The Ultimate WooCommerce Black Friday Playbook (2022) for Store Owners
Black Friday is knocking at the door. If you’re a WooCommerce store owner, you must be preparing for the upcoming Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales.
To help you prepare better for the biggest sport after Football, we are gonna write this WooCommerce Black Friday playbook consisting of 16 practical strategies you should adopt.
If you follow the strategies mentioned below, we can assure you that you’ll have a great Black Friday sale with an increased conversion rate than ever before.
Ready? Let’s dive in.
What is Black Friday?
In case you’re living under a rock, “Black Friday” is the best sales day of the year for retail stores throughout the world. The term Black Friday has become a buzzword nowadays. It’s now a long-cherished day for all the shoppers and store owners (both online and offline).
Here’s how the first flush of the Black Friday morning looks like:
Many buyers wait for months to grab flash sale offers and discounts offered on Black Friday by sellers around the globe. And that’s why the sales on Black Friday skyrocket.
Here are what statistics say about the past and upcoming Black Friday sales:
According to Adobe, Black Friday spending was $9.03 billion in 2020 which exceeded 2019’s spending by $1.63 billion. eMarketer predicts that in 2022 the Black Friday and Cyber Monday sale may climb up to $235.86 billion in eCommerce.
So, as you’re running an eCommerce business, it’s your turn to go black (get profitable) even if you’re running in the red (not profitable) until now. We’re writing this guide to help you prepare for the upcoming Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales.
When is Black Friday Celebrated?
In case you can’t or don’t remember exactly when Black Friday is celebrated, Black Friday is celebrated on the next Friday of the US Thanksgiving Day. As US Thanksgiving Day is observed on the 4th Thursday of November, the very next Friday is supposed to be Black Friday.
In 2021, Black Friday was celebrated on November 26. However, in 2022, Black Friday is on 25th November.
Remember, though the sales reach the peak on Black Friday, there are some important dates and events before and after Black Friday that you, as a store owner, should know about:
Pre-Black Friday: Nowadays, many sellers don’t even wait till Black Friday to start throwing discounts and offers for the shoppers. They start the Pre-Black Friday sales at least one or two weeks earlier. You can also be an early bird seller if you want to get more sales than your competitors who start later.
Small Business Saturday: The very Saturday after the Black Friday that runs for that weekend is known as Small Business Saturday.
Cyber Monday: Cyber Monday is the immediate Monday that follows Black Friday. Cyber Monday is more well-known for tech, electronic, and gadget deals and discounts.
Free Shipping Day: Free Shopping Day is a pretty new online sales day. It is observed on 14th December when the shoppers complete their last-minute gift shopping for Christmas.
WooCommerce Black Friday Sale Important Dates in 2022
Mark the following important dates for Black Friday sales of your WooCommerce store in 2022:
|Early Giveaways||1st November 2022|
|Starting the Early Bird Sales||21st November 2022|
|US Thanksgiving Day||24th November 2022|
|Black Friday||25th November 2022|
|Small Business Saturday||26th November 2022 to 27th November 2022|
|Cyber Monday||28th November 2022|
|Green Monday||12th December 2022|
|Free Shipping Day||14th December 2022|
16 Practical and Effective WooCommerce Business Strategies for Black Friday
1. Start Getting Prepared One Month Earlier
Yes, you’ve heard it right. Don’t procrastinate till the last day to prepare for the Black Friday sale.
As a WooCommerce store owner, you need to do a lot of things before Black Friday knocks at the door.
You might be wondering why we’re suggesting you to start getting prepared at least a month in advance.
If the time seems too much for you, just think about the tons of sales you can make if you’re well-prepared for the day.
In case you need data:
30% of all retail sales of the year happen between Black Friday and Christmas.
As Black Friday marks the beginning of the Christmas holiday sales season, you might have to go under a tsunami of orders.
Do you wanna miss the most productive and profitable season for your eCommerce business?
We believe that you’re intelligent enough to take as much preparation as possible, and the quicker you start, the better it is.
