It’s go time. November is here and that means one thing: Black Friday. Are you ready? Are your marketing, sales, distribution, IT, media and creative agencies all primed and in a good place? The craziest sales day and the start of the gun to Christmas will be here before you know it. Our Space Lab team has been looking at the effects of Black Friday 2017 and brainstorming the perfect plan for a great November.

It started with a few tips and then as we brainstormed the #perfectBlackFriday we realised there are a lot more nuggets we could share so here are 15 of our best ideas.

What are you promoting?

  • Don’t just assume ‘discount’ means slashing your prices 50-80% off, you might not have to offer rock-bottom pricing; so many people will be new to your website on that day they will be happy with any price reduction.
  • Also, think about your current loyal customers, offer them something special through your CRM email before Black Friday, this way you don’t alienate them.
  • If your Black Friday audience doesn’t stick around to purchase, have your abandoned checkout emails ready to bring them back to you. Although you might consider not opting into Email marketing, Email’s share of clicks grew by 16% YoY from 2016 to 2017, to account for 2.5% of all clicks for the online retail industry (Hitwise).


3 marketing tactics to implement

  • CPC and CPA prices increase in the run-up to the event and impression share or actual ad serving is difficult in the 24hrs. Think about spreading your digital media buying across your usual best channels. According to Hitwise, 39.6% of all clicks during the Black Friday rush for the online retail industry came from search, making this the top channel used to drive traffic.
  • Be brave: start Black Friday earlier than the Friday. Grab the initiative, secure the sale, stay out of the heat of that white-hot day. Starting on Thursday is the new tactic for many. According to Hitwise, visits to the online retail industry saw the biggest year-on-year increases in the week before Black Friday as consumers started to search for deals early. As we head into 2018’s event it’s clear that interest hasn’t waned, with Google Trends already showing a lift in search for “Black Friday deals”.
  • Trust your media agency: give them the ability to act fast. The agency should be looking in real time at how the day is panning out, and if you can tell where your wins are coming from then allow them to switch direction/channels/budget to optimise. So, everyone is in, available, agile and stays cool.

Black Friday Deals Google Trends Data Oct-Nov

Source: Google Trends

Tease your audience

  • Start advertising right away. It’s this month, you don’t have much time left. Get your brand and offers in front of your audience and not just digitally. Hopefully, you have already secured billboards, print and tv advertisements to promote your amazing discounts to a wide audience.
  • Use your organic social audience, messenger, app, website to inform them what to expect on Black Friday.
  • Get into your audience’s inboxes and social feeds before the big day hits and CPC skyrockets. They’ll be able to match your offline adverts with your digital offers and be reminded to check you out as soon as your offers are available.


It’s November 23rd, now what do you do?

  • Be ready with lots of Social Media content to release hourly on the day, especially if you have large followings. Hit Instagram and Twitter hard: with all the noise from your competitors, these two social channels are your best bet of having content viewed on the day. Keep your followers close, intrigued, updated and don’t let them wander.
  • Don’t forget all the appropriate hashtags on the day in your posts! #BlackFriday #BlackFriday18 #BlackFriday2018 #BlackFridaySale #BlackFridayGiveAway #BlackFridayCompetition – you get the idea…
  • Offer a simple competition. You will have more traffic to your site than ever before (hopefully); make sure you can get as much lead-gen as possible. Someone who doesn’t convert today might do in the run-up to Christmas.


Your customers are your top priority, so keep in mind: stock, customer service and nightmare scenarios

  • Make sure you plan to have enough stock for the period. There’s nothing worse than a user visiting your site and seeing ‘sold out’ across all the amazing deals.
  • If you experience a nightmare scenario, act quick, say sorry, offer amazing compensation, go beyond the norm, turn a crisis into a great PR customer care story.
  • Customer Service is key, so make sure you have planned an increased headcount on your social & email channels and are ready to react quickly to customer queries, complaints and plaudits!

And it’s not just all about retailers: amongst the non-retail sectors, travel agencies saw their visit share increase by 20% during Black Friday week, while travel accommodation saw theirs increase by 14% (Hitwise). So, enjoy Black Friday and remember it’s only once a year so you don’t have to relive the stress until 2019 (which you’ll be able to greet with even more experience and research than you can this year)! If you need more help, just email our Space Lab team: [email protected] we’re ready to go!

Jon Clarke, Innovation Director