How the top 5 Shopify brands launched their Black Friday campaigns.

There is no doubt that the upcoming holiday season until the New Year’s Eve is the most exciting but also stressful shopping period of the entire year for every online merchant.

Some of the 2017’s BFCM (Black Friday Cyber Monday) e-commerce sales data were astonishing:

  • $1 billion every day Nov. 1-22
  • $1.52 billion on Thanksgiving
  • $5 billion on Black Friday
  • $6.6 billion on Cyber Monday
  • $108.15 billion overall

Shopify store owners crushed it as well during last year’s BFCM. The e-commerce platform provided a general overview regarding the sales data of its merchants which were undoubtedly amazing:

E-commerce is obviously revolutionizing the retail industry and it is definitely not going anywhere at the moment.

At the time the article was written there was no available statistics for this year’s Black Friday sales however, predictions for this year’s BFCM are even higher in terms of revenue and sales.

Another useful insight of the Shopify’s Holiday Shopping Trends & Statistics 2017-2018 research is the store visitors purchase behavior based on the device used.

It is interesting that for the first time completed transactions from mobile users are higher than these of desktop users.

Usually, what we’ve seen in e-commerce during the last years is that customers were browsing on mobile and then finalized the transaction on desktop.

What can be concluded here though, is that merchants should focus on  providing an exceptional mobile experience to their visitors and communicating their brand’s identity within the mobile ecosystem.  

The last worth mentioning statistic before I jump into how the top 5 Shopify brands prepared and launched their Black Friday strategies, is the top 10 countries on online spending.

It is always good to remember which countries are the most familiar on shopping online at the moment so you can adjust your content marketing and paid advertising efforts towards them.

If you are interested to statistics like these you can check this infographic by Shopify Plus.

Now that you have a solid understanding of why this holiday season is crucial for your business growth let’s dive in and see how some of the most successful Shopify brands leveraged Black Friday holiday.

Let me first provide you with an easy way you can also use to explore all the brands that are using Shopify as their e-commerce platform.

Go to google.com and type exactly “myip.ms shopify” . Then click on the 1st result.

Once you click you will be redirected to this website and you should be able to see something like the image below.

These are the top 10 brands currently using Shopify’s platform. You can of course browse the website and explore any other brand that looks appealing to you.

Rankings are provided based on their daily visitors and not on revenues, however chances are that the higher the traffic a store receives the higher the revenues. It always depends on the conversion rates of its website.

I specifically focused on the brands mentioned below for the simple reason that were the ones that did launch a structured Black Friday campaign across their websites and social media pages.

The rest of the Top 10 brands that are not mentioned below were not running or preparing to launch any promotional campaigns at least a day before the Black Friday.

Top 5 Shopify Brands:

  1. Colour Pop
  2. Fashion Nova
  3. Gym Shark
  4. Bee Inspired Clothing
  5. MVMT Watches

Colour Pop 

ColourPop is definitely dominating the beauty and makeup industry at the moment. The California based beauty brand, founded and owned by Seed Beauty since 2014 designs and manufactures all of its products in-house and experiences remarkable growth the last two years.

Stats:

  • Daily Visits: 203.000
  • Estimated Daily Sales: $14.700
  • Total Visits Last Month: 5.900.000

First thing I did of course to kind of catch the mood of the brand and if they are under holiday season preparations is that I visited their website.

As you can see the Header includes a specific menu named ‘Holiday’ where you can find all the products that are on sale during the holiday season.

This is a great idea that you can also implement in your store.

You can easily create a new collection, name it appropriately i.e. ‘Holiday Deals’, ‘Holiday’, ‘On Sale’ etc. and place it on your website’s header.

During this holiday season, most of the visitors coming to your website are sale conscious which means that they are immediately looking for your promotions.

Why not make their life easier and direct them towards your deals which they are probably looking for.

Scrolling a bit further on the homepage another big banner grabbed my attention.

As you can see, the banner delivers quite successfully the message that ColouPop wanted to communicate.

