5 Ways to Prepare for Black Friday in Under 5 Minutes

Don’t let Black Friday profits pass you by! Prepare for them in a flash with these five expert tips.


With a week until Black Friday, we know there’s a seemingly never-ending list of to-dos to prep for the big day. To help cross off a few of those tasks, here are five quick ways you can get ready – all of which you can cross off in five minutes or less.


1. Set up social posts now using coupon or promotional hashtags

Generate as much exposure and buzz about your promotions ahead of time by putting your sales on social media now – or at least on Twitter and Pinterest.

When creating your promotional hash tags, think about how your customers will be searching for your products and try to match that format:


To ensure your posts have the best opportunity to appear in that social channel’s search results, remember to:

  • Use brand/product keywords in your post (i.e. “Michael Kors watch” or “KidKraft dollhouse”
  • Add in sales/coupon search words as hashtags (i.e. “#coupon” “#sale” or “#deal”)
  • Mix in trending seasonal search terms of that day (i.e. “Christmas” “Thanksgiving” or “Black Friday”)
  • Write “free shipping” if you plan to offer free shipping
  • Include a link back to the product page for the item that you’re promoting within the post


Example posts for Twitter and Pinterest

  • “Free shipping + huge #sale Black Friday on our KidKraft dollhouse. Stay tuned for the coupon code! Preorder here: linktoproduct.com
  • “Giant #sale Black Friday on the fab gold Michael Kors watch! Stay tuned for an exclusive coupon code, or preorder here: linktoproduct


And once the coupons are officially live on Black Friday (or Cyber Monday), don’t forget to use the tips mentioned above when sharing them again on these important days.


2. Create a Deal(s) of the Day

Whether you want to move inventory on a certain product, or can’t offer a sitewide percent off, a deal of the day is an easy way to showcase a steal of a deal (or deals) to your customers.

Setting up a few deals of the day shouldn’t take more than five minutes; you can even set them up today and have them go live on the actual day of the sale (Black Friday, Cyber Monday, whenever!).

  1. Log in to your Volusion store and navigate to Marketing > Deal of the Day.
  2. Hit Settings and click Deal of the Day Settings.
  3. Click Enable Deal of the Day and Show Link in Navigation Menu – this will create a category-like link within the chosen nav menu that says “Deal of the Day.” Save this step.
  4. Hit +Add and then search the product.
  5. Fill in the deal price, a headline (optional) and pick a description (you can choose product description short which pulls from the product already, or write your own).
  6. Set a start date and end date, then hit save.


For more specifics, feel free to reference our Deal of the Day Knowledge Base article.


3. Incorporate a holiday design element to your site and social media

Give your customers visual cues that the holidays are here with some snazzy, holiday design graphics, both in your online store and on your social channels,


One wallet-friendly way to accomplish that is to add a holiday banner or image to your homepage. To do that, simply follow these instructions:

  1. Pick the holiday banner or image you want and save it to your computer.
  2. To add it to your homepage, log in to your store admin and go to Design > Site Content.
  3. Search and open article ID 2.
  4. Edit the Article body (depending on your version, “insert image”) and align how you see fit.
  5. Save.

To repurpose any of the images for social media, we recommend using Pixlr to resize the image depending on the social channel.



Another free option is to add a holiday countdown widget that’ll help create a sense of urgency in potential shoppers. To do this:

  1. Pick the free holiday countdown tool you’d like to embed.
  2. Click on the counter you want and save the HTML code.
  3. Log in to your store admin and go to Design > Site Content.
  4. Find any of the following article IDs (depending on where you want the counter to show up): 2 (recommended), 71, 72, 73, 74 or 75.
  5. Edit the HTML of the article and copy in the code.
  6. Save.



4. Setup cross-selling tactics

Online shopping will bring in more revenue than brick-and-mortar shopping this holiday season, and we want you to get as much out of that as possible!  One way to boost average order value is by cross selling to your online shoppers; in a retail store, owners cross-sell by displaying too-cute-to-pass-up stationary (or socks, perfume, etc.) along and around the checkout.  While you can’t physically put hot product in front of shopper’s eyes like at a retail store, as an online storeowner, you still can find ways to get shoppers to add more to cart.

