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Black Friday Marketing: 10 Black Friday Marketing Ideas (with top products to sell)

Jackson Haime

As we enter Q4, retailers around the globe are gearing up for the busiest shopping day of the year, Black Friday.

If you're in the eCommerce space (which you probably are if you're reading this), there is a massive opportunity for you to dip into the pockets of many eager consumers. But to be successful, you'll have to stand out from other eCommerce businesses who are vying for the same slice of the pie. 

If you’re wondering what the best Black Friday products and marketing strategies are, we’re ready to give you a comprehensive guide on winning. 

In this guide, we're going to share industry best practices and our best tips to boost online sales. With these strategies in your back pocket, we’re here to help you build an online store that comes out on top.

What is Black Friday? 

What is black friday

Black Friday falls on the Friday immediately following American Thanksgiving and, for many, symbolizes the beginning of the holiday season. Coined back in the 1950s, the name Black Friday came about after stores, who spent most of the year operating at a loss ("in the red") would offer the best deals of the year, boosting sales and leaving retailers with profit (“in the black”). 

In the mid-2000s, the world saw a shift in shopping habits with the adoption of online stores. Shoppers who weren’t keen on fighting off crowds during the Black Friday pandemonium set their sights online, and on Monday, November 28, 2005, Cyber Monday made its debut. 

Although the shopping experience has changed drastically over the last 70 years, one thing remains the same: Consumers are on the hunt for the best Black Friday deals and Cyber Monday sales possible and will go to great lengths to find them.

How is Black Friday impacted this year?

Black Friday and Coronavirus

The COVID-19 pandemic will significantly impact Black Friday this year, as foot traffic to brick and mortar stores will be down substantially compared to previous years. On the flip side, the pandemic has caused a surge in online spending, with consumers spending $347.26 B in the first six months of 2020 vs $266.84 B over the same period in 2019

Social Distancing has turned many customers towards online shopping, meaning that there is more demand for online shopping than ever before, something that will likely lead to a massive Black Friday and Cyber Monday this year. 

COVID-19 and Delayed Shipping Times

Due to the surge in online shopping, and social distancing regulations, there has been shipping delays and order issues in 2020. Although shipping issues are inevitable, they’re expected. 

2020 has also become the most competitive year ever for eCommerce. Not only are thousands of entrepreneurs starting their businesses, but retail stores that have never had a significant online presence are now entering the marketplace. 

These two factors combined mean that websites in 2020 need to stand out, and a creative Black Friday marketing strategy will be the best way to get customer’s eyes on your website. 

Why is a Black Friday Marketing Strategy Important? 

Black Friday weekend sales last year were over 16 billion dollars, and this year seems more promising as eCommerce has increased by over 30% in just the first 3 months of 2020

For a lot of dropshipping businesses, Black Friday can make or break their 2020, and it’s no different for you. Even if you’re launching your online store now, Black Friday can jumpstart your business so that you have an amazing holiday season.

Marketing is the power grid for your Black Friday sales. Even if you have the best deals and discounts on your store, it doesn’t matter if nobody sees it. Advertisements on marketing channels are the best way to ensure that you gain traffic to your online store, and it gives you the best chance at a business defining black Friday.

Preparing for Black Friday

With dropshipping, you need to consider shipping times. Black Friday is on November 27th this year,  which means there are only 18 business days between Black Friday and Christmas. 

This changes what items you can sell to customers. Products that estimate a long shipping time shouldn’t be the focus of your Black Friday sales, although it doesn't mean you can’t advertise them. 

The best way to ensure lower shipping times for your customers is to use dropshipping suppliers from the USA. Even the best creative Black Friday campaigns won’t be effective if customers can’t get your products on time. In fact, not getting their gifts on time can hurt your dropshipping business a lot more than a sale will help it. 

Ensuring that you’re working with suppliers who can ship quickly will give you a competitive advantage. 