It includes:

  1. A clear message that communicates the current discount rates.

  2. A complete presentation of which products are discounted.

  3. A call to action ‘Shop Now’ button below this great illustration of lips which you probably can’t ignore.

By now it is more than clear to the visitor what’s going on in terms of sales and promotions with the brand even from a single visit to their website.

Last thing I want to mention here which is quite irrelevant with the Black Friday context but made me a great impression is the message the visitors get once they subscribe to ColourPop’s e-mail newsletter.

As you can see from the image above, once you subscribe to the e-mail newsletter you get to see this simple but beautifully designed banner.

It’s perfect how ColourPop sets the tone and the character of their brand in any chance they possibly have.

The banner is nothing exceptional, rather I’d say it’s a simple warm welcoming message.

However, it depicts how the brand treats its visitors and how they take the extra mile to provide a pleasant experience to their visitors.

Even though the website was enough to understand how ColourPop positioned itself for the Black Friday promotions I was curious how they communicated the upcoming sale period on their social media channels.

I visited their Facebook page and scrolled through some of their posts where I found some interesting and quite useful tactics.

First, as you can see they announced that promotions start earlier than the expected Black Friday day which is quite common but they also announced that they will be releasing a new ‘Cyber Deal’ every day.

Quite clever tactic to build some hype and curiosity to their fans, don’t you think?

Imagine your favorite brand‘s announcement that for the next couple of days they will be releasing a new deal every day.

Wouldn’t you stay tuned to see deals? I bet you’d do.  

Quite interesting tactic here from ColourPop which can be easily implemented to your store.

Make a list of the products that visitors are most interested in, announce the upcoming daily deals and then post them one every day.

Even better, if you already have a solid Facebook Messenger list you can use it to communicate the daily deals to your audience and drive some traffic directly to your store.

You may also want to start building your list from scratch and this could be a  great way for incentivizing people to subscribe to your list.

Messenger-based tools like Flashchat can definitely help you in both cases.

Another cool tactic ColouPop implemented in order to build hype for their Black Friday campaign was to run a contest across their social media channels (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter) and guess when they would announce the winners.

You’re right!

On Black Friday.

So what they actually achieved with this tactic is that they:

  1. Announced to a big audience across all their social media channels (see post engagement below) a new product launch.

  2. Managed to bring people back to their pages during Black Friday.

  3. Increased their social media following.

Not bad for the costs they absorbed to giveaway 3 product bundles.

 

To sum it up:

  1. Update your website’s homepage with well-designed banners which make clear that you run promotions storewide.

  2. Update your website’s header with a collection named appropriately which will make it easy for your visitors to find all your promotional items.

  3. Build some hype on your brand’s social media channels by announcing daily deals.

  4. Run a giveaway contest across all your social media channels and announce the winners the day you want to launch your promotional campaign.

 

Fashion Nova 

If you are in the e-commerce industry you must have heard about Fashion Nova. It’s one of the fastest growing women’s clothing online brand which invests heavily on social media to increase brand awareness and acquire new customers.

Stats:

  • Daily Visits: 86.000
  • Estimated Daily Sales: $17.300
  • Total Visits Last Month: 3.300.000

As with ColourPop same process was followed for researching Fashion Nova Black Friday tactics.

I jumped into their website where a quite shiny and impressive banner informing me about the Black Friday sale was live.

Things to pay attention on the image below are:

  1. The announcement bar which part of it was used to communicate the Black Friday sale.

  2. The impressive banner with made crystal clear that sale was live as well as the percentage of sales, customers could expect.

  3. Lastly, the brand in an attempt to boost urgency was using a countdown timer to showcase visitors the remaining time they did have to grab any of the promotional deals.

In terms of social media strategies Fashion Nova decided to follow a kind of similar with ColourPop’s strategy in terms of building hype to their audience about the upcoming Black Friday sale.

The image you see below is the brand’s post on its Facebook & Instagram pages. They initially started posting it on 21st of November quite frequently across the day (3-4 times/day).

