How to Prepare for Black Friday

Wednesday, 7th November 2018

Guest blog by Jade Hark, Return

This year really has flown by, and terrifyingly, Black Friday is just around the corner. But if your ecommerce business isn’t quite ready, don’t panic. We’ve put together some handy, last-minute tips to help you prepare for the big sale.

Think about user experience

When most customers are shopping on Black Friday, they won’t want to be faffing around with lengthy registration processes. They simply want to buy their discounted products and move on, without fuss.

For this reason, think about your path to purchase. If it’s in any way cluttered, you’ll need to work on smoothing out the process so that users don’t get frustrated and leave before making a purchase.

Carrying out a CRO (conversion rate optimisation) test ahead of Black Friday will help you uncover any areas that could act as a hurdle to the buying process, so that you can remove these obstacles and speed up the process for your customers.

Use your homepage as a marketing tool

If someone lands on your page and doesn’t automatically see that there’s a Black Friday sale, you risk losing them straight away.

Place some banners on your homepage to draw attention to your Black Friday sale and help users navigate to the appropriate products. It’s important to use compelling CTAs (calls to action) to point users in the right direction.

You might have seen some ecommerce sites incorporating a countdown clock onto their homepage. This is a great way to build anticipation and engage users with your sale.

Deal with out-of-stock products

As a customer, it can be frustrating to find that your chosen product is out of stock, but during an event as huge as Black Friday, this is a probable eventuality.

If your sale products aren’t due to come back in stock, it’s important to keep shoppers interested in that product on the site, as there’s still potential for purchase. To do this, include some links to products they might be interested in, based on the sold-out item. Keep these links above the fold, so that the user can see them rather than being immediately put off by the words ‘Sold Out’.

Get your PPC ad copy Black-Friday ready

Competition is going to be even higher than usual during Black Friday, so you will need to adjust your ad copy accordingly. Be prepared to bid more aggressively in order to get your sale products seen.

Ad copy needs to be compelling and target users actively seeking deals by using the phrase ‘Black Friday’. You need to use strong CTAs that make customers want to purchase your products and draw them to the site.

Use remarketing tactics

Use your social channels to grab visitors who have been on your site before and viewed specific products, but not made a purchase. Use your remarketing tool to let the user know their favourite item is in the sale, and that they should act fast if they want to get it at a discounted price.

Examples of good Black Friday marketing

Even when you’ve got your Black Friday strategy underway, one of the biggest challenges is getting your brand to stand out against all the others. Here are two amazing examples of Black Friday marketing that made a lasting impact on customers: operates solely online, with no high street stores. With £600m worth of sales taking place on the high street last year, this presented a problem.

To overcome the challenge, Very brought their campaign to the streets using roadside digital 6-sheets, which acted as ‘digital shop fronts’. The ads were powered by real-time data from sales, audience, search and location, so they were updated throughout the day. This was a brilliant way to get shoppers to shop online and benefit from the site’s great deals.


In 2016, British pie shop chain Pieminister opened pop-up shops across the UK, giving away surplus supply to raise money for homeless charity, Shelter.

This campaign meant that the brand made money from stock that would otherwise have gone to waste, and raised £3,600 for a charitable cause.

About Return

Return was founded in September 2008 with the simple aim of maximising its clients’ return on digital investment. It has transformed from a one-man-band to a multi-channel, award-winning agency with a strong team made up of some of Europe’s brightest and most innovative digital minds.