promotional category that helps customers quickly find what they are looking for.

Unsure what products to include in your category? Review your sales from Black Friday 2012 and see what types of products were purchased the most. After Black Friday, be sure to measure if this category outperformed your traditional categories. This data will help you prepare for future Black Fridays and holidays.

Test Promotions

If you are planning on running promotional codes for your store, be sure to test them thoroughly before the big day.  With online sales booming on this day, you cannot afford any errors to occur.

Countdown Promotion

People love to countdown the days till the next new episode of their favorite show, Super Bowl, Christmas, etc. Why do we do this? Because it is exciting! Build excitement on your site by counting down the days, hours, minutes, and seconds to Black Friday. There are plenty of extensions available that you can use for this level of engagement. Checkout the free apptha Countdown or aheadWorks Countdown version.

Tip: you can use this extension for more than just counting down the time to your next sale…use it to promote an upcoming webinar, conference, or event that you are hosting or will be attending!

Include Holiday Sales in PPC Ads

If you are paying Google for targeted ads in the search results (Pay-Per-Click) then be sure to use this powerful tool in your Black Friday promotion! When creating the content for your PPC ads, remember that your title and brief description need to be compelling. You only have a few characters to state your message so make sure your content is


When preparing the content in advance, keep your target audience’s gender and interest in the forefront on your mind. You can even test your ads on fellow coworkers and friends to see if they would be convinced to click the ad or not.

As a side note, make sure to remove the ads after Black Friday if the ads contain information that has expired after Black Friday.

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Retargeting Ads

Retargeting Ads is a very important tool to utilize if you are trying to convert returning visitors. By displaying ads on other sites about your products or services that the visitor was looking at, you will be keeping your brand’s products in their considerations. If you are not currently using this technique but would like to start, read this article on How to Budget and Forecast.

For Black Friday, consider:

  • Expanding your target market – if you are targeting visitors that visited your site within 30-60 days, consider increasing that number to 90 days in order to re-engage older visitors.
  • Target previous customers – since they have purchased a product from you previously, invest in trying to convert them again into purchasing more products.  If they love your products then they might want to take advantage of your Black Friday deals!
  • Increase your bids – your competitors will be increasing their marketing budget in order to attract more customers.

Social Ads

Lastly, consider running ads on social media. Facebook allows you the supreme power of displaying your ad to any type of person you want: gender, interest, occupation, location, age, etc. If you have multiple markets that you are trying to target, then consider running multiple ads on Facebook and target each market specifically.

You can also promote specific post on your company page to reach more people. This can be very useful if your post are generally seen by a small number of people of your fans. By promoting your post, Facebook will display your post to more of your fan base. Here is an excellent post on tips when promoting Facebook post from Social Media Examiner.

Ready. Set. Go.

For eCommerce sites, the key to winning on Black Friday is to start preparing now! Determine your Black Friday promotion, set your goals, then choose a strategy and technique that will meet your goals. The approaches mentioned above are powerful techniques when done correctly!


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