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Black Friday Strategy: 10 Simple Promotion Ideas For E-Commerce In 2020

Black Friday Strategy: 10 Simple Promotion Ideas For E-Commerce In 2020

Renata Liubertaitė

No, Black Friday 2020 is not canceled. Due to the fact that many retail stores will close their doors on Thanksgiving to avoid crowds, such rumors have been spread widely, yet not confirmed. Black Friday will happen, but it’s definitely going to look different this year.

How? It’s no secret that e-commerce has been experiencing a boost for a while already, and it’s going to play a big role during the upcoming holidays. People are switching to online shopping, making most of the purchases via their mobile devices. This raises some new opportunities for text message marketing, influences Black Friday marketing strategy in general, and encourages business owners to be more creative to be able to stand out from fierce competition.

In this article, we will go through some Black Friday sales ideas that will hopefully kick-off your inspiration and help prepare the best deals for the unusual holiday shopping season this year.

Black Friday e-commerce stats and predictions for 2020

$16.8 billion. That is how much in total business owners generated in sales during the Black Friday Cyber Monday weekend last year.

Nearly 70% of online shoppers completed their orders using mobile devices, with $3 billion worth of purchases made via smartphones alone.

In 2019, Shopify merchants from all over the world hit the record-high $2.9 billion in sales, which means that since 2018 the numbers have actually doubled. Should we continue?

It’s obvious that people are taking advantage of Black Friday promotions, spending heavily, and the numbers have been steadily growing every year until now. Alongside the pandemic, 2020 has brought some new challenges and uncertainty for businesses though, but not everyone has been actually going through the same.

While some of the physical stores are planning to make adjustments to how they usually operate during the biggest shopping weekend of the year, online merchants are hoping for a busy holiday season. No wonder, though – according to Statista, the fact that millions of people were forced to stay home at the beginning of 2020 due to Covid-19, noticeably influenced e-commerce and online consumer behavior worldwide. Therefore, upcoming Black Friday e-commerce sales still highly depend on the current situation of the virus progression, meaning that even more people are expected to rely on digital technology this year rather than shopping in-store. So let’s go through some ideas that can help businesses get the most of the time people will spend shopping online this year.

10 ideas to promote your Black Friday 2020 deals online

Offer hourly or daily deals

Online shopping actually comes with lots of excitement from the moment you place your order till it’s delivered, and that feeling might really be contagious. To rephrase a famous saying, a deal a day keeps the blues away – and as an online business owner, you can definitely benefit from it by offering hourly/daily deals on your store.

If you’re not sure about what deals to promote, consider offering higher discounts on specific brands, for instance, creating bundle offers daily, or surprising your visitors with free shipping once in a while.

There are two reasons why offering hourly or daily deals might be a good idea. First, it’s never boring and comes with a surprise factor. Because of that, customers are more likely to come back to your store more often to check out what’s new. The second reason is partly a consequence of the latter – a variety of offers might increase your chances of a sale since they would be targeted at fulfilling different needs.

Reward customers for a minimum order spend

Some consumers usually plan their Black Friday spendings in advance and know exactly what they’re going to buy and how much it’s going to cost. Then there’s those who shop in the moment and make their decisions on the spot. The thing with both of these groups is that whenever there’s a chance to get something valuable in addition, both of them are still likely to consider the offer.

Sometimes, it’s worth adding an extra item to the cart if it’s going to result in free shipping or spending $10 more to save 30% on the whole order (e.g. “Save 30% on orders over $100!”). Rewarding a customer for a minimum order spend means that you’re offering some extra deal if s/he meets the requirements for it, which will bring the benefit to you. Win-win!

Create product bundles and arouse curiosity with loot boxes

Although already mentioned above, let’s look a little deeper into this option. If you’re not really sure what bundling is, let us put it this way – it’s combining several products or services and selling them together as a single unit, often offering a lower price compared to what a customer would pay if they’d buy each of those items separately.

A good example of it would probably be various makeup stores – sometimes, when you buy a bottle of shampoo, you get the option to add a conditioner and, for instance, a hair comb and buy all three items cheaper. Another popular example might be McDonald’s meals or buying a stationary computer with all the necessary items (monitor, keyboard, mouse, etc.) already added to the package.

Why create bundles? Not only they can enhance customer experience and relieve the pressure of decision making, but bundling can also help to speed up inventory turnover, increase revenue, and average sales.

Surprise customers with a gift

Do you really know anyone who doesn’t like gifts? If you do, we’re pretty sure they’re lying to you.

Offering a gift with purchase is a common sales tactic that businesses use to entice and convert their customers. You might be thinking: I’m offering something for free, so I must be losing, right? Na-ah, here are some of the benefits that actually come with complimentary gifts:

  • The opportunity to get a gift instantly attracts customer’s attention
  • Gifts have higher chances to trigger impulsive buying decisions
  • A useful gift adds extra value to the purchase
  • Gifts are a great opportunity for upselling
  • Something as pleasant definitely boosts customer experience

There are some things to keep in mind though when choosing a gift to offer. It shouldn’t just be anything as long as it’s free – your customer will only find value in something that s/he wants to have/try or can put into use.

Show some love for VIP customers

With VIPs it should be obvious – those are your most valuable customers and rewarding them for being loyal once in a while is a good practice to continue keeping them that way.

If you don't have a list of VIP customers yet, Black Friday might be a good opportunity to put it together since it can encourage them to rethink their buying decisions and spend more.

How can you do it? The possibilities are almost limitless here and depend only on your imagination, yet here are some options that you can adjust to your business:

  • Provide them with early access to exclusive offers
  • Give extra discounts
  • Offer an upgrade
  • Inform them first
  • Offer help

Create a sense of urgency

That’s the deal with Black Friday – it ends, and it ends quickly. This whole holiday is based on a sense of urgency and that’s one of the reasons why it’s so huge. It doesn’t mean though that you can’t take it even further and implement these tactics in your promotions – having “today-only deals” all over your site might boost both the fear of missing out and conversions.

How do you do it? Here are a few magic words that should do the trick:

  • Limited time
  • Today only
  • Hurry
  • Buy before
  • Act now
  • Last chance
  • Don’t miss out
  • Buy now
  • Offer expires

Make a holiday shopping list

One of the main purposes of Black Friday is to open a holiday season – and that’s actually when all the shopping for upcoming celebrations begins. In 2019, an average shopper in the UK spent £179 on gifts during Black Friday, and a whopping £2.1bn was spent on Christmas gifts overall.

It means that customers are definitely expecting to catch some great deals this year too, so make sure you’re there to help them do it effortlessly. Starting with gift guides and holiday shopping lists might be a good idea since they can help you categorize your products and allow customers to go straight to what they’re looking for without having to browse your whole store if they have no other intentions.

Turn it into a game

Games are fun, games are engaging, and games can help you sell more, not only during Black Friday weekend but always!

There are so many different ways you can use gamification to make the experience more interactive for your customers. One of the most popular examples is the spinning wheel that features different promotions and allows customers to get a random one just by spinning it. Another example could be mystery coupons that let customers draw a deal from several options and spice their experience with surprise. Consider some kind of scavenger hunt, too, scratches, egg hunt, memory games, or come up with your own solution – those are addictive!

Don’t forget Cyber Monday

This year both of these holidays – Black Friday and Cyber Monday – go very closely together since people are practicing social distancing and will most likely avoid physical stores, thus move their shopping online. So why not turn it into a long shopping weekend instead of having two different strategies for separate occasions?

We don’t have combining them both together in mind, but rather seeing Cyber Monday as an extension of Black Friday. Nonetheless, the numbers are pretty impressive with this one too. Remember the statistics above? Total sales hit the record-high $9.4 billion in 2019, so there’s no room for even discussing the impact it might make on your business.

Take advantage of text message marketing

According to MMA Global, despite the fact the statistics on mobile usage rise constantly, 65% of brands still don’t have a formal text marketing strategy to benefit from the amount of time people spend on their phones. And that’s what can make you stand out from the crowd.

SMS is a universal channel that can be used in many different ways and adjusted to any industry imaginable. Since it’s so brief, direct, and personal, it can actually become a great tool to communicate during the shopping weekend, no matter if you want to let your customers know about upcoming promotions or better manage shipping and customer support processes. Oh, and did we mention 98% open rates? So many times before, but this number just doesn’t get old.


No one can actually say how big Black Friday 2020 is going to be for sure, but given the e-commerce statistics during the last months, it still seems like something not to miss out on. So take some ideas from this list, prepare your deals, your tools, and your team, and get the best out of Black Friday 2020. We're sure, it's going to be a good one!