Three ways to cross-sell are by enabling related products and/or recent history to appear, and setting up a Gift Guide category.


To set up Related Products:

  1. In your store’s admin, go to Inventory > Products > Settings > All Product Settings.
  2. Check the Show Related Products box and save.



To set up Recent History:

  1. In your store’s admin, go to Inventory > Products > Settings > All Product Settings.
  2. Check the Display Product History box and Save.
    *You can also have recent history show up with images, much like related products
  3. After checking Display Product History, go to Settings > Config Variables.
  4. Search for Enable Recent History Images, click the check box and Save.



To set up a gift guide category

While creating a new category can sound daunting, you easily do so in under five minutes.

  1. From the admin, go to Inventory > Categories and hit +Add.
  2. Label the category something relevant to gift giving and your industry: “Holiday Gift Guide” “Gifts for ___ (Mom, Dad, Women, Men, Friends, Kids, Coworkers, etc.)”
  3. Have it Show in Menu (whichever is appropriate for your design – probably the top navigation menu 1) and Save.
  4. The category is created! Now, add Products to the Category:
  5. Go to Inventory > Products and edit every product you want in the gift category.
  6. In the Basic Info tab of the product, click Edit Categories, find the appropriate gift category, check the box next to it and hit Apply.

*Note: Depending on the number of products, this may be tedious and take more than five minutes. However, if your products don’t change around too much, you can always hide the category after the season is over and re-enable it next year.



5. Take it offline

If you ship products yourself, go ahead and prep some of the shipping work so you can ensure orders get to your shoppers as quickly as possible.

Here are some tips for prepping for Black Friday offline:


1. Setup a shipping station (in a room with enough space)

  • Include boxes of all sizes
  • Make sure you have (if necessary) bubble wrap, tissue paper, scissors and tape
  • Print out return labels in advance and pre-stamp the boxes
  • Create a simple thank you insert or use this free one to include in all packages.  Take five minutes today to sign them all yourself – the personalization will be a welcomed touch. Put these in every package you ship alongside the receipt


2. Review inventory and make any last minute adjustments to your stock status

While this tip isn’t 100% offline, we recommend you ensure you have stock status setup in your ecommerce store.

  • You can review this by going into your store’s Admin > Inventory > Import/Export > Standard Export
  • Click Export From: Products
  • In the “Columns” field, check the following boxes:
  • Product Code
    • Product Name
    • Hide Product (that way you can see if the product is hidden from your site; if so, you don’t need to worry about its stock status)
    • Stock Status
    • Availability (if you use this field, review to see if you have any marked incorrectly)
    • Product URL
    • Photo URL
  • In “File Format,” export as a CSV
  • You can then sort the CSV (which really works just like an Excel) by stock status
  • Print off the CSV and go through inventory while watching a holiday flick


3. Keep customers coming back by including a coupon insert

  • Along with the thank you card, we recommend you give your qualified shoppers a reason to come back to your website through an enticing coupon code.
  • We recommend you set the coupon code to begin January 1 (after all the holiday rush) and last the whole month of Janaury
  • .To compel shoppers, the coupon should be a significant deal.  You know your customers best, but we’d recommend a coupon for 20% off or more.



We know there are many more to-dos on your “Preparing for Black Friday” list, and to add a few more, we highly encourage you to checkout other holiday resources, like our best practices for coupons and deals and our last minute holiday SEO tips.

Best of luck with this holiday selling season! And remember that we’ll be by your side the whole way, so please reach out with any questions or comments below.



Tori Leymeister was the Marketing Consultant Team Manager, where she worked to make Volusion storeowners more successful through their SEO, PPC, Social Media and Shopping Feed campaigns. Outside of online marketing, Tori likes watching Texas football, trying out new happy hour spots and thrift shopping. And, baby animals.

6 Responses to “5 Ways to Prepare for Black Friday in Under 5 Minutes”

  1. Austin

    Very helpful, thanks!

  2. Sue

    Just set up the Enable Recent History Images, great idea!! Thanks.


    • Tori K.

      Hi Sue,

      Thanks so much for reading! Glad you were able to set it up. Great idea using a holiday giveaway and scent of the week on your site – I hope you have the best holiday season yet!



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