Black Friday is a major marketing event for online brands. It’s a chance to take advantage of heightened consumer interest, and a good opportunity to experiment with new marketing and advertising tactics. To get you geared up for Black Friday 2022, Shopify has compiled a list of 18 marketing strategies you can use to boost traffic and sales through your ecommerce store.

1. Run deep Black Friday deals

“You can’t go into Black Friday and put 15% off, 20% off and expect to do well,” says Chase Fisher, founder, and CEO of Blenders Eyewear. “Everything comes down to your offer—it’s the one time out of the year you can lower your prices without feeling like you’re losing brand integrity. Make sure your offer is compelling, no matter what.”

Blenders has been known to go deep on its Black Friday offers, with 55% off on all sunglasses sales. On past Cyber Mondays, the ecommerce team has even marked down snow goggles by 40%. That’s why the company boasted sales surges of up to 10 times that of its previous year’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday performance.

But instead of discounting your entire store, Greg Zakowicz, Senior Commerce Marketing Analyst at Bronto, recommends taking a page from Blenders Eyewear and offering category-specific sales. “The challenge for retailers is that as sales start earlier and earlier, it puts increased pressure on them to deliver the discounts they have trained their customers to expect,” says Zakowicz.

Using category-specific sales accomplishes several things, including:

  • Generating incremental sales with higher margins
  • Engaging email subscribers and visitors for longer
  • Helping you better manage your inventory, ordering, and future promotions

My favorite offer for Black Friday is a high discount combined with a high average order value (AOV) offer. For example, if you’re selling a $20 product, try to build a bundle that sells for a total of $100 after a 30% to 40% discount. When you increase the AOV, you can afford to give a bigger discount on the product.”

— Nik Sharma

2. Go all-in on VIP customers

Don’t be afraid to go even bigger with discounts and offers to your best customers. The email below, offering 35% off everything in-store, was one of several offers sent to the VIP customer email list of Baublebar beauty brand’s during a Black Friday sales event.


According to a benchmark report by Klaviyo, highly segmented VIP emails often make up just 3% to 5% of your overall list, but those users spend three times more per recipient than other customers in your database. 

The example above combined this sense of exclusivity with “12 Hours Only” copy and a Shop Now call to action (CTA), which creates a sense of urgency for shoppers to buy now. Together, these two tactics are likely to drive high conversions and sales from a single email send.

3. Create a master plan for Black November

Many retailers begin promoting their sales a month or so before Black Friday. So, you’ll need to pace your promos throughout what is now referred to as “Black November.”

Here are a few key dates in 2022 to include in your calendar:

  • Singles’ Day (China’s biggest shopping day of the year): November 11
  • Thanksgiving: November 28
  • Black Friday: November 29
  • Cyber Monday: December 2

“On Thursday, Thanksgiving Day, I like to keep things low-key. To your active customer list, thank them for being a loyal customer in a way that feels authentic to your brand,” says Nik Sharma, DTC expert.

“Right around post-Thanksgiving dinner time, which may vary based on your customer base, send a note to your most valuable customers (MVC) giving them early access to your Black Friday sale.

“The MVC segment is typically your subscribers, loyalty/rewards members, ambassadors, general high life-time-value (LTV) customers, or maybe even your first 1,000 customers. You can use tools like Postscript, Klaviyo, or Yotpo to make these emails feel personal with very little manual work on your end.”

Those key dates are critical if you have both a North American and Chinese customer base.

Keep in mind:

  • Black Friday may be known as the biggest day for discounts, but you should begin your promotions much earlier because many retailers start “leaking deals” through advertising in late October and early November, then nurture through email and social media to drive sales
  • Alibaba, China’s largest ecommerce retailer, generated $84.5 billion in sales on Singles’ Day alone. Remember to develop a separate strategy for that day too.

Your plan should include similar tactics as the strategy above, especially:

  • A Black Friday buzz-building campaign with a countdown, deals, and specials, using ads, email, and social media leading up to the event.
  • Sneak peeks on door crashers and other amazing sales that will go live during the weeks leading up to and on Black Friday.
  • A coordinated promotional strategy across all online channels—websites, emails, and social—to maximize impact on the day of your sales.
  • An influencer and micro-influencer engagement strategy to boost word of mouth about special offers.
  • Post–Cyber Monday deals (e.g., extended sale offers) for last-minute shoppers, emphasizing shipping dates and gift wrapping, throughout December.

