Actionable tips, community conversations, and marketing inspiration.

4 Key Black Friday Learning Lessons for Boxing Day

Angie Tran

Content Marketing Manager @ AdRoll

Topics Covered:

The festive season is finally here! While some brands are winding down their sales season after a stellar Thanksgiving week, shoppers aren’t ready to put away their wallets just yet. There is still a goldmine of sales opportunities in December that retailers can leverage to hit their target revenue numbers — and one of these key dates is Boxing Day. 

But what is Boxing Day, and what are some strategies marketers can use to tap into the post-holiday market? Here are four key learning lessons from Black Friday and Cyber Monday that you can apply to the global holiday spectacle. 

What Is Boxing Day?

In the 19th century, the U.K. deemed the 26th of December “Boxing Day,” as merchants would receive gifts as tokens of appreciation for their services. Since then, Boxing Day has been turned on its head — now, retailers thank their customers by offering them massive deals. Strategically, it’s also the final opportunity for companies to clear unsold inventory, especially holiday-themed and season-specific ones. 

The holiday is often described as the “Black Friday of U.K. sales” for a good reason — consumers spend upwards of 3.5 billion pounds on the day, with global traffic being 47% higher than Christmas Day. 

Flash Sales Will Be the Norm 

This Black Friday and Cyber Monday, e-commerce reigned king as consumers opted to shop from the safety and conveniences of their homes. Online sales were 21.6% higher than that of 2019, which reached a record of $9 billion compared to last year’s record of $7.4 billion. We can confidently predict that this new digital behavior will be here to stay. 

On Boxing Day, we’ll likely see retailers maximize this consumer preference towards e-commerce and generate an avalanche of promotional deals. But this is where it gets a little thorny — customers have become so accustomed to researching their purchases and comparing prices that if brands aren’t offering the best value, they’ll miss out. 

To compete with other retailers, you’ll want to:

  • Prepare various deals — from doorbusters to limited-quantity freebies to unlocked discounts once shoppers reach a particular spending tier. 
  • Plan sales-focused messages unique to your customer profiles. 
  • Emphasize the time-sensitive nature of this one-day sale and limited supply of your products. 

Pro tip: Consider adding a countdown timer to your promotional emails. It’s a great way to induce a little FOMO and pressure customers into taking action. 

For more on driving last-minute holiday conversions:

Free Shipping Is a Must

This year, free shipping was the deciding purchasing factor for 49% of shoppers. Free shipping is no longer a bonus perk but an expected requirement. 

Given the record number of packages traveling around the globe, don’t shirk on your fulfillment processes:

  • Pose a minimum order requirement for free shipping to offset the increased shipping costs set by delivery providers. 
  • Offer expedited shipping options for those time-strapped shoppers who need their products ASAP. 
  • Set expectations for delivery times, such as by implementing a global header that notifies shoppers of delays. 

For more on holiday shipping:

Brick-and-Mortar Traffic Is Not Reliable

With pandemic restrictions in place, in-store traffic decreased by 52% this Thanksgiving compared to 2019. But it’s not all doom and gloom — this means e-commerce retailers now have an opportunity to replicate the thrill of an in-person Boxing Day shopping experience. 

Given that almost all retailers will be promoting slashed prices, you can differentiate yourself by the shopping experience, rather than merely offering discounts:

  • Design shopping lists that allow consumers to search and discover goodies similar to how they would peruse a store aisle. 
  • Reward early shoppers by offering a bonus gift to the first 100 who check out.
  • Create a tab for products that are going fast and just shy of selling out. 
  • Release a new round of tried-and-true products every hour. 

The options to drum up excitement are endless. 

Keep Your Messaging Targeted

We’ve all been bombarded with promotional emails since October’s Prime Day. Since then, digital marketers have seen skyrocketing ad space prices and lower engagement rates. After all, retailers are fighting for consumers’ limited attention (and spending dollars). 

As Boxing Day is only a one-day sale, make sure that:

  • Your marketing materials are as simple and straightforward as possible, rather than a long-winded campaign. 
  • Your CTAs are short, snappy, and persuasive.
  • Your sale works in tandem with your Christmas campaign. Don’t advertise Boxing Day promotions too early, or else you’ll risk your two marketing efforts competing against each other. 

For more on extending your sales streak into Q1: 

Get Ready for the Un-Boxing Videos

‘Tis the season for eggnog, gifts, and sales galore — with Boxing Day serving as the final push for retailers to boost sales, increase brand awareness, and transform new customers into loyal ones. If you’re looking for more tools to wow shoppers this holiday season, check out how AdRoll can help.

Explore Next

Topics Covered: