Black Friday marketing

Black Friday marketing made easy: drive traffic and boost conversions

Learn the latest Black Friday marketing trends and be inspired by campaign examples from real brands.

Black Friday, the much-anticipated shopping extravaganza following Thanksgiving, has evolved from a US tradition, into a global promotional shopping event for both consumers and marketers alike. With its origins rooted in brick-and-mortar retailers, Black Friday has transformed into a dynamic marketing phenomenon that encompasses all offline and online channels. This peak shopping day of unparalleled deals and discounts presents a golden opportunity for marketers to showcase their brand, attract new customers, and boost sales. 

In this article, we delve into the world of Black Friday marketing, exploring the strategies, trends, and consumer behavior that shape this influential shopping event. But most importantly, we will look into 8 very creative Black Friday campaign ideas that will get you inspired. 

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Delve into real-world examples of Halloween, Black Friday, and autumn-themed campaigns in our Fall inspiration guide

Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Black Week: What’s the difference? 

Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, is a peak shopping day when retailers offer big discounts, enticing consumers to open their wallets and take advantage of the sales – historically leveraging many people not being back at work the day after Thanksgiving. On the other end, Cyber Monday follows Black Friday and focuses solely on online shopping. It gained prominence with the rise of e-commerce, as retailers started offering exclusive online deals and discounts on the Monday following Black Friday. Cyber Monday allows shoppers to take advantage of discounted prices without leaving their homes. 

In recent years, the lines between Black Friday and Cyber Monday started to blur, as Black Friday has become more and more present online. So, we often see sales starting on Black Friday and extending to Cyber Monday, becoming 4 days of sales instead of 1. 

In the past few years, the concept of ‘Black Week’ has also gained traction, stretching the shopping frenzy even further. Retailers now offer deals and discounts throughout the week leading up to Black Friday and Cyber Monday, enticing shoppers to make purchases earlier. Black Week allows consumers to plan their shopping and take advantage of a longer window to snag the best deals. Moreover, many retailers have started to offer different deals throughout the week, to make sure consumers spend time with their brand on a daily basis. 

Black Friday marketing: shopping behavior and trends

Below, we introduce a few, but very important Black Friday trends that can help you build successful Black Friday marketing campaigns! 

1. Consumers prefer to shop online for Black Friday 

With the convenience of online shopping, an increasing number of consumers are turning to the internet to make their Black Friday purchases. According to the National Retail Federation, the number of online Black Friday shoppers in 2022 reached the 130 million mark globally, a 2% increase from the previous year. This is significantly higher than the 72,9 million consumers who opted for in-store shopping. 

Thanksgiving weekend 2022 in-store and online shoppers by day (Source: National Retail Federation)
  • Pro Tip: Digital campaigns are a must for Black Friday marketing! 

2. Cart abandonment on Black Friday is sky-high 

Despite the surge in online shopping, cart abandonment remains a significant challenge for retailers. Studies have shown that the global shopping cart abandonment rate during Black Friday is approximately 77.7%, with the rate reaching 79.8% in the United States. The total conversion rate in the US is actually only 2,29%. According to Statista, in the fourth quarter of 2022, approximately 80% of orders on mobile devices in the UK were not completed, and 71% for computers. Therefore, no matter where in the world, retailers need to focus on optimizing their checkout process and implementing effective remarketing strategies to combat cart abandonment.

  • Pro Tip: Create Black Friday campaigns specifically around this challenge, for example, exit-intent popups with a playable experience to win an extra discount! 

3. Mobile shopping is trending – of course! 

It’s not a secret for retail marketers, smartphones have revolutionized the way people shop, and Black Friday is no exception. Mobile devices play a crucial role in Black Friday shopping, with a significant portion of online sales attributed to smartphones. In fact, smartphones accounted for 25.3% of online sales on Black Friday 2020, accounting for $9billion in sales.

  • Pro Tip: Create mobile-first Black Friday campaigns – or at least, make sure your campaigns are mobile-friendly! 

4. The shopping destinations for Black Friday varies 

Understanding where consumers prefer to shop during the Black Friday weekend is crucial for retailers. According to data, the top Thanksgiving weekend shopping destinations include online stores (42%), department stores (42%), grocery stores (40%), clothing stores (36%), and discount stores (32%). This highlights the significance of both online and physical retail destinations during the Black Friday shopping period.

