Black Friday Shopify 2021 Guide – 11 Tips

black friday shopify 2021 guide

Written by Adriana Pope

November 1, 2021

This is going to be the first and last Black Friday Shopify 2021 guide you’ll need!

We’ve jam packed this article full of amazing tips and tricks to help learn key strategies to make the most money with flash sales on the busiest time of year!

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are the biggest days for ecommerce sales. No doubt.

That’s why we came up with a Black Friday Shopify 2021 Guide to help you make the most of these sales opportunities that you can’t miss out on. 

Let’s start with the basics.

Create Subscriptions with Ongoing 

The first step of our Black Friday Shopify 2021 Guide is to create subscription products.

You can do this easily with the Ongoing Subscriptions Shopify app. 

It’s possible to create a subscription product in just a couple minutes. 

A variety of subscription options are available to you as a merchant.

You can create gift subscriptions, subscription boxes, memberships, replenishment subscriptions, and more!

Subscriptions let your shoppers choose how often they want to receive a product on a repeat basis. This adds a layer of convenience one-time-purchases simply lack.

Black Friday Shopify 2021 Guide.11 Tips

Black Friday is an excellent opportunity to see how much subscriptions benefit your store. 

Subscriptions create new revenue from new customers looking to subscribe to a product they like.

Consumers love subscriptions because of the immense convenience they add to our lives.

They save us time shopping, buying the same things that we would buy anyway. 

Ongoing allows consumers to have subscription products delivered to their doorstep with minimal effort.

The beauty of Ongoing subscriptions is it automatically charges customers for their recurring orders, instead of invoicing them.  

Coffee, makeup, business consulting, you name it, a subscription can be made out of just about any product or service. 

Let’s get into how to make the most of your subscriptions on Black Friday. 

black friday shopify 2021 guide tips

1. Subscriptions are Key for Growth

Think of all of the subscriptions that have become a part of our daily lives. 

You can find subscriptions in some of the biggest brands today with Amazon and their Prime services, Netflix with streaming, and even Microsoft with software subscriptions. 

As a Shopify store owner, subscriptions can amplify the revenue of your store. Subscription customers will ideally be customers for life. 

Start off by creating a simple monthly subscription plan your customers can subscribe to and cancel anytime.

Focus on keeping your retention high and your churn rate low, and subscriptions will make a great addition to your product or service offerings. 

On average, subscribers will be your most loyal customers. Your subscribers will be the first to share your posts on social media and recommend your store to their friends and family. Now that’s what I call free marketing. 

Your subscription customers will also be more interested in buying new products from your store and the opportunity to up-sell is high because they trust your brand. 

gift subscriptions black friday shopify 2021 guide
Source: Shopify store called Cookie Creator, featuring Ongoing Subscriptions

2. Offer Gift Subscriptions 

Gift subscriptions are one of the best growth strategies for your shop, and so we wanted to highlight this tip in our Black Friday Shopify 2021 Guide.

With the Ongoing Subscriptions Shopify app, you can create gift subscription products in minutes. 

Let’s say I want to offer a chocolate box on my store where the customer can buy it for only 3 months. The person would receive a delivery every month for 3 months, and then the subscription would end.

Gift subscriptions have subscription plans that automatically cancel after a certain amount of time, that’s what sets them apart from the rest.

You can create gift subscriptions of various lengths with varying delivery and billing frequencies.

One of best features of gift subscriptions with Ongoing is the ability to limit billing cycles. Putting a limit on max billing cycles is excellent for those customers that want to set it and forget it. 

Many customers will acknowledge that remembering to cancel a subscription that they won’t even be receiving is too burdensome. The great thing about gift subscriptions is they automatically cancel after a certain amount of time.

Someone that wants to buy a gift subscription for a friend or family member doesn’t have to worry about terminating the membership after a certain time period. 

The merchant can set the number of max billing cycles, whether 3, 6, 12, etc.  An option to limit billing cycles leads to more conversions for your business. Some customers might not feel comfortable purchasing a never ending subscription for a friend.  If they want to buy a monthly yearlong gift subscription, then a billing cycle limit is necessary. 

Limiting billing cycles can also be a great option for someone buying for themselves too! Someone may want to try out a subscription box that you sell. The customer faces less pressure on themselves by putting a limit on billing cycles. 

Gift subscriptions offer you new potential revenue from those looking to buy a gift that keeps on giving. 

