Black Friday e-commerce marketing plan

This year, Black Friday (November 23, 2018) will kick off a shopping season that will create 30% of total sales revenue for the year.

Over a hundred million of us will abandon the comfort of the sofa to drag ourselves out into the cold and brave shopping in the Black Friday sales.

Almost one-quarter of all Black Friday retail shoppers are willing to camp out in anticipation of Black Friday, and even more will shop online.

Last year Thanksgiving and Black Friday shopping increased to $7.9 billion – a 17.9% increase on the previous year!

Mobile spending alone totals over $1 billion in sales on Black Friday.

With spending increasing year on year, Black Friday through to Cyber Monday looks set to become a trillion dollar holiday.

Prepare now and get the most out of this massive e-commerce opportunity.


Black Friday is a time for high-intensity marketing and customers are expecting your offers to follow them wherever they go. Install Facebook pixel on product pages now so that you have high intent groups ready to go for promoting products customers have already viewed back to them in Facebook and Instagram.


As shopping focused as many customers are on Black Friday, not everyone is going to buy something that day. Make sure you have retargeting strategies in place so you can follow up with visitors who don’t check out. The Facebook pixel can be part of that, but it should also include an abandoned cart strategy


Email is still the highest converting form of e-commerce marketing. 25% of all Black Friday sales start with an email.

We all know that we are going to wake up on the 23rd to an inbox bursting with cheesy discount offer subject lines though, so take some time and try to craft a subject line that will stand out.

Although most retailers opt to send emails on the Thursday, or on Black Friday itself, you should be careful not to leave emails too late, as a study showed that open rates for Black Friday emails were highest on the Monday and Tuesday preceding.

Gift Guides

Gift guides are a great way to win extra sales in the run up to Christmas. A favorite technique for fashion and beauty brands, many retailers selling products aimed at men miss a massive trick with this one. At Christmas, we are all struggling to buy for someone. Here are a few simple gift guide ideas:

  • Gifts for the outdoors adventurer
  • Gifts for men (that aren’t socks!)
  • Secret Santa gifts under $10
  • Gifts for tech under $50
  • Fun educational gifts for 7-10 year olds

Maximize FOMO

Fear of missing out is the very essence of Black Friday. It’s the emotional fuel that inspires people to leave the comfort of home to go and fight over sale items in store. It’s what makes us check the sites of stores we wouldn’t otherwise be checking. It’s what makes us upgrade our phones or buy a new coffee machine we wouldn’t consider at full price.

Limit stock available at discounted price, use countdown timers and stock remaining counters, have a pre-sale period that’s exclusive to your Facebook fans or people who have bought from you previously, use customer proof. Black Friday is the time to throw every marketing tactic at your customers, to try and excite them into impulsive purchases.

Get Ready For Returns

When you have a surge of people impulse buying, an increase in returns is to be expected.
This does not have to be negative. Customers who return items are still customers and having a positive experience of your returns procedure will build trust and make these customers more likely to purchase again from you in the future.

Now is a good time to revisit your returns policy and check it’s up to date. Make sure it is written in a way that is plain and simple to understand.

If you want to have a separate returns policy for Sale items, get that ready now.

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