Next, let’s look at how to integrate your sales and marketing strategy throughout Black November.

4. Start advertising early

Ad buyers are starting to run Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals earlier on platforms like Facebook and Instagram. It gives them time to test and learn, figuring out which creative assets work best, so they can ramp up spending during the four-day shopping weekend.

Some shoppers also get exhausted with Black Friday ad messaging. Consumers have been inundated with these promotions for nearly 20 years—they know Black Friday is coming up.

However, it doesn’t mean you should stop advertising completely. Nick Winkler highlights holiday season advertising trends and how to maximize your ROI in his post Win the Ecommerce Holidays with a Strong Customer Acquisition Strategy.

Nick’s top tips include:

  • Buy traffic early (before costs begin to soar) to build social audiences
  • Remain top of mind by remarketing frequently
  • Narrow your Google Ads targeting to high purchase intent keywords, like “buy [blank product]” or “best deal on [blank product]”

Additionally, consider how to capitalize on your growing social audience as part of your integrated Black November plan.

5. Build anticipation through social media

Leading up to Black Friday and Cyber Monday, you can make an emotional connection with customers using inspiring imagery and highlighting positive testimonials on social platforms. Then, when Black Friday hits, use email marketing to drive immediate results.

For example, ten days away from Black Friday, Blenders shared an Instagram giveaway. Two days before the giveaway, it built hype around “the biggest Black Friday Sale. EVER.” using the hashtag #blackfriday.

Simultaneously, Blenders was building buzz on Facebook and hinting at the “INSANE” size of the upcoming sale. This multi-channel approach allowed Blenders to speak to their followers and prospects in multiple places, successfully teasing the upcoming sales well in advance of the big day.

6. Segment your emails before and during Black Friday

Email is still a staple of Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales.

“The more segmented and targeted your Black Friday emails, the higher revenue per recipient you’ll generate,” says Alicia Thomas from Klaviyo. “You’ll also see higher open rates and higher click-through rates—helping you build and maintain a strong sender reputation.”

When Thomas evaluated the campaign performance of a smaller, more targeted group of contacts (between 1% and 25% of the master list), she noted the open rates were around 18.29%. Another campaign, sent to the other 75% of the master list, achieved a lower open rate, around 12.93%. The more targeted segment also saw revenue per recipient at 17¢ versus 11¢ for the less targeted send.

Thomas outlines 10 email segments you can use to increase sales over Black Friday and Cyber Monday:

  • Seasonal shoppers
  • Recent openers
  • VIP customers
  • Product browsers
  • Product category buyers
  • Hasn’t purchased (but is engaged)
  • Email ignorers
  • Almost purchasers
  • Geographic targets
  • Gift givers

For the recent openers, browsers, ignorers, hasn’t purchased, and almost purchased segments, it’s vital to tailor offers to push them to the checkout—or at least to open your email. For the almost purchasers segment, Ivory Ella sent an email out to only those customers who had received their morning email but had not opened it or placed an order that day.

For email ignorers, try enticing them with free shipping or a complimentary gift with purchase. Ursa Major sent a “free shipping plus a free bar of soap” offer at 7 p.m. the day after Black Friday to convert subscribers who didn’t open an email on the day of the sale.

All of these tactics focus on driving incremental traffic and sales on Black Friday, which leads to a critical question. Can your site handle the surge?

7. Take site performance off the table

The potential to lose or gain millions in sales on Black Friday can hinge on your ecommerce platform’s reliability.

Despite SweetLegs’ best efforts to make its ecommerce site bulletproof, spending thousands extra each month on better servers, a Black Friday crash cost the company six figures in lost sales. “There was just an error page: ‘Try back again later,’” says Chris Pafiolis, founder of SweetLegs. “Too many requests. Too many people. It just choked.”

After replatforming in just 30 days, SweetLegs had its best Black Friday and Cyber Monday ever. The company launched a 50%-off promotion for the duration of the sale, and the site stayed up the entire time.

Whether or not you need to replatform right now, it’s good to have a backup strategy. Install an uptime monitor like UptimeRobot or Pingdom to notify you when your website experiences downtime. That way, you can react quickly or immediately lean on your platform support team.

Site crashes are a huge turn-off, but a slow-loading site can be equally irritating for customers.

Increase your site speed

Every second a page takes to load, the worse a site’s bounce rate gets. Therefore, slower ecommerce sites will lose Black Friday customers to a faster competitor’s site. To improve your Black Friday ecommerce site speed and performance, review our optimization tips for Shopify Plus ecommerce sites.

