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Tips For Building a Successful Black Friday Ecommerce Strategy

October 9, 2020

October has arrived which means the countdown to the biggest event in retail is officially on. 

Whilst the sheer mention of Black Friday can instill a mix of excitement and fear within any person working in retail, it’s undeniably one of the most important days of the year for many businesses. 

With the onset of the pandemic, it would be fair to assume that many shoppers will be turning to online purchasing this year more than ever before. Cyber weekend 2021 is therefore likely to be a very busy few days for ecommerce businesses, meaning a well thought out strategy and thorough preparation are key. 

In this post, we run through our top tips on building a successful Black Friday ecommerce strategy. 

Plan ahead 

It may seem strange to start planning for Black Friday at the beginning of October, considering it’s on the 26th November. Proper planning and preparation are key to building a successful Black Friday ecommerce strategy, as the further in advance you plan, the more time you have to make any tweaks or changes before the big day. Now is the time to start thinking about which products you’re going to promote, taking into consideration profit margins, current stock levels and delivery dates. 

Create a buzz

Planning ahead also gives your marketing team the chance to build up hype around Black Friday. You can use social media, email marketing and your blog to create a countdown, reveal some sneak peeks of the products going on sale and to generally create a buzz among your followers. 

Email marketing can also be a key driver of traffic and sales on Black Friday, thanks to the ability to segment customers based on purchase history and interests. It’s also a great time to reward loyal customers with an exclusive discount sent straight to their inboxes. 

You may also want to set up some PPC search campaigns centred around Black Friday and Cyber Weekend specific keywords to get your brand noticed in the SERPs. 

Be selective

It may be tempting to offer huge discounts across the board in a bid to outdo competitors, but the reality is that this may end up being detrimental to smaller businesses. Lower stock quantities mean lower profit margins, and some businesses may even be willing to make a loss if it means acquiring new customers and increasing brand awareness. 

Our advice is to be selective and strike the balance between offering a great deal and remaining profitable. Choose which products you are going to offer a deal on and how much discount you can provide without making a loss. 

Get creative

Once you’ve decided which products you’re going to discount and mapped out a marketing strategy, you’ll need some striking graphics to use on social media, in marketing emails and on your website. Decide on your messaging and try to keep things simple and to the point for maximum impact. Make sure all images are sized correctly for each platform you’ll be sharing them on. 

Discount old stock

Many ecommerce businesses use Cyber Weekend as an opportunity to clear out their slow sellers, meaning the products that have a low sell through rate and are proving difficult to shift at full price. This is a great way to clear some space for new products and sell any terminal stock.

However, many brands use their best selling products to capture their customers’ interest by offering a limited time discount – consider doing this with a few of your best sellers with more generous margins to get people through the door. 

Switch things up 

Launching a new deal or discount each day for Cyber Weekend (or longer, if you wish) will help you retain interest and keep people coming back to your website. Making each day different and using social media to peak interest will ensure your customers don’t get bored and begin to shop elsewhere. 

Simplify your checkout process

Codes and coupons can create more hassle for customers, and prolong the checkout process. If a customer uses the wrong code or can’t locate the place to input the code quickly, abandoned baskets are somewhat inevitable. Marking down product prices means one less thing for customers to think about, makes it much easier to be selective about products and discount value, and displays the savings on each product for customers to see straight away. 


Cyber Weekend is a great time to incorporate upselling into your ecommerce strategy. Be sure to utilise the ‘related products’ section of your product pages and feature relevant, useful items that your customers may need. This helps to increase average order value, as customers are generally more likely to purchase another item if they’ve saved money on the original product. Plus, it’s often more convenient to purchase in this way. For example, a website which sells lamps may add the appropriate light bulbs to the related products section, saving customers a trip to the supermarket or an additional delivery fee. 

Perform tests

It’s a good idea to perform some website checks in the run up to Black Friday – the last thing you need is the checkout failing or the site crashing due to heavy traffic. The sooner you spot any issues, the easier it will be to fix them in time for Cyber Weekend. 

Ecommerce Strategy & Consultancy at Venture Stream 

From analysis and reporting to training and workshops, our team can help with all aspects of ecommerce strategy and consultancy. It’s more important than ever to invest in proper ecommerce management, but not all businesses have the resources to handle this in-house. This is where Venture Stream comes in – we can manage your ecommerce website from the initial build through to ongoing maintenance to ensure optimum performance 24 hours a day. 

Get in touch to have a chat about how we can work together.

Written by Andy

Andy is Venture Stream’s Chief Operating Officer and has over 15 years’ experience in ecommerce consultancy, design and retail marketing.

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