However, let us clarify what we mean by “getting prepared” for Black Friday:
- Make sure your store inventory is rich enough to supply the ordered products on Black Friday within due time. In case you do not have enough products in stock, restock them on priority basis.
- Optimize the performance of your WooCommerce store for Black Friday so that your website can accommodate the additional traffic (you will know the ways on the latter part of this article) and the shoppers can shop without interruption.
- Plan the types of deals and discounts you’re going to offer on your WooCommerce store for the customers.
- Build an enriched email list for running email campaigns on Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
To be frank, it is really hard to estimate the amount of sales you’re going to generate this year. If you’re running your eCommerce business for some years, you can take help from the previous sales data of the holiday season to predict the number of products you might sell this year.
Also, if you assume that you might be late to deliver the ordered items to shoppers on time, let them know about the late delivery beforehand. Otherwise, it might negatively affect the reputation of your business.
2. Offer Creative Black Friday/Cyber Monday Deals and Discounts
To give your shoppers the best customer experience with your products on the upcoming Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales, make sure to choose one or more of the following types of deals and discounts for your WooCommerce shop:
Buy One Get One (BOGO): When your customers buy one product, they will get another product for free.
Free Product: When your customers spend a certain amount (for example: $500/1000/1500) or meet your set criteria (such as buying certain products, buying a certain quantity, etc.), you can offer a specific free item with the ordered products.
Reduced or Free Shopping: Who doesn’t love free shipping or even a reduced cost? There are no statistics required to claim that You, I, and every shopper would love to get rid of shipping costs, no matter to what extent.
So, if you reduce your shipping cost up to a certain percentage (for example, 30% or 50%), you can expect to get more orders than usual. However, if you can afford to offer free shipping, the shoppers will definitely order more products fearlessly.
To invite a bigger wave of shoppers, you can keep the free shipping offer limited to a certain date or period.
Product Bundles: Combining two or more products into a set is termed as product bundling. Product bundling is a down-to-earth example of value-building for WooCommerce stores.
On the occasion of Black Friday or just in the usual holiday season, you can sell inter-related products in bundles and offer a discount price for the customers who buy the bundle pack.
For example, If an individual shirt costs $40 and pants $20, you can offer both of them in a bundle at $50. This is a win-win for both you and the customers. While the bundle saves the customer $10 for the product bundle, you are actually getting more sales.
Discounts on Coupons: This is also one of the most common practices you see in the eCommerce arena during a year’s holiday season. eCommerce store owners offer either a flat discount for applying a certain coupon on the checkout page.
For example, on the occasion of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, you’ll come across coupons such as “BFCM 2022/ BFCM SALE 22” that need to be pasted on the coupon field during the checkout.
Automatic Coupons: Many sellers offer coupons that get applied automatically on the checkout page for every purchase until the deal runs.
Personalized Coupons: If you have loyal or influential returning customers, you can reward them with special personalized discounts or coupons.
Early Bird Discounts: To inspire the customers to buy as soon as they can, offer special early birds discount on your store.
Higher Affiliate Commissions: If you have affiliate programs, make sure to increase the affiliate commissions to reward them for promoting the campaigns and your products during the Black Friday sale. Thus you can boost sales by affiliation.
Offer Loyalty Points: If you have a loyalty program ON, you can offer increased loyalty points to loyal customers during Black Friday sales.
Wholesale Deals: If you own a WooCommerce wholesale store, you can also offer wholesale deals for the wholesale customers of your shop.
Quote: If you do not have a wholesale store, but you want to know how to create one, here is a step-by-step guide for building a WooCommerce wholesale store.
3. Try SMS Marketing
Though contacting buyers via personalized emails is the most common practice among eCommerce business owners, you should not underestimate the power of SMS.
If you collect the phone numbers of the users and get their consent to send them updates and a newsletter, you can run an SMS marketing campaign to let them know about your upcoming Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals plus discounts.
SMS can be incredibly powerful – if sent with care – to draw your customers to your store for purchasing more.