It also satisfies some of your more timid customers, who might want to treat themselves but don’t want to commit long-term to an indefinite subscription.

gym+ coffee black friday shopify sale email example
GYM+COFFEE Shopify store starts their Black Friday 50% sale the first week of November! They send out a newsletter blast to all their newsletter subscribers letting them have first dibs at accessing these deals

3. Send out a ‘Flash Sale’ Newsletter

A newsletter can be a great way to bring attention to your upcoming Black Friday deals. 

Tell consumers about your discounts, new products, or promote upcoming giveaways. 

Give your customers the chance to sign up for your newsletter on your website. An email newsletter is a great way to get consumers to sign up who are interested in your products.

For your more skeptical consumers, consider giving them something in return for their email. A great free item to give away is an ebook. Whether you’re selling makeup, coffee, or marketing services, an ebook is a great way to provide potential leads with interesting or helpful information.

For Black Friday, consider including a coupon code in your newsletter email to encourage customers to shop on your store. Check out this guide on how to create Discount Codes on Shopify.

Your newsletter can be delivered by email but also through social media. A reader-friendly platform like Twitter is a great way to deliver your newsletter. What’s great about social media platforms is that there’s a culture of sharing content. People rarely think to forward a newsletter through email. On social media, people can share with a click of a button, and this happens often!

You want to keep your customer base informed on what’s happening in your business.  When will you launch new products? What are your deals for this upcoming Black Friday? 

These are questions that you can answer all in one convenient location every week with a newsletter. Are you launching a giveaway? A newsletter is a great place to start spreading the word. 

Readers of your newsletter are probably going to be some of your most loyal customers.  Consider using the newsletter as a launch platform for news about your store. 

It creates a feeling of exclusivity around it, making it more desirable for your readers.

black friday shopify 2021 guide giveaway

4. Do a Giveaway on Social Media 

People love free stuff. 

Giveaways are a great way to promote your store or to include in your Black Friday deals. 

Social media is a great way to spread the word about your giveaway. 

It’s easy for followers to share giveaway posts with their friends and family. 

To make the most of a giveaway, require people to take any action that benefits your brand to be eligible for the giveaway. 

Make it a requirement to like or share a post to be eligible. 

If your Shopify store already has an established customer base, then take it a step further. 

Have your customers write a post or create a video about why they love your products. 

Giveaways can be an underappreciated marketing tool for business owners. 

Think of a giveaway as a small investment with the potential to generate a ton of leads. 

You can easily create a giveaway poster or social media post on Canva for free, so make sure to try this out and give it a shot!

tik tok marketing shopify sales  tips

5. Instagram Stories and TikTok 

A Black Friday Shopify 2021 guide would be incomplete without mentioning Instagram and TikTik.

These platforms offer an excellent opportunity to present your products to consumers. 

Show them the functionality of a product or use video to present your product in a more immersive way. 

Consumers can get a better sense of the dimensions or size of a product when they see someone holding the product in their hand. 

Nowadays, everybody wants things done quickly, platforms.

Show off your products by giving short tutorials or displaying your products in action with a short video on TikTok or Instagram.

Instagram and TikTok host a younger demographic than other social media. 

You may find your primary audience here if you want to promote to Millenials and Gen Z. 

Using social media is all about finding the audience that best applies to your product or service.

subcription discounts

6. Subscription Discounts 

Subscription discounts are a no-brainer when it comes to selling on Black Friday. 

Your customers are expecting HUGE discounts, and they’re going to flock to your shop just for that.

Black Friday is a day of deals, and your store shouldn’t be an exception to that. 

Ongoing makes it easy to add discounts to your subscription products. 

You can add three primary forms of discounts: percentage-based, set price, and fixed amount. 

Percentage-based discounts are your standard 5% off, 10% off, etc. The set price is a discount advertised at a specific price like $15, $25, etc. A fixed amount discount is a specific dollar amount, like $5, subtracted from a listed price.

Discounts are a way to reward your customers with more value for subscription purchases. 

Offering subscription discounts is something you should practice all year round, not just during Black Friday. 

More value is something that you should always give to loyal customers. Loyalty is a two-way street, and your customers deserve a little loyalty in return.

Curious about how you can add discounts to subscriptions in your Shopify store? You can easily add discounts to subscriptions with Ongoing Subscription software. 

Check out our Shopify Subscription Discounts Ultimate Guide.

youtube unboxing video black friday strategies guide
Source: Chewy.com

7. Make a YouTube Unboxing Video 

It might seem like a subtle part of our Black Friday Shopify 2021 guide, but a YouTube video, in general, could add a lot of strength to your brand. 

We might be accustomed to buying online. Trust is placed on online retailers more than ever.

But that doesn’t mean that scams and bad business practices aren’t present. 

