How can your business make the most of Black Friday?

With less than a month to go until Black Friday – Friday 24th November and Cyber Monday, you may be considering a sales event for your store or website. We put together some tips on how to prepare. 

What is Black Friday?


Traditionally, Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving – an American holiday which takes place on the fourth Thursday of November. 
 
On Black Friday, shops’ prices plummet for 24 hours to get people splashing the cash in the run up to Christmas. 
 
Over the last few years’ international retailers have brought the phenomena over to the UK, with the craze growing each and every year. Leading to the current 4-day event, beginning with Black Friday and finishing with Cyber Monday – the online equivalent of Black Friday.

Why should I participate?

In 2016 it was reported that shoppers in the UK, spent a staggering £5.8billion over Black Friday weekend, with a record-breaking £1.27billion spent on Black Friday itself. With consumers searching for bargains, Black Friday is a huge opportunity for both bricks-and-mortar and online retailers.

Let’s get prepared!


Three weeks to go!                               

Start preparing for Sales
Calculating prices, printing signage, updating your website, and training staff all take a significant amount of time; but, the main reason why you need to get a head start is because most Black Friday shoppers begin scouting out deals early.
 
The sooner you start thinking about Black Friday and Cyber Monday, the sooner you’re able to let shoppers know what’s in store and increase the likelihood that they’ll take note.

Two Weeks to Go!                               

Take count of stock
Don’t let misinformation about stock levels stall your Black Friday success. Now is the time to count and recount what you have in stock and get more products in if necessary. Many customers research Black Friday deals online before heading into stores, therefore it’s worthwhile to have an accurate product count.
 
Shopping bags and receipt roll might not be something on your mind as you prepare for the largest sale of the year, but having enough of both is essential to ensuring the event runs smoothly. If you run an online store, stock up on postage and packaging materials, so you can mail all items sold quickly – remember this all creates a lasting impression!

Start spreading the word

Once you have a Black Friday business plan intact, begin letting your customers know through email marketing, signage, bloggers and social media channels.

One Week to go!
      
                       
Update your Website

Shoppers should have a clear idea of what your Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals are as soon as they land on your website. A single, strong sales message, such as “30% off all fabrics” is clearer and more effective than having several different deals going on.
 
For bricks-and-mortar businesses, ensure that your opening hours are clearly displayed, even if they’re the same as regular store hours, so that customers know exactly when they can shop.
 
If you’re an online business, consider doing a test run to ensure that the website runs smoothly. It also doesn’t hurt to have a fresh pair of eyes on your website once everything is in place.

Train Staff

The key to operating smoothly is a well-trained team. Make sure all employees are aware of what’s on sale and can inform customers. Staff at bricks-and-mortar shops should also be familiar with all the items in store, or in the store section they oversee.


Things to Consider

 

Free Shipping

If you don’t already do it, consider offering free shipping. Research suggests that, free shipping can raise a company’s net profit by 30% if done correctly. That’s because generally, shoppers are willing to spend more money on an item than pay an additional amount for shipping.

Click and Collect

For bricks-and-mortar stores concerned about competition from online retailers, consider offering free Click and Collect as an option for online purchases. Many shoppers prefer this option because there’s often less of a waiting period than on items that get posted. It also helps to increase foot traffic in-store, and once a customer enters the store, it increases the likelihood of incremental purchasing.
A Final Word

Black Friday and the Christmas shopping season is a challenging time of year. However, preparing early and adopting even a few of these tips can help alleviate some of that stress, ensure that operations run smoothly and most importantly that you and your business make sales! Excitement for Black Friday and Cyber Monday has grown steadily every year. It’s time your business join in the fun.