15 creative Black Friday campaigns from ecommerce brands

Black Friday is the biggest shopping holiday of the year. It’s prime time for brands to get fresh eyeballs on their products and get a revenue boost. 🔥

It’s a win-win for both sides. Ecom stores cut their prices to capture new shoppers while existing customers can get very handsome deals on their fave products. It really is the most wonderful time of the year! And there are millions of amazing, small ecommerce stores out there getting wildly creative with their Black Friday campaigns.

So, if you’re feeling stuck or don’t know where to start, here’s some wholesome inspo to get you going.

15 Black Friday strategies from ecommerce brands

1. Make a stand

In recent years, companies have been taking a stand on Black Friday. They push against “fast fashion” and other consumer trends to bring sustainable initiatives to their customers–think Patagonia and its “Don’t Buy This Jacket” campaign, or Everlane, who used the buzz around Black Friday to draw attention to polluting ocean plastic.


The brand still promoted its deals but also pledged $10 per Black Friday purchase to environmental charity Oceana. With shoppers choosing to buy from brands with aligned values, this is a clever way to highlight your mission while making sales.

2. Create a pre-Black Friday Buzz

Black Friday traditionally takes place the day after Thanksgiving, but businesses are now stretching it out to days or even weeks in advance. Take a leaf out of Tubby Todd’s book and get shoppers excited in the lead-up to your sale. The brand not only promoted tips about how their customers could make the most of Black Friday deals, but it also encouraged followers to join the “Tub Club” so they could cash in on extra savings.

Key takeaway
Create excitement in the lead-up to Black Friday by giving a sneak peek of your sales and getting people to join your email list. When you do finally launch your offers, you’ll have hundreds more hungry shoppers eagerly waiting.

3. Snap beautiful photos

With so much going on during Black Friday, you need to stand out. There’s no better way to do this than through beautiful product photos on your social channels, website, emails, and ad campaigns. Remember, you’re trying to capture new customers, and they want to look at your products and think “yes, I need that!”.

Act and Acre is a pro at taking mesmerising product shots that hint at the care and craft that has gone into each item.

Act and Acre Black Friday campaign

Key takeaway
Beef up your product library pre-Black Friday with irresistible product photos (here’s how to brief a photographer). Use Dash to upload and store new photos so you can easily access them throughout the day–whether you (or the rest of your team) want to publish a quick post on Insta or update the product page for a fast-seller, you’ll have instant access to your photos with just a click.

4. Run a PR drive

Getting placements in relevant publications is a great way to get more eyeballs on your store during Black Friday. This is exactly what boot brand Dear Frances did during one Black Friday event. It managed to secure placements in top online fashion mags, including The Zoe Report and Marie Claire

The Zoe Report

Key takeaway

Tons of shoppers turn to their fave publishers and bloggers for Black Friday inspo. If you've got a sought-after product or you've got a good relationship with a publication in your niche, try pitching some Black Friday content to them. If you've not built up those PR relationships yet, there are plenty of writers looking for awesome products to add to their holiday gift guides. Sign up for PR opps with sites like Help a Reporter Out to increase your chance of getting featured. 

5. Promote a buy-back campaign

IKEA isn’t a small DTC brand, but we’re a big fan of how they do Black Friday (and who says you can’t take some tips for big names?!).

As well as promoting hot deals on its furniture, the brand also hosts #BuybackFriday, where it buys back pre-owned furniture that has life left in it. IKEA pays shoppers to give back their goods, increasing trust levels and turning one-time buyers into long-term loyal fans.

IKEA Black Friday campaign

Key takeaway
Think about how you can give back during Black Friday. Your customers have served you well, and now it’s your turn to serve them. Consider buy-back initiatives or invite shoppers to send you their old products for repair instead of encouraging new purchases.

6. Offer free shipping

Free delivery is the most convincing purchase driver for online shoppers. In fact, 9 out of 10 consumers claim free shipping is their number one incentive for buying online, and 93% of shoppers buy more if there’s a free shipping option. Combine this year-round tactic with your Black Friday deals to increase your average order value (AOV) and encourage on-the-fence shoppers to hit buy now.

Basic Piece does this well. The brand offers free shipping on anything and everything bought during the shopping holiday.

Basic Pieces Black Friday campaign Key takeaway
Give shoppers what they want–free shipping! Reduce your free shipping threshold or offer free shipping on your bestsellers to encourage more sales and increase customer satisfaction.

7. Inject personality into your campaigns

Chubbies is well-known for its tongue-in-cheek humour, and the brand plays into this during key holiday shopping events. This Black Friday email promoting its “Schworts” includes relevant copy about thanksgiving and eating too much turkey before promoting the offer it has on its bestsellers.

Chubbies Black Friday campaign
Key takeaway
Stand out on Black Friday by imbuing your campaigns with brand personality. Make your promotions fun and lighthearted, engage with shoppers and use puns and plays on words to promote your products.