Additionally, PageSpeed Insights is a Google Labs tool that personalizes suggestions to improve your site performance and speed. It calls out elements, like CSS and JavaScript, that can slow down your site.

Using Google’s Test My Site tool, you can even calculate how fast site speeds can increase your mobile conversion rates. Mobile users are impatient and rank slow pages as their number one annoyance online, ahead of site crashes.

8. Optimize for mobile-first buying

Most US consumers spend between five and six hours on their phone daily, not including work-related smartphone use. If your mobile site experience isn’t up to par with your competitors, they’ll be spending that time elsewhere.

While some customers still check out on their desktop and use mobile to browse, last year during Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Shopify merchants saw mobile transactions account for 71% of all sales, compared to 29% on desktops.


You can boost your likelihood for mobile shopping success by improving your site navigation and website speed, and offering one-click purchases to mobile-first customers.

9. Improve your website’s navigation

Improving your on-site search functionality will help customers to navigate your site quickly to find holiday gifts. Likewise, 70% of shoppers will abandon a site because of a poor on-site search and user experience.

Before the holiday rush, find a predictive search tool that offers:

  • Real-time analytics: To help you understand trends and performance with unlimited real-time analysis.
  • Instant, accurate search results: To retain customers who are almost twice as likely to convert when using site search.
  • Storefront customization flexibility: To use search as an extension of your brand by controlling overall search styling.

International Military Antiques’ catalog of 7,500 products has unique attributes such as type, time period, and nationality. Some products need to be listed under multiple names and descriptions. That’s why on-site search used to be a significant challenge for the merchant.

After installing InstantSearch+, the brand created detailed rules that fit its shoppers’ behavior and requirements, so customers could more easily find what they wanted to buy.

International Military Antiques’ integration with InstantSearch+ boosted conversion rates from visitors who used its custom search engine by seven times higher than those who browsed. Shopify Plus users can also add predictive search to their theme using the Ajax API.

Mimic offsite platforms on-site

MVMT watches features an Instagram gallery embedded at the bottom of its site to help mobile device users quickly browse its product line. It also encourages customers to visit its Instagram and see social proof that customers love MVMT products.


Users can also click and scroll through MVMT’s latest Instagram posts, view more images and pricing, and click on a single Add to Cart button—without ever leaving the site.

Additionally, MVMT leverages a host of traditionally offsite multichannel and mobile-first elements like:

  • Full-screen product images
  • User-generated content and reviews
  • Additional “Styled on Instagram” visuals

All of these elements help to speed up the browsing and conversion experience. You can take that customer experience one step further by streamlining the checkout process.

10. Simplify the checkout experience

The average person in the US spends more than $300 each month on impulse purchases. To boost impulse purchases on Black Friday, reduce the on-site barriers to buy. One-click buying enables customers to purchase items with a single click, with the customer’s payment information stored in a secure mobile wallet. Businesses can enable one-click purchases by offering these options on-site:

  1. Shop Pay
  2. Apple Pay
  3. Google Pay
  4. PayPal

You can also add dynamic checkout buttons to increase mobile transactions. Once a customer has selected their preferred payment method, Shopify’s back end remembers their choice and automatically presents that payment button on all future visits.

Likewise, you can speed up the checkout process by displaying those buttons directly on product pages—giving customers the option to buy immediately or add the item to their cart.

Kill the coupons and codes

Coupons and special Black Friday codes will be everywhere this year. However, they can be a hassle for customers who might use the wrong code, or forget the code and abandon their checkout.

Customizing seasonal promotions on your ecommerce site can be easier with the help of Shopify Scripts. Using the Script Editor app, you can create scripts that run each time a customer adds items to their cart. These scripts can have many uses, from discounting products with specific tags to running promotions such as \”buy 2, get 1 free,\” or a free gift with purchase.

Brooklinen’s Cyber Monday tiered strategy drove on-site conversions and increased average order values through spending thresholds: Thanks to a custom script, customers saw an overlay appear over their screen, offering a free gift choice as soon as their cart exceeded the first threshold of $150.

It’s a strategy called “optimizing closest to the money.” Using Shopify Scripts, merchants can customize their checkout experience to reduce shopping-cart abandonment and increase average order value.

Shopify Plus merchants can also reduce checkout friction using automatic discounts. You can create and automatically apply discounts to a customer’s cart, without a discount code. It offers fast, flexible promotions using fixed, percentage, or buy-X-get-Y discounts to streamline the checkout process.

