The Dos & Don’ts of Black Friday and Cyber Monday!

Black Friday and Cyber Monday is now a firm fixture in the UK retail calendar. If you’re having a sale or launching a new product and expecting considerable peaks in traffic, we recommend planning up to 4-6 months in advance. Start by chatting with your eCommerce agency and mapping out a strategy around how you want to approach the week. 

If you’re partaking in the madness, our Dos and Don’ts below will ensure your website and marketing is geared up for optimal performance.


Maximise AOV

Increase basket size with on-site recommendations

You’ve created a sense of urgency, and now the shoppers are rushing straight to the checkout. According to PWC, 42% of shoppers know what they want to purchase. For these shoppers, it’s important to utilise up-sells on site, tools such as Nosto can power personalised, on-site content and product recommendations. 

Offer alternative payments and pay later options

Offering alternative payment options, such as ‘Buy now, pay later’ can also encourage customers to make a purchase or increase their basket size. Our partners at Laybuy and Klarna offer pay later and take the risk of getting paid away from the retailer. Unlike traditional finance solutions, they are quick to get started with and user-friendly. 

Think about the bigger picture

Drive loyalty through subscription-based offers

Your best-sellers are always going to fly off the shelves, but have you considered upselling subscription-based products and premier delivery options? Both of these can drive customer loyalty long-term.

It’s no surprise that fashion giant ASOS continues to rise in popularity; in 2018 the number of customers opting for their Premier delivery option (£9.95 a year for unlimited next day delivery) rose by 53% to 1.3 million. 

Push new sign-ups

Use pop-ups to encourage newsletter sign-ups; and if you’re smart enough to get their preferences at the beginning, the remarketing opportunities are endless. Keep up the momentum and make them a customer for life with post-purchase thank you emails and user flows powered by marketing automation platforms such as Dotdigital and Klaviyo

Aphrodite email sign up

Follow up users who didn’t checkout

If your best selling products went out of stock during the sale or you saw several abandoned carts? Use segmentation to identify the users who viewed a particular product and then send them an email when it’s back in stock. You can even offer them a promotion code when the sale has finished to encourage them to return.

Gather user-generated content

Not only will your customer feel valued, but you’ll also have the opportunity to gather valuable and trustworthy content from your users during peak time. After purchase, solutions like Yotpo can enable ‘refer a friend’ and collect information around the customer found the product. If social proof is important to you, you can even offer an incentive. 

Glossier Yotpo example

Stand out from the crowd

Use eye-catching headlines and call outs

Whatever marketing tactics you adopt, it’s essential to stand out from the crowd. Your customers are going to be drowning in a mass of Black Friday/Cyber Monday emails. Give them something to hook on to, whether it’s a sticky subject line or promising call out. 

Last year, Selfridges subtly took the emphasis away from Black Friday and ran their ‘Christmas comes early’ campaign. It was a small change but welcomed amongst the mass of ‘Biggest Black Friday ever’ emails I received.

Make deals easy to find

The promotions you’re running must be easy to find. Ensure any hot deals have a clear standout link on the homepage or within the navigation menu and even a dedicated landing page. Users are aware that these deals are time-sensitive, so time is of the essence. If they’re finding it challenging to navigate the site, then they are going to get frustrated and look elsewhere.

Consider renaming your Wishlist

A little gem from our Creative team is to consider temporarily renaming the Wishlist functionality on your site on the lead up to Cyber Week. Titling it ‘Save for Black Friday’ will encourage users to save the product ahead of the sales, making it super simple for them to checkout on the day. To help facilitate this, you may even want to add an ‘Add all to cart’ option on the Wishlist page.


Wishlist on a Magento demo store


Don’t crash and burn

It takes years to build a reputation and only a few seconds of downtime to cause damage to it. Ensure your development agency are aware of your plans and can organise the necessary support resources. There are also various tools you can use to help filter the overflow of traffic and insure against failures. Solutions like Queue-It offer a virtual waiting room which acts as a safety net, only activated when the traffic exceeds a website’s capacity.

Harvey Nichols recently installed Queue-Its SafetyNet feature for the launch of Fenty Beauty by Rihanna. They also chose to switch this back on during Black Friday.

Don’t give in to peer pressure

If you’ve made it this far, but hard sell isn’t your thing, or you feel having a sale may compromise your brand ethos or positioning, our advice would always be to opt-out. Your customers will respect you for it and see higher value in your product offering. 

In 2019, our customers at Traidcraft (the original fairtrade pioneers), believe that slashing prices puts unnecessary demand on their trading partnerships. For them, it wasn’t right to promote Black Friday, but they instead decided to promote their ‘Just Friday’ campaign.

Traidcraft Just Friday campaign

While Black Friday appears to have plateaued, it has very much become an important and much-anticipated fixture in the retail calendar. For some industries, including electricals and fashion, Black Friday is even becoming more important than Christmas. Whether you choose to partake or not, we hope you’ve found our advice useful and wish you a prosperous final quarter. 

Want to increase your conversion rate, Black Friday and beyond? CRO and UX Specialist, Adam is on hand to offer advice to retailers and can tailor a strategy specifically for your brand. Request a chat with Adam using the link below.