The best thing about SMS marketing is that the SMS opening rate is higher compared to emails, as most people read SMS right away via their handheld device. Also, sending bulk SMS is quite cheap nowadays.
So, we recommend you give SMS marketing a try and then consider the ROI. No doubt, if you can use this tool appropriately, the upcoming Black Friday and Cyber Monday sale on your WooCommerce is gonna be a great success.
4. Go for a Better Hosting Plan/Provider
Upgrading your hosting plan or switching to a better hosting provider becomes essential if:
- Your WooCommerce website remains down frequently.
- Your hosting plan is not capable of handling a surge of traffic during Black Friday.
Let us explain.
Firstly, as the owner of an eCommerce website, you have to put a great emphasis on domain uptime. If your website remains down even for 30 minutes or an hour, it translates into a huge loss of sales and potential customers that you can never regain.
Secondly, during the holiday rush season like Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Christmas, your website gets a surge of traffic as shoppers hurry to shop. You must have a hosting plan for your website that can accommodate or handle the traffic smoothly. If your website goes down when a traffic surge occurs, you will actually lose thousands of dollars.
By now it is clear how paramount it is to have a robust and upgraded web hosting plan.
However, it is also important to be wise when it comes to choosing a hosting provider.
There are hundreds of web hosting service providers who claim that they can maintain 99.99% uptime for your website, but not all of them can keep this promise up.
How to Choose the Best Hosting Provider for a WooCommerce Store?
Though it’s not rocket science to choose a good hosting provider for you, finding the best one requires time and cross-checks.
To make sure you choose the best hosting provider for your WooCommerce store, check if your hosting provider can ensure at least the 3s — Speed, Support, and Security.
Let’s start with the speed:
If you have some knowledge of SEO, it’s needless to convince you that both Google and website visitors prioritize the pages that load faster on browsers.
Apart from lowering the bounce rate of your visitors, a good page loading speed will help you improve the user experience of your customers.
To check the loading speed of any page of your WooCommerce store for free of cost, you can go to any of the following websites:
When it comes to choosing your hosting provider, make sure your hosting provider can ensure good loading speed for your website so that your customers don’t have to wait to get your webpage loaded.
Even worse, some visitors are so hasty that they simply close the tab and enter other websites instead of yours.
Your hosting provider should offer excellent customer support in case you face any technical problems. It is best if you can choose a hosting provider that offers 24/7 availability of the customer service team via chat, email, and phone to solve any hosting problems as soon as possible.
However, apart from technical support, it is beneficial for you if your hosting provider provides high-quality training materials, server-side software updates, bug fixing service, etc. to let you manage your hosted site pretty effectively.
When you choose a hosting provider, you’re actually appointing a guard to protect all the sensitive data and web contents of your website.
Your hosting provider should have constant backups of your website’s data so that you can recover and restore your WooCommerce store within the shortest time possible if anything goes wrong.
3 Things to Consider Before Choosing the Right Hosting Plan for WooCommerce Black Friday Sale
Visitors get really annoyed when they can’t enter your WooCommerce store’s website when it’s down. By the way, this issue annoys Google as well.
You can use website uptime and downtime monitoring tools like UpTimeGenie to stay updated about the uptime and downtime of your website.
You should pick a hosting service provider who guarantees to ensure the uptime above 99 — the closer to 100, the better.
A WooCommerce store requires enough storage to host the product images, videos, and plain texts on the website. So, select a hosting plan that can supply the amount of storage your WooCommerce store demands.
There are many hosting plans offering unlimited disk space for advanced users. As you’re preparing your WooCommerce store for the Black Friday sale, it is worthwhile picking a hosting plan that comes with unlimited storage.
However, before choosing an unlimited storage plan, read the terms and conditions thoroughly to determine if the plan truly offers “unlimited” storage.
Choose a hosting plan that offers an SSL certificate by default.
SSL certificate makes your website more secure and helps the shoppers to trust your website, especially when making a payment. It also helps to improve your ranking on Google.
