Black Friday Marketing Ideas for DTC Brands: A Quick Primer
February 25, 2023
10 mins read

Black Friday Marketing Ideas for DTC Brands: A Quick Primer

Black. Friday. A word pairing that’s an emotion in itself. Simply hearing Black Friday makes us reach out for our wallets, pull out our credit cards and race for that “Buy Now” Button. We may be a couple of months away from seeing the first Black Friday deals, but probably, they’ll be here even before you know it. With offers arriving earlier each year, we want to be sure you don’t miss out on the best data, ideas and strategies worth leveraging. 

The seductive siren of Black Friday is back on November 22nd this year. Is your consumer electronics brand ready to lure bargain-hungry consumers into the arms of irresistible discounts? 

The numbers of 2021 

#1. Omicron paved the way for the strongest shopping season, with online spending surpassing $8 billion on the Black Friday sale.

Holiday Sales Stats 2021


The last two years have made consumers even more comfortable with online shopping than ever before. In 2021, over 88 million buyers in the USA shopped for more than $ 8 billion on Black Friday. 

#2. How much does an average American spend on Black Friday? 

As per Deloitte, the average spending bill on Black Friday was $448 in 2021, as compared to $410 spent in 2020. What this means is that 2022 is set to be a record-breaking year. Certainly a sigh of relief for brands who’ve felt the financial backlash of Covid-19. 

#3. 70% of shoppers won’t be going back to brick and mortar stores to do their shopping anytime soon. 

A Wells Fargo survey found that nearly three-quarters of consumers won’t be going back to physical shopping in the near future. This presents a tremendous opportunity for DTC and ecommerce brands that can reach their demographic with captivating marketing campaigns and great deals. 

#4. Mobile transactions accounted for nearly 66% of global Black Friday Sales. 

It goes without saying that a great percentage of DTC and ecommerce shoppers prefer to use their mobile devices rather than a desktop to purchase. 

Mobile continues to lead the way and DTC brands that optimize their mobile experience with better UX before Black Friday will witness reduced cart abandonment rates and high conversions. 

#5. Electronics and household appliances are the top selling items during Black Friday. 

Last year, as per Amazon, the top-selling consumer electronics were:

  • Apple AirPods
  • REVLON One-Step Hair Dryer 
  • Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote 
  • Echo Dot 
  • All-new Echo Show 5 
  • Sengled Smart Light Bulbs
  • Beats Studio Buds

In fact, more than 50% of sales from Black Friday were from independent selling partners including small and large-sized businesses. This shows that consumers are getting more receptive to DTC brands. 

#6. The age breakdown of Black Friday shoppers.  

Shoppers Age Breakdown

People between the ages of 35-44 are most likely to partake in the Black Friday event. 

These statistics force you to re-think that millennials and Gen-Z are not the only consumers browsing for deals on Black Friday. The fact that almost 25% of shoppers are in the 65+ age category highlight that your mobile and overall shopping experience should cater to an older demographic. 

In fact, here’s what Rick Broida from CNET has to say about the popularity of Black Friday, in the aftermath of a global outbreak.

Rick Broida Saying

Now, are you ready to boost traffic to your DTC website on the upcoming Black Friday? 

We’ve identified 8 Black Friday DTC tips to help you convert more customers in 2022 and beyond. 

#1. Bring out your best deals 

You can’t put up 15% off or 20% off and expect to do well. During Black Friday, everything comes down to the offer - it is that one time of the year when you’ll have to lower your prices. Ensure your offer is compelling at the end of the day.  According to Numerator, it is the norm now to offer discounts (at least for some categories) of around 50%. Steep discounts, free shipping and higher fulfilment fees make Black Friday tough on your brand’s margins. 

You could opt for category-specific sales. It affords benefits like: 

  • Generates incremental sales with higher margins 
  • Give a higher discount on slow-moving items/categories 
  • Helps you manage your inventory, ordering and promotions better 
  • Bundle fast-moving and slow-moving items together in the discounts

Skincare brand Glossier’s Black Friday sale in 2021 had discounts ranging from 25-50% on various beauty products. 

Glossier Black Friday Sale

#2. Offer the best discounts to your VIP customers 

Don’t be afraid to give the best offers to your most loyal customers. As per Klaviyo, your VIP emails often make up only 3-5% of the overall list but spend 3X more than other customers. 

Beauty brand MONAT offered 70% off on its hair densifying collection for Black Friday. This offer was first sent to the brand’s VIP members. 

Monat VIP Discount

#3. Experiment with timing 

As thousands of online stores compete for consumers’ attention on Black Friday, unsurprisingly, shopper exhaustion could set in and consumers might become numb after receiving the same type of marketing messages. What you could do differently this year, so that your DTC brand’s message does not get lost among all other distractions is: Change your timing. 

It could be: 

#A. Act early - Every brand, small or big, is doing Black Friday promotions. Acting early is one way to catch your customer’s attention before they are exhausted by Black Friday messages. 

Wool and the Gang follow this strategy better than everyone. 

Wool and the Gang Discount

Instead of waiting for Friday, the company starts the sale on Thursday and even calls it “Black Thursday.” They have a head start on both the subscriber's inboxes and wallets. 

What’s even more brilliant is that Wool and the Gang does something different in the remainder of the email. They recommend products that are on sale so that the subscriber knows where to start shopping. Indeed, a smart strategy to convert subscribers who do not know what products to buy in your DTC store.

