We are entering that pre-festive period and Black Friday is on everyone’s mind. With people asking themselves how they can profit from the inevitable shopping mania that is due to commence in the coming weeks. 

We have already noticed a massive increase in demand for services over the last couple of months in preparation for the rush. We’re always being asked for guidance in what people should be focusing their efforts on to see the biggest ROI. While there is limited time until Black Friday, there are still some simple and effective ways of maximising the increase in traffic and converting visitors efficiently using proven methods that provide a serious impact. 

We’ve asked three of our Client Enablement Leads, Federica Cinosi, Matt Grogan and Patrick Retallick for some quick-win opportunities that most eCommerce businesses may miss when working to maximise the efforts of Black Friday and sales planning. While we always suggest sales periods should be incorporated into your yearly optimisation and personalisation program, there are more tactical tests that could work to squeeze performance and the effort made during sales periods. 

All of our examples could be implemented right now to maximise the effectiveness of your teams during the crazy period upon us. However, it’s all about testing and understanding what works for your different customer groups. 

 Federica Cinosi
Federica – Digital Enablement Lead

“Customers in the test have a much higher propensity to spend more (+17.2%)…”

Contrary to popular belief, product recommendations is not a turn-key solution like some may think. Recommendations should be a stream of optimisation, constantly being worked on and analysed to keep developing results. Developing strategies within product recommendations can be a sure-fire way to maximise the revenue driven from an already live tool. DMPG work heavily in developing product recommendation strategies – a real gap in some brands’ arsenals when looking to drive incremental revenue.’

What is the test?

Search-based product recommendations module: we show the most popular products from the category that a returning user has searched on the website in the last 7 days if they haven’t placed an order after performing the search.

Why run it?

Offering recommendations based on a recent internal search provides valuable help to the user in finding what they are looking for, and also acts as a reminder of what they were looking for from their previous visits.

What were the results?


Orders / Unique Visitor


Revenue / Order (AOV)

Customers in the test have a higher propensity to place an order (+4.9%), and they tend to buy more products (+17.2%). Results are very diverse by market, which reflects the cultural differences that often emerge in test responses. Finally, preliminary data segmentation suggests that prospect customers appreciate the relevancy of this type of content personalisation more than existing customers. This test is proving to enhance the user experience, in particular for existing customers, over time (as customers start to conduct pre-research for Black Friday and Cyber Monday).

Why do you feel it’s important for Black Friday / Cyber Monday / Christmas? 

With so many new customers (hopefully) coming to the site, it’s essential we’re making use of every data point & not putting personalisation on hold until purchase. With this experience running, the site more quickly becomes more relevant & could make a big difference to retention.

How can DMPG help with this?

We have the expertise to know how to find the value quickly but also build scale quickly. We have a bank of historic wins we can use to learn from when developing the best recommendations for customers. This can deliver quick wins and individual results quickly and jump-start the real way of developing enormous results through a designed and scalable programme. 

Patrick – Head of Enablement Team & Client Services Director 

“Affinity model narrowing has created >£1M incremental revenue…”

We work relentlessly with our clients to maximise the product recommendations experience to boost sales. It’s common for brands to leave Recommendations alone, but we’re very hot on testing tweaks, changes to algorithms, placements and utilising customer segmentation to really drive sales. 

We always aim to build recommendation strategies because of the sheer opportunity to drive significant ROI on our services and also incremental revenue for our clients. Individually, each individual result may not be breathtaking but if you look at the results incrementally and think of what a roadmap of tests and learnings over a year could do, it’s massive.

Some key tests we’ve recently run that could drive significant incremental sales during the next couple of months:

Test 1: Affinity model narrowing

What is the test?

Affinity model narrowing – we replaced the “popular in [favourite category]” recommendation with “popular in [the category that you landed on]“ for PLA (Google Shopping) traffic.

Why run it?

This made the experience more relevant for these users, increased conversion, created incremental revenue and increased the browsing availability for landing pages of the specific traffic.

What were the results?

£1 milion

incremental revenue in 6 months

This strategy has worked with numerous clients. The intention here is to convince them not to hit the browser back button but to browse within the site instead.

Why do you feel these are important? 

With these two tests, we are really trying to learn about customer behaviour and tailor product recommendations to it. There is no point in having the wrong product recommendations or static recommendations for all. Understanding your traffic and adjusting placement, message, location of product recs can have incredible results because you are identifying a gap and then providing the best service possible.


