black friday campaign

11+ Stellar Black Friday Campaigns To Learn & Steal: Best Ones Only

by Robin Tran

Black Friday marks the start of the biggest shopping carnival of the year – the Christmas season. As on this occasion, every customer will be offered the best of the best deals. Thus, it urges them to purchase more, especially when they feel they are in a great bargain. Due to this customer psychology, both online and offline brands have to capitalize on this opportunity to launch their Black Friday campaigns and boost their sales for the whole year. 

According to a study by Adobe Analytics, online shopping during Black Friday has surged by 22% to hit a new record, with a nine billion-dollar in sales stemming from it. So, every online retailer should have careful considerations for this worthwhile opportunity. First, let’s take a look at the Ecommerce Holiday Calendar below to ensure you won’t miss any event this upcoming November 2021. 


Generally speaking, you can’t afford to skip on this day as an ecommerce runner. The majority of the market comes up with insane deals and sales off that no one can turn around from; you either ride or die on this hill. 

Just look at the number that ecommerce businesses were able to pull off last year in this single one-day event.

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However, the rising wave of anti-capitalism in recent years has become a counter-movement for Black Friday. This shift results in several establishments go against the event by promoting shopping responsibly. 

Either way, these tactics are still considered Black Friday marketing tactics – which we will learn from the best example, milk every ounce of gold from them, then apply to your own flavourful agenda.

Let’s start.

Take This Part To Heart When Creating A Black Friday Campaign

You need to sharpen your weapon before going to the war. Similar to this event. Let’s once again strengthen your base before launching your successful Black Friday campaign.

Mobile-first. Always.

Mobile shopping has been blowing up and breaking down all historical patterns within the ecommerce scene. And it’s hotter than ever.

Analytics show a positive 42% of total purchases during this holiday season will be from smartphone devices. Hence, you should equip your site with the most mobile-friendly frontend and features than ever before. Optimize and innovate your website interface instantly, or else your customers will be unsatisfied and decide to turn to your opponents. Quick, time and tide wait for no man!


Considering investing in a PWA solution for your store at this point is highly recommended. You can find the details about the hottest technology in the ecommerce world here.

Optimize Shipping Strategies

Shipping is inherently crucial to your Black Friday sales success with great potential as well as challenges. Let me explain why using information attracted from over 80+ biggest online retailers and over 1 billion website visitors by Adobe Analytics:

  • Free shipping made up 7 out of 10 orders during the event. => Free shipping will be the ultimate factor that drives customers to purchase.
  • This overload led to a drop in holiday shipping costs. Without free shipping, the cost actually went up by 1.7%. => It’ll be a tough time to keep the shipping costs aligned with customers’ expectations, especially during a pandemic.
  • The “Buy X to get free shipping” benchmark had dropped 4.1% during the holiday season. => Even bigger challenges to pull out a threshold that incentivized the campaign.
  • 9% of ecommerce participants this year are brand-new due to COVID.
  • 64% of respondents say no to faster or expedited shipping this year. BOPIS (Buy-Online-Pick-up-In-Store) had risen dramatically during the holiday season, expected to reach 50% of total holiday orders this year. => Expedited shipping is an expensive option to take with huge risks since 1, the pandemic. 2, fewer retailers offer it.

So, how can you smooth out the shipping process during the Black Friday event while driving it to its full potential as a sales booster?

Here how:

  1. Install a One Step Checkout solution. It’s proven the most effective and streamlined checkout experience.
  1. Mitigate shipping issues/delays by pushing sales early. You’re able to provide a much greater range for free shipping via clear communication. This is a win-win situation for both you and your customer.
  2. If it is within your capabilities, open the BORIS option. You help customers shop in peace and reduce the shipping cost for them while enabling the chance to increase order value.

READ NOW >>> Magento 2 One Step Checkout: Complete Handbook A – Z! – BSSCommerce Blog if you want to know more about Magento 2 One Step Checkout.

Find The Sweet Spot For A Flexible Pricing Strategy

So far, I mentioned “Buy X to get free shipping” as a pricing tactic you should definitely implement on your website, but what you really need is a pricing strategy, a flexible one.


>> READ the most comprehensive checklist for holiday sales and how to render one successfully.

The target audiences of Black Friday are, without a doubt, sales hunters and holiday shoppers, and they are both motivated by price.

Here are some fronts you can battle on for your attractive and profitable sales plan:

  • Decide on your business goal with measurable targets.
  • Combine free shipping with volume-tiered pricing.
  • Distribute discount codes randomly within your range of choices.
  • Pull out bundles and packages.
  • Combine discounts with point rewards.
  • Flash deal to promote impulsive buying. The average US citizen spends $5,400 per year on spur-of-the-moment purchases with 85% of them stated discounts as their main trigger.

Once you have your strategy, now it’s time to choose the sweet time to drop off your sales plan. At the beginning of this post, I have shown you a brief live count of Black Friday sales for the most popular type of products. Now let’s dig deep into it.


