Black Friday Marketing: How to Create a Black Friday Contest Strategy for Your Ecommerce Store

Inside, Black Friday marketing tips and how ecommerce brands can use contests, sweepstakes, and giveaways to attract more shoppers on one of the biggest shopping days of the year.

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Does your Black Friday marketing include contests, sweepstakes, or giveaways? The busiest shopping day of the year is almost here. Starting from Thanksgiving, online retailers will offer steep discounts to their customers. Ecommerce brands will also leverage social media contests, text to win sweepstakes, spin-to-win wheels, instant win games, online sweepstakes, and other giveaway promotions to attract shoppers.


What is Black Friday?

Black Friday, the day after the American Thanksgiving holiday, and Cyber Monday, the Monday after Thanksgiving weekend (Cyber weekend), are the biggest shopping days of the year. On these high volume shopping days, ecommerce brands and online retailers run Black Friday Cyber Monday (or “BFCM”) campaigns to attract shoppers. In 2022, BFCM fall on November 25 and November 28, respectively.

Black Friday Marketing for Ecommerce and Online Retailers

The retail landscape has shifted dramatically as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, 6 in 10 shoppers start searching for BFCM deals as early as October. Furthermore, there are also more shoppers who prefer to shop online than ever before. In 2022, ecommerce brands have to do more to create unique Black Friday shopping experiences for customers to help their brands stand out.

How To Create A Black Friday Contest Strategy For Your Ecommerce Store

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Run Black Friday Cyber Monday 2022 Sweepstakes and Contests

Plan a BFCM sweepstakes or contest now to attract more shoppers on Black Friday Cyber Monday 2022. Fortunately, you still have time to plan your Black Friday contest and ecommerce strategy and attract more sales on one of the biggest days of the year for online retailers, if you start now.

Read on to get your Black Friday marketing playbook and tips on how to run effective BFCM sweepstakes, contests, and giveaways.


  • How do you attract participants to a Black Friday contest or sweepstakes?
  • Are Black Friday contests profitable for businesses?
  • Should you run a Black Friday contest for your ecommerce store?


Black Friday Marketing Contests & Sweepstakes Build Customer Loyalty

The last part of the year from Black Friday to New Year is typically the most profitable sales quarter for the majority of retailers. However, attracting these sales depends on customer loyalty. Most online shoppers seek out deals and discounts from the top retailers and coveted niche brands.

While brand authority matters on normal sales volume days, Black Friday Cyber Monday shoppers will shop around specifically for the best deals. Furthermore, even if you offer great pricing and make sales, there is no guarantee that shoppers will return to your brand to buy more once the holidays are over.

By leveraging a Black Friday contest for your brand, you can build customer loyalty and help shoppers remember your brand because of the unique participant experience that your giveaway delivers. Furthermore, you’ll reduce the chances of attracting low average order value customers who are only there to find the cheapest price, and don’t appreciate the value that your brand delivers.

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Create VIP customer deals to attract existing customers to participate in your BFCM giveaway. Deeper discounts can drive more sales and give your existing customers another reason to enter your giveaway, aside from the chance to win a prize for free.


Your Black Friday eCommerce Strategy Should Include Giveaways, Contests & Sweepstakes

Ecommerce store owners and retail brands can take advantage of a Black Friday contest or sweepstakes to help them attract more shoppers during the holiday season 2022. Every year, the Black Friday shopping event breaks new sales records.

Here’s a few sales statistics to show you why Black Friday Cyber Monday are the top high volume shopping days for ecommerce brands:

  1. Online holiday season spending for consumers increased 16.1% in 2021.
  2. 31% of consumers say that they used curbside pickup for the first time ever in 2020.
  3. In 2021, nearly 180 million American consumers shopped between the Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday.
  4. Last year, Black Friday was the top shopping day of the year, attracting 154.5 million people to shop online or in-store.
  5. The COVID-19 pandemic created a shift toward online shopping with 60% of consumers reported that they shopped online more, with 6% reporting that they did so for the first time ever.
  6. Shopify store owners made $6.3 billion in sales globally, marking a 23% year-over-year increase in sales on the platform.
  7. Across all retail channels, shoppers spent $9.03 billion on Black Friday.
  8. In 2021, Cyber Monday surpassed Black Friday totaling $10.90 billion in sales across all retail channels.

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When to Plan a Black Friday Contest or Sweepstakes?

It’s never too early to get started on your Black Friday sweepstakes or contest promotion. Even starting the planning for your giveaway promo in the summer is a good idea idea that will help ensure that your brand delivers a seamless contesting experience.

Keep in mind that every other online retailer will run a Black Friday campaign. Throughout the month of November, and the final weeks of October, you should be nurturing your customers, fans, and past giveaway participants on social media, email, and text messages. This will ensure that you have an engaged audience ready to participate in your giveaway.

To start planning your contest or sweepstakes as a part of your Black Friday ecommerce strategy, do the following:


Reach Out to Influencers for Black Friday Marketing ASAP

Influencers account for up to 20% of holiday sales made by consumers. As a result, if you want access to the top influencers for your Black Friday marketing strategy, you need to reach out early.

One way to collaborate with influencers for a Black Friday contest or sweepstakes is to have them create their own product review videos or put together curated gift wishlists that include popular items available from your ecommerce store or even the sweepstakes prize that you plan to give away to a winner.

You can also have influencers do unboxing campaigns where they unwrap your flagship product as a gifted product and share their reactions. This is a great strategy for ecommerce brands that plan to launch a new seasonal product for 2022 or want to use a contest or sweepstakes to help generate pre-orders.

