Patricia Protopapadakis   November 2, 2018

How You Can Make Black Friday & Cyber Monday Your Most Profitable Weekend Of The Year

It’s that time of the year again friends – leaves change colors, families gather, a turkey gets pardoned, and people fight tooth and nail beating each other over the best-discounted Hatchimal to gift their child this year.

That’s right, Black Friday and Cyber Monday (BFCM) are looming upon us, and soon those same people that were once speaking words of gratitude will soon be waging war over the best bargain deals of the year.

Black friday mayhem

Typically, a Black Friday/Cyber Monday campaign has the potential generate 30% of your TOTAL years’ revenue, so you can totally crush this promotional weekend, with the right game plan.

Don’t panic – I am here to help you figure out the best strategies to take the metaphorical bull by its horns.

I’ll take you through finding the perfect products to offer, how to increase your average order value, the proper store layout for this event, as well as the email and ad campaigns design and scheduling.

Take a seat, grab a cozy sweater and ample amounts of coffee because we are in for a ride- a profitable ride.


cat in box as present

First thing’s first, we have to figure out what to sell – typically, we set the tone of BFCM as the time for finding things to gift others, so where better to look than the hub of one of a kind gifts – Etsy!!

Etsy makes it quite easy to find trending products, all you have to do is click the search bar at the top of the page, and it will pull up all of its most recent popular searches.

Etsy popular right now search black friday

Yes, yes, I know, the popular searches are never-ending, and the options are overwhelming so you may be wondering – ok is that seriously the safest way to find a killer trending product that piques people’s interest?

It is – if it’s paired alongside our lil friend! is an all-in-one e-commerce suite that has features like:

The Etsy Product Search

This feature allows you to find the top trending products mentioned above that people are actually buying on Etsy.

Product Hunt

Which shows you top selling products on Facebook that you can sort by engagement.

Top Seller Reveal

Reveal allows you to go to any Shopify store and see which of their products are selling the most.

Instead of spending hours on market research on what MIGHT sell during this holiday season, you can hop on over to and find products that WILL sell in minutes! You can focus your efforts on your ad and email campaigns, let handle the rest. also offers a free 7-day trial, so there is no upfront payment needed!

Discover profitable products for free with here. black friday special
Check out Cookie’s Etsy Search in action! 

Make sure you select products with higher profit margins that can withstand a decent discount offering anwhere between 10-30%.

Once you find your leading, hot ticket item, you are going to want to search for closely related products that you can bundle together to increase your average order value.

What I mean by this bundling phenomenon is – present an offer of complementary products that, when packaged together, enhances the overall customer experience with the purchase itself.

Some examples of bundling that we see every day are:

  • McDonalds Value Meals
  • Computers sold with a keyboard, mouse, and software
  • Insurance bundling plans for home, auto, and life

When bundled together, each item will have a slight discount, but overall you will be able to increase your average order value, so there is no perfect time than now to offer bundles.

On average, having a pre-purchase upsell app will increase your average order value by 20% from traffic that you already have! This will allow you to cover any costs you may be losing during this promotional weekend.

Post-purchase upsells are another feature to consider because the upsell appears AFTER the purchase has been made. Your customers aren’t phased by popups asking them to add something to their cart. Instead, they are presented with another appealing offer that will enhance their purchase. They don’t even have to enter their credit card information again!

If you need help finding an app that offers both upsell features that are mobile OPTIMIZED with no coding necessary on your end, look no further than SMAR7 Bundle.

how to prepare for black friday
SMAR7 Bundle in action on Logan Paul’s store from Black Friday 2017! 

SMAR7 Bundle has the option to offer both upsell types for a low monthly cost and provides a 7-day free trial, so if you install it during this promotional week, then you are raking in more money for no additional charge on your end.

Learn more about increasing your average order value for free with SMAR7 Bundle here

Alright, so thus far, we have the awesome products that we bait our customers with, our even more awesome bundle offers, and our determined storewide discount offerings – if I remember correctly, now we move to …


Before we proceed throughout each design aspect of this post, I want you to memorize and continuously repeat this mantra:

Keep it Simple!

