8 Black Friday Marketing Ideas for E-Commerce

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are always record-breaking sales days. In order to get a piece of the action, your Black Friday marketing needs to be top-notch.

Source: Adobe Digital Insights Holiday Recap Report 2017

According to data from Practical Ecommerce, in 2017, online shoppers spent over $11 billion on Black Friday and Cyber Monday alone. Of those purchases, a huge number came from mobile devices. On Black Friday 2017, smartphone purchases accounted for 36.9% of total sales. In 2018, that figure is expected to rise to 52%.

With all the attention on online shopping, Black Friday is the best time to connect with your customers. But it’s also a busy time. Your customers will be seeing ads from everyone on social media. To get them interested in your products, you need to get your message across quickly and creatively.

Here are eight of the freshest Black Friday marketing ideas for e-commerce in 2018.

Black Friday Idea #1: Make a slideshow of all your products

During the hectic holiday season, the convenience of doing all of your shopping in one place becomes more appealing than ever. If your store is having a big sale, show off the variety of products you’re offering to draw in those one-stop shoppers.

A slideshow ad is a dynamic way to show off all of your products quickly. In this example, fashion rental brand GlamCorner uses the “Runner” Shakr template to create fast-moving slideshow ads for Instagram and Facebook.

The slideshow gives the user tons of choice. They can pick out items they want for themselves and their loved ones.

Idea #2: Create timely Instagram Stories

In order to make your message heard, you need to go where your audience is likely to hang out. Increasingly, social media users are spending time watching Instagram Stories. In 2018, the average user spends 53 minutes per day on the Instagram app.

Since Instagram Stories are viewed on a daily basis and disappear after 24 hours, they’re the perfect vehicles for timely content. You can announce exclusive deals on Stories, like SheIn does:


Additional Instagram Stories marketing ideas include: a daily countdown to the launch of your Black Friday sale, a branded Stories hashtag, or a presale deal announced only on Stories.

Idea #3: Partner with influencers and brand reps

If you want to build trust with future customers, let your current customers speak for you. On days like Black Friday, brands are everywhere. Working with social media influencers or brand reps on your Black Friday marketing will make your marketing message stand out as authentic.

You can keep the partnership simple by reaching out to people with relatively large followings (i.e., greater than 1K Instagram followers) who are either fans of your brand or influencers in your industry. Sephora reposts members of its Beauty Insider community, like this post from member @Savannah.Palmer:

Be sure to send reps your best Black Friday merchandise ahead of time and plan out a posting schedule so that you know when you’ll be able to use their content in your Black Friday marketing.

Idea #4: Launch a seasonal giveaway

Everyone loves freebies, especially at a time of year when spending is high. Timing a product giveaway around Black Friday will make customers love you (and want to check out your pricier items, too!).

E-commerce mattress brand Tuft & Needle recently did a daily giveaway in honor of the company’s six-year anniversary. It asked customers to fill out a quick form for a chance to win:

The giveaway lasted one month and was a valuable way to build customer relationships by making them feel like part of a celebration. You too can use a giveaway as a chance to engage with new and returning customers. In a giveaway, you can show people what makes your product and company great, which sets the stage for them to buy now or in the future.

Idea #5: Create personalized campaigns

Differentiation is everything on Black Friday, and one of the best ways to stand out is with personalized ads. Targeted content that aligns with customer locations, interests, or even relationship status will be more relevant and interesting to them.

E-commerce shoe giant Zappos has an entire Instagram account dedicated to running apparel. Its NYC marathon post is targeted particularly to New York residents and marathon runners.

While targeted campaigns inevitably have smaller audiences, you’ll make up for the lower reach with ad relevance. By connecting with customers on a deeper level around interests or passions, you’re more likely to nudge them closer to conversion.

Idea #6: Partner with like-minded brands

Since you’re not the only brand that’s thinking of doing a promotion for your Black Friday marketing, why not partner with another brand on a joint promotion? In a partnership, you can reach more people, share resources, improve customer experience, and, ultimately, drive more revenue.

Crate & Barrel partners with delivery marketplace Dolly to arrange for customers to get their furniture in a timely fashion:

The partnership works so well that they’ve made it permanent. Each business can focus on its strengths while driving new business from the partnership. Your Black Friday marketing campaign could work so well that it changes company operations. Try it out!

Idea #7: Unbox everything

The unboxing video trend is still going strong, and with the growth of mobile video, 2018 is the perfect time to dive in.

Wish has unboxing videos for several e-commerce categories, including the ever-popular Black Friday category, electronics:

Unboxing videos work so well for e-commerce businesses because they capture the anticipation and excitement of getting a gift. Even if that’s just a gift for yourself. With an unboxing video, you can get up-close and personal with your products and show tiny details. Plus, unboxing videos are super easy to make. You can film yourself using an iPhone, pop the footage into a Shakr template, and launch across social media channels.

Idea #8: Get in the giving spirit

Not every Black Friday marketing campaign has to be about driving sales. You can also join in the holiday spirit by giving to good causes. After all, it’s called Thanksgiving for a reason.

Patagonia has always been involved in giving, with 1% of all profits going towards earth conservation efforts. In 2016, Patagonia launched an unusual Black Friday campaign: the company gave 100% of its proceeds to environmental organizations:

patagonia-black-friday-marketingThe campaign generated positive press for Patagonia and the causes it celebrated. It also generated record-breaking sales. Win-win.

Don’t be afraid to try something new this Black Friday

On big sales days like Black Friday, it’s easy to stick with what’s worked before. But it’s also a great time to take some risks with your marketing and win big with your customers. Reach out to a brand you admire, tap some influencers, launch a giving campaign, or make your very first Black Friday video ad. ‘Tis the season for creativity!

Also published on Medium.

Co-founder and Chief Strategy Officer at Shakr

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