Matt – Digital Enablement Director 

“Letting shoppers know a key message with items in basket increases UK order rate +1.3% and +£2M projected annual incremental revenue”

We’ve run some interesting tests with our retail clients to understand how to tap into the emotional drivers around Black Friday and Cyber Monday. While we don’t want to cause customers to overspend or panic buy, we do want to provide them with the best information possible. 

What is the test?

Message within the basket drop-down on the main nav. and the basket page to let shoppers know that the basket will remove products within a set time period.

Why run it?

Making sure that Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Christmas stock level challenges don’t unnecessarily damage the customer experience could be a big win, helping holistic CX while at the same time boosting immediate conversion

What were the results?

UK Results


UK order rate


projected annual incremental revenue

US Results


US order rate


projected annual incremental revenue

Example Design:


Patrick – Head of Enablement Team & Client Services Director 

“Test 2 – Back to category creates £1 million in incremental revenue”

Again, similar theme with the PLA traffic – it’s been a big focus with a number of accounts to improve the conversion traffic stream. Between 20-50% of traffic direct to product pages typically comes via Product List Ads. 

These customers are far less brand-engaged & typically hit the browser “back” button if they’re not taken by the product. So we’ve worked to reduce this loss of opportunity.

  • The audience is unique & unusual >> justifying personalisation
  • Addressing their underperformance is worth millions for most websites

What is the test?

A “back to category” or “Back to subcategory” breadcrumb encourages them to browse within a clients website, rather than going back to Google and restarting their search.

Why run it?

Reduce the loss of opportunity with shoppers who come from PLA pages to PDP pages and bounce immediately.

What were the results?

£1 Million

Realised incremental revenue based on revenue uplift (FR)

How Science in Sport & PhD Nutrition have prepared for 2021 Black Friday

We spoke to Science in Sport & PhD Nutrition about what they were planning on doing to help increase sales in the lead up to Black Friday and the festive period. 

“We are looking at maximising on black Friday by using social proofing to get users excited about buying products. Promoting how many people are looking at individual products can provide urgency and overcome objections. We can also use social proofing to provide the stock quantity to allow people to make decisions on the spot whether to buy now or risk it going out of stock.

We are also looking at interactive engagement to prompt offers and build excitement over the period. These could be experiences such as a daily calendar to provide a different reward each day, using a bespoke product finder to help users find the optimal product recommendations for themselves.

We are also looking at how we can help users maximise their basket order value to get a better deal for themselves and ultimately for us. For example,  if the user is close to getting free shipping, we could highlight this and recommend the correctly priced products to reach free shipping or a free gift. This in turn helps push up average order value and benefits the customer.

To really hit home with Black Friday and increase ROI is to make sure there is always a benefit for the user if the user does “A” then in return, we do “B”. Also, don’t treat black Friday as just one day. You really need to ramp this up over the course of the month and build awareness of it so your personalisation is already strong and you can hit home with other marketing activities.”

– Mike Pearce – Digital Experience Manager at SiS & PhD Nutrition
Integration Use Case: Social Proof Messaging by Proofit

“DMPG proofit has delivered over £1m of incremental revenue, every month, since launch”

Social proof messaging delivers messaging to shoppers to showcase how popular an item is or how purchased an item is, to ultimately increase orders and conversion. For the shopper it provides normally unknown information and context about products they like, allowing them to make an informed decision on whether it’s better to purchase now, and not miss out, or risk losing an item during the sales period. 

Example experiences for PLP and PDP pages:

Social proofing is a simple, quick and effective way to see massive ROI quickly. Many of our clients are seeing between 100-350x ROI from implementing DMPG Proofit. It takes 2 weeks to implement social proof messaging on your PDP pages. It uses data currently in your Analytics system and creates experiences via your testing solution like any other Optimisation test is built.

What is different between DMPG Proofit and other social proof solutions is we do not require you to purchase any additional technology to do it  – all you need is Google Analytics or Adobe Analytics and a testing solution like Adobe Target or Optimizely. That’s it. 

We’ll shortly be releasing a full blog post about what our social proof solution can deliver for you but if you can’t wait and would like to know more about Proofit, pricing and the results it’s driven, just let us know.

Final Thoughts

With Black Friday right around the corner and Christmas not far behind it, we are working with all of our clients to make sure everyone is prepared for the key period. Ensuring that no low hanging fruit is left untouched. If you have any questions about the tests or the strategies we look to implement, just reach out to us. We’d be happy to discuss opportunities we see for your brand specifically, with no obligation.

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