You don’t need to get crazy with the designs because after all, you are trying to sell to customers, not scare them away.

Now let’s proceed.

My first tip for you, as far as website design goes, is to PLEASE make sure your store is mobile optimized.

how set up shopify store for black friday
Image credit: Google, Google,

Most of your traffic is going to come from mobile devices. On average, about 94% of web browsing is done on a mobile device while people are at work or at home, both places which typically have desktop computers.

That means a mobile device> desktop.

Just because your theme may be mobile responsive, does NOT mean it is mobile optimized.

Do not fear! Our friends over at Google have created this excellent Mobile-Friendly Test that allows you to enter in your sites URL and will tell you how optimized your store is on a mobile device!

Alright, let’s continue.

BFCM is a time of urgency people, and this sale won’t last forever, so we need to make sure our customers are aware of that.

This isn’t a time for lollygagging and putting off purchases – and the only way you are going to achieve this sense of urgency is with a BIG, bold, converting countdown timer at the top of the page that reminds your customers – times’ a’ tickin’.

I will offer a recommendation – if I may- Sales Countdown Timer Bar by SpurIT.

Black friday shopify store
Sales Countdown Timer!

Sales Countdown Timer Bar is compatible with any theme and allows you to position the timer in 3 different areas – the homepage, specific collections, and each product page.

It is also fully customizable so that you can match it to your promotional branding.

SpurIt also offers a 14-day free trial period, learn more about another BFCM freebie here.

The next design step is to have hero images, also known as custom banners, created for this promotional weekend.

You may be rolling your eyes and thinking “great, more money I have to spend ON TOP of the steep discount I’m offering and the ads I will have to run…”

Well, yes, but here is why they are a critical design element:

  • They help build your brand
  • They feature a product or product line
  • They make an announcement

Hero images are an excellent way to give a little more insight on the type of sale you are offering this weekend. You can mention the particular discount amount you are offering storewide or provide a day by day breakdown of the different sales your customers can expect. If they are well done, they can also make your site and product more credible and make your customer feel more inclined to shop around on your store. Make sure to include strong calls to action across all hero images you decide to use.

You can have hero images made for as little as $20 through and the best part is, you can always recycle through them for the following years to come!

black friday shopify promotion
Image credit: Travis Roof,
Black friday shopify
Image credit: Kohl’s,

The next aspect we need to cover for your home page is a collection list to feature under the hero image.

Your homepage is essentially like a window display at a mall – you want to feature your top, leading products to hook your visitors and invite them to shop around more.

You should frame your featured collections on the homepage around best selling items that your visitors should gift this holiday season, its never to early to buy gifts, and now is the perfect time with a storewide sale!

The last section of the webpage design is going to focus primarily on the product page, because, after all, it is the page that will lead to the purchase!

Your page layout should have your product image to the left, and an Add to Cart button to the right of the screen ABOVE THE FOLD. Let’s repeat it together,

“The Add to Cart button should be ABOVE THE FOLD.”

You should never make a customer have to scroll to reach the ATC button- on desktop OR mobile, so you should be adding a sticky add to cart button to your product page.

Below is an example product page by Asos I always reference because they have every key element above the fold on the product page:

how to set up ecommerce store for black friday
Image credit: Asos,

You also need to have some grade A, high-quality product images to win the sale.

Think about it; your customer has no idea what this product looks like, how it feels, or how it will benefit them in any way – all they see is an image of a product and hopefully a decent description that will encourage them to push that special button to make the purchase.

Your product images should have the highest resolution, and your customer should basically be able to perceive all five senses through your product images.

That’s right, they should even be able to TASTE the product through the image, maybe not that far, but you understand what I’m getting at.

Your product images should also be consistent- meaning they should be the same size and have the same background color across your site. In a perfect world, the background of product images are white, this makes it easier to edit photo’s and will make your store seem professional and sleek.

Shopify black friday preparations
Image credit: Parachute,
Shopify black friday cyber monday set up
Image credit: Milk Makeup,

We mustn’t forget the product descriptions.

