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Case Studies







What Made These 3 Black Friday Campaigns Successful?

Join three of Swanky’s digital marketing experts as they reflect on successful Black Friday campaigns from 2023. They share results, discuss tools and strategies implemented, and consider learnings for future ecommerce marketing campaigns.

Written By
Mia Willmott

Kickstarting the holiday shopping season, Black Friday Cyber Monday (BFCM) represents a significant juncture for ecommerce retailers. It can be a prime opportunity for brands to both acquire new customers and forge stronger connections with existing shoppers.

Such a decisive event in the ecommerce calendar requires diligent planning and careful execution. Preparation is key, with data to analyse, learnings to implement, audience segments to scope, copy to write, assets to create, and so on.

What’s more, a successful Black Friday campaign requires teams and channels to work together, reducing silos and maximising impact.

In this article, we’re looking back at three BFCM 2023 campaigns we managed here at Swanky – sharing their results and dissecting their success. Note that whilst the focus is on BFCM strategies in particular, the learnings we share are relevant to anyone considering how to craft effective ecommerce marketing campaigns.

BFCM paid marketing campaign for hair care brand: A winning combination of preparation & agility

Swanky’s work with this international hair care brand began with crafting a new Shopify Plus store to support the company’s growth. Since launching this site, the brand has continued working with our Growth Accelerator team on a retained basis as it scales and internationalises.

Part of this growth engagement has involved planning and executing a paid marketing strategy for BFCM 2023. Below, we hear from Dominic Trewin, Senior Digital Marketing Manager at Swanky, as he reflects on these campaigns and the reasons for their success.

Could you share some results from this brand’s BFCM campaigns?

Sure! For me, highlights include an 87% YoY increase in revenue generated from Google Ads for the EU store, with a 336% increase in return on ad spend (or ROAS).

There were similarly impressive results for the UK site, which saw a 138% increase in attributed revenue from Meta ads, which translates to a 489% boost to ROAS.

Why do you think these BFCM campaigns were so successful?

The time we invested into preparation was a huge factor. By applying learnings of best-performing ad formats from previous campaigns, we could accurately inform asset creation for the brand’s BFCM 2023 season.

Although, as great as looking back at the previous year’s campaigns can be, we’re aware that the way ads resonate with users is constantly changing. We therefore have to be agile in our approach to both long- and short-term learnings on our client’s account when planning and executing digital campaigns.

Were there any features of Google or Meta Ads that proved particularly useful throughout the campaign?

Performance Max played an important role in the success of Google Ads over this period. It ensured that promotions were well-placed in Shopping Ads and were accompanied with a full suite of assets to help nurture customers through differentiated ad placement (e.g. YouTube, Gmail, Discover).

In terms of paid social, we utilised Meta’s Advantage+ Shopping campaigns to improve on the previous year’s performance (doing so by quite some margin). A combination of ad formats was leveraged to aid the platform’s learning and optimisation phases. Not only did this campaign type help with existing markets, it also resulted in a positive ROAS for new markets.

How did you ensure that you were optimising performance throughout the BFCM period?

To ensure that performance was optimised throughout peak season, we focused heavily on budget management. Whilst smart bidding is a great tool for paid ad marketers, daily tracking of campaign spend and performance is vital if you are to capitalise on peak revenue opportunities. By regularly scaling budgets and adjusting tROAS (target return on ad spend), we were able to drive greater performance throughout the campaign.

Although each platform should be analysed on its own merit, we understand the importance of a holistic view when analysing our clients’ digital campaigns. The multi-touchpoint journey of users has inevitably led to the data-driven attribution model we now use within platforms such as GA4.

Additionally, by using Marketing Efficiency Ratio (MER) we can see the wider picture of current marketing strategies. This helps us see where the current approach is adding value or where a change of tactics is needed. MER is becoming even more important with tracking restrictions across iOS devices for Meta and the removal of third-party cookies coming into place.

