Black Friday (and beyond), prepare your eCommerce


The wishlists are as mile-long as the products ready to go in the check out at the speed of a click, everyone is hunting for the bargain, while there are those who are torn between necessary purchases and the eagerness of the moment.

Black Friday is almost as eagerly anticipated as Christmas, and it is an incredible sounding board for companies that want to highlight products that are now a workhorse, as well as beneficial bundles or future promotions. 

Emerging in this ocean of discounts, coupons, free shipping and free products is really a feat, and it's not all the algorithm's fault.

In this article we have summarized some thoughts and best practices shared during Ninja PRO Week, in which power2Cloud also participated as a speaker. In short, an opportunity to recap some of the cornerstones of online selling, the evergreen ones that we need to take into account all year round, in order to seize the new challenges in eCommerce, social media marketing, digital marketing and marketing automation.

How ready are we? Let's find out together.

What this article is about:

Funnel Marketing & Discovery

The traditional funnel has fallen apart, in its place the flywheel effectively illustrates that contact with a product and interaction with a company can take place in a store, continue on social, site, TV, Amazon, and then return to the flagship.

That is why we must not forget that through cross-channel marketing we can use one channel, to produce incremental effects on another, while continuing to consider all interactions and our touchpoints important.


Knowing the main drivers that drive people to use the Internet is important, even when it seems obvious. According to the digital report We are social, people between the ages of 16 and 64 prefer the net to search for information, information including news and events, tutorials, new inspiration, followed by travel and location search.

If we ask instead how the discovery of new brands takes place, the answer is simple, thanks to search engines, TV, ads, online retail sites, word of mouth or the purchase of products online. An aspect that is reconfirmed by the investments of paid campaigns on the various channels, divided between CRM platforms and social media.

Maximizing an eCommerce promo step by step

"Black Friday repeats itself every year," analyzes Roberto Albanese, eCommerce Manager Hirooks, "but there are still many who overlook many aspects or take care of them when it is too late. Here is a to do list to follow for launching promotional events, at Christmas, Valentine's Day or other special occasions."

Let's start with the strategy: plan promotions as early as possible! Many consumers are waiting for Black Friday, so they start monitoring price swings and deals as early as October. Choose the products with the greatest attractiveness and the extent of promotions early enough to highlight them properly. The perception of an attractive offer is the strongest buying lever for customers during Black Friday.

Planning, discounts, countdowns, cross-selling and upselling: don't leave anything out

Planning and organization must follow the timeline because it helps build a long-term strategy, which begins with communications around Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but actually "ends" with the winter sales in January.

The mechanics of discounts are also not a detail, you can establish catalog pricing rules to assign discounts by category, brand, vendor, attribute or feature and shopping cart rules, sending custom discount codes on orders, quantities or promoting free shipping and here, watch out for the cumulability of discounts.

We then come to online content curation to homepage banners or landing pages that can index over time and therefore need to be updated throughout the year.

Countdowns, product page optimizations and featured reviews also have great appeal, offering a signal of trust, while out-of-stock items encourage users to be notified if they are back in stock. Also effective are cross-selling and upselling recommendations to incentivize users to add more products to cart. 

Bundles, marketing and paid communications, have you thought of everything?

If next to your workhorses you want to promote products that have a large profit margin and that perhaps you usually struggle to push, use exclusive product category bundles or discounted bundles.

Marketing communications such as newsletters, with which you can anticipate major discounts or plan your promotional campaign, also contribute to creating hype. It's an ongoing interaction that certainly doesn't end with a single mailing. 

To be liked, before, during, and after, it must be in line with the interests of the user who receives it and who will be incentivized to follow updates on the site, saving desired products. 

We then come to paid campaigns to highlight discount codes or products on the Merchant Center. Google Ads or Facebook Ads initiatives will perform better if you start planning them in time, a proper learning period in fact creates more return.

For social media better to focus on storytelling, telling promos in the first person with more frequent posts and stories creates more empathy in your community and is less anonymous. 

Sponsoring content certainly is fair, but on Black Friday days ADSs cost more than usual because there is a lot of competition, so leave on time. 

The SEO kryptonite of eCommerce: unearthing and fixing duplicate content

Whether it's a blog article or a product sheet in eCommerce, enhancing your content is done by SEO, an approach that rewards organic content over paid content.

"To help Google index the richest and most useful content, remember not to underestimate duplicate content, a major pitfall of eCommerce," warns Gaetano Romeo CMO Innovation People.

"What is meant by duplicate content? Not only that of two identical product sheets, which we are often aware we have generated, but also those that many CMSs create.