  • Pro Tip: While doing digital campaigns is a must,  don’t settle for just online – do a mix of online and in-store campaigns, or even better, create omnichannel campaigns or use digital campaigns to drive in-store traffic.

5. Adapt your Black Friday campaigns to highlight what people are looking for 

When it comes to Black Friday purchases, consumers often don’t have specific items they want to buy in mind, but they have specific considerations. For example, the top priorities of consumers include finding items on sale (23%), supporting local businesses (18%), relying on consumer reviews (17%), seeking recommendations (12%), and buying products that are new rather than secondhand (11%). These factors influence consumers’ decision-making and guide their purchase behavior during the Black Friday sales period.

  • Pro Tip: Keep these priorities in mind, and highlight them where relevant in your Black Friday marketing campaigns to boost sales 

8 Black Friday marketing ideas to inspire retail marketing 

Below, you will find 8 real brand examples of Black Friday campaigns that leveraged playable marketing to stand out from the competition on this busy shopping day.

1. Guess the Image

Engage your audience by implementing a Guess the Image game. A Guess the image game starts with a small, mysterious image that gradually enlarges, and it challenges participants to guess the content as quickly as possible. This game can be an exciting way to reveal your best Black Friday deals. You can encourage participation by offering a discount or special offer to those who correctly guess the images of your Black Friday deals.

Black Friday marketing example 1: Tokmanni - Guess the image

Tokmanni, a Finnish retail chain, used a Guess the Image game prior to Black Friday to attract new subscribers to their electronic newsletter. Subscribers were promised early access to their Black Friday offers as an incentive.

2. Wheel of fortune 

Add an element of excitement to your Black Friday marketing with a virtual Wheel of fortune. Allow customers to spin the wheel for a chance to win extra discounts or exclusive offers. Consider using it as an exit-intent campaign to incentivize shoppers to complete their purchases instead of abandoning their carts. The potential for additional savings will entice customers to engage and hopefully make a purchase. 

Black Friday marketing example 2: Visma LogBuy - Wheel of fortune

Visma LogBuy, a Danish company specializing in negotiating discounts and benefits for employees, implemented a Black Week Wheel of Fortune campaign. Participants had the chance to win gift cards from Visma LogBuy’s extensive network of partners.

Soya Concept, a Danish clothing store, implemented a Black Friday Wheel of Fortune campaign to enhance sales. The objective of the campaign was to emphasize the opportunity to “Win a better Black Friday deal,” enticing customers to participate and potentially win exclusive discounts and offers.

3. Slot Machine 

Tap into the thrill of a casino-like experience by incorporating a virtual Slot Machine game into your Black Friday campaigns. Offer participants the opportunity to spin the reels and win extra discounts or even grand prizes. Additionally, consider using the Slot Machine game as a lead generation tool before Black Friday, collecting participants’ details to build your CRM database and send targeted Black Friday offers.

Black Friday marketing example 4: Tokmanni - Slot machine

Tokmanni, the Finnish retail chain, also employed a Slot Machine campaign to attract new subscribers to their newsletter. Again, the campaign emphasized that subscribers would gain early access to their Black Friday deals. Additionally, participants of the Slot Machine had the chance to win up to €200, adding an extra incentive to boost participation. 

4. Scratchcards 

Create a sense of excitement with virtual Scratchcards. Offer customers the chance to scratch and reveal special discounts or exclusive promotions. To encourage purchases and reduce cart abandonment, consider offering a Scratchcard game exclusively to those who make a purchase on Black Friday, providing an added incentive and surprise for customers. Hence, working on lowering your abandonment rate. 

  • Pro Tip: You can also have a Scratchcard campaign on iads at the cash registers of your stores. This way, you can collect marketing permissions on the busiest day of the year. 
Black Friday marketing example 5: Beaute Pacifique - Scratchard

Beauté Pacifique, a Danish beauty brand, implemented a Scratchcard game as part of their Black Friday campaign. Participants had the opportunity to win an additional 10% discount on top of the existing 20% off Black Friday promotion. 

