How to run a Black Friday sale on Shopify

Now that we’ve entered the penultimate month of 2022, it means that Black Friday is just around the corner! That’s right, in just a few weeks the biggest sale of the year will be at the click of your mouse, meaning it’s time to prepare your online store so that it’s ready for the big event. 

Adding discount codes to individual products, collections, or your entire store is a simple way to join the Black Friday sale and incentivize your customers to spend more with attractive offers. 

You can do this in advance with a Shopify discount app, such as Bulk Discount & Sales Manager from the Shopify app store, which offers a range of features that make creating, managing, and customizing discounts easy to do from one, simple dashboard. 

Get ahead and start setting up your Black Friday discount code ideas today. Continue reading for our recommended discount code examples and a step-by-step guide to activating them throughout your Shopify online store. 

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What Is Black Friday?

Black Friday is the day following Thanks Giving and is the official commencement of the Christmas shopping season. This year, Black Friday will fall on November 25th 2022. 

Black Friday launches an abundance of discounts across brick-and-mortar and online stores, originating in the United States, and now offers some of the biggest deals of the year on a global scale. 

Cyber Monday, the Monday after Black Friday, originated as a 24-hour online shopping event that was created to encourage online shopping but is now seen as an extension of the Black Friday sales and the final day of the discount spree. 

Black Friday has become such a phenomenon that retailers have started to leak their Black Friday promotions in advance. This creates a waiting list of shoppers eager to benefit from the sales, so much so that CNN has revealed everything you need to know about the best Black Friday deals. 

Should I Take Part?

In short, yes! In 2021, online stores experienced a 110% increase in site traffic on Black Friday, according to Blue Core Data Insights

There can be some negative connotations to Black Friday if not marketed correctly. For example, if a store heavily promotes “the best savings ever” yet the discounts are limited or no different to any other sale, customers are disappointed and feel juped of the occasion. 

That said, if you take care when planning your Black Friday discount code ideas and market them cleverly, then, on the whole, it’s a day not to be missed for the books. 

Best Black Friday Discount Code Ideas

Black Friday discount code examples with proven success include buy X get X, percentage discounts, and free shipping. 

The expectations of customers are high for Black Friday sales, meaning that offering higher discounts will likely result in more sales, so don’t be afraid to experiment with your offers as there will be a large volume of consumers looking to sweep them up.  

If you’re feeling unsure about what discount code ideas will work, we’ve collated our top three recommendations based on discount code examples with proven success. 

Buy One Get One Free

ColourPop is a US cosmetic retailer that sells high-end products for high-street prices. As their prices are already low, they offer an annual buy one get one free discount for Black Friday. 

This type of discount code example isn’t new or particularly mind-blowing, but ColourPop reaped huge rewards by offering a new BOGOF discount every day, from Black Friday to Cyber Monday. This generated hype, created urgency, and saw a major drive in customer retention by building anticipation for which products consumers could get for free each day. 

By promoting their Black Friday discount code ideas on their social media channels in the run-up to the day, they are getting hundreds and hundreds of interactions about the Black Friday sale, leading to huge volumes of traffic and sold-out goods across the weekend.  

50% Off Discount

We understand that giving products away for half price seems like a lot, but the enticement of a 50% off discount code idea goes a long way in generating sales, especially when marketed right on social media. 

GymShark, a UK fitness apparel and accessories brand, encountered a 197% increase in sales by offering a 50% discount on selected products during the Black Friday to Cyber Monday weekend. 

With a powerful social media campaign ahead that involved posting blackout images on their Instagram page to promote the discount ahead of Black Friday, they built up major hype and saw a huge influx of sales when the discount went live. 

According to MarketingWeek, “the campaign reached 16.4m people and a large amount of purchases made during the campaign period came from Instagram”. Gymshark also achieved a 6.6:1 return on its ad spend that promoted the Black Friday campaign. 

Free Shipping

Providing free shipping is one of the most valuable discount code examples that your online store can offer. In a Deloitte Holiday Shopping survey, they found that: 

  • 88% of consumers prefer free shipping over paid fast shipping
  • 61% of consumers will buy items that qualify for free shipping this season
  • 47% of consumers said that they would shop in-store to avoid shipping costs 

So, you’re really tapping into a large market of consumers by offering free shipping. However, the problem remains that customers expect more than usual during the Black Friday to Cyber Monday weekend, and free shipping discount code ideas are usually offered multiple times a year. 