So beware of internal and external duplication and thin content, that is, content of little value and quality. 

There are so many market players, we cannot afford to have nonexistent or even nondescript product sheets, welcome original and especially useful content.

Google is constantly updating, but it has always had one goal, to benefit the end user!"


Internal duplications can result from both internal and editorial causes. How can we handle them? 

It may be useful not to allow commonly used URL parameters to be crawled via the /robots.txt file in order to maximize the search budget by indexing.

Canonicals help search engines understand that there is only one version of the url on the page that needs to be indexed, regardless of the versions of other URLs displayed in the browser that are linked to external Web sites. 

We're also on guard against the session ID in URLs that many eCommerce companies use to track user behavior and that actually creates a duplicate.

External duplication 

Other issues to take into account are external duplication given by shopping carts and thank-you pages, internal search engine results, duplicate paths (think of a product that results in two different categories), and review pages.

Outside of our eCommerce, let's also not forget staging of development, product feeds, affiliate programs, content on other sites made by us, and scaped content.

Marketplace & A/B Test: put your eCommerce Marketing strategy to the test.

When it comes to online sales, many consider MarketPlaces as a springboard, which are often responsible for amplifying opportunities for business, see internationalization of sales. Here are the tips from Giuseppe Noschese, Founder of eCommerce Hub.

The choice is a tough one, challenging horizontal MarketPlaces, with multiple product categories (see Amazon), vertical ones , with one product category or niche (Zalando), open ones, with self-subscription and product uploading (eBay), or closed ones, where sellers are chosen and variable terms and conditions are defined (ManoMano).

Learn how to sell or use MarketPlaces

It may seem obvious to say, but Amazon is the MarketPlace that has the most traffic in Italy (Source NetComm), has a lot of sales and consequently a lot of data. 

While it is true that Amazon today is a place where you can acquire useful information for sales strategies, other ecosystems should not be excluded, which is why testing and evaluation is really appropriate.

The advantages

A MarketPlace can ensure your business visibility in the marketplace with immediacy-just upload products and intercept new customers predisposed to purchase.

Many companies also prefer to focus on MarketPlaces for faster access to international markets.

Everything is already arranged, translations and logistical organization, without underestimating another important aspect, defined and calculable costs, accurate and timely payments.

An important tool, therefore, also for validating branding, verifying product potential and increasing awareness. An undisputed advantage, to approach new customers and pursue advanced strategies with respect to products, pricing and presence, with analysis of competitors, old and new.


Now we come to the cons. Presiding over a MarketPlace also means adaptability, complying with rules, adjusting to obligations, but perhaps the biggest limitation is that customers remain from the MarketPlace and the level of customization is low .

It takes time to get a good reputation, because the perception of our company is low, the competition high, especially in certain areas.

It is necessary to do an industry analysis, study product pricing, and above all, consider the volatility of the service, because the business account can be deactivated at any time, causing a sudden loss of data and revenue.

MarketPlace for eCommerce yes, but with strategy

Imagine MarketPlaces as a modern trojan horse: even those with their own production can use them temporarily to validate the market and retrieve useful data for an appropriate eCommerce strategy.

Hybrid use can be effective for many realities if this phase is followed by careful analysis. Indeed, we have internal, external tools and sales data to help us redesign our offerings, encouraging sales and upsells.

Here are some considerations you may not have considered yet.

External tools 

Analysis of traffic estimates by country and statistics released annually help you identify which countries have the greatest market for your merchandise sector. While sales estimates for specific categories allow you to enhance the products you have in your catalog or those you can easily integrate on your eCommerce. 

Same goes for the sales volume of products that you can promote by planning marketing activities, paying attention to seasonality in different markets.

The average selling price of a product category and product pricing trends are perfect for defining a proper strategy, while organic and paid positioning is boosted by estimating traffic volume, which helps us optimize product sheets and study campaigns focused on specific keywords. Feedback and best-reviewed products remain the sentiment thermometer for brand growth.

Internal tools

So let's come to the internal tools, those sentinels that allow you to better organize your strategies. 

Organic placement certainly indicates the keywords that drive the most traffic to your product or eCommerce and that you can use for your item cards. While with internal advertising you can discover new keywords, categories or products that encourage sales of your products, to optimize the ones you have on your eCommerce.

By analyzing what is purchased or what products ours convey, you can expand the catalog with cross-selling activities. Of course, you can go on and on. You can find out, for example, the trends related to your business (Ads, editorial content...), the best-selling or effective products by checking the ratio of impressions to conversions to have a benchmark to use to plan targeted marketing actions on specific products (Google Ads and Shopping campaigns, Digital PR, etc.).