As you can see, the most prominent niche within this sale off is appliances focusing on television. This results from the once-in-a-blue-moon sweet sales for these expensive products rather than those with seasonal discounts, such as clothes.

However, it doesn’t mean that other niches can’t thrive this Friday. Still, you can successfully reach a new sales record using the appropriate approach. 

Be Content With Your Promotion

Yes, I presented to you multiple ways to specialize your sales plan for the day, but it didn’t equal putting all of them on display.


Here is a fact, customers are easily distracted. The attention span is shockingly slow for avid shoppers. Two huge disadvantages are stemming from it:

  1. Your promotions aren’t attractive -> they’ll bounce off your site.
  2. You have too many promotions that loop customers around your site -> you can’t convert them.

It is best to run your promotion with the header bar. I give you five reasons why:

build up free shipping

The header bar stays right on top of your page, and people tend to scan a page from the top down. This means your promotion will be the 1st thing that a visitor sees.

Moreover, rather than blocking the entire page, the header bar takes up a fixed portion of the screen with the ability to follow as customers scroll down your website. This is a huge bonus point in the UX and UI department: deliver your plan without obstructing customers from reading/interacting with your site’s materials.

And of course, this is truly real estate. You can also use the bar for other purposes, such as pronouncing your plan ahead of time or other surprises that you find attractive.

Most importantly, it raises your conversion rate. Findings show customers’ appreciation for a comfortable navigation bar/header/stick bar is at an all-time high. 

top website feature voted by customers

CONVERT a customer 22% quicker with Magento 2 Promotion Bar (Magento 2 Users, of course)

Take Your Previous Data For Good Use

So far, I use the number from all the big data processing agencies that consider the average number of Black Friday. 

However, they are only indicators for you to shape the general of your plan. 

take previous black friday campaign data

Going to details, you must base on your last number. They will give you the closest insights into your customers’ patterns, the peak time, the successful promotion, and so on so forth.

If this is your first Black Friday sales, it’s best to copy your direct competitors. Since your customer base overlaps with them, you can find the quickest way to attract and stack them up on your site!

Embrace The Spirit On Your Social Media

For whatever Black Friday tactics you might use below, you should definitely make your statement clear, through and through. Especially on your social profile. 

connect with social media

Of course, you don’t need to create a post for every single platform you have an account on. Here are some criteria to determine which platform should you pay attention to during Black Friday:

  • Traffic pull power
  • Conversion number
  • Engagement statistics

Now, it’s time we examine the most successful campaign for Black Friday and what to learn from them.

Case 1: Estee Lauder – Perfect Example On Combining Promotions

Rather than a mere sales off, Estee Lauder strategically put in their loyalty program to drive a customer to the point of purchase quicker. 

Estee Lauder black friday

With two benefits at once, customers are more likely to cave in and purchase while the company enjoys all the bonus points:

  • Greater conversion rate.
  • Higher-order value.
  • Longer customer lifetime.

The free shipping and returns policy are also great sales boosters and retention promoters. However, you should be fully aware of your capacity to do so. Estee Lauder is a massive company with huge resources to pull it off, and you might not.

Remember to always calculate your internal capability before embarking on a sales strategy. That is how you guarantee your success.

Case 2:  Greats – Blue Print On Build Up Hype And FOMO

Let’s move on to another campaign that successfully renders a Black Friday through and through.

Instead of putting the deal (free shipping) front and center, they create a table that announces their current stock number for their most wanted products.

greats campaign

FOMO (fear of missing out) and scarcity drive your sales to the moon! The limited and the scene of exclusive is a bait that never fails. Try to do it with your own inventory in easy 1-2-3 steps:

  1. Find out your best/most wanted product and rank them to pick out the highest in conversion chances.
  2. Create an email campaign/banner to show your customers their stock (and you can manipulate the actual number to create even more hype).
  3. Seal the deal with another offer such as x% off or free shipping or free items. It’s up to you.

Case 3: Vodafone – Edging On Customer Nerves With Countdown Clock

The sentiment for hype-building and FOMO-inducing is pretty much the same as Greats. However, rather than a simple label for the stock status, Vodafone uses a countdown clock:

countdown clock

We’ve briefly touched on the idea of urgency and scarcity in the previous case, but during Black Friday, in a saturated market, it might not be enough.

That’s why you have to take it up a notch by putting out a visible time window for customers to observe your products and decide. 

However, these are a few notes you need to take into account before using this tactic:

  • No turnover recount – be genuine.
  • It’s not an occasional deal – make it one-of-a-kind.
  • Use the clock for realistic and real-time offers – give customers what they want and beyond.
  • Try your best to assist the customer journey, not to interrupt it – make it visible but not intrusive.

Case 4: Chubbies – Risky But Extremely Relatable Approach On Using Humor

Humor is the fastest way to pull people together. It’s the embodiment of laughing, having fun, and enjoying their purchase that helps accelerate the decision-making process.

However, you can also rub people off the wrong way, and it turns out horribly in your brand image.