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Grow Your List to Attract BFCM Sweepstakes Participants

Schedule your holiday sales emails and SMS marketing so that it welcomes holiday shoppers with personalized welcome emails, abandoned cart text messages, and abandoned cart emails. Use growth hacks to grow your audience faster with spin-to-win wheels, wishlists, welcome popups, and more so that you have engaged fans who are ready to participate in your BFCM giveaway campaign.

Some ecommerce audience segments, aside from existing customers, to target for sweepstakes participation include seasonal shoppers, product browsers, almost purchasers, gift givers, and recent text message or email openers, and fans who haven’t purchased yet.


Leak Deals for Black Friday 2022 Early

You should begin promoting your Black Friday contest in October because the majority of retailers start to leak their deals via advertising starting in late October and early November. By making customers aware of your sweepstakes promotion, you can demonstrate that your brand has much more to offer this year than just cheap prices on a few popular, limited-stock products.

Remember that holiday shoppers’ biggest fears are missing out on the best deals. So by also giving them a chance to win awesome prizes in your BFCM giveaway, you can attract their attention.

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Black Friday Marketing Sweepsify FAQs

Here are some frequently asked questions that we get from ecommerce merchants at Sweepsify about Black Friday contests and sweepstakes:

Why are Black Friday contests and sweepstakes important for online stores?

The holiday shopping frenzy pre-pandemic used to be driven by in-store deals. These days, the shopping frenzy has moved to online shopping, making Black Friday Cyber Monday the primary source of record-breaking sales for retailers during the holiday season.

To maximize your results, online retailers should make sure that your Black Friday marketing includes a contest, sweepstakes or giveaway promo. Attract participants with a coordinated sweepstakes marketing strategy to reach ecommerce customers via mobile marketing and across all online channels.


Why are Black Friday 2022 deals and discounts risky for ecommerce brands and retailers?

Often it’s also very difficult to get the pricing just right for a Black Friday sale. As a result, relying only on discounts and deals to drive Black Friday Cyber Monday sales could translate into a loss this holiday season. Brands have to manage their retail arbitrage carefully when dealing with a high volume of shoppers who are buying low margin products on impulse and are more likely to return the goods that they are purchasing.

Should brands run a sweepstakes on Black Friday or Cyber Monday?

The decision of when you should start your sweepstakes or contest promotion depends on your brand. However, it is advisable to run your giveaway throughout the week to maximize participation.

Here are the key dates to include in your BFCM 2022 promotional calendar:
  • Thanksgiving 2022: November 24
  • Black Friday 2022: November 25
  • Cyber Monday 2022: November 28


Should online retailers use SMS and mobile giveaways in their Black Friday marketing?

The week before Black Friday, 57.2% of online sales come from mobile devices. During Black Friday, 74% of online sessions are on mobile devices with mobile online sales accounting for 20% more online sales than desktop. On Cyber Monday, 77.92% of all online sales came from mobile. Given these statistics, the answer is clear. Brands should use text to win, SMS sweepstakes, and text message marketing to attract mobile shoppers.

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Next Steps: Prepare for Black Friday Cyber Monday 2022

Now that you know what it takes to plan a Black Friday marketing strategy that incorporates BFCM deals, sweepstakes, contests, and giveaways, it’s time to get to work.

Here are our final ecommerce success tips for Black Friday Cyber Monday 2022:


Plan Ahead for Black Friday Inventory Management

Make sure that you align your inventory with forecasted holiday ecommerce demand. You should also talk to your suppliers and make sure that they are ready for the BFCM 2022 sales demand. Since Black Friday contests, sweepstakes, and giveaways generate instant sales when participants turn into first-time customers, as well as, ecommerce sales from existing customers, you need to make sure that you are prepared.

Furthermore, as logistics operations shift toward just-in-case inventory management and supply chain issues resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic persist, inventory risks remain for ecommerce brands. Ecommerce online stores would do best to get ahead on their BFCM inventory management.

Failing to prepare for Black Friday by matching your supply with demand puts you at a major risk of over- or understocking your product. In the event that you do run out of popular stock items unexpectedly, plan to have other products and deals that you can pivot to. This also helps you to avoid holiday excess inventory as a result of returns or lower than expected sales.

Cyber security, fraud prevention and customer service are three other key areas that tie into inventory management that you should monitor and optimize.


Mobile Friendly Test for Ecommerce Stores

Test how easily an ecommerce shopper can use your site on a mobile device. With Black Friday mobile shoppers surpassing desktop shoppers consistently year after year, you need a mobile-friendly ecommerce site.

Test your ecommerce mobile website to ensure that it is mobile responsive. If needed, make changes to the UX to ensure that it’s mobile responsive so that you don’t miss out on mobile shoppers.

Make Returns/Refunds Easy

Offer a self-serve returns center that will allow your customers to manage their own returns, including automatically generating return shipping labels. By doing this, you can make returns and refund easier, reduce the number of customer support tickets, and make it clear on what your return policy is.


Ready to Get Started?

Don’t forget that it’s just the start of the holiday season! So there is plenty more that you will need to do for your holiday ecommerce marketing strategy.

Sweepsify makes it easy to plan your sweepstakes, contest or giveaway for your online store or retail business during Black Friday Cyber Monday 2022. We’ll help you wow your customers and delight them with exciting Black Friday 2022 giveaways!

Looking for a sweepstakes company to help you with your Black Friday marketing promotions? Sweepsify helps you find top giveaway platforms in seconds. Create your free Premium account now to get started.