Sales data

Sales data are also very important. 

Start focusing on internationalizing your eCommerce products by starting with the references that are best sold in a specific country .

Through order analysis you can discover the most effective buying preferences(cross selling) or product variables, which you can add as bundles within the MarketPlace or on your eCommerce.

To build loyalty and diversify the business model, do not also neglect the average time to repurchase by enhancing marketing activities, automated workflows, or subscription plans on certain products. 

While feedback and returns data help to optimize the product sheet, implement FAQs and identify critical issues that can enable you to improve the quality delivered. Geographic data and customer type is also not to be overlooked, because it allows you to convey geolocated marketing activities online and offline.

The 60/40 rule and other tricks: how to increase ROAS on social media

How to increase results on social? Calogero Sciabbarrasi, Digital Marketing Manager, Accenture Song, explains with three practical tips.

First start by setting goals, prioritizing content quality over quantity, so the budget can be planned on those that make a difference. 

How to rethink the role of social through the internal funnel and optimize the budget

It is often said that digital has killed TV, that Facebook is better than Tik Tok, this juxtaposition between the channels is counterproductive, they must work synergistically if you want to get higher ROIs

The 60/40 ratio, which ideally divides brand building and performance communication, would seem to represent the perfect balance for determining the ideal budget share to allocate to digital and traditional marketing.

To achieve the goal, one must understand the language and mindset of the user on each platform and differentiate the message, so no to copy and paste.

Spoiler Social Trend 2023

But what social trends should we expect in 2023? Nicola Zanata, Hootsuite Senior Customer Success Manager, answers us with research conducted by Hootsuite, which values social trends, social marketing, social commerce and social customer care.

This report is based on a survey* (*data was supplemented with secondary research The Harvard Business Review, McKinsey, Deloitte, Edelman, Insider Intelligence, Forrester, GlobalWebIndex, The CMO Survey, and others) that surveyed more than 10k people, including 32% C level, in 109 countries and in more than 11 industries as of July 2022. 

The research found that in 2023, SMBs will become more familiar with content creators, which will be more accessible and useful for marketers to produce content consistently (52 percent), combating declining organic reach (44 percent).

The goal will be to target the most related audience, generating value with their content and breaking the patterns of cross-posting (different posts for different platforms).

While it's true that Google has always been the benchmark for searches, things are changing: social is overtaking search engines, with 16- to 24-year-olds preferring them to do brand research over traditional search engines. 

Capitalize on the time people spend online on social platforms

The phenomenon shows no signs of slowing down: companies must learn to increasingly capitalize on about one-third of the time people spend online on social platforms, and that goes far beyond advertising, GenZ, for example, uses social not only to evaluate products, but also to compare prices of competing brands and make purchasing decisions.

Another interesting piece of news that emerged from the research is that marketers are working to create more trust in social shopping through easy returns and refunds, ratings and reviews to increase trust and keep shoppers informed about the status of purchases throughout the customer journey.

It is true that marketers are tasked with working on brand awareness, but ignoring customer service activities can be counterproductive, which is why in 2023 we will see an increasing focus on managing customer interactions through social and messaging channels.

Document Ads and new Audiences: the LinkedIn Ads news that few people know about

"More accurate data can help us do our jobs better," invites Francesco de Nobili, LinkedIn Trainer, to reflect, recalling some features of the professional platform that can impact every business. Have you already started using them for your strategies?

Updated industries useful for tagging

LinkedIn has updated the list of industries, which is the sector to which each company belongs( you can see the full onehere ). 

Enhancing this field is also important for retargeting advertisement activities; it makes a difference to be even more precise in targeting.

Publish, share and sponsor documents

But it doesn't end there. Now you can publish, share and sponsor documents (file size cannot exceed 100 MB and 300 pages. Supported files are: PPT, PPTX, DOC, DOCX and PDF), data sheets, whitepapers, catalogs. It is very useful for lead generation, in B2B, the luxury sector, but also for other verticals in general.

Depending on your goals you have two opportunities: have the full document seen for download (this allows you to know the number of downloads and interactions), or preview, with the option of releasing the entire document only after filling out LinkedIn's native form. Data compilation is automatic, fast, correct and complete with strategic data that are enhanced on the platform.

New data for our audiences

Think about how much data you collect offline.

