The small retailer has a lot going on day to day. Each department is busy and usually loaded up with more ideas than it has time to execute. Black Friday and Cyber Monday (We’ll use BF/CM for short) are pivotal times for most retailers. We’ve all heard the statistics that big box retailers do 50% of their annual revenue in these few days. This does not always hold true for many smaller eCommerce retailers.

I’ve been in the automotive world for thirteen years now, and I can tell you from experience: the holiday shopping rush is definitely a nice spike in business, but by no means a showstopper as far as total revenue generated goes.

Because blockbuster profits are not guaranteed, many small retailers simply don’t have the time and resources to fully plan out a perfect marketing campaign for BF/CM. Deadlines close in fast, and many retailers may throw together a sloppy marketing campaign, or simply do nothing at all.

As someone who is guilty of throwing together a last minute BF/CM marketing plan, I’d like to share six things you can do to get more out of BF/CM even if it’s last minute. Think of it like ordering a full Thanksgiving dinner from your local Whole Foods. It’s within your budget and looks about 95% of the way there when served. Just remember you can’t gloat about how hard you slaved over it in the days prior.

On Page Visual Cues

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Letting customers know you’re running a Black Friday or Cyber Monday promotion is key. When they land on your page, they must be aware that what they are about to buy is a holiday deal and not just everyday pricing. If you are doing a storewide discount or discounting specific products, you must show your customer this, or how will they know to buy? Change your “sale price” or “discount price” wording in front of the price of an item to “Black Friday Price” or “Holiday Price.”


Let the customer know you appreciate them and are doing something special above and beyond your already competitive prices. Even if the price is the same, psychologically that customer will be more inclined to buy as they are already in the Black Friday / Cyber Monday mindset. What does this cost? A line of code changed – that’s it.

Reveal Coupons at Checkout

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Here is another simple and low cost tactic. On the busiest shopping days (or now weeks) of the year, your general customer most likely has many different tabs ope, and is hunting for the best price. The name of the game is the lowest price, plain and simple. So how do you do that? You use Comparison Shopping Engines (CSE’s) like Google Shopping or You compare as many stores as possible. The customer lands on your product page, and if you’re lucky, they start to checkout to see what goodies and discounts await them.


The customers that do make it to your checkout area see the “Enter Coupon Code Here” field. Now they are in the mindset of, “I need to go get a coupon code or at least try one out.” While I give you kudos for engaging the customer, he or she is now leaving to find a coupon away from your site.

Your customer has now left your site and is looking elsewhere. How do you get them to stay? Offer your coupon codes at checkout. Why risk someone leaving when you are clearly trying to give them an offer. This takes very little time and could also boost your conversion rate, help with your Cost of Sale (CoS), and decrease those pesky abandonment rates.

Deploying Cart Abandonment Remarketing Software

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Speaking of abandonment, here is one tactic that’s not as lightning fast or nearly as cheap, but it’s powerful. So powerful, you should keep it around after the holidays. Yes, we are biased with this one, but it just flat out works. Black Friday and Cyber Monday create crazed customers that jump from site to site abandoning pages and carts left and right.

Once mild mannered shoppers are now digital hunters, sniffing out the prey with the best price tag.


We know that abandonment rates can skyrocket past the 80% mark at the site and cart level. That’s a big chunk of people who just came to peruse and aren’t planning on coming back. With all those people looking for a special offer, why not remarket to them!? With software like Rejoiner, you are able to remarket deals, coupons, and anything else your little marketing heart desires to get those valuable customers back

Like we said, most online holiday shoppers are living in their browsers, hopping from one site to the next. Sure, every retailer is offering some sort of special offer or discount, but are they all taking the next step and sending targeted remarketing emails after abandonment (inevitably) occurs? Probably not. Be that retailer who shows up in your customer’s inbox minutes after they have ditched your cart. This is your unique power-play for the holiday. Install is easy. Most software installs via JavaScript if it is not already integrated as a plugin for most carts, like Magento or Volusion. The design gets created for you, and boom, you’re rocking and rolling retaining customers left and right. It’s easy, fast and opens up a totally new channel of conversion.

The Welcome Series Pop-up

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Welcome Series Pop-ups are a great way to get your client to opt-in and provide their ever so valuable email address. Why should you do this? Because it’s a catalyst for so many other powerful marketing tools and it’s fast and easy to install ; especially last minute.


When a customer lands on your page, the pop-up can offer them a Black Friday or Cyber Monday coupon code if they provide their email. Gamify the experience, make them feel special and give them that much needed coupon so they can convert.

So they opt-in but still leave. That’s okay, you now know where they have been and can use your remarketing technology from number 3 above to remarket to them.

Shucks, they didn’t end up buying during the holidays – not to worry. You can send them segmented offers post holiday or put them in a special club to then gain access to that customer. The possibilities are endless and it’s all powered by this easily installed tool.

Make your own Black Friday & Cyber Monday Discount Page

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Great, a customer has found her way to your site! Say you are not showing coupons at checkout or landing page and are just not a fan of the practice. No problem at all. You have to accept the fact that your customer will be leaving your site to look for coupons. Where are they going to search?


Where will they land? If you have submitted coupons to your affiliates, they may land on one of those sites. The problem here is that you don’t control the experience. They may see a wrong coupon code, it may be buried on the page or displaying the wrong discount or brand. Affiliates often prioritize quantity over quality – especially with coupons. So build your own one pager.

Make sure your page is rich in keywords and text that people are searching when they think of your brands, and of course don’t forget Black Friday/ Cyber Monday.

Control the customer’s experience by navigating to where you want them to be and provide links when necessary. You can spend 30 minutes or 30 hours on this, but the goal will be to curate your own micro-site.

How else are you winning with this strategy? First, you don’t have to pay any extra acquisition costs like you do with affiliates! You can also take that cost and put it behind something like Google AdWords to promote your coupon page so it ranks number one at all times.

Call your suppliers:

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So it’s almost Black Friday or Cyber Monday and you’ve read the blogpost, get the jist of it but are still struggling with which products to apply this to. What if you run on really tight margins and simply can’t discount 10-20%? Call your suppliers and let them do the heavy lifting.

Just like you, they have been prepping for the holiday shopping rush. They have been making smart purchases and establishing deals with their manufacturers or material suppliers. They have prepared their salespeople and marketing team to setup extra discounts for bulk buys and clear out items.

Use this to your advantage. Call or email them asking for ideas on what is moving fast or on what they can get you deals on. Look at your own best seller list and see if you can negotiate a better deal. During this time, most suppliers or manufacturers who follow MAP (Manufacture Suggested Pricing) will allow you to drop the price to spark sales.

They want to sell just as much as you. Leverage that.

In Brief:

While there are other high impact, low cost, low time investment approaches, these have worked quite well for my eCommerce companies over the past thirteen years.

They bring value to the customer and open your business to new marketing channels. Because you can test conversion quickly and cheaply, they also give you a basis for offering some of these things year round. Black Friday / Cyber Monday may not be your meal ticket to success or see the blowout sales that many big box stores do. However, it can be a great learning experience that can broaden your marketing program.

Eddie Lichstein
Ed has spent the last 13 years building eCommerce companies. During that time, his businesses have generated $100M+ in total sales. Ed's approach to retail centers on delivering an amazing customer experience and using big data to do so.