One of the best Black Friday campaigns I’ve seen using this tactic is Chubbies with their after Thanksgiving plan. 

humorous the process

The key here is to make it light-hearted and close to the brand. Again, keyword, relatable.

To pull off a campaign like this, you should know your customer base through and through. From these insights, the second step will be choosing a copy and layout with a witty and clever message. 

The wording is particularly critical to this type of campaign because you can end up like this Singaporean shopping site:

absolute no in black friday

Within or without context, this CTA is horrible and tasteless – something you want to 100% avoid with your Black Friday campaign.

Case 5: People Jewellers – Perfect Prolonged Black Friday Campaign

We’ve discussed earlier that ecommerce sites get flooded during the sales day with inventory and shipping complications. How about mitigating those issues by extending the Black Friday sale plan?

Take People Jewellers’ campaign, for example:

early birds

They open the plan with early access deals sent personally to loyal customers with plans on gift options catering to different demographics. Then when the official Black Friday came, hit your site with the banner:

official drop

This tactic helps you stretch out the sales for maximum conversion while lowering the shipping department’s burden. 

However, you should differentiate the amount of sale off for these two stages. The deal for your inner circle should pack more benefits than your regular one.

Case 6: Withings – Took A Turn With Exclusivity

Want to increase retention and take appreciation for your inner circle even more? Learn From Withings:

withings vip benefits

In this case, they go against the People Jewellers’ route, offering for the previous customers LATER. Upon the deal for Black Friday, these customers get extra special treatment that:

  1. Make them feel appreciated and special.
  2. Make the deal more appetizing for people to cave in.

These two forces combine to make your conversion rate skyrocket with extra order values. Definitely consider using this tactic!

Case 7: Everlane – Ensure The Forever Deal With No Black Friday

Some of the ecommerce merchants take a stand against Black Friday for various reasons. If your brand aligns with the message here, which is forever the lowest price, you’ve come to the right place.

The downside of this campaign lies within the fact that the flashy deal (even “desperate” as it sounds) is what converts customers. And there are chances that you will appear holier-than-thou with this tactic, and people hate it. 

For a business with the ultimate end goal is to make profits, you don’t want to come off like this:

do not show you better than others

Nevertheless, this is still a promising tactic for businesses with a solid customer base with high ethics in production and services. 

Case 8: Cards Against Humanity – Anti Black Friday But On Brand   

The name of the company says it all. They’re meant to be immoral and tasteless. 

That’s why their Black Friday for the current years look like this:

cards against humanity drop

Or this:

email template

They even pulled off a kick-starter project back in 2016 to dig a hole in the middle of nowhere. The result, you ask? They raised over $100.000, and the whole process was on live stream.

These are obscene but significantly on-brand for their company. And your chance to copy these tactics is slim. However, it’s a text-box example of branding and how important and critical it is to your success, no matter how surreal it might appear to be. 

“Brand is just a perception, and perception will match reality over time.”

Case 9: allplant – Green Friday With Referral Program

And here is a Black Friday campaign for a brighter side of ecommerce.

allplant is a vegan meal-prep company, and they offer a sweet deal for their customers with the following presentation:

referral program

One of the main parts of veganism is the sense of community. By giving their customers the option “share-to-save,” allplant truly knocks it out of the park.

This tactic is often called a “referral program,” and websites using it experience a surge of 65% of all new customers from referrals.

Indeed, the power of “word-of-mouth” gets lost in the ecommerce scene and is just recently being explored and applied for better success. 

Trust is a huge factor that influences shopping behaviors, and a referral program is more than perfect to fit this bill.

Moreover, the offering also comes with 10 trees planted due to the referral, making people more likely to commit.

Case 10: Patagonia – Black Friday For Good Cause

You can also consider producing your Black Friday campaigns under charity/good cause reasons. 

Patagonia successfully pulled off this campaign by donating 100% to various environment conservation funds and reached over $10 million.

patagonia campaign

>>>Ecommerce for Gen Z: An easy to follow guide.

More than just a number to impress investors on their year-end report, Patagonia has struck a big win in the Gen Z population – the most prominent and active agents of ecommerce. 

Case 11: 22 Days Nutrition – Spice Up Your Campaign With Mystery

This email from 22 Days Nutrition is a textbook example of how to incorporate mystery to spice up your Black Friday campaign.

mystery campaign

No one can escape curiosity. With this single element only, you can pull great traffics to your website; the rest will depend on your deal. 

The sweet spot seems to be in the range of 20~50%. Do you wonder why it’s around this percentage? The answer is if the discount is lower than that, your customers won’t think that a good deal enough. Conversely, the more-than-50% sale off will eliminate the exclusivity’s sense of customers as well as the mystery you’ve built up to this point.

Wrap up

Black Friday is about offering great deals to your subscribers but not only that. 

Not only is a great deal isn’t just a shocking discount, but you also need to cooperate with other tactics aim to better your brand image. Be creative, content, and calculate for each step. You’ll be on your way to a successful season.

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