How Do you Market on Black Friday?

In the world of Black Friday marketing, there is a lot of competition. It can be very hard to stand out, and frankly, standard ads that simply inform customers of a sale aren’t going to draw attention.

If you already have a digital marketing strategy, here are ten Black Friday ideas to creatively market your store and stir impulse buys that are irresistible. 

1. Mystery Savings

black friday marketing ideas
Photo Credit Wheelio: Shopify App Store 

Scratch Cards, Wheels Spins, and other methods of gamification are popular marketing strategies for two main reasons. 

First of all, people love playing games and people love the thought of potentially winning. This is why apps like Zembula and Wheelio are so good at what they do.

Secondly,  If your customers have a chance of getting 90% off their purchase, you can market that 90% number to grab people’s attention.

Additionally, gamification methods encourage customers to give their email addresses as their way of ‘entering.’ Each email address you collect this way increases the power of your future email marketing. 

2. Leverage a Loyalty Program

black friday marketing ideas
Photo Credit: Smile.io Shopify App Store 

If you already have a loyalty program like Smile.io integrated with your store, you can leverage that on Black Friday to supercharge your sales. 

You can do this in two ways. 

The first is offering larger discounts to your VIP’s, which will make them check your store often. 

The second option is to drastically raise the power of referral bonuses in your store.

Offering your current VIPs and ambassadors large bonuses for getting more people to shop on Black Friday is the perfect way to increase traffic to your store, as it will encourage a lot of free, word-of-mouth marketing. 

Your repeat customers are your best resource for trust-building marketing, so using them on Black Friday is key. 

3. A Big Giveaway

black friday marketing ideas

Giveaways are almost always an effective and inexpensive form of marketing, but Black Friday customers looking for deals are even more likely to engage in Giveaways than someone just browsing social media on a normal day. With so many people looking and interacting with your giveaway, it’s the perfect time to get an amazing ROI. 

Apps like King Sumo let you give customers a chance at winning a product based on sharing the giveaway, liking you on social media, or buying something in your store. Having a Black Friday focused giveaway, like a holiday gift package, is an amazing way to attract people to your store. 

You can also leverage giveaways to get more followers on your social media pages and increase your reach into your targeted audience. 

4. Make A Black Friday Landing Page 

black friday marketing ideas

Most eCommerce businesses launch their Black Friday page on Black Friday, but it’s ignoring one of the most important factors in organic web traffic, SEO. 

It can take Google almost 2 weeks to archive a new web page in their search results, and it takes even longer to get it anywhere near the top. Creating a Black Friday landing page is a fantastic way to ensure that you are more likely to appear on google results if someone searches “<your product=""> Black Friday.”</your>

Also, it helps to build anticipation and get your audience interested in the amazing deals you have lined up for them. 

5. Sneak Peeks

black friday marketing ideas

Providing your social media following and email subscribers with a sneak peek to your Black Friday deals is a fantastic way to get them thinking about your products before they’ve “spent too much” or “already have a gift for everyone.” By allowing your customers to think about your deals first, you are guaranteeing that your products are in front of mind when Black Friday starts and that customers will be loading your page at midnight - instead of your competitors’.

6. Early Access

black friday marketing ideas

A step beyond a sneak peek is full “early access” once they give you their email address. More and more stores are starting to have ‘Black Friday Week’ sales as opposed to just the weekend. 

This has 2 benefits. The first is that customers will be able to see your products and buy them before they have spent money elsewhere. (Plus we know that customers are looking!) 

The second advantage is that getting items shipped several days before Black Friday will get you ahead of the shipping rush, meaning that your customers will get their products well before the things they ordered directly on Black Friday.

7. Give Back 

black friday marketing ideas
Easy Donations: Shopify App Store 

A 2013 study showed that 89% of Americans would switch to a brand associated with a charity if the price and quality were comparable. By teaming up with a charity, you can give back this Holiday season while also making your products more attractive to customers.

