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Black Friday on November 25 – obligation or add-on for an online retailer?

In recent years, Black Friday has become one of the events with the highest sales in online retail. Whether participation as a retailer is a must or not, cannot be answered in a general way. Therefore, here are some important information and tips that can help answer this question.

posted by Nicola Theuerkauf

OTTO Black Friday

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Since when and why does Black Friday exist?

Black Friday, which originated in the USA, always takes place after Thanksgiving Day. Since the 1980s, it has also become almost the most important and highest-turnover shopping day in the retail and online trade in Germany. The highlight ranges are usually household appliances and consumer electronics. The success story is now even being extended with entire Black Friday weeks or a Black Friday weekend, which is followed by Cyber Monday – the Monday after Black Friday. Black Friday also traditionally kicks off the annual Christmas shopping season. This year it will take place on November 25, 2022.

What considerations should retailers make in advance?

Before deciding to participate in Black Friday as a retailer, it is recommended to define your goals. Possible goals can be: Increase in sales, profit generation, image enhancement and awareness or acquisition of new customers.

Black Friday discounts should not be half-hearted, but honest and attractive. Consumers usually compare price trends over a longer period of time and therefore notice quite quickly whether a discount is a real bargain or not. It is always advisable for retailers to keep an eye on costs. Deep discounts usually lead to a significant increase in sales, but they can quickly turn into a losing proposition, as hardly any profits are made.

However, slight losses can sometimes still be worthwhile, especially for smaller, less well-known stores, if the primary focus is on goals such as more reach, awareness and gaining new customers. Many consumers who shop on Black Friday also order product bargains from online shops where they do not normally buy from.

What preparations are necessary?

Once the goals have been defined, it’s time for preparation. The following points should definitely be taken into account:

Capacities and control
The web store must meet the requirements for the promotion. It must be possible to set up categories, assign items and reduce prices quickly and easily. Furthermore, additional resources for conception, planning and execution of the promotion should definitely be available.

Advertising measures
Advertising measures must be started in good time – approx. 4 weeks in advance. A concept of measures including budget planning should be drawn up. Advertising measures can then be booked on channels relevant to the target group. It is advisable to check which additional bookings/measures make sense, for example SEO, SEA, newsletter.

Price reductions/discounts
The products and their discounts must be attractive, they must not be sham discounts. In addition, it should be avoided to offer so-called “slow sellers”.

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Technical protection
The website must be able to withstand increased traffic. If necessary, the server capacity should be increased at the hosting partner or at the website agency in charge.

Stock and logistics
The availability of the discounted products must be ensured. All logistics partners must be informed about the promotion in advance. If shipping takes place without a logistics partner, personnel resources must be available. The entire fulfillment process should be automated and must be scalable at all times.

For the evaluation, a comparison should be made with the defined goals and possible learnings for follow-up actions should be determined. It is advisable to support the new customers acquired with continuous customer loyalty measures.

Participation in Black Friday can be worthwhile and a good add-on for an online retailer if the goals are defined and the campaign is well planned based on them. Only if the expectations are clear and all the necessary conditions are met, this freestyle is recommended! However, there is no obligation.

Black Friday at

  • Action period: 15.-28.11.2022
  • OTTO Market partners are eligible to participate
  • Products are displayed in a separate Black Friday store
  • Additional booking of advertising solutions and analysis tools is possible
  • Conditions of participation and further information can be found in the OTTO Partner Connect

And for all those who would still like to become an OTTO Market partner, click here to register.

About the author Nicola Theuerkauf

Nicola Theuerkauf joined the Corporate Communication department in March 2022. As a Communications Consultant, she initially worked on various projects in the B2B sector. In June 2023, she moved within the team and took on a new role as Editor & Research Specialist. She joined OTTO back in 2007 as Online Marketing Manager. She later gained experience in service communication, sales and B2B marketing. Nicola lives with her family in the west of Hamburg. She loves the Bay of Lübeck and spends as much time as she can with her SUP board on the Baltic Sea waves. Translated with (free version)

Nicola Theuerkauf
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