5. Swipe It

Implement a fun and interactive Swipe It game on Black Friday that allows participants to swipe left (dislike) or right (like) on various Black Friday deals or products. This is a great interactive experience to make Black Friday shopping more engaging and help customers easily discover and select their desired deals in a fun way that resembles dating app functionality. 

Black Friday marketing example 6: BabySam - Swipe It

BabySam, a Danish baby and children retail store, used a Swipe It game on Black Friday to help customers browse through different deals. At the end of the game, participants could see the deals they liked and add them to their baskets.

6. Survey 

You can use a survey a few weeks ahead of Black Friday, to gather valuable insights into your target audience’s Black Friday shopping preferences. Although less interactive and engaging than a Swipe It game, a survey can allow you to dig deeper into your customers’ preferences. Ask specific questions about their desired deals, preferred product categories, or deal expectations. Incentivize participation by offering entry into VIP Black Friday discount lists or exclusive Facebook groups. This data will help you understand customer preferences better and tailor your Black Friday offers to match their needs.

Black Friday marketing example 7: BabySam - Survey

BabySam also utilized a survey prior to Black Friday to gain a better understanding of their customers’ expectations and preferences. The survey asked customers to select the product categories they were interested in, such as strollers, baby beds, and more. Participants were also asked to indicate their preferred brands within those categories. Based on the survey responses, BabySam sent personalized emails to participants featuring deals tailored to their specific interests. Additionally, survey participants were given access to an exclusive Facebook group where BabySam revealed Black Friday deals ahead of time. 

7. Quiz 

Educate your target audience about your products on sale with a quiz. For example, if you have new smartphones available at a significant Black Friday discount, use a quiz to highlight the specific features of the smartphones. Participants with high scores can be rewarded with additional discounts, further incentivizing engagement and driving conversions.

Black Friday marketing example 8: Lyngby BoldKlub - Quiz

Lyngby BoldKlub, a Danish football club, implemented a concise one-question quiz as part of their Black Friday competition. The quiz question was straightforward: “Which anniversary is Lyngby BoldKlub celebrating this year?” Participants had the chance to win various prizes from the partners of Lyngby BoldKlub. The primary objective of the quiz was to gather new leads by collecting email addresses and phone numbers. By incorporating the quiz into their Black Friday campaign, Lyngby BoldKlub aimed to enhance visibility. 

8. Product Recommender 

Cut through the overwhelming number of Black Friday deals by having a Product Recommender on your home page. Simulate a personalized in-store experience by asking participants about their preferences and guiding them to the best deals for their needs using a Product Recommender. By understanding what they want to purchase and their preferred product categories, you can provide targeted recommendations on the deals that they will like best, making their Black Friday shopping experience more efficient and enjoyable.

Want to try an example of a Product recommender? 

Personality test example - Playable

The best friend of retail marketers on Black Friday: Pop-ups

When it comes to promoting your Black Friday campaigns, utilizing various channels such as Black Friday interactive posts on social media and email marketing is crucial. However, one often overlooked but highly effective tool in a retail marketer’s arsenal is the trusty pop-up.

On Black Friday, consumers are actively seeking out the best deals and discounts, and they will be visiting their favorite websites to find them. This presents a prime opportunity for retailers to capture their attention and direct them to their Black Friday promotions using strategically placed pop-ups. Whether it’s showcasing a special Black Friday discount, highlighting a playable campaign, or offering an exclusive coupon code, pop-ups can effectively attract the attention of your audience.

  • Pro Tip: Use Playable’s gamification platform to create interactive and animated pop ups that stand out

Ready to level up your Black Friday marketing game?

We hope this article has given you valuable insights and inspiration to create irresistible Black Friday campaigns for your customers. By incorporating gamification, leveraging social media,, using interactive popups, and personalizing your offers, you can captivate your audience and make a lasting impression during this shopping extravaganza. Don’t forget to pay attention to key trends like increased online shopping and cart abandonment to optimize your strategies.

If you need assistance in crafting effective Black Friday campaigns or implementing playable experiences, our dedicated team is here to support you. Reach out to your customer success manager or chat with our support team for expert guidance.

Not a customer yet? Book a demo with Playable today and discover how we can help you create engaging and successful Black Friday campaigns. Let’s make this Black Friday a roaring success for your business in 2023!