BFCM strategy for US technology brand: A 360° approach to peak season

After engaging Swanky’s Shopify experts in Australia to launch its new Shopify store, this US-based technology brand joined our Growth Accelerator Program to benefit from the expertise of our marketing and optimisation specialists.

Since then, we have been providing consultation and implementation across channels, working on a full-funnel marketing strategy for this ambitious brand. This has included a 360˚ approach to BFCM, which harnessed Meta Ads, Google Ads, and Klaviyo’s flows and campaigns.

Ellie Jordan, Performance Marketing Lead at Swanky, reflects on these campaigns below.

Could you share some YoY improvements for this brand’s BFCM period?

When you compare BFCM 2023 with the same period in 2022, purchases generated through Google Ads increased by 216%, ROAS was boosted by 114% and attributed revenue increased by 220%.

Purchases through Meta Ads were up 558%, ROAS up an impressive 464% and attributed revenue increased by 627%.

Meanwhile, results from Klaviyo include a 173% increase in attributed revenue – split between campaigns (62%) and flows (38%).

What are some of the reasons behind these uplifts?

In the four months leading up to BFCM, we crafted a strong multi-faceted strategy to ensure the brand could make the most of peak season. This included leveraging Meta’s data to influence how Google ran ads and how Klaviyo ran email and SMS campaigns. Meanwhile, email and SMS were used to nurture and engage leads gained through Meta and Google.

By leveraging the functionality of all channels – and sharing data and learnings across these – we were able to drive sales and revenue far more than previous years.

Again, this indicates the fact that preparation is key to campaign success during the BFCM period.

Luxury fashion BOGOF BFCM campaign: Targeting users across the funnel

As BFCM 2023 approached, we were able to harness our previous experience with a luxury apparel brand, having worked with them for over a year to provide a range of marketing and optimisation services.

To make the most of peak season and ensure a successful Black Friday campaign, we implemented a commercially-guided Google Ads strategy, informed by our learnings from previous initiatives.

Here, Eden Ingoe, Digital Marketing Manager at Swanky, discusses this strategy in more detail.

Can you share some results from this BFCM 2023 campaign?

When you compare BFCM 2023 to BFCM 2022:

  • on-site conversion rate had increased by 62%;
  • the total number of online orders placed doubled; and
  • total revenue increased by 83%.

What was the main focus of the brand’s BFCM campaign?

It was important to implement a BFCM campaign that rang true with the brand and its values – remaining authentic rather than jumping on the trend of frenzied sales and slashed price tags. Since this is a luxury brand, the main focus was offering customers higher value for their money rather than discounting. With this in mind, we created a full-funnel campaign focused around two key offers, both variations of a BOGOF deal.

The aim of this campaign was to upsell products and drive revenue during the peak shopping period.

Which channels did you use to deliver such successful results?

To support this campaign, we leveraged Meta ads to highlight the offer at each level of the funnel, targeting shoppers who might be at different points in their decision-making process.

This included customers at the top of the funnel, with a focus on building brand awareness and establishing credibility. Meanwhile, we also utilised retargeting campaigns to engage with users who were already familiar with the fashion brand. These retargeting campaigns drove the majority of revenue as they were targeting consumers who were further along the funnel and potentially waiting until an offer period to get the highest value for money.

To support this campaign further, we added extensions to search campaigns and utilised Google’s Performance Max.

Craft a successful Black Friday campaign with Swanky

In summary, dissecting these three successful Black Friday campaigns has demonstrated how important is is to:

  • leverage data and learnings from previous campaigns during your planning and preparation phases;
  • remain flexible in the face of changing trends and behaviours;
  • ensure different channels and platforms are speaking to one another;
  • deliver a BFCM campaign/offer that aligns with your brand; and
  • take a full-funnel approach to peak season, maximising reach and engagement.

Of course, these principles apply far beyond BFCM. Swanky’s in-house digital marketing experts put these tips into action all year round for our clients, creating effective ecommerce marketing campaigns that deliver impressive ROI.

To find out more about how we could support your brand’s ecommerce marketing strategy with a flexible monthly retainer, start a conversation with our solutions team today.

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