It’s that time of the year: the holidays are upon us. And with Turkey Day looming in the foreground, Black Friday is just around the corner. In the weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas, we do 80% of our holiday shopping, while Black Friday has become an all-encompassing consumer event.
But, if you’re a new business looking to make some sales on Black Friday, you have to be ready. People are out, ready to shop, and looking for the best deals. Is your business ready?
Black Friday isn’t just for the big box stores anymore. Small businesses across the country have initiatives to get customers through their doors with bazaars and co-op projects, as well as setting up shop for a Saturday afternoon at the local food truck park. Savvy businesses are finding ways to connect with new shoppers daily.
With consumers decidedly more apt to spend their money local, right now is a great time to prepare for Black Friday, so much so that the sales could make or break your year. Don’t let those holiday shoppers go away empty handed.
An ultra-simple pro tip anyone can do no matter their budget is to clean up. Have you swept and mopped? Repaired and repainted the walls with a nick in them? Fixed that broken drawer? People notice those details. Remember: Black Friday brings in potential regular customers. By making a small impression with your space, you’re creating the possibility that they could come back when things slow down. All in all, there are a lot of small things you can do that will add up to big sales.
Have You Started Planning Yet?
It’s never too early to plan for Black Friday. This isn’t merely a sales day, but a cultural event. Let your existing customers know you’ll have some big sales and unique items available for a steal. Why not start a few social media campaigns to promote to new customers as well? Small campaigns on Facebook can pay off if they’re targeted correctly.
Get Them Inside Your Store
If there’s one thing synonymous with Black Friday, it’s the “doorbuster” – AKA the reason people are willing to get into fistfights over a flat screen television. People are out, and they’re ready to spend money, but they need to be lured in by a deal. The people who’ll be out and looking aren’t your regulars. Instead, the folks out on Black Friday want something new, something affordable.
They’ll visit Target and Walmart first, but if they’re out, they’re buyers. Give them a reason to shop in your store. Take 25% off everything or go through your stock and liquidate. Do this not only to make more room, but also in hopes that by going after this one item, shoppers will be curious to look around and maybe grab one or two other products at full price.
If you’re a little unsure of what you could put on sale without breaking the bottom line, think about adding a catch-all table featuring products you’re trying to move. Think about those popular items from earlier in the year that you ordered too many of and now have those random one or two lying around. Slash the price and make way for more inventory that’s currently moving.
Another way to move some potential overstock is to have a table just for odds and ends, the stuff that might be missing a piece or the label is torn off. This is also an excellent move for returns. If you’ve got some hoodies from last season still hanging around, sell them for cheap. This move won’t cost you anything. They’re already DOA in your system as a return, anyhow. Instead of shuffling these things around every time you restock the store, see if anyone would want them at a hefty discount. You won’t break the bank, but you might make something for your troubles.
Make a Great Web Experience
Do a small trial run sale for a few hours. See if the influx of traffic affects your site’s performance. If you’re using Big Cartel, Etsy, or Shopify, you shouldn’t run into any problems, but for every other platform, it’s worth investigating how many people your store can handle.
Get feedback from users. If there’s a bug or something more than one customer dislikes, get it fixed. By letting your site go to the dogs, you’re only losing money. People want a simple experience when they shop online.
Create new banners and pop-ups letting customers know you’ll be participating in Black Friday. If you sell products on your website, you can take advantage of offering Cyber Monday savings as well. Offer special in-store deals, or make them online only. Spend the time with your designer and create a few flashy designs that get shoppers excited to see what you’ve got in store.
Don’t Forget About Mobile
We love our smartphones. Mobile phone usage while shopping is through the roof. In fact, sixty percent of all the traffic for the holiday shopping season is expected to come from smartphones. Thanks to Amazon making one click so easy to use, people expect every shopping experience to be equally as easy. Test out your mobile capabilities and see what your store can do to enhance your user experience. If the experience is ugly or slow, consider working with someone who can make the experience a lot smoother. While the investment might sting the pocketbook for a moment, in the long run, it’ll pay off. If one thing is certain, it’s that people are relying on their smartphones for consumerism–it’s just part of our economy now.
Reward Your Loyal Customers
If someone shops with you frequently, offer them a deep discount or a one-time price on something. Give them earlier access to the store or send them promotional codes the day before. There are plenty of ways to make your regulars feel special, and in turn, they’ll double down on their evangelism of your brand.
Slash Prices on Overstock
Are you sitting on product that just won’t sell? Did you gamble on the wrong color or scent of candles? Did you order a bunch of t-shirts in the wrong size? Now is your time to move them. Create some signage that’s attractive and slash the price. Make people fall in love with the price, not the item. By appealing to their fiscal sense, you’ll be able to move plenty of goods no one wanted at full price, but at 60% off, they can’t pass up.
Tease Their Curiosity
Got a product people love? Put a limited number on sale to create hype. The chance to get a beloved product at an affordable price is enough to get most loyal customers lined up or ready to hit the refresh button all morning making sure the product is still there.
Send your customers some emails about the promotion and use Instagram as a means to get people talking and liking your photos. Create the hype, get people talking – use your platforms to get customers excited.
Have you shopped on Black Friday and lived to tell the tale? Send us your success stories or tell what went wrong. We love hearing what y’all are up to, and maybe we’ll follow-up this blog. But, as always, for everything else, there’s the ScaleFactor blog.