4 minutes

Black Friday 2021 Doomsday Scenarios, And How To Avoid Them

Despite a sharp rise in inflation, when it comes to Black Friday, shoppers are still keen to snag a bargain. Black Friday is a ripe-yet-fleeting opportunity to increase your sales. But to take full advantage, you’ll need to do your homework. Take time in advance to pinpoint potential problems with your site and boost your marketing campaigns.

From technical problems to poor customer feedback, there’s no shortage of doomsday scenarios that could stifle your Black Friday performance. Below, you’ll find the NORTH team’s top tips for doomsday-proofing your Black Friday campaign.

Scenario #1

Last-minute decision making.

How to avoid Scenario #1

Forward planning is instrumental to the success of your Black Friday marketing campaign. It’s best to decide what you’re going to offer your customers a few months in advance. This allows you plenty of time to create original and engaging content to support your campaign. Think paid ads, email copy, banners and tailored on-page page copy.

You also need to be on the ball when it comes to affiliate marketing. Publishers usually book campaigns well in advance of the festive period and key dates like this one can fill up fast. Book now and work out the finer details closer to the go-live date. If you’re cornered into a last-minute campaign, ensure you have publishers and a design team on standby.

Scenario #2

Only targeting one type of customer.

How to avoid Scenario #2

Data from previous years offers interesting insights into Black Friday consumer behaviour. Some shoppers impulse-buy on Black Friday and purchase something simply to take advantage of the offers available. Others think about their purchase much earlier and hold out for Black Friday to get the best deal.
Consider how you will speak to both types of customer. For example, you may choose to use remarketing, suggested add-ons or re-worked messaging. You should also be mindful that some shoppers keep an eye out for gifts for loved ones. Serving this broad demographic provides the perfect opportunity to put lead generation tactics to use. Are your on-site overlays and basket abandonment emails ready for action?

Scenario #3

Technical difficulties.

How to avoid Scenario #3

It’s crucial that you prepare your site for a potential surge in traffic. Problems with adding products to basket, discounts not applying correctly, or the site crashing altogether can cause a shopper to ditch the purchase and waste your marketing efforts. Dodge this issue by carrying out rigorous testing prior to your go-live date. In the past, we’ve seen successful campaigns that stagger e-shots of Black Friday offers. This promotes a gradual stream of traffic to protect against crashes.
Make sure you plan for external factors too. An influx in sales can lead to postage delays. Highlight this within your advertisements so you don’t lose trust with customers if products arrive late.

Scenario #4

Poor customer feedback.

How to avoid Scenario #4

Social media is an effective marketing platform, but it also opens your business up to public criticism. Check social channels regularly so you can spot irked customers. You should also monitor customer communications across email and review platforms. Prioritise managing your customer communications effectively to avoid bad sentiment impacting your reputation and sales.

If you haven’t already, liaise with review sites to build customer confidence. This may involve gifting campaigns or blogger outreach. Put these tactics in motion well in advance so that content is live and gaining traction.

Scenario #5

Piggybacking on a campaign or having your campaign hijacked.

How to avoid Scenario #5

Once again, planning your campaign well in advance helps to avoid this Black Friday blunder! In the past, brands with popular campaigns have been hijacked by competitors. This is especially the case for brands using social media hashtags to generate buzz, as hashtags are easily adopted. Unfortunately, a hijacked campaign can detract from your brand and dilute your efforts. We know success comes from mapping out original campaigns well in advance.

Scenario #6

Ignoring the insights provided by Black Friday visitors.

How to avoid Scenario #6

Use the insights that come your way over the Black Friday period as a gold mine for your business. You can use the increase in users as an opportunity to test different conversion tactics and quickly get an idea of what works.

It’s important to learn from these busier times of the year as they can expose issues within your customer journey. For example, your Black Friday campaign may show you that you need more content to educate the customer, or that you need to increase your use of review and comparison sites to support the selection process. Black Friday is a great opportunity to boost sales, but it’s also a chance to evaluate the efficiency of your site and processes.


Looking for more tips on how to boost your marketing campaigns? Check out our ultimate guide to link building and outreach, or our 10 tips for supercharging your content marketing. Interested in finding out what we can do for you? Just take a look at some of our case studies, or get in touch.