5. Build Your Email List Before Black Friday
Email marketing still works like a magic to entice potential customers and get sales. You can gather, nurture, and convert the target audience leveraging the power of effective email campaigns on the eve of Black Friday.
To run a successful email campaign, the most important thing you need is an email list. So, you have to grow your email list with the passage of time. However, the freshly captured leads have more potential to buy from you when you throw the Black Friday deals.
To motivate your visitors to give their email to you so that you can grow your email list fast for Black Friday, you can use any of the following strategies:
1. Offer a free ebook/guide
2. Run product giveaways
3. Offer one-time discount coupons
4. Let customers know how they’ll benefit (for example, they will receive exclusive offers, deals, and updates).
Remember, more subscribers means that you have more opportunities to get the conversion. That’s why you should pay attention to building an enriched email list throughout the year to get ready for sales season like Black Friday.
6. Prepare Mind-Blowing Graphics
Graphical elements appeal to our minds more than plain vanilla texts. Do hire an exceptional graphic designer to represent your brand with amazing graphics throughout the sales season.
While making graphics for ad campaigns, you should make sure that every graphical element including color, texts, background, etc. work hand-in-hand to create a brand identity.
By the way, there are tons of free and premium websites that supply stunning images that you can repurpose for your Black Friday campaign if you have got a theme in mind.
You can use any of the following websites to download royalty-free stock images:
At the same time, if you’re willing to pay for premium images to use on your marketing campaigns, get subscribed or buy from the following websites:
There are also some online graphics tools like Canva to help you make quick email templates, web ad templates, and more. Getting help from tools will help you streamline the sales campaign creation process.
7. Keep Your Customers Informed
You must inform your subscribers and returning customers in advance about the huge discounts and mega deals on the occasion of Black Friday.
Just informing them about the deals and inviting them to buy from your WooCommerce store is not enough. You should never forget to send them a thank you message when they complete the purchase. If they face any difficulties at any step of purchasing the products, help them to the best of your abilities.
Always keep them updated about the order status until the products reach their doorsteps. This kind of sincere communication with your customers proves that you’re truly transparent and you really care about them.
Once the Black Friday sale of this year is over, you should not think that you’re done with who bought from your store. Nurturing and maintaining a long-term relationship with them almost always results in more sales in the future.
8. Send Abandoned Cart Recovery Emails
Many customers add products to their cart but abandon the cart without making a purchase.
Before sending the customers abandoned cart recovery emails to complete the checkout, you should be very aware of which of the following reasons is responsible for the abandoned cart issue.
Customers often abandon their cart for the reasons mentioned below:
- Too high shipping cost or tax
- Return and refund policy
- Website bug or errors
- Too slow delivery
- Too busy to checkout
- Getting distracted by something else and forgetting to checkout
- Complex checkout process
- Credit card declined
- Lack of payment options, etc.
Abandoning the cart benefits neither you nor the potential customer. One of the best in the industry to recover the lost sales is to send those customers emails reminding them of their abandoned cart. If they’ve simply forgotten about the cart, they would probably come back to complete the purchase.
However, not all customers come back only with a reminder email. Sometimes you need to walk a few extra miles such as offering them free shipping, 14/30 days guaranteed refund if they don’t like the product, offering a certain percentage of discounts, etc to recover those abandoned carts.
Remember, as many of the customers will be flooded by coupons and discounts, you can also offer them a BOGO (Buy one Get One) offer as your last weapon to convert.
Apart from offering them benefits, you also need to make sure you’re working actively to fix the website’s bugs, adding more payment methods, using a faster delivery service, and most importantly— simplifying the checkout process.
9. Leverage Cross-Selling
If you think that customers just enter your online store, buy a product, and close the tab — you’re wrong.
Just like physical shops, people do a lot of impulse-buying online. If you can display related products to the customers, especially before the checkout, there is a good chance that they will buy more other than the one they’ve added to the cart.
For example: If a customer is purchasing shoes, it is highly likely that he might be interested in soles and socks as well. So, it would be useful for them if you display some quality socks above or below the main product, shoes in this case. This kind of sales is termed as “cross-selling”.