Instead, try pairing a free shipping discount code with a 20% discount code. Individually, each discount code won’t generate much excitement on its own, but together, they become an attractive offer to consumers. 

Ready to turn your Black Friday discount code ideas into profit? Here is a quick guide to setting up a Black Friday sale across your online store. 

Set Up A Black Friday Sale In Just A Few Steps

Implementing a Black Friday sale can be done in a few, simple steps. 

It’s worth noting that you can create discounts in Shopify’s built-in settings, however, the functionality is limited compared to a Shopify discount app. 

Available in the Shopify app store, the Bulk Discount & Sales Manager app is a fantastic tool to easily create, edit, and manage your discount code ideas for the Black Friday sale. We believe this is the best method to implementing a Black Friday sale, especially if you follow our step-by-step guide:

Step 1) Add the ‘Bulk Discount & Sales Manager’ app to your Shopify apps

Once you’ve logged into your Shopify admin, head to ‘Apps’ in the left-hand menu and search Bulk Discount & Sales Manager.

Click ‘Add app’ and it will appear in your Shopify admin dashboard.

Step 2) Navigate to ‘Bulk Discount & Sales Manager’

Back in your admin section, you’ll find Bulk Discount & Sales Manager. Click on the app and you’ll be taken to your new bulk discount management dashboard. 

Step 3) Create a New Discount Rule

Once you’re in the Bulk Discount & Sales Manager dashboard, go to ‘My Rules’ in the top menu. Click on ‘create rule’ and you’ll be taken to ‘discount rule settings’ where you can customise your new discount. 

Choose a rule name and how your customers will view it at check-out.

Then customise the type of discount you would like to offer. Rules can be based on a percentage or fixed amount discount, with the option to set the discount based on: 

Current price: Discounts will be calculated based on the price column of the product. You can refer to this article on how discounts are calculated.

Compare at price: Discounts will be calculated based on the Compare at Price column of the product. You can refer to this article on how discounts are calculated.

Step 4) Choose what products the discount applies to

This is where you can decide whether to apply discounts to individual products or your entire online store. You’ll get the options to choose from:

  • Products and variants
  • Collections
  • Tags
  • Vendors
  • Whole store
  • Advance filter

Use the search bar to navigate through your products and select as many as you would like the discount applied to. 

Step 5) Customise your discount rule (optional)

Navigate through the optional settings to customise your discount. Here, you can:

Add a discount period: Choose a start date, end date, and whether you want to repeat the discount. For example, your Black Friday sale could start at midnight Black Friday and end at 11:59 pm on Cyber Monday.

Add a countdown timer: Create urgency by displaying a Countdown Timer on your product page. Fully customise the timer display to market your discount in line with your brand.

Add discount price rounding: Round your discount to the nearest value

Add product tags: Display sales badges on products to promote the discount 

Step 6) Check the final details in the summary and click ‘save’

Setup Free Shipping For Black Friday

If you would like to offer a free shipping discount code alongside your Black Friday sale, all you need to do is:

  1. Click ‘Discounts’ in the left-hand menu of your Shopify admin page
  2. ‘Create Discount’ and choose ‘Free Shipping
  3. Name your free shipping discount code, e.g. ‘BFSHIPPING2022’
  4. Navigate through options for eligibility and usage limits 
  5. Choose your active dates (e.g. Black Friday to Cyber Monday) 
  6. Click ‘Save Discount’

Your free shipping will now be activated. 

For more information about how to add free shipping to your Shopify store, read our detailed guide to Shopify free shipping

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I run multiple discounts at once? 

Yes, you can do this both using Shopify’s built-in settings and using Bulk Discount Manager. When using Bulk Discount Manager, not only can you run multiple discounts simultaneously, but you can also offer different types of discounts across your products (e.g. Shopify volume discount + free gifts). You can run each discount in conjunction with one another, or limit discounts to one offer per order. 

How can I create a successful Black Friday marketing campaign? 

Creating a marketing campaign for such a large event can be daunting. ShopifyPlus offers some great insight for 18 Black Friday marketing strategies for your eCommerce store. Ultimately, do your research ahead of launching your Black Friday sale, build anticipation via your social media channels, and don’t forget to prepare your online store so that it can manage the higher volume of traffic. 

Can I add my Shopify discounts to sales channels?

Yes, your Black Friday sale can be used on sales channels. For details on using discounts with Google, refer to the Google order management documentation. For details on using discounts with Facebook, refer to the Facebook and Shopify Payments documentation.

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