On many eCommerce platforms like Shopify and Wix, there are apps that will build a donation panel into your cart page, which will also allow your customers to donate directly to a cause they care about as well!

8. Product Bundling

black friday marketing ideas
Image: StitchLabs

Bundling your products isn’t only a good way to increase your average order value, but it’s also a fantastic way to increase the perceived value of a discount. 

Three items that are wrapped together at 40% off have a higher perceived discount than those same items separated. Bundled products help you sell multiple things at once, and they make each item in the bundle look better. 

Additionally, bundling products have the advantage of building themes that may upsell a customer. For example, a customer may spend more on a ‘Beard care kit’ than they would by buying individual hair care products for the man in their life. 

9. Gift Collections or Look Books

black friday marketing ideas
Talbots Look Book 2020

When organizing your products for Black Friday, it’s tempting to leave your store as-is aside from a Black Friday landing page /collection. That said, this isn’t the best way to ensure your customers find what they need. The best way to funnel customers around your site is with gift collections that give customers ideas. 

Collections like ‘Gifts for him/her’ help your customers find the best deals, as well as remind your customers that they need to buy a gift sooner rather than later. 

10. Recovering Abandoned Carts

black friday marketing ideas

In March 2020, 85% of online shopping carts were abandoned. That means that the majority of people who you draw into your online store will choose to not execute their purchase. A key to Black Friday success is recovering some of those customers.

Abandoned cart emails are standard with many eCommerce platforms, but two main Black Friday adaptations that will help you succeed. 

The first is ensuring that you have the emails sent 1 hour after the original cart abandonment. 

The other is that you should customize your abandoned cart emails specifically for Black Friday.

Sending emails quickly and making sure that they are customized and relevant will make it more likely for your customers to come back and make the purchase.

Best Products to Sell on Black Friday 2020 

If you haven’t started an online business yet, or are looking to pivot your business before Black Friday rolls around, here are some of the best products to sell on Black Friday/Cyber Monday 2020. 

1. Women’s Clothing 

womens clothing products to sell on black friday

Women’s Clothing is always the highest-selling eCommerce item. Period. If you want to try selling Women’s clothing check out products like: 

With Fall and winter just around the corner, people are looking for new pieces to rejuvenate cloudy days, and quarantine blues.

2. Home Office 

Home office best products to sell on black friday

Due to the circumstances of remote work in 2020, home office products have had a huge boost in popularity.  They are also popular gifts which makes them fantastic options for the Holiday season. If you’re considering home office products, try items like: 

3. Customizable items

best personalized products to sell on black friday

Customizable items are extremely popular around the holiday season because they make fantastic gifts. Beyond traditional mugs or necklaces, dropshipping suppliers offer many fantastic customizable products like: 

4. Self-Care Products

self care products for black friday

Self-care products are especially popular around the Holiday season, from weights to skin-care, customers often buy self-care products for their friends and families. They are also easily combined into gift baskets. 

Self-care also encompasses bath products, handmade soaps, and lotions, as well as home gym solutions. 

5. Pet Supplies

pet supplies for black friday

Another one of the all-time classics. Pet supplies and accessories have always been popular but have boomed in 2020 with lots of customers looking to spoil their furry friends. Pet supplies also have a fantastic pool of adorable dog Instagram accounts to use as ‘influencers.’

Let the Preparation Begin...

Black Friday is an incredible opportunity for dropshippers everywhere to make a splash and really get their eCommerce business on its feet. By using the strategies above and making sure that your products and suppliers are top notch, you can build an empire that secures your financial freedom. 

Get started today and build a dropshipping business you’re proud of. At Spocket, we’re here to support you every step of the way. 

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Jackson Haime

Jackson Haime is a professional e-commerce nerd specializing in everything startup and small business related. After working for Shopify for two years he transitioned to writing about e-commerce full time. Check out his website Jacksonhai.me for more information.

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