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Black Friday: opportunities and risks for ecommerce

Black Friday may be a real party for consumers, but for brands it's a much more serious affair. In this article, we rank the top priorities for brands to take on in order to make the most of Black Friday.

Black Friday, the discount campaign that is considered the kick-off of the holiday shopping season, can be a real party for consumers, but for brands it is a much more serious matter. 

Some eCommerce companies spend between 30% and 40% of their annual turnover on these days, 25% in the case of marketplaces.

Here are the main priorities that brands should take on to make the most of Black Friday, according to their strategic interests. 


Black Friday 2021 will be the second since Covid-19 drastically altered consumption patterns, triggering an acceleration in digital sales.

Global online revenue grew by 27.6% to $4.28 trillion in 2020.

In the United States, online sales on Black Friday (November 30, 2020) grew by 22% to $8.92 billion, making it so far the highest online sales day in U.S. history.

Source: eMarketer

Restrictions on physical stores due to the fight against the virus played an undeniable role a year ago. This Black Friday the situation is very different from that of 2020, when not a single vaccine against the coronavirus had been distributed.

There are other exogenous elements that may also play a role in making this Black Friday 2021 different - more complicated for brands - than previous ones:

First, supply chain strains: if at the beginning of 2020 shipping goods in a 40-foot container cost less than $2,000, this fall the cost already exceeded $10,000.

In addition, there is a bottleneck in global logistics chains, and it can have a very serious effect on the stock of all kinds of products. This can have the side effect of making product offers more ephemeral on this Black Friday, simply because there is not enough product

So how do you deal with Black Friday and take advantage of it according to the strategic interests of your business or eCommerce?

Below, we detail the essentials to take into account in 3 simple points:

1. Refine your offer as much as possible

Selling a lot on Black Friday is relatively simple; selling at a satisfactory margin is quite complicated. To achieve this, ecommerce must fine-tune pricing, product and catalog, taking into account logistical requirements and, this year, supply constraints. 

Remember: it is not mandatory to participate in Black Friday; in fact, not doing so can be a way to protect your brand.  

2. Analyze your data

It is essential to have the best possible data to successfully plan for Black Friday:

  • Performance of the eCommerce itself, to detect problems and implement navigation improvements,

  • Analyze customer data, to achieve higher conversion rates in email marketing, greater accuracy in the investment of 'paid' and a more successful channel mix.

3. Plan ahead

Ecommerce should be well aware of the Black Friday event months in advance. Only with time will they be able to improve their organic positioning, strengthen their position in social media and take advantage of periods when the cost of paid is low. 

Keeping these 3 aspects in mind when planning and carrying out your business strategy during the Black Friday event is crucial to make the most of this date according to your brand's strategic interests.

If you want to learn more about how to focus and refine your business' online strategy, you can get in touch with our specialists team or download the complete report prepared by Rocket Digital's ecommerce, marketplaces, analytics and positioning experts, for free.


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