Using automatic discounts on Black Friday, you can:

  • Boost conversions: Discounts will be automatically shown at cart and checkout.
  • Have more flexibility with promotions: Customize discounts by adding a minimum purchase amount or quantity of items. Set conditions to only apply the discount to specific collections or products.
  • A/B test automatic discounts: Use A/B testing to identify the best automatic discount thresholds to boost sales and conversion rates. Then create a more complex, personalized experience with Shopify Scripts.

As part of the checkout streamlining process, you’ll need a plan to recover abandoned carts.

11. Rescue abandoned carts by any means necessary

Shopping cart abandonment is still high in online retail, an astonishing 69.82% worldwide. While many retailers still use email marketing to rescue abandoned carts, new automation solutions are becoming more important for millennials.

For example, Pura Vida Bracelets uses ShopMessage for automation through Facebook Messenger. ShopMessage helps you:

  • Recover abandoned carts
  • Build a Messenger subscriber base
  • Trigger personalized conversations by onsite behavior

If a customer views a product on the Pura Vida website but doesn’t buy right away, the company can automatically offer a discount using ShopMessage. It takes one click for customers to return to the checkout and see their cart reconstructed, with the discount automatically applied.

ShopMessage has helped Pura Vida generate:

  • A 26% clickthrough rate
  • Over 400,000 sent messages
  • A 10% lift to top-line revenue from subscribers logged into Facebook

You can also use automation to streamline your Black Friday sales events and save your team some sleep and stress.

12. Launch more marketing campaigns, faster

Since Black Friday is a significant source of revenue for most ecommerce teams, it can also be a big source of stress.

Socks For Living uses ecommerce automation to easily schedule, execute, and monitor events such as sales, product releases, inventory restocks, and content changes. The team uses Launchpad to automatically roll out and roll back discounts, theme changes, and products. That means their team doesn’t have to stay up late to post or take down a new sale.

Launchpad’s real-time monitoring tool helped Socks For Living streamline which offers it promoted through email—and to whom—to prevent any awkward overlap. If one customer received an offer to buy a product for $15, they wouldn’t get an offer to buy that same product for $12 later on.

But why stop with sales when you can boost productivity by streamlining and automating internal workflows?

13. Automate front- and back-end productivity

Ecommerce automation tools like Shopify Flow let you automate nearly any customer-facing or back-office process you can imagine. You can also store and execute triggers, conditions, and actions you specify, without any coding.

Merchants can, therefore, automate business tasks for Black Friday and Cyber Monday, such as:

  • Customer service
  • Fraud prevention
  • Design and development requests
  • Merchandising
  • Marketing and advertising
  • Managing inventory

Velour Cosmetics and its agency used automation for its Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales. One of its past 12 Days of Christmas sales events involved an offer to double loyalty points through Loyalty Lion. The workflow example below demonstrates how the team tagged and tracked loyal customers based on different spend thresholds.

You don’t have to spend time guessing which workflows would work best for your site or create them from scratch, either.

Shopify Flow offers a library of pre-made workflow templates you can use to automate multiple ecommerce business processes. For example, you can send browser push notifications after a customer makes a second order, create support tickets after a negative customer review, and send a win-back email to “at-risk” customers. All Flow templates can be customized on your own in 10 seconds or less.

Since automation works so well with loyalty programs, let’s look at other ways to turn Black Friday into a loyalty-boosting opportunity.

14. Invest in post–Black Friday loyalty

Customers who redeem loyalty rewards often spend more than those who don’t. That’s because the psychology of a loyalty program email is completely different than promotional emails:

  • Loyalty emails include rewards that your customers have worked to earn, so they don’t want to lose those points.
  • They’re one of the few emails your customers receive that is 100% personalized.

LoyaltyLion integrates with a number of email service providers (ESPs)—like Dotmailer, Klaviyo, Bronto, and HubSpot. So you can automatically enhance customer emails with loyalty information, such as point totals.

Don’t forget to promote rewards in the customer’s cart, as well. Enabling customers to claim loyalty rewards directly from their cart with one click helps to grow average order values.

15. Prepare a Black Friday shipping and returns plan

Fast shipping and simple returns are two customer pain points. During BFCM, ecommerce merchants need to have a solid last-minute shipping plan.

