The day after Thanksgiving marks the start of the holiday shopping frenzy known as Black Friday. With massive crowds flocking to brick-and-mortar stores to scoop up deals, it may seem daunting for small eCommerce businesses to compete. However, with the right preparation and black friday marketing tactics, your online store can absolutely make the most of the Black Friday rush.
In this post, we’ll explore proven strategies for attracting customers, driving sales, and handling logistics during the busiest shopping season of the year. Follow these tips to hook shoppers this Black Friday and Small Business Saturday.
Understanding the Black Friday Frenzy
Before diving into Black Friday marketing, let’s quickly cover what the Black Friday phenomenon entails:
- Origin – The term “Black Friday” dates back to the 1960s, when large crowds and traffic jams from post-Thanksgiving holiday shopping created headaches for Philadelphia police. Retailers hope to be “in the black” or profitable for the year on this Friday.
- When is Black Friday 2023? Last year, it fell on 25 November – in 2023, it will take place from Friday 24 November through to Monday 27 November (Cyber Monday).
- Significance – Black Friday weekend now kicks off the holiday shopping season. In 2022, consumers spent $7.5 billion online on Black Friday alone.
- Deals – Retailers offer deep discounts on electronics, appliances, apparel, toys, and more. Limited doorbuster deals create urgency.
- Timing – Sales usually start on Thanksgiving evening for online stores and at midnight for brick-and-mortars. Shoppers line up for hours beforehand.
- Trends – Black Friday is shifting online, with Cyber Monday becoming even bigger. Mobile shopping and buy online, pick up in-store (BOPIS) are also growing.
For eCommerce merchants, being aware of these Black Friday dynamics is key to capitalizing on busy shopping days. Next, let’s explore black friday marketing and operations strategies.
Top Black Friday Marketing Strategies for Your eCommerce Store
Drive traffic and boost sales with these online Black Friday marketing best practices:
Launch Teaser Campaigns in Advance
- Send emails teasing upcoming deals and launch social media billboards 1-2 weeks beforehand. This builds anticipation.
Offer Irresistible Sitewide Discounts
- 20-25% off entire order or $10 off all purchases over $50 incentivize bigger cart sizes.
Run Limited-Time Flash Sales
- Lightning deals in short 4-8 hour bursts create FOMO.
Give Sneak Peeks of Top Deals in Emails
- Let subscribers preview doorbusters to come. This prompts signups.
Blanket Social with Black Friday Content
- Share deals, brand ambassadors unboxing sales items, behind-the-scenes highlights.
Run Retargeting Ads for Cart Abandoners
- Win back customers who left items unpurchased with tailored promotions.
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Preparing Inventory, Operations, and Staff
While promotions attract shoppers, you need robust backend operations to backup your Black Friday marketing strategies. Some key areas to address:
Inventory – Stock up 15-20% extra on bestsellers and seasonal items. Shortages lead to lost sales.
Staffing – Scale up customer service and order fulfillment staff to handle 2-3x normal volume.
Order Cutoffs – Be crystal clear and upfront on order deadlines to receive items before Christmas.
Shipping Options – Promote fast shipping upgrades for last-minute shoppers. Partner with an efficient carrier.
Web Performance – Stress test servers, optimize site speed, and prepare for traffic spikes.
Fulfillment Streamlining – Set order caps on high-demand products to maintain control.
Cybersecurity – With surging traffic, be vigilant about fraud and security measures.
Contingency Plans – Have backup delivery arrangements in case of carrier delays due to weather or volume.
Budget Forecasting – Carefully project and prepare for surges in advertising, payroll, shipping, and other costs.
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Creative Ways to Hook Customers
Now let’s explore innovative Black Friday marketing tactics that break through the chaotic noise:
Stimulate FOMO with Urgent Countdown Timers
- Timers ticking away next to deals add impulse pressure. Online template tools like CountdownCart make this easy to set up.
Gamify Your Sales
- Turn deals into a spin-the-wheel game, scavenger hunt across your site, or other fun activity.
Launch App-Only Promos
- Drive downloads of your mobile app with exclusive deals – 20% off for app users only.
Partner with Influencers and Affiliates
- Get microinfluencers talking about offers in their niche. Offer commissions for referrals.
Create Gift Guides and Ideas Lists
- Cater to customers seeking gifting inspiration for family and friends.
Give Sneak Peeks via User-Generated Content
- Regram customers unboxing pre-orders of new arrivals to generate buzz.
Share Behind-the-Scenes Content
- Let customers peek at Black Friday war room preparations on Instagram Stories.
Run Holiday Contests and Giveaways
- Encourage social shares for prize entries – vacation getaways, gift cards, or high-value products.
Offer Free Shipping or Returns
- Incentivize risk-free purchases. Brands like REI and Patagonia have seen success with hassle-free return policies.
Personalize Your Emails
- Segment your list to send targeted promotions based on interests and purchase history.
The Role of Spaceship in Black Friday Marketing
Streamlining Shipping with Spaceship
Spaceship is an innovative logistics price comparison platform that simplifies the shipping process for e-commerce businesses. It offers a suite of services designed to make your Black Friday marketing efforts seamless.
- Logistics Price Comparison: Quickly compare shipping rates from various courier service providers to find the best deals.
- Automated Shipping Orders: Integrate your Shopify store with Spaceship to automate shipping orders, saving you time and reducing errors.
- Package Pick-Ups: Schedule package pick-ups conveniently, ensuring your orders are processed swiftly.
- Order Tracking: Provide real-time order tracking for your customers, enhancing their shopping experience.
- Shipping Insurance: Protect your valuable shipments with easy-to-purchase shipping insurance.
Ensuring a Seamless Black Friday Experience
Imagine this: It’s Black Friday, and your online store is flooded with orders. Thanks to Spaceship, you can keep up with the demand effortlessly. Orders are processed smoothly, and customers can track their packages in real-time, reducing inquiries and improving satisfaction.
Spaceship Fulfillment offers advanced techonology to let e-commerce owners control over the fulfillment process online. Just a few clicks needed to book the inventory and change the product packing rules instantly, plus comparing internal carriers online to find out the best-fitting shipping solutions.
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Make This Your Best Black Friday Yet
While Black Friday presents chaos, it also provides huge opportunity for eCommerce merchants. The combination of smart preparation, irresistible deals, and creative marketing and operations strategies outlined above will help your business thrive this holiday season.
Focus on delighting customers, stay nimble to meet demand, and lean into promotions that play to your unique strengths and brand identity. With the right foundation, you’re sure to hit new sales milestones and exit the holidays strong. Happy selling!
Let me know if you would like me to modify or expand this draft further. I tried to incorporate markdown formatting, short sentences, lists, headers, tables, and creative hooks as we discussed. I’m happy to keep refining the post so it is engaging, helpful, and highly optimized for search.
It will take place from Friday 24 November through to Monday 27 November (Cyber Monday).
Start teasing deals and building hype 1-2 weeks in advance. Email subscribers sneak peeks of upcoming doorbusters.
Offer at least 20-25% off sitewide or dollars off larger purchase amounts to appear competitive.
Prep 15-20% over normal volume for your hottest selling items to avoid shortages.
Retarget shoppers with personalized promotions and offer free shipping or returns.
Analyze prior years’ sales, factor in promotions planned, and prepare for surges in marketing, payroll, shipping, and other costs.