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Guidelines for Running a Successful Black Friday Ecommerce Contest

7th December 2017

Black Friday is the most notorious shopping day of the year. It got its name from the simple fact that a lot of businesses weren’t in the black, or making money, until the holiday shopping rush that starts after Thanksgiving. This shopping holiday is no longer only confined to physical retailers. In addition to Cyber Monday—the alternative shopping day coined specifically for ecommerce retailers—many online stores are now offering alternatives to the craziness that comes with the Black Friday rush. Here are a few guidelines for running a successful Black Friday ecommerce contest.

Determine Which Type of Contest Works Best for Your Store

You’ve decided that you want to run a Black Friday content for your ecommerce store. The only problem now is figuring out how to build and run the contest itself. This can depend on several factors, such as:

  • What sort of products are sold on your ecommerce store
  • How much you’re willing to give people as incentives in order to entice them to make other purchases
  • What items will provide the greatest return if they are used as the object of a contest

These factors will all require you to do some calculations and research to determine your best course of action. There are many types of Black Friday contests and giveaways that have already been successfully implemented by other ecommerce stores. Here are a few of the most effective strategies:

  • Show customers the scarcity of certain items
  • Incorporate humor as a means of goodwill
  • Emphasize the fact that customers can get good deals at your store without having to wait in line

The end-goal of your Black Friday contest isn’t just to give away some of your inventory. You want to get people to actually purchase something from your store. Whether you’re trying to sell electronics, clothing or furniture, it’s key that you at least set a path for profiting from your Black Friday giveaway, even if it’s at a later time.  

Sign People Up for Email Updates When They Enter Your Contest

Email is one of the most effective ways for marketers to increase sales. It’s a simple way to keep in touch with people who have previously shown interest in your brand. A Black Friday contest is the perfect opportunity to get people to sign up for your email updates.

To be fair, people won’t be as willing to sign up for your email list if you’re not offering something particularly exciting. A five percent off coupon, for example, isn’t going to get anyone to stop at your ecommerce store. On the other hand, a giveaway for an expensive item or gift card is much more likely to get people to stop and sign up. And once they do that, they’re more likely to stick around and shop for a while—especially if you offer further incentives. This is also a good time to ask people to sign up for your social media channels as a prerequisite for entering the contest.

Be Clear and Honest with Your Promotion

Bad publicity is toxic for a business of any size. The last thing you want to do with your Black Friday contest is to trigger a public relations meltdown. Make sure you clearly state the requirements for entering the contest and what exactly people are entering to win. People are much more likely to act on negative brand experiences than positive ones. So, it’s crucial that you don’t give people a reason to get upset with your brand.

Running your first Black Friday contest can be an intimidating endeavor. However, by following these guidelines, your contest will hopefully drive business to your site instead of ending in a holiday catastrophe.

Corey is an all round tech guru who has worked at some major blue chip companies. He started Poweronemedia to share his views and knowledge with the rest of the blogging world.