Black Friday & Cyber Monday: The best tips for online merchants

by Kristof Maletzke, 14.10.18



Dates such as Black Friday or Cyber Monday are now in the mind of everybody. Understanding the significance of these days is imperative in best utilising the pre-holiday period to boost your online sales. What are these dates and how can you prepare for their arrival?

Let’s start with Black Friday! Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving and is known in America as the Christmas shopping kick-off. It is the day when stores offer the best discounts and deals of the year becoming one of the largest shopping days in the US.

The name Black Friday originated in 1961 in Philadelphia to describe the state of collapse caused on the roads the day after Thanksgiving Day. Black Friday marked the point at which shops began to turn a profit and move from red to black numbers after the low months occurred throughout the year.

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Black Friday first arrived in the UK some years ago when Amazon thought it would a good idea to bring the shopping sensation to a new market by offering some Black Friday discounts. Later in 2013, Asda also ran a campaign promoting the Black Friday concept in the UK.

The date for Black Friday this year is November 23th along with Cyber Monday, probably the second busiest shopping day in the US, which will take place the Monday after.

The name Cyber Monday was created in America in 2005 in a Shop.org press release entitled “Cyber Monday quickly becoming one of the biggest shopping days of the year.” According to the release, 77% of marketers substantially increased online sales that at that time, many Americans were turning back to work where they had high speed internet connections and could buy what they liked.

In the last years, more British retailers adopted a Black Friday campaign and offered massively discounted prices to encourage shopper to start their Christmas sales.

Be part of the trend: How to prepare your shop

Anticipation and planning are undoubtedly the keys to success. Here are some ideas how you can prepare your shop for the upcoming special days.

  • Determine the bestsellers that you would like to offer on Black Friday/Cyber Monday. Consider products that are current top sellers, and also products that are potential gifts. Don’t forget to also add the bestsellers of the last Holiday season.
  • Make room in your storage by selling off products that remained in the shelves for a longer time. Black Friday and Cyber Monday are the perfect opportunity to get rid of them.
  • Refresh your home page so visitors can see instantly that you have offers for these special dates. Here you should present an updated image at the top that works as a link to your promotional products and also clearly visible information about the delivery methods, duration of discounts and your return policy.
  • Prepare your stock and those products that will have a special offer. Nothing is worse than disappointing your customers. Therefore, make sure that the stock level you entered in the administration area for each product is correct.
  • Inform your existing and potential customers on additional channels about the promotions in your shop. You can plan an email marketing campaign and spread your promotions throughout social networks. Consider sending newsletters and posting on social networks in advance so that your customers already anticipate your offers.
  • Show the original price on product pages. This way the customers immediately see how much money they can save.
  • Create a countdown in your shop counting the days until Black Friday/Cyber Monday – for instance on your shop’s home page. This allows you to create further anticipation and excitement among your customers.
  • Publishing a dedicated page in your online shop with all the promotional products will help you organise the structure of your site and also assist your visitors with finding the promoted products.
  • Announce your offers on coupon websites. Even though this is not essential to join the trend of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, it can help to gain visitors. These pages are very common among online customers during sales seasons or special promotions like Black Friday/Cyber Monday to get even more interesting offers.

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are great dates to boost your online sales as well as for online shoppers. So take advantage of this growing trend and, above all, spread the word to your customers!

Happy selling!

The original version of this article was written by Andrea del Campo. It has been updated in October 2018.

About the author


is Communications Manager at ePages.

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