Your descriptions need to captivate your audience – they must feel like they NEED your product immediately after reading the description.

I could get into it all here, but that would be redundant since we have already created the Copywriting Bible for you!

Don’t waste time on searching for product description tips and examples, click here to get your free copy of our Copywriting Bible!

Another must for your product pages is product reviews.

Your customers need to know the purchase they are going to make is going to be on that brings benefit to them or the person they may be gifting it to. Could you imagine the social stigma that comes along with giving a dingy gift?!

SMAR7 Product Reviews imports reviews from Ali Express to your product page without hindering the professional, sleek appearance of your store like its rivals. It also maybe takes all of 90 seconds to get it all set up so you can have them imported by the time you are done reading this sentence.

Quickly add social proof to your product pages for free with SMAR7 Product Reviews, get access here!

SMAR7 Product Reviews black friday
Sleek design of SMAR7 Product Reviews.

Alright, I am done pestering you about store design, now we can move on to the fun stuff!

The BFCM Email Campaigns!

Before we get into the ad campaigns portion of this article, lets prep you and your customers with the email campaigns, which should be running alongside your ad campaigns.

I am going to walk you through design and schedule of this particular campaign, so pay close attention.

First, let’s start with the design. The design of your emails should be bold and flashy; you are trying to grab attention so go heavy with your branding and even consider utilizing GIF’s.

Each email should have different design and copy, but they all should include:

  • Promo codes
  • Multiple calls to action
  • Support touchpoints
black friday promotional email
Image credit: Milled,
Asos black friday promotional email
Image credit: Asos,
Forever21 black friday email promotion
Image credit: Forever21, 

Just like your stores’ site, your emails should be mobile optimized, that is why I am going to recommend using Klaviyo for your email marketing efforts.

Each email you send out should have a different design and copy, so tap into your creative channel and make some magic!

Now that we have a good understanding of what the email design and layout should be let’s move onto the scheduling!

You need to start planning for your peak day promotions:

  • Thanksgiving
  • Black Friday
  • Cyber Monday
  • Extended Free Shipping Day

That last one is not critical – especially if you already offer free shipping year round- but if you don’t, and you want people to have an excuse to come back and make a purchase, you should seriously consider it.

Anyways, back to the scheduling, these peak day promotions should have three emails going out PER DAY and the two weekend days between Black Friday and Cyber Monday should have two emails going out per day.

One of the two emails going out that day should be a product or bundle call out – remind your customers the awesome products you have on your store and why it will be the perfect gift to give this holiday season.

Black friday Cyber monday email schedule
Example of email campaign schedule.

Take the schedule listed above as a light structure for what you should model your campaign after. You need the same amount of emails going out each day; however, the timing is entirely up to you.

You need to include the product call out and emails, because although the design and copy of your emails may be kick a**, it would be in your best interest to throw something in your customers face that will bait them to shop at your store!


Let’s move on to everyone’s FAVORITE topic

the Facebook ad campaign.

Setting up shopify store for black friday

I am not going to get too into how you should target, because quite frankly, it shouldn’t be any different than what you are already doing.

HOWEVER, do not focus too much of your campaigns on awareness targeting- you want to mainly concentrate mostly on retargeting visitors, viewers, and loyal customers.

You ideally want to tone down your awareness targeting about 40-50% so you can conserve that ad spend on the campaigns that will generate you revenue.

It is not a time to try and persuade people to believe in your brand; it is a time to make the sales with people who already know you.

So as I mentioned earlier, you want to run your email campaigns alongside your ad campaigns, so since we are targeting subscribers and buyers, you want to get your ads running the second day of the sale. You have already hyped your audience up with your killer emails.

Alright, I gave you all I could provide for targeting, now let’s move on to the main focus of this section:

Which ad creatives will convert best for you.

We all know that keeping it simple with just a single image ad always converts well, but let’s consider another creative type to include in your campaigns:

Video Ads.

It is no secret that video ads convert the best. They grab attention, they have the most engagement, and you can build audiences with direct product offerings.