One of LinkedIn's latest updates offers the ability to upload information you monitor offline (events, in-person transactions, phone calls, sales in your CRM) to the platform to help you more accurately measure the effectiveness of the funnel for your campaigns. This helps focus LinkedIn targeting on the right audience, improving ROI and optimizing performance.

Manually upload your offline data to "Campaign Management" using a CSV file or set up a data connection using a partner application such as HubSpot, LeadsBridge, LiveRamp, Adverity and Make. 

Enriching data collected offline is easier and more reliable. Thanks to LinkedIn you can cross-reference with first and last name, job title, experience, other important information that we can't get today for example because of Cookie restrictions, so you can better target audiences, solicit higher and impactful conversions.

Employee advocacy LinkedIn to solicit a corporate culture

Although it has been active for more than a year, Employee advocacy LinkedIn, is still a poorly understood feature and therefore deserves further study. 

Employee advocacy LinkedIn puts employees at the center, the true protagonists of corporate life, able to convey authority, values, trust and generate networking.

You can create drafts available to the personal profiles of employees who then only need to post. Sharing a post is not the same, in fact, copy and paste on social penalizes the post especially if no text is added. It generates quantity and not quality and therefore has less visibility. 

Business content posted on personal profiles is rewarded by the algorithm, which penalizes business ones instead; moreover, the links they display will continue to be on target with the campaign goals. 

Great results can be achieved by promoting a corporate culture!

Tracking tags: what to check to really monitor your campaigns

"Optimizing the tracking of our website, " explains Felice Carotenuto, Tracking Specialist, "helps us understand what actions to pursue, how to allocate advertising budgets, monitoring the performance of our products before we get to the sale.

In recent years, we have become accustomed to making up for the lack of data due to two phenomena: the 2016 introduction of GDPR and theiOs14 update, which actually decreased campaign performance significantly.

Sending correct user information to advertisment platforms helps us optimize ads to show them to the best possible audience.

Fortunately, the platforms have given us the tools such as the Facebook API conversion, Google Server-Side.

You should monitor tracking tags such as Google Analytics 4, Google Ads, Meta Pixel, Conversion API, Tik Tik pixel and link them to events such as pageview, view content, add to chart begin checkout or purchase. Getting help from tracking debug tools , different depending on the tools, such as Tag assistant (Google), Analytics Debug, Facebook Pixel Helper.

Marketing automation for purchasing and service-related activities

Automating recursive marketing processes and communicating with leads, prospects, buyers, and customers by adapting to their channels of preference, responses to stimuli, and their actions and habits is vital, not only for purchase-related interactions, but also for service.

Tied with content marketing, marketing automation ranks first among the most effective digital marketing techniques (Source: Statista 2021).

Unsubscriber, Fatigue, Graymail and Blocklist, how to protect your database from the hidden risks of Black Friday

"The goal of marketers is to use all the cartridges at their disposal to achieve business goals, but you must also consider the hidden dangers behind marketing automation-puts Ignazio Morici, director of marketing power2Cloud, on guard-and that can negatively impact your audience."

Email marketing is part of automation; the numbers recorded during Black Friday are significant: 13.9 percent of consumers refer to emails for information on deals and promotions; open and click rates skyrocket compared to other times of the year, for an estimated more than 225 million emails sent (source: HubSpot, 2021/Campaign Monitor, 2022).

Such a powerful tool is used by companies to push so many interests, this leads to an overcrowding of communication and content." Here are four dangers to consider within marketing automation paths.

Fatigue: recipients stop interacting with campaigns

Fatigue is that phenomenon that occurs when the recipients of a communication stop interacting with the campaigns.

This happens because we place them within automations flow that solicits the audience with too many messages, this is not always the case, maybe it is the industry to which our business belongs that does it . Tech and marketing are the most exposed to fatigue, such as eCommerce, think of abandoned cart automations, discount coupons, chat and all the channels or tools we use every day.

Unsubscribers choose to stop receiving our communications

Unsubscribers are the contacts within our lists who, after requesting to receive communications from our company, choose and ask not to receive any more. Perhaps they come from an off-target campaign or one that over-solicited them.

To be GDPR compliant, it is necessary to have tools that oblige us marketers to give the user the ability to unsubscribe from our massive communications at any time. 

Graymail: communications are not marked as SPAM, but the user does not interact or has stopped interacting 

Graymail is a new concept that is primarily based on inbound methodology. It means those emails that the contact chose to receive, did not mark them as SPAM, but did not interact (11 months) or stopped interacting (16 emails).

Graymails dirty our data and reporting, in fact we risk having penalties on the medium. Should we abandon these contacts? No, we can switch to other types of marketing automation to focus on stated preferences.

