Black Friday 2023: a retailer’s guide

With the holiday season fast approaching, businesses are gearing up for this year’s shopping extravaganza – Black Friday.

Last year, the cost-of-living crisis and threat of a recession created a somewhat subdued climate for Black Friday, with customers being financially cautious. In response to these challenges, retailers reconfigured their marketing efforts – thus reshaping the weekend shopping event to maximise profits in the face of shifting consumer behaviour.

In this week’s blog, we’re exploring the origins of Black Friday and offering our tips for businesses in 2023.

What is Black Friday?

Black Friday, an annual shopping event following Thanksgiving in the United States, marks the unofficial start of the holiday shopping season. The term itself originated from the idea that retailers’ balance sheets would transition from red to black, symbolising a shift from losses to profits due to the surge in sales during this period.

In the United Kingdom, Black Friday’s significance lies in its proximity to Christmas, offering consumers a chance to save on gifts and giving retailers an opportunity to boost sales. Over the years, it has become a pivotal moment shaping the way people shop and plan for the holidays.

Start early for success

What was once a single day of deals has evolved into a weekend-long, and sometimes week-long, affair. This year, the sales period is expected to extend even further, transforming into what some are calling a “Black November” event.

Commencing preparations well in advance will give businesses a competitive edge. Remember; promotions need to be crafted, tested and refined to perfection, so be sure to get a considerable head start. This meticulous planning ensures that your promotional efforts are not rushed or hasty but instead well-calibrated for optimal results.

Customer-centric approach

Black Friday goes beyond mere sales figures; it’s about forging enduring connections with shoppers and providing value that extends well beyond the event. Use historical data to tailor your deals and promotions to match customer preferences.

Information derived from footfall counters, or simply determining which products garner the most attention, can help retailers make informed decisions regarding their Black Friday strategy. Of course, the internet is an indispensable pool of retail information – use your website’s statistics to identify purchasing trends and social media to decipher the most effective marketing channels.

If you’re looking to craft an advertising blueprint for your business, but are struggling to know where to start – consult a team of marketing experts who can fine-tune your strategy.

Optimise your website

That brings us to the importance of a business’ online presence. Expect a surge in website traffic during Black Friday – hence why it’s important to have a page with enough bandwidth.

Once traffic exceeds an allotted bandwidth, attracting hundreds and even thousands of people, visitors will likely experience longer load times and the website could even crash.
On such a high-stakes shopping day slow-loading pages or glitches will lead to lost sales and mistrust among customers.

If you’re not particularly savvy when it comes to the World Wide Web, be sure to work with a group of passionate website designers who can help you develop the perfect online shop window.

Harness the power of social media

In a digital age where social media shapes consumer behaviour, building anticipation through strategic engagement is key. Use all your social media platforms to tease your audience with sneak peeks and countdowns.

Let them in on hints about what’s coming, creating a sense of excitement and curiosity. This will help generate footfall and help you build a rapport with your customers going forward.

Social platforms are vast and often confusing – this is why it’s important to work with social media managers who understand how to leverage the most engagement from the various platforms. 


As a full-service marketing agency, Cordis are committed to working closely with our clients to ensure a lucrative holiday season. We offer such services as website and graphic design, social media management, copywriting, content creation, event conception and implementation, and video production.

If you’re interested in enhancing your marketing strategy for Black Friday and beyond – get in touch with Cordis today.