Here are two key dates to keep in mind:

December 9: Green Monday

The concept of “Green Monday” was developed by eBay in 2007. It refers to the Monday that’s at least 10 days before Christmas. Holiday shoppers are in full swing on this day, which makes it a critical time to increase your marketing efforts.

December 13: Free Shipping Day

During Free Shipping Day, ecommerce stores often provide free shipping on all items, and guarantee delivery by Christmas Eve. If your store participates this year, be sure to set shipping expectations upfront with customers.

You can use one of several Shopify apps to show whether products in a customer’s cart are eligible to ship within a quick time frame. If the products won’t arrive in time, identify them in the cart as shipping separately. You can warn them on the product page or a sales landing page, as well.

For more last-minute shipping ideas, read our post on holiday shipping and fulfillment strategies. You can also check out Shopify’s Global Retail Calendar for all the important holiday shopping dates.

Impulse purchases are far too common during the frenzy of Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals, as are cancellation and return requests. You’ll lose customers if you punish them with a complicated return policy or poor experience.

With an app like AfterShip, you can automatically generate labels, refunds, and emails to save time and enhance your customers’ shopping experience. You can also customize your portal to look and feel like your website. Likewise, create specific Black Friday policies for final sale and discounted items.


16. Use Amazon as an additional holiday sales channel

Data shows that most people start their product search on Amazon. However, it’s tough to stand out in a sea of Amazon products. That’s why it’s important to allocate some of your advertising budget to Amazon Ads, which offers sellers valuable tools like:

  • Amazon Search for product searches
  • Amazon Ad Platform for static and video assets
  • Amazon Media Group for higher-end managed services

Of course, many retailers have reservations about working with the ecommerce giant. In fact, 61% of sellers fear Amazon will take away their seller privileges at some point, and 43% are concerned about negative customer feedback.

But if you think of Black Friday as the Super Bowl of online shopping, then buying ads and listing products on Amazon will help boost awareness for emerging brands. And you can use that exposure to attract satisfied customers to your site long-term.

“We realized it is hard for people to have faith in a new brand, especially for something as sensitive as footwear. We really liked the idea of Amazon being able to list our products side by side with the bigger legacy brands. That helped validate our product,” says Nolan Walsh, co-founder at Thursday Boots.

The footwear brand only lists its bestselling items on Amazon. It then entices repeat business by selling new product launches exclusively on the Thursday Boots site. More Amazon promotional ideas can be found in our post outlining the multichannel sales benefits of working with Amazon and eBay.

17. Upsell and cross-sell your products

Upselling is when you persuade customers to buy a more expensive or upgraded version of items or add-ons to boost the total sale amount. Cross-selling involves offering shoppers a product that complements their original purchase. Ecommerce companies that employ these tactics see a10% to 30% boost in revenue on average.

To upsell the right way, put yourself in the mind of your customer and figure out what will help your customer win. It’s a softer sales tactic that acts more like a friendly recommendation to help them make the right purchase.

Cross-selling can also act as a reminder for both new and repeat customers who might otherwise leave something behind. In the example below, a coffee company upsells a bigger bag for three more dollars, then cross-sells coffee filters to increase average order value (AOV).

Say one of your customers bought a TV. Recommend they check out your wall mounts or soundbar speakers in Messenger. Did someone buy the new Iron Man action figure? Remarket other Marvel action heroes to them.

Excellent copy is essential for effective upselling and cross-selling. Enticing phrases sprinkled throughout your sales copy such as “Add Extras,” “You May Also Like,” or “Others Also Bought” can often persuade people to take action.

18. Adopt a buy now, pay later platform

Considering Black Friday Cyber Monday is the biggest shopping season of the year, you want to look smart to capture additional sales. Sure, there are Black Friday marketing campaigns and steep discounts, but another way you can grab news is by offering buy now, pay later (BNPL) options for shoppers.

BNPL is one of the fastest growing ecommerce payment methods. The market size is expected to top $39 billion by 2030, with an annual growth rate of 26% from 2022 to 2030. Brands like Nordstrom, American Eagle, Morphe, and Alo Yoga have adopted BNPL options on their checkout page.


Two big players in the BNPL space are Klarna and Afterpay. In 2020, Afterpay ran a holiday campaign featuring brands like Levi’s, centered around shoppable campaigns. Those brands saw a 121% increase in Black Friday sales over the year before. Fashion brands using Afterpay normally see a 50% increase in new customers in the first six months, says Afterpay’s chief revenue officer, Melissa Davis.

To view the original article and more tips from Shopify, click here