There are a lot of advanced filters with artificial intelligence, mechanics, and automation on both email and chat that allow the providers and tools we use to identify those that no longer interact with our communications.

Blocklist: list of servers or domains identified as SPAM

Blocklist is a list of servers or domains, which the blocklist manager has identified as SPAM operators. Not all blocklists are created in the same way, either by hand or by automation mechanisms, and they have different filters, which is why they have different impacts.

Black Friday: six insights for "surviving" the most anticipated time of the year

After this premise, we can conclude that the flow of actions-communications we send is anchored in context, in the qualitative data of the contacts who interact with us.

If the CRM is not integrated with our channels and for collecting all this information, we have big problems managing segmentations and all the best practices, maybe we can send Black Friday emails, but then we are stuck for months.

Here are six insights for surviving Black Friday:

  1. use a CRM, clean it up and prepare it for maximum submission, paying particular attention to the quality of the data entered;
  2. identify the right tools for massive communications to keep domains, numbers, and channels/Medium healthy;
  3. check your domain reputation before submitting;
  4. exclude unengaged contatcs (GraymaiI) from communications ;
  5. segments the audience by considering the interests of the audience as the primary goal, not just our own business logic;
  6. always think different content for individual audience segments: 
  • Identifies mailing times and frequencies for individual target groups 
  • creates special communications, in visual and verbal language, for different clusters.

Practical guide to choosing a chatbot, tools for deciding what and how to automate

"When it comes to a new technology, in order to be innovative, many people push to get it at all costs," explains Giulia Bosi Director of Conversational Content 7HYPE S.r.l. Sometimes it would be enough to stop and understand, before implementing it, what are the goals and the context in which it will be inserted to make it effective."

You may remember Clippy, the world's most hated virtual assistant, introduced by Microsoft when chatbots were a mirage and Cortana did not yet exist.

Clippy was the pioneer, and he was always helpful, too bad he was unable to respond adequately to user requests: he could not remember the information and did not personalize his interventions in any way.

Can we do better today? Definitely. To our help come social networks (conversational IG and FB), messaging apps (WA, telegram), digital avatars that can even detect emotions and adapt mimicry to the feeling of the moment, chatbots increasingly used on websites, live chats . The real innovation surely, however, is the voicebot, the only case in which it is technology that adapts to humans and not the other way around.

Take into consideration context, demands, and mood 

How to choose the right instrument? One must keep an eye on the context, demands and mood. Under what conditions will the dialogue take place? When will the conversation take place and what will be the user's attention span? 

The voicebot is perfect for assisting those who are driving, for doctors and health care workers, for help (a leisure occasion) at home, for providing caring service to bank customers, or for projects that care about accessibility.

Conversation is probably, to date, the most complex artificial intelligence challenge. It is necessary to understand user requests in order to act with guided (button-based) chatbots useful for short conversations, facilitating direct, simple, limited requests, collecting feedback, or engaging one's database with qualitative surveys. 

You can choose intelligent chatbots to answer complex questions from users and customers, to provide good customer care in case of problems, or to collect information about users (lead generation and profiling).

Livechat is undoubtedly among the most humane retention channels. It can be added to a site to allow visitors to interact and connect directly with a support member to receive real-time information and advice. 

But when does it make sense to do so? When the bot is not smart enough, the user is likely to get nervous and needs more empathy, but also when the conversation is sensitive or needs privacy protection. If the bot has already gathered enough information the conversation can move on to the human assistant who will offer a valuable contact.

Viral Gamification, the secret weapon to unleash for Black Friday (and beyond)

Among the useful strategies for creating strong engagement with customers and leads is viral gamification. "The opportunity can be a quiz with a chatbot(conversational marketing) to encourage interactions," explains Francesco Susca Marketing Automation Specialist, " turning a moment of play into a sales or repurchase opportunity. 

It is a perfect tool for contact profiling, automating and personalizing interactions, leveraging virality as cost-free advertising.

We can repay the sharing on social or with friends with a discount coupon to spend on the second purchase, guaranteeing the company a repurchase. Remember, however, consent to send communications, thus avoiding GDPR penalties."

Are you interested in our projects?

You are on the right track!

power2Cloud logo - Cloud Services

power2cloud is your digital transformation partner! Accelerate digital growth with a highly certified and qualified team on par with our partners, selected for you: Aircall, Appspace, Atlassian, BigCommerce, cloudM, Google Cloud, Happeo, HubSpot, HYCU, iubenda, Shopify and Zendesk.

All you need

Recent articles