10. Try Up-Selling
Upselling, the effort of selling high-end products compared to what they’re looking for, is another good approach you can try for the customers of your WooCommerce store.
When you show the visitors the improved version of a product or product model that can better fill their needs, this would bring a smile on their face and they can walk away more satisfied with their purchase.
Both the cross-selling and upselling focus on providing additional value to the customers instead of limiting their choice to certain products they intended to buy.
However, you can be the most successful in cross-selling and upselling only when you can truly understand what your customers value and then show them those products that meet their needs better.
11. Optimize the Checkout Page
Statistics have found that nearly 69.57% of online shoppers leave their carts without finally making the purchase.
Though there are many reasons behind it, one of the reasons is complex forms with a lot of form fields that make the checkout form clumsy and boring for the customers.
Keeping your checkout form simple and time-saving for the users, you must believe in the “simplicity is the best policy” philosophy.
When it comes to designing the checkout page, the simpler the form, the better. Let us tell you how to optimize the checkout page to simplify the checkout process:
- Use only essential (that you can’t go without) fields in the checkout form
- Reduce the checkout process to a single page
- Keep only the site’s logo on top of the checkout page and remove everything else from the menu. However, make sure that the customers can change the quantity of orders from the checkout form instead of going back to the cart page.
- Display the product quantity, shipping cost, individual product cost, and total cost clearly.
- Try to add as many options as possible for payment methods. More payment methods you offer, the more people can pay using their preferred payment methods.
If you can optimize your checkout page properly, you can expect fewer abandoned carts and more sales not only during the holiday season but throughout the year.
12. Reward the Customers
Inspire your customers to stay longer on your WooCommerce store by rewarding them for their activities. Rewarding your customers with points and discounts for their purchases, review submissions, and referrals to friends and family will motivate them to spend more time and money on your store.
If you choose to reward your customers for their activities, it will definitely increase customers’ loyalty. There are different WooCommerce extensions that can help you configure the reward systems in just a few clicks. Just choose the best WooCommerce points and rewards plugin for your store and your eCommerce store will never run out of customers.
13. Add Countdown Timers
Adding a countdown timer on the top of your WooCommerce store for Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales helps to create a sense of urgency among the customers. As a result, the conversion rate goes high pretty quickly.
A countdown timer helps to create FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) among the customers and motivates them to act first.
There are different free and pro countdown plugins you can leverage to easily create countdown timers for your WooCommerce store. Some of the popular countdown timer plugins are as follows:
- Countdown Timer Ultimate
- Evergreen Countdown Timer
- WordPress Countdown Widget
- Countdown Builder
Choose any of the free and pro countdown timers for your WooCommerce store’s upcoming holiday sales to let the new customers know when the offer expires.
14. Contact Your Affiliates
If you have an active affiliation program, reach out to the affiliates and influencers before you start the Black Friday and Cyber Monday sale.
If your targeted influencers are aware of the upcoming sale you’re going to offer, they will happily promote your products along with the Black Friday/Cyber Monday offers and discounts running on your store via their website and social media channels. This will surely contribute to the branding and sales of your WooCommerce store.
15. Optimize Your Email Titles
Having a large email list carries no value unless you get the conversion from them, right?
If you send a well-written email with big and easy-to-understand body texts, is that of any use if the email is not even opened up by the recipient?
Email opening rate is one of the crucial issues that affect the conversion rate. If a recipient does not even click to open the mail, how can you show them what you have to offer?
However, the email click or opening rates depend largely on any of the following two aspects:
- Your email title
- Customers’ past experience with your store and exposure to campaigns
No doubt, if your existing customers love your products and trust you, they are more likely to open your emails.
However, when it comes to new customers who have no past experience of using your store’s product, all the magic lies in an enticing email title.
Using a catchy title on your emails can visibly increase the opening rate of WooCommerce Black Friday emails.
You can increase the appeal of an email title using emotional and figurative words or language, emoticons, and numbers.