Yarns on Discount

#B. Act late - While catching early birds is one way to increase your Black Friday sales, converting latercomers is another effective way to do so. 

Since the phrase “Black Friday” is associated with unmissable offers, use it during the year to imply the best deals. This email from Doggyloot was sent by the brand in December: 

Thye hint that great offers are waiting, by claiming they bring back the Black Friday, although the offers don’t go beyond 25%.

Black Friday Sale

You can create a perception of Black Friday even outside the typical Black Friday schedule by acting early or late. 

#4. Optimize for mobile-first buyers 

Although customers commonly use mobile phones to browse and desktop to check out, as per Shopify, mobile transactions accounted for 66% of all sales.  

So how can you boost the likelihood of mobile shopping? Some ways to do so are: 

  • Offering one-click purchase to mobile-first customers 
  • Add autocomplete once the user starts typing in the query 
  • Auto-complete checkout forms 
  • Adjust the font size for mobile devices (bigger the better) and ensure that items aren’t placed too close together 

That said, remember that responsive design is not mobile optimized. While it is much better than having to pinch and zoom, it is not an optimized experience for mobile users. Essentially, a responsive design makes the desktop experience look good on mobile but does not address the needs of mobile visitors. 

#5. Simplify the checkout process 

Did you know that consumers spend over $5,400 each year on impulse purchases? 53% claim to spend on clothing, another 33% bought household items and 28% bought shoes. 

If you’re looking to boost impulse purchases this Black Friday, reduce the on-site barrier to buying. A “One-click” purchase is one way to enable customers to purchase items with a single click. Lingerie brand Natori offers one-click PayPal checkout. 

Natori Add to Cart Page

Your DTC brand can offer these payment options on-site: 

  • Google Pay 
  • Apple Pay 
  • PayPal

Speed up the checkout process by displaying payment buttons directly on product pages. This way, the customer can buy immediately or add items to their cart, the way pajamas brand Roller Rabbit does.  

Roller Rabbit Shop

#6. Encourage wishlisting 

Shopping cart abandonment is high in all industries, at an astonishing rate of 75% worldwide. Even if you craft a great Black Friday strategy with generous discounts, an average of 69% of online buyers who add items to their cart will leave before completing the purchase. 

Reducing your cart abandonment rate can make all the difference to the effectiveness of your Black Friday sales. 

One way to do so is by encouraging wishlisting. They signify interest and mean that the consumer is close to the decision phase of the purchase journey. Wishlists are beneficial to both shoppers and DTC store owners. For consumers, they are a convenient place to store products they wish to purchase. DTC brands can gather data to make informed discounting decisions and use this data to send personalized and relevant email communications. 

Holiday eCommerce CRO tactics - Wishlisting

Some ways you can use wishlist in your email campaigns to reduce your cart abandonment during Black Friday are: 

  • To optimize drip email campaigns 
  • To cross-sell relevant products 
  • To give discounts on items on the wishlist 

#7. Highlight social responsibility 

Over the past couple of years, DTC brands and retailers have been under intense scrutiny for participating in events like Black Friday which go against environmental concerns and fair trade regulations. 

Encouraged by the increasingly negative sentiment around such shopping events, brands are choosing to highlight social responsibility. 

Everlane partners with Oceana, an ocean protection charity to help eradicate the production of single-use plastic. It donates $10 of every Black Friday sale to the charity. In a way, the brand redefines Black Friday as a day of good deeds. 

Everlane Black Friday Sale
Everlane Black Friday Sale 2

Also in their email communications, the company explains that they donate their Black Friday profits to fund the cleaning of oceans. Each order equals one less pound of plastic. They subtly invite you to shop on their site, for a good cause.

The Black Friday Fund

#8. SMS are still effective and could result in upto 2,000% ROI during Black Friday 

SMS has an open rate of 98%. No doubt, a growing number of DTC brands are getting onboard with SMS marketing. As per a recent study, SMS campaigns have seen an ROI as high as 2,000% during Black Friday. 

Daily Kairos used SMS marketing during the BFCM to give VIP subscribers early access to its Black Friday sale. A simple message enables the brand to highlight the exclusivity of the offer while encouraging customers to get a 30% discount on shopping early. 

Daily Kairos SMS Marketing

A tool like Klaviyo can help you with SMS automation for different customer segments. 

#9. Tease your next campaign 

Although Black Friday starts long before Friday, it doesn’t end on Friday. To make the most out of the holiday shopping season, use this occasion to tease your next shopping day (Cyber Monday/Christmas/local holiday) around the corner. 

The Man Crates sends this email after Black Friday, for Cyber Monday in a funny tone. 

Man Crates Black Friday Email

Man Crates lets customers know that they’ve extended the Black Friday sale to Cyber Monday. This way, they convert prospects that didn't shop on Black Friday, to increase the overall sales.

Ready to make the most out of this Black Friday sale?

The shift to online shopping is changing how consumers view holiday sales like Black Friday. The important question to answer here is, “Is your DTC brand ready for the biggest retail sale of the year?” Whether you’re looking for creative ideas for the Black Friday campaign or new angles to improve your promotions, we hope this drop has quick wins you can apply to your DTC business this year. 

Now is the time to do your homework and prepare for the Black Friday sale. 

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