8. Don’t forget existing customers

While Black Friday is prime time for attracting new shoppers, it’s also the perfect opportunity to reward existing customers and say thanks for their loyalty. Victoria Emerson offers existing customers a VIP deal, including more money off and the chance to get exclusive access to deals.

Key takeaway
Don’t just think about how you’ll get new customers–reward your long-term loyal fans too! Offer extra discounts, exclusive access, special deals just for them, or freebies with every Black Friday purchase they make.

9. Send a free gift

Who doesn’t love a freebie?! Bed sheet brand Brooklinen sends every shopper a free gift on orders above a certain amount–and it’s not just any old free gift, it’s a valuable, high-ticket gift at that. This strengthens relationships with new customers and gives shoppers the chance to explore different products in the store catalogue.

Brooklinen Black Friday campaign

Key takeaway
Pick out a small but valuable item and give it away as a free gift with every Black Friday purchase (or put a spending threshold on it if you want to increase AOV). Choose something that’s relevant to your audience but also gives a sneak peek at other products in your inventory.

10. Promote sliding scale discounts

Big-ticket items, like furniture, are harder to sell on Black Friday because the shopping event notoriously promotes impulse purchases (and it’s much harder to justify an impulse purchase on, say, a new sofa or car).

Burrow sweetens the deal by offering a sliding scale on its Black Friday discounts. The more a shopper spends, the more money they save. Simple!

Burrow Black Friday campaign

Key takeaway
If you sell big-ticket items, consider offering a sliding scale on your sales to give new shoppers the confidence they need to invest more.

11. Create product bundles

Black Friday isn’t just an opportunity for attracting new faces to your brand, it’s also prime time for introducing customers–both new and existing customers–to your entire product catalogue. Get shoppers out of a buying rut by bundling together relevant products like Handle the Heat.

The cookbook company groups together similar products that customers might enjoy to create irresistible Black Friday bundles at a fraction of the cost of buying each book separately.

Handle the Heat Black Friday campaign

Key takeaway
Identify similar or relevant products and create exclusive Black Friday bundles to introduce shoppers to your entire product range (and give them a sweet deal at the same time).

12. Promote hourly deals

Black Friday is intense, there’s no doubt about it. Shoppers spend hours online hunting down the best deal, so take a leaf out of The Winery at Bull Run and keep things fresh with a new deal every hour. This encourages shoppers to stick around on your site to see what’s next and creates a sense of urgency around each sale.

The Winery at the bull

Key takeaway
Create a fresh new deal every hour to keep shoppers interested–it also gives you something new to post about on your social channels throughout the day to keep engagement levels high.

13. Ask customers to slow down

Black Friday can be absolute chaos 🤯. Shoppers are flitting from one site to the next, making impulse purchase after impulse purchase. Bearaby cuts through the noise and asks its customers to slow down and think about what they’re buying.

Instead of psyching shoppers up to buy big on Black Friday, the brand actually shuts down its checkout and encourages people to “sleep on their decision”. The next day (after a good night’s sleep), it sends a reminder email to customers with products in their cart.

Bearaby Black Friday campaign

Key takeaway
Do something different. When every other store is fostering FOMO, take a step back and think about what your customers really need from you. They’ll thank you for it in the long run.

14. Collect user-generated content

Let your customers do the selling for you on Black Friday–no one’s a more convincing brand advocate than your existing customers. Monsoon is well aware of this. It uses user-generated photos and videos to promote its Black Friday products while giving a hat tip to its customers, affiliates, and influencers.

Monsoon Black Friday campaign

Key takeaway
Ramp up your user-generated content (UGC) collection in the lead-up to Black Friday so you have a library fit to burst with great customer shots.

15. Keep the momentum going post-Black Friday

The Black Friday hangover is real. With such an intense lead-up, and then the frenzy of the actual event, it can be easy to breathe a sigh of relief and forget about the day once it’s over–but you could be missing out on a chunk of sales if you do this.

Blenders Eyewear Black Friday campaign

Instead, be like Blenders Eyewear and remind shoppers who added items to their cart during Black Friday that they can still claim a discount on their products.

Key takeaway

Plan how you’ll keep engagement levels high after Black Friday and what your exit strategy will be. You might land an influx of new customers and once the event is over, you need to nurture your relationship with them if you want them to come back. Send personalized product recommendations, offer discounts on items already in their cart, and start conversations with your new fans.

Get ready for Black Friday

Black Friday is peeking over the horizon. In just a few weeks, we’ll well and truly be in the midst of sales, deals, and discounts. Now’s the time to start planning your campaigns (if you haven’t already!) and thinking about what you want to get out of the biggest shopping holiday of the year.

Use these examples to spark your inspo, and don’t forget to use Dash to store all your lovely images for the event and afterward!

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