top of page
  • Writer's pictureJohn Galante

7 Things You're Doing Wrong for Your BLACK FRIDAY Sales

Black friday tends to be one of the most anticipated "buying" events of the year, both for business owners and customers. Still, having observed tendencies, historical data, customer and businesses behaviors within the last couple of years, with the help of Meta's and Google's analytical research reports, we've put together a list of 7 things you should NOT be doing during this time.

BUSINESS 101: Get your basic math right

I'd like to make a -very- important point before any of the others are stated. Not understanding this is one of the most ubiquitous, yet incredibly and amazingly dangerous traps I notice people falling into:

If you're selling items at 50% off, you need twice as many sales to generate the same revenue, which might not even be profitable.

There it is. Simple, short, yet for some reason completely overlooked by most business owners I see talking about their black friday plans. I urge you to understand that it's not REVENUE that pays the bills, but PROFIT.

I completely understand when businesses offer aggressive discounts in order to get rid of long-lost inventory or to bring back old customers, but that has to be done very strategically.

It's incredibly easy to get lured and mesmerized by huge "items sold" or "revenue" numbers. Don't fall for this trap. Always have your margins and strategy at the top of your mind. With that being said, I hope these next topics will aid you in understanding important Black Friday concepts.

Here are some mistakes you're likely to commit:

Number 1: You're not showing the sales price next to the original price

It's like that old saying goes, "seeing is believing!" If you can show someone the value that they're getting from your sale, the more likely they are to just go ahead and make that purchase. This is why it's a best practice to display the original price next to the sales price (preferably with the old price x'ed out in red)--this way there's no math involved and the savings are easily understood by the customer. I will warn you though to stay away from "fictitious pricing, which is when retailers embellish their original price to make the discounted price seem like more of a bargain than it really is. It's unethical and just flat out bad business, so don't exaggerate the savings during your sales, but be sure to clearly display the big bargain that you're giving your customers!

Number 2: You only worry about sales, not customer service

Please do remember one thing: Black Friday lasts 1-3 days a year. Loyal customers can buy (any day) from your brand for years to come. With that in mind, 1 out of 2 (50%) customers will completely give up a brand if they have a bad experience with them. We notice that most businesses tend to only worry about very straightforward numbers: Revenue and items sold.

Still, both before and after a user presses the "BUY" button, there are many steps that can't be ignored. User experience must be stable (preferably great, needless to say!) throughout their buying journey. This means factors like the ones listed below should never be ignored:

  • Your ability to pack and ship orders

  • Returns and refunds

  • Inventory management

  • Shipping cost and time

  • Website stability under heavy traffic

  • Product quality

  • Client inquiries response time

Such factors tend to be vastly overlooked while business owners worry about how far they can stretch their discounts, and what the "sales" tab on their websites is looking like.

You -need- to remember that THE KEY TO SUSTAINABLE BRAND GROWTH IS REPEATED CUSTOMERS. They are the ones that will bring predictable revenues and they are the ones who'll act as brand ambassadors.

Number 3: Your website isn't fully optimized for sales

There's no other way around it: Even though website speed, ease of navigation, stability, beauty and many other factors are continuously promoted as key factors in having people buy from you, for some reason many business owners seem to plainly just ignore that.

Remember: Your website is the face of your brand in the online marketplace. People don't want to shop in a slow, ugly, untidy website when they have the option to shop somewhere else (that they probably are already loyal to!) within 3-4 clicks.

Below I'll list some of the questions you MUST ask yourself when it comes to your brand's website:

  • Is your website mobile-first optimized? (97% of people will only look at it through a mobile screen)

  • Does your -FULL- website take more than 2.5s to load?

  • Do your product filters even make sense?

  • How easy is it to search for that one specific product I'm looking for on your menus?

  • In fact, how easy it is to navigate through your menus at all?

  • Are your menu items split into categories that make sense or only take up space?

  • Are your model's size and weight CLEARLY STATED in your website pictures?

  • How easy is it to add a product to the cart, and see what's in my cart?

These are just some examples, but you all get the drift. There are many ways to have your website critiqued and analyzed. Make sure your overall website quality matches the image you want customers to have of your brand.

Number 4: You don't offer multiple payment methods

This one's straight to the point: The growing number of different payment options like Klarna, AfterPay, etc. have created a situation which in industrial engineering we call "Hygiene Factor".

That basically means if they are there, they go unnoticed (as it is expected) however, if they are NOT there, that's a massive turn off. Think toilets in airplanes(yes): You don't think better of the airline when they are in there, but if you should step on a plane and learn that it has no toilets… that's a massive turn off for obvious reasons.

This example seems ludicrous but it is true: We've seen time and time again people who say that they didn't buy from a brand because they don't offer the easy, comfortable, convenient payment options that a competitor offers to them.

Number 5: You believe Black Friday will turn you into the next Fashion Nova or Gucci

Black Friday will not turn your small to medium-sized business into a multimiliion dollar company over 1-3 days, so you have to manage your expectations and make sure they're realistic. Unless you sell electronics or home appliances, Meta's recent research shows that, from customers that intend to buy something on black friday, only 2.7% plan on buying fashion items and accessories.

That means that contrary to popular belief, not that many people (in fact very little) intend to buy from fashion websites during Black Friday. If you analyze it, it actually makes sense: 40% off on a $800 TV means a lot more than 70% off on a $120 dress.

I'm not saying that Black Friday is useless for this niche because that is obviously not the case; but it's very important to make sure your sales strategy is financially sound.

However, in my opinion, this last point is a huge doubled-edged sword. I'll explain why in the next topics.

Number 6: You don't understand that you either GO BIG or GO HOME

It's not news that during black friday everyone on the internet is bombarded with the craziest, most aggressive ads. 40%, 50% and even 75% discount are ubiquitous and thrown around like crazy.

That particularly means that if you are offering "lesser" 10%, 15% discounts (which are perfectly fine and fair any other period of the year) your offers will mostly be ignored.

For most clients, what we usually instruct is plain and simple: If you're not able to offer more aggressive discounts (which again, is totally understandable), just skip the lack Friday deals and focus on something else.

A short, truthful Instagram video saying something along the lines of "You all know we are not a fast-fashion brand that profits over quantity, therefore we're not able to compete with the aggressive discounts most brands offer on black friday. We thank you for understanding and reinforce our continuous effort to bring you not only the best quality products, but also service and buying experience.", would more than suffice.

Really. It works. We've done it multiple times.

I know being honest and transparent with your customers might sound crazy but at the end of the day, most people appreciate and understand that. Yes, you might see a dip in your sales during the Black Friday period, but as we've mentioned before, brand loyalty and repeated customers will be your key to sustainable growth.

Number 7: You think that you HAVE TO participate

This last topic is just a summary of what was mentioned in the two previous ones: Every year I get in contact with clients that seem to be very anxious and worried about not being able to offer the crazy discounts that are offered by competitors.

I urge you to re-read some of the points mentioned in this report and understand that IT'S NOT 1-3 DAYS THAT WILL MAKE OR BRAKE YOUR BRAND. Truly.

If you can't participate, don't worry. Your focus should be on providing the best products, services and buying experiences (both pre and post sale) to your customers the other 362 days in the year. Customers will -always- appreciate brands that offer reliable services, quality and support. Just as you do as a customer from other brands.

Understand that 1% of all possible "buying days" in a year will not be what decides the fate of your brand. Most like everything in life, it's what you do in the other 99% of days that will matter.

I hope that this short report helps you better understand your positioning during Black Friday, and that it's ablt to bring some clarity in what's -actually- important during this time.

28 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page