Why do marketplaces experience lower success rates than webshops during Black Friday sales? In this blog, you will find some advice to realise more successful Black Friday campaigns in 2021:

- Black Friday campaign sections

- Allow buyers to subscribe for deals

- Use visitor data

Black friday banner

Webshops have seen their sales go through the roof again with Black Friday. Online sales in the Netherlands this year were even about 80 percent higher than in 2019. Why does the originally American bargain frenzy at webshops generate record sales and do we hardly see any more transactions at marketplaces and platforms? And more importantly: What can marketplaces do in order to score on Black Friday 2021?


An important reason why most marketplaces and platforms ignore days like Black Friday is because they think that the dynamics between buyers and sellers are not flexible enough. This is indeed different from what you see at webshops. For example, the marketplace or platform is the facilitator and does not provide products or services that the end user pays for. Sellers themselves are responsible for the promotion of their merchandise. In some cases they can put their merchandise in the spotlight in return for payment, but that's all.



A lost opportunity 

A shame, because if you offer the right tools as a marketplace or platform, you can help both buyers and sellers to make the most of a special period or day like Black Friday. As an 'intermediary', you offer added value to your users during these weeks; sellers can sell more and buyers can find a product or service at a good price. This makes your platform or marketplace an even more attractive place to do business for both parties.


4 steps to make Black Friday a success as a marketplace or platform

If sellers themselves do not take action during Black Friday, you simply have to make it easy to do so, and make it as easy as possible for buyers to find the Black Friday deals.

With the next 4 steps, the chances of seeing more deals on your marketplace or platform during Black Friday in 2021 is significantly higher:


1 Create sections for Black Friday deals

Create a special category or section on your platform intended for Black Friday deals. Make it easy for sellers to categorise their product or service and provide an automated tool to apply a Black Friday discount on top of the original price.

2 Promote deals

Several weeks prior to Black Friday, start promoting deals, offers and news. Reach out to your customers and give them the opportunity to subscribe to deals. Make sure that your communication is appealing by creating well-thought-out forms on your website (pop-up forms) and promote your black Friday deals on social channels such as Facebook, TikTok, Instagram and LinkedIn (depending on your industry).

Below, there is a good example of a Black Friday newsletter sent and designed by the Australian platform RedBubble.

redbubble blackfriday

3 Use data insights

Use the data that is already available to your (certainly whilst complying with the GDPR guidelines) and send push notifications to your users that experience lower sales, for example to a landlord of a vacation property with low occupancy. Suggest them to use Black Friday deals as an opportunity to increase the occupancy rate. You can also give sellers more insights into opportunities by sharing aggregated data about trends that you noticed in their specific industry or product/service area.

4 Make a tempting offer

Make sure buyers can indicate that they would like to receive notifications about specific Black Friday deals and to receive an update if, for example, the discount drops to a certain percentage. Or notify them if one of their most wanted products that had been on their wish list for weeks already, will finally be included in the Black Friday sale.



No excuse

There is no excuse why platforms and marketplaces could not use Black Friday deals for achieving a massive increase in transactions just like webshops already do.
After all, it still contributes to online sales. Etsy, the American sales platform for homemade stuff proves that this can successfully be done. The trick is to be creative. Make it easy and attractive for your sellers to boost their sales by using a 'special day' for unique discounts. Create the right circumstances and your platform is ready for a Black Friday 2021 shopping frenzy.


Read the article in Dutch on Emerce.