The no fluff guide to Q4 promotions for ecommerce merchants – 2020 edition

Bogdan Chertes
eCommerce Marketing
Q4 promo guide

It’s been a crazy year and as we’re going into Q4, ecommerce merchants aren’t sure what to expect. There are many guides out there on Black Friday / Cyber Monday planning and this one doesn’t attempt to be the most comprehensive. For merchants that just want the facts, here is our no fluff guide for this holiday season.

Plan ahead

It sounds trivial, but a lot of merchants still scramble to create their holiday strategy last minute.

  • Ensure you stock up on your top selling products
  • Prepare creatives at least 2 weeks ahead. Everyone will be submitting their promo ads in a very short time frame. Both Facebook & Google had delays in approving BFCM ads last year because of the huge queue of ad reviews. 
  • Notify your marketing agency / in house specialists at least 2 weeks in advance about all the promo details, including start and dates, promo code, product applicability.
  • Creative tips: keep text on images to a minimum to avoid rejection by the ad platforms, if you can, prepare a video as well – it can even be a slideshow with some product shots (videos tend to do well on social). You can review the ad requirements for Facebook and Google here.

Bonus tip for 2020:

  • Consider an early start or covering 2 promotional periods. That’s because Amazon Prime Day will be between Oct 5 and Oct 9. They say that “a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush”. We recommend that you do a promo in October and another one for BFCM.

Promotion details

  • Keep the same promo running for at last 5 days, so that there’s enough time for people to see it.
  • Keep promotion rules simple and clear (site wide deals, brand/ product line specific deals, don’t use many exceptions)
  • If you’re concerned about margin or cannibalizing sales, consider promotions that can boost your AOV
    • BOGO offer (Buy One, Get One)
    • Spend X, get Y

Dos and Don’ts

  • Don’t do “weak discounts” (ie: 5% off or 10% off). Generally speaking the bigger the deal, the bigger the consumer interest
  • Offer a better deal than the usual. For instance, if you have an evergreen offer like 10% off on the first order, don’t do a Q4 promo offering the same percentage, it won’t be attractive. Consumers can’t be fooled that easily 🙂

Example of Strong Ads

  • Loud and clear call to action. The first thing a consumer sees on their feed is an image before they decide to read the text of the post, clear information about the ongoing promo helps capture attention
  • Build a sense of urgency. Using copies/creative text with “while supplies last” or “promo ends on x date”. 
  • Cherry on top. Highlighting current selling points like “Free Shipping on orders over $x” or “Orders above $y receive free samples and complimentary shipping”
  • Bringing it all together. Loud and clear call to action + Build sense of urgency + Cherry on top

Author: Bogdan Chertes

Bogdan has helped dozens of ecommerce businesses grow sales and acquire more customers by using data driven PPC marketing strategies. At Adfix, he leads a team of top class PPC and Social Media experts that help clients maximize ROI from their campaigns.