3 Strategies for Getting a Second Purchase from a Black Friday One-Time Shopper

Another Black Friday’s in the books now with $7.4 billion spent online, up $1.2 billion from $6.2 billion spent on Black Friday 2018. With brands depending on the holiday season to make up to 30 percent of annual retail sales between Black Friday and Christmas, this sounds great, right?

But if you dig a little deeper into Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales, you’ll find that 64% of retailers know these customers have a much lower lifetime value than year-round customers. They rush in for the deals and then disappear. In fact, the odds you’ll get a one-timer to buy again is a dismal 27%.

But you still have three and a half weeks to go until Christmas. So how do you persuade Black Friday shoppers to come back and buy from you before the end of December?

Coupons and gift cards may help, but the strategies outlined in this post will significantly improve your chances of getting the Black Friday one-timer to come back before Christmas.

Retarget Black Friday Traffic

There are two segments to focus on here, namely brand-new one-time-purchase customers and one-timers who have purchased from you in previous holiday seasons. Your main goal is to use accurate data which can serve up timely messages about relevant products for the individual shopper.

Look at your customers who were single-order-only this Black Friday, look at what they bought, how much they spent, and then use that data to tailor your message.

You can do the same for your one-timers from the previous year’s Black Friday. Even if they’ve not engaged with your brand over the last year, you can still gain revenue from them via targeted Facebook Ads, Google Adwords, and email campaigns.


You can easily send one-timers SMS messages or email, but your actual messaging has to be engrossing because you may only have one chance to grab their attention and convey December sales and offers.

The most successful messages are brief and inspire urgency. For example, “Limited-time discount” or “Get XX while they’re still in stock” can draw the one-timer back, especially if they’re incentive-centric.

Paid Media

Besides SMS and email, you also have powerful channels like CRM and paid media, especially when advertising through Google and Facebook to reconnect with shoppers who came to your site and only made one purchase (or no purchase in some cases, as shown in the following image).

The retargeting cycle with Google Ads. (Source: iMarketSolutions.com.)

PPC (pay per click) is an effective retargeting option, but you have to do some research first about which keywords you want to attach to your PPC campaign. The holidays drive up the bidding on keywords, so careful selection is key.

Bounce-Back Coupons

Overshadowed by digital incentives, physical coupons are a little old school these days, but when used correctly, they can still serve as a reminder and a mo

tivator for customers to purchase your goods or services.

Bounce-back coupons are still effective. (Source: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/25755029089348614/.)

Bounce-back coupons, in particular, still resonate with customers. They’re used for a returning visitor, and come in two basic flavors:

  1. A paper coupon or flier that’s included in the packaging of a product.
  2. A coupon generated at the point of sale and included in the invoice or receipt.

Bounce-back coupon included in a receipt. (Source: https://www.flexengage.com/printed-offers.)


Recommendations are a super-efficient way to retarget customers by offering relevant product suggestions based on whatever they bought from you on Black Friday. Recommendations work because 91% of customers prefer to buy from brands that know who they are and suggest complementary products.

But you have to ensure the relevancy of each recommendation by doing the following:

  • Exclude products the one-timer has already bought.
  • Exclude out-of-stock products.


Have Your Post-Black Friday Promotions Ready

Plan out your post-Black Friday promotion strategy and have all the necessary assets ready to go live long before the end of November. You have several ways to keep your Black Friday shopper’s attention with a range of incentive strategies.

Unveil New Products or Sales

When reaching out to a Black Friday shopper in December, your message has to stand out from the crowd and catch their attention by offering something that wasn’t already available during the Cyber 5 weekend.

New products — perhaps a new collection just for the holidays — are exactly the incentive that many shoppers value enough to come back and purchase again. The main thing is that the new products should be related to what the one-timer bought on Black Friday.

You might need to offer a 10% to 25% discount to garner interest. You could also use an exclusive discount code that’s only valid on Super Saturday, Christmas Eve, Boxing Day, and so on.

Gift with Purchase

When blanket incentives underwhelm shoppers, giving away samples of your products can make the difference — beauty kits, tote bags, and luggage are popular gift items that not only draw customers to purchase from you again, but gifts with purchase also give the customer a chance to fall in love with a product they may not have considered buying otherwise. For maximum effect, you want to ensure you’re retargeting Black Friday customers with something relevant to what they’ve already purchased.

Price Drops

Among the tactics you can use to transform any first-time buyer into a repeat customer, the Price Drop campaign can reel that Black Friday one-timer back to your brand.

Price Drops are extremely effective at getting the attention of opportunists and bargain hunters, but they can be equally effective when you send a relevant Price Drop message to a Black Friday one-timer. The key is that Price Drop item has to be relevant to what the one-timer already bought from you. The most successful Price Drops have a time limit that strongly encourages immediate action.

Free Shipping

Free shipping remains one of the most successful ways to get the attention of holiday shoppers, and it’s not just the last-minute shoppers in the final week before Christmas. According to a National Retail Federation study, 75% of consumers expect free delivery even on orders under $50, up from 68% in 2018.

Holiday Automations

Come December, customers might not be interested in straight-up promotional material. However, not all promotions need to seem like promotions. Shoppers might be interested in relevant content that entertains or educates, especially if you have something ready to go during Black Friday, catch that one-timer’s eye, and they remember you in the weeks following the Cyber 5 weekend.

For example, an automated “12 Days of Christmas” campaign could show a different product every day. You could also engage customers by sharing a pertinent blog post each day (about your Christmas checklist, different recipes to try, or any holiday-themed content that could drive traffic).

Leverage Loyalty Perks

According to a Forrester report, members of a brand’s loyalty program spend $42.33 more in a three-month span than non-members, proof of just how much customers crave brands who value their patronage.

The year-end holidays are a great time to use your loyalty program to convince new customers just how much you care, and for that Black Friday one-timer, loyalty benefits can be the value-add that gets them to come back before the end of December. You can even offer double points for purchases made in December.

Sweeten the deal by offering one-timers an instant upgrade to the upper loyalty tiers, which typically offer more generous or exclusive rewards.

By moving Black Friday one-timers up a tier, you surprise and delight them into re-engaging with your brand before the holidays are over. Added bonus: There is no cost to this strategy.

Different loyalty tiers have graduated value benefits. (Source: https://www.shopify.com/enterprise/customer-lifetime-value-after-black-friday-cyber-monday.)

Final Thoughts

An Accenture study found that 75% of shoppers only buy once from an e-commerce brand or retailer. Driving that second purchase is key to increasing long-term customer lifetime value, and even more important in getting that Black-Friday-through-Cyber-Monday shopper to become a repeat customer.

Remember when I said you only have a 27% chance of getting a one-timer to make a second purchase? The encouraging thing here is that if you get the customer to make a second buy, the likelihood of a third buy shoots up to 45%.

It can be difficult if you deplete your inventory and ad budget on the Cyber 5. Careful planning ahead of time can address that, and the effort can absolutely be worth it.


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Mark Enochs, Sr. Content Marketing Manager, Emarsys

Mark Enochs is Sr. Content Marketing Manager at Emarsys, where he specializes in content on machine learning, the Emarsys marketing platform, and digital technology subjects for end users and decision makers.

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