One thing to take away here is the consistency across the brand’s online presence as well as the early excitement that tried to build on their audience.

To sum it up:

  1. Use an impressive banner on your website’s homepage which can be used as it is across your social media channels to maintain consistency.

  2. Post several times/day for the upcoming Black Friday sale which builds hype and excitement.

  3. Use a countdown timer on your website’s homepage to boost urgency and close as many sales as possible.

 

Gymshark 

Britain’s fastest growing company in 2016 with £41M revenue is sales during 2017 is undoubtedly a worth-mentioning e-commerce brand. Gymshark’s founder and CEO is a 19-year old college student named Ben Francis who is passionate about fitness and has a strong entrepreneurial spirit.

Stats:

  • Daily Visits: 35.000
  • Estimated Daily Sales: N/A
  • Total Visits Last Month: 2.400.000

Here’s what you see when you visit Gymshark’s website during the Black Friday.

They named their Black Friday campaign as ‘Blackout’ and they showcased clearly that there was a sale up to 70% storewide.  

Watch the detail here: the call to action button of their homepage includes the name of the campaign.

I’d characterize their homepage’s banner as an attention grabbing and crystal clear on its message banner.

A Black Friday related banner was also used for the brand’s Facebook cover page, pinpointing the high percentage discounts and boosting some urgency as well by mentioning that the discounts will be available for a limited time.

The most impressive part of Gymshark’s Black Friday campaign though was the earliness they decided to launch their social media posts about it.

As you see from the image above, they published the first Black Friday related post on their Facebook page on 5th of November.

This is almost 15 days before the date the campaign was actually launched.

Quite impressive, isn’t it?

It is obvious also from the image above, that the focus of the post creative (it was a video) was on the specific day that they would be releasing their ‘Blackout’ campaign.

The next two Facebook posts were on 7th & 9th of November where they announced the products that would be on sale when the campaign would be live!

That’s a good idea for building up demand for your products! People go through your website searching all the alternatives and start thinking which products they should aim for the upcoming sale.

As you can see, the date the ‘Blackout’ campaign would be released was mentioned in all their social posts.

When the time for their ‘Blackout’ launch came this was the brand’s post:

They did launch as well a couple of ads on Facebook along with their organic posts to boost their reach obviously and let their audience know that the campaign was live.  

As you can see they did run some carousel ads probably for retargeting purposes and two different video ads for men and women separately.

The ad copy was nothing crazy, a simple ad copy which conveyed the message they wanted to communicate i.e. that ‘Blackout’ campaign was live.

The ad’s headline though ‘Avoid the FOMO!’ was quite unusual or at least something I haven’t seen on other Facebook ads. Usually I do see some indirect techniques which create a FOMO feeling on the customers such as (limited stock, one-time offer etc.) but not directly ‘advising’ them to avoid the FOMO (fear of missing out).

Now you may wonder and it’s normal, I’d wonder as well if the campaign was successful.

Well, thanks for asking me!

The campaign wasn’t only successful but it was SO successful that people freaked out during the launch day, the brand went out of stock quite instantly and people were literally complaining on Facebook that they were at the checkout page and they’ve seen messages like ‘the items you’re trying to purchase are currently out of stock’.

In fact the problem was so big that the brand apologized for all the inconvenience they caused on their social media accounts.

To sum it up:

  1. Modify your website and your Facebook page and turn them into the upcoming campaign mood.

  2. Start posting on your social media accounts early enough about the upcoming campaign.

  3. Let the fans know which products will be on sale.

  4. Run Facebook ads when the campaign is live to let your audience know that the campaign is ON.

  5. Make sure to have sufficient inventory to cope with the demand.

 

Bee Inspired Clothing 

Bee inspired Clothing was founded in 2013 by former professional footballers Steven Robb & Mark Corcoran and it’s an award winning streetwear brand with quite huge following on Facebook and Instagram.

Stats:

  • Daily Visits: 24.400
  • Estimated Daily Sales: $9.700
  • Total Visits Last Month: 2.400.000

The brand compared with the ones mentioned before did not run a structured campaign days before the Black Friday for building hype and excitement.

However, they did update as the rest of the brands their website’s homepage with a relevant banner which was the same used in their Facebook cover page photo.

 

A different strategy that the brand used though in order to leverage the Black Friday was to incentivize its audience to enroll to their e-mail list so they would be able to know first about the upcoming promotions before anyone else.

That way they gave their fans a reason to subscribe to their newsletters and guess what? They increased their e-mail list which is still golden for all the brands. Brilliant way to grow a list!

To sum it up:

  1. Again, update your website and social media based on the upcoming campaign.

  2. Incentivize people to subscribe to your e-mail list by providing them first the campaigns’ deals.

 

MVMT Watches 

Founded by two college dropout students named Jake Kassan & Kramer LaPlante in 2013 MVMT watches disrupted the watch industry and was acquired in August 2018 by Movado Group for more than $100 million.

Stats:

  • Daily Visits: 23.500
  • Estimated Daily Sales: $28.600
  • Total Visits Last Month: 1.100.000

There is no surprise compared with the rest of the brands in terms of updating the website homepage and Facebook page.

MVMT updated its website homepage with an impressive banner which clearly communicated the spirit of the Black Friday celebration.

I can imagine that they did not focus that much on the discount percentage within the ‘above the fold’ area because in this case MVMT watches offered a quite low discount of 25% compared with the high discounts the rest of the brands had to offer.

However, it is a well-designed banner for the homepage of a website which clearly delivers the message to the visitors.

A banner with different background but same principles was used on their Facebook cover page.

The brand did not start advertising its Black Friday sale since the 16th of November when they released a video showcasing the brand’s story and communicating the upcoming Black Friday sale.

Till now nothing really different from the brands mentioned before.

Don’t be so sure though.

While I was browsing the MVMT watches website something quite unique grabbed my attention.

The brand launched a gift guide because of this holiday season which literally proposes you based on your price preferences what you should gift him/her. See the images below and you’ll get the idea.

They focused quite a lot on the gifting spirit of these days which can be seen from their social media posts about their curated gifting offerings:

Such an amazing idea and execution. Don’t you think?

Congrats, MVMT watches!

To sum it up:

  1. Run a promotional video a couple of days before your campaign talking about what you stand for and introducing the upcoming promotion.

  2. If your product is suitable for gifting it take some time and create a gift guide to help your customers choose easier the gifts for their loved ones.

Final Remarks

By the time you’ll be reading this article Black Friday will have passed. However, holiday season is quite long until the new Year’s eve and you really don’t have to worry if you didn’t run a special campaign for this year’s Black Friday. The last quarter of the year and especially the holiday season provides you with multiple chances to capture the attention of your customer and close the sale.

This is why I analyzed what some of the top Shopify brands already did to launch their Black Friday campaigns so you can hopefully get some inspiration and apply some of the tactics you’ve read in your own business.

It is the busiest shopping period for both e-commerce and bricks-and-mortar retailers and it is probably the best time for you to take advantage of the hype and the increased shopping intent of your customers.

So, to summarize and leave you with my final remarks what I would suggest you for running a successful promotional campaign during the upcoming days is:

  1. Spend some extra time on updating your website homepages and your Facebook cover pages with relevant to your campaign banners.

  2. Start creating excitement and anticipation for your promotion a couple of days before the launch of the campaign.

  3. The day the campaign is live run advertisements on Facebook & Instagram to let your audience know that the campaign is on.

  4. Take the extra mile as MVMT watches did and create a perfect presentation for curated gift ideas of your products.

  5. Run a contest across all your social media accounts and announce the winners during the day your campaign launches.

  6. Run daily deals for some of your products and let your audience know about these through all your communication channels.

I hope this article provided you with some gems that will help you plan, prepare and finally launch your campaigns.

Wish you best of success.

Panos Tzitzinos  

Flashchat Content Contributor

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