Alright, I know you may be sweating, and your heart may be racing because, let’s face it, video ads can be confusing, time-consuming, and expensive to make.

You are not the only one to feel this way.

Our friends over at Clipman have been in your shoes and have developed a program that does all that hard work for you – no production crew needed!

Clipman takes the URL of your product page and scrapes the images and text to create stunning video ads in under 2 minutes.

You can choose from 20 different templates and 2,000 songs you can use to design your ads.

setting up shopify store for cyber monday
Automation of video ads by Clipman.

Clipman normally sells at $97/month, however, we were able to secure our SMAR7 Family an exclusive one-time price of $67.

So you get attractive, converting and seamless ads for a one-time payment of $67! Create high-converting video ads by purchasing Clipman here.

Now that we have the ad creatives figured out let’s get to the ad copy.

To put it simply, you only need one fantastic ad copy to use across all of your ad sets. Include your straightforward, strong call to action and you are set!

Just be sure to get into the approval queue early because new creatives take longer to approve while recycled creatives get approved almost immediately.

I recommend having a good mix of both.

If you don’t know where to begin with your festive ads, peruse the handcrafted selection I created for you below to get your creative juices flowing!

Shopify ads black friday promotion
Image credit: AdEspresso
ecommerce ads cyber monday
Image credit: AdEspresso
black friday ad for shopify store
Image credit: AdEspresso

Alright friends, I took you through the journey of finding and selecting the perfect products, design elements of your webpage, email and ad campaigns. You have almost a full month to prepare yourselves and your stores for the huge influx of revenue that is to come, so get to work and be sure to leave your comments below!

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19 thoughts on “How You Can Make Black Friday & Cyber Monday Your Most Profitable Weekend Of The Year

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19 Responses


November 2, 20185:15 pm

How do I attack these days when I’m a complete newbie who hasn’t got an email list yet or run an ad, my store should be ready to go live in about 1 week.

    Patricia Protopapadakis

    November 4, 20188:16 am

    Hey Chantal!

    Once your store is up and running make sure you have an exit intent pop up installed to collect those emails and then you should probably focus on awareness targeting since you are so new! You will still see some awesome results 🙂

Fereti Samuelu

November 2, 20187:41 pm

Wow…that’s awesome! Now lets get to work. Thanks


November 3, 201812:11 am

I like this blog very much, content very simple and easy to understand for a newbie like me, thanks

Gilberto Zuniga

November 4, 20188:02 am

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

This is exactly what I had been begging for and praying for.

I will get on it right away. Now that I have a map to follow, I will be able to focus my efforts.

Looking forward to a successful holiday season.

One question- do you have any primers on how to start an email campaign?

Once again thank you very much.

    Patricia Protopapadakis

    November 4, 20188:17 am

    Hey Gilberto!
    As far as tips for email campaigns go, follow the examples listed in the article and you should definitely check out Klaviyo!

Allen Blankenship

November 4, 201810:46 pm

This was some Super content written for Get Your Black Friday Sales going store owners 🙂

I am on my third product launch now after a week delay from stopping the ads and …next! I’ve been tweaking things at the store with seo, copy, adding reviews ect. and now ready for an app like Clipman. Instant fb ad videos? Wow!


November 5, 20185:55 am

So much of SMAR7’s lessons are result driven!! 4 views, all pointing at a result oh my! oh my!! Guess we arnt being taken to lunch round here, cuz we’ll be buying our own dinner!! I’m just saying this is my kind of family

Hoang Xuân chien

November 5, 20181:07 pm



November 5, 20184:07 pm

Great insights , thanks for this Patricia!

Jon M Hohman

November 14, 20188:24 pm

The countdown timer is not Smar7?

    Devin Zander

    November 15, 20189:57 am

    Hey Jon,

    This is a situational timer we thought could be useful for Black Friday, we’re not afraid to recommend our customers what works best in certain situations!


November 17, 201812:08 am

I am really loving this blog. There is so much awesome information, and it’s written in a way that I can grasp. This post was great! Thank you so much.