When it comes to using emoji, you can copy emojis from websites like Emojipedia, EmojiCopy, and Get Emoji and paste that on any portion of the emails. By the way, avoid using more than one or two emojis on the email subject line.
16. Determine Your Advertising Channels
If you want to go for paid advertising for the products of your WooCommerce shop during Black Friday, you must find the advertising channels that work best for you.
Depending on the nature of your products, you can choose Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and a bunch of other channels for Black Friday promotion.
Also, you can go for influencer marketing, print or banner ads, and any other profitable channels to reach your potential customers.
No matter which of these advertising platforms you use, make sure to perform A/B tests to find out the best options for you.
You can consider one or two popular channels as primary campaign channels and experiment with some new and unconventional platforms such as TikTok.
To display your products to different marketing channels to attract customers, you will need to structure your product details as per the individual requirement of the channels. If you want to make the product feed for 5 to 10 products, you can do that pretty easily following the manual process.
However, if you have a good number of products on your WooCommerce store and you want to display those to different marketing channels simultaneously, here comes the importance of using a WooCommerce product feed generator.
A product feed generator will help you to prepare the products of your entire store or certain categories for displaying free and paid ads on the marketing channels such as Facebook, Instagram, Google, Bing, TikTok, and more.
Though there are some product feed generators out there, CTX Feed is one of the most popular product feed generators with 40000+ active installations on WordPress.
With CTX Feed, you can generate an unlimited number of product feeds covering unlimited products.
CTX feed offers both free and paid versions of the plugin for the WooCommerce store owners.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
When Should I Start Offering the Black Friday and Cyber Monday Deals ?
There are some WooCommerce businesses that start Black Friday sales from the very beginning of November each year. However, the most common practice is to start on the Monday of Black Friday week. The sale continues till the next Monday, we mean Cyber Monday. We prefer the latter option because that’s the time when most of the serious customers start searching for Black Friday discounts and offers.
So, though you should start your Black Friday preparation at least one month earlier, you can expect to get the bulk of sales from the last 10 days of November.
How Long Should I Run a Black Friday Sale?
Depending on your preference, can run a Black Friday sale on your WooCommerce store for a week or even a month. If you ask us, our suggestion is to run WooCommerce Black Friday sales for one week. Hence, start the sale on the Monday before Black Friday and keep it running till the next Monday after Black Friday (Cyber Monday, to be specific).
Though there is nothing wrong with running your Black Friday sale even after Cyber Monday, the sale is supposed to drop day by day.
To make sure you get the bulk of sales during the best time of Black Friday, take the best preparation possible. Let the social media followers and email subscribers know about the deals and discounts you’re about to offer.
Also, keeping the Black Friday sale limited within 1 week creates a great sense of urgency among the customers that you can never create if you run your sales for 1 month.
Let us conclude the WooCommerce Black Friday playbook by summarizing the 16 Black Friday strategies for store owners.
- Take enough preparation for both on-site and off-site management.
- Choose the type of discounts you will offer to your customers.
- SMS marketing can bring about excellent results if leveraged properly.
- Consider 3s: speed, support, and security to choose the right hosting provider. Prioritize uptime, storage, and SSL certificates for hosting plans.
- Don’t forget to determine the audience you’ll send emails to before the Black Friday sale begins.
- Make out-of-the-box graphical elements to run the marketing campaigns.
- Don’t keep your customers in darkness about what you’re offering on the upcoming sale days.
- Craft persuasive emails to get the customers back who ended up abandoning the cart without making the holiday purchases.
- Try to sell as many products as you can by adopting the cross-selling approach.
- Make your customers happy by adding more value to their purchase with upselling.
- Simplify the checkout page step-by-step to increase sales.
- Offer rewards to the customers for spending their valuable time and money.
- Remind your customers the fact that the discounted price will not last forever.
- Always stay in touch with your affiliates to promote your products and campaigns to the best of their abilities.
- Use number, emoji, and persuasive words in the email titles.
- Choose your preferred set of advertising channels and CTX Feed to generate product feed.