Creating a YouTube unboxing video is a great way to promote a gift subscription box.  Use this opportunity to show consumers the value that they’ll get out of a subscription box. 

It also legitimizes your business. Customers get to see that you’re a real person. 

A Youtube unboxing video makes customers trust more in your business and makes them more likely to buy. 

And let’s not forget that every great brand has a face to it. Of course, the highlight of the video won’t be you, but what you’re unboxing. A great option for an unboxing video is for a subscription box. 

A subscription box can make customers feel like they’re experiencing Christmas morning once a month, not just once a year. 

All-in-all, YouTube is a great place to build a brand.  If your product requires some in-depth instruction, then this is a great place to put it online. 

It’s also a great place to show off your products without the time limitations of TikTok or Instagram. 

email marketing black friday shopify 2021 guide

8. Evaluate Inventory

This will be a short part of our Black Friday Shopify 2021 Guide, but it might be a critical part of a smooth Black Friday for your store.

If planned and executed correctly, Black Friday could be your most important day of sales. 

Make sure that your inventory is ready for a surge in demand for your products or services.

If this isn’t your first Black Friday, you already have numbers to lean on from previous years. 

Make sure to review each and every one of your products and take a look at the Inventory section, to make sure you have enough in stock to handle the influx of new orders.

For those experiencing their first Black Friday as a Shopify store, take a more macro approach in your analysis. 

Look at how Black Friday sales compares to what’s typical for your industry. 

9. Prepare Your Site for Heavy Traffic

When the big day arrives, after you’ve spent hours creating the perfect holiday gift subscription box, stocking up on inventory, or even hiring new employees, the last thing you want is a slow or down site once sales start rolling in. 

Either of these problems can result in missed revenue. 

If your site goes down, then customers may give up on your site for the day. 

Even if your site is slow, it could deter customers from making purchases on your site. 

No one wants to spend time missing out on Black Friday deals! 

Google Page Insights is a great place to start when preparing for Black Friday traffic. 

The tool can do a speed test and give a host of other critical technical diagnostics. 

Any issues brought up here are also relevant to SEO, not just Black Friday traffic. For an indepth Shopify search engine optimization app, we recommend checking out Get Clicked SEO.

black friday shopify 2021 guide subscriptions
Source: Southern Roots Vegan Bakery featuring Ongoing prepaid subscriptions

10. Offer Prepaid Subscriptions

Prepaid subscriptions let your shoppers commit to receiving more products for a longer time, usually in exchange for a discount.

For example, a customer can sign up for a whole year, and get 10% off if they subscribe.

Prepaid subscriptions are awesome because they give you more cash upfront.

They are also the perfect way to let customers commit long-term to re-ordering your products.

Prepaid subscriptions are also a great way to generate more sales on your shop, and we highly recommended you try adding one to your existing product!

Customers love prepaid subscriptions because they are convenient.

They can set it and forget it, which benefits you and them!

subscription box promotion
Source: Decocrated Instagram post promoting their Christmas box in the fall season

11. Launch a Holiday Subscription Box

It’s always a good idea to launch your very own subscription box, especially for the holiday season.

Take for example, Decocrated which launched their holiday box on September 21st . Talk about getting an early start!

It’s important to get the word out as soon as possible so you can start generating hype and interest.

Also, posting the announcement of a new subscription box on Instagram is a great way spread awareness about your offerings, and keep people looped in on your latest product launches.

This keeps your brand top of mind, which is super critical for getting shoppers to remember your company when it comes time to start buying their holiday gifts.

You can give people an incredible amount of value through a subscription box. I’m not necessarily talking about financial value, but the value in time and effort saved. 

Say you own a beauty products or coffee beans store that now offers a subscription box. In your subscription box, you put a mix of new makeup products or coffee beans to try. 

Subscribers of your boxes no longer need to spend time perusing through stores looking for new products to try because you have found them for them. 

A subscription box delivers products that you have already approved. A subscription box helps you help your customers and builds you as an authority figure in your industry. 

Black Friday Shopify 2021 Guide Summary

Thanks so much for reading our article about the best tips and strategies for increasing revenue on your Shopify store for Black Friday.

We hope you’ve learned a couple ideas that you can implement on your store.

Trying out new strategies to grow your shop’s revenue is always a good idea.

It’s great to keep trying out new things, and see what works, and tweaking your process along the way.

We wish you the best of luck on your flash sale and feel free to get in touch with us here, if you have any questions on how to sell subscriptions.

Disclaimer: Companies mentioned in this article are not affiliated with Ongoing in anyway, they are simply great examples of companies who have created successful subscription products and offerings we’d like to share.

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