Shopper attitudes towards the Black Friday weekend have begun to change. Small businesses need to consider whether it’s worthwhile to participate and how they can make the most of it.
Following on from the pandemic, many businesses are still struggling to make back losses, which were caused by closures throughout lockdown. According to a recent survey by Sitecore, four-fifth of businesses believe the holiday season will be make or break.
Considering this, a day of reduced prices and heightened sales could work brilliantly to generate increased turnover.
The main thing you can do to succeed on Black Friday is operate in the right industry. Recent research has shown that consumer tech, health and beauty, and fashion all do particularly well when it comes to sales on Black Friday.
Saying that, even for businesses not in those sectors, there are still several things you can do to maximise sales.
1. Get a Website
If you’re not already online, then this should be the first thing to try. A survey by Outbrain recently found that half of consumers plan to shop exclusively online for the holiday period, with only 6% planning to shop exclusively in-store.
2. Build Anticipation on Social Media
Advertise your Black Friday plans to both old and new customers through your social media channels and ensure there is some run-up to the event. You can reveal what deals they can look forward to and which products will be on offer, in order to build excitement and anticipation.
3. Mail Existing Customers
Your existing customers are the most likely to buy from you, so make sure they know about your Black Friday deals in an email newsletter.
4. Be Prepared
Make sure your website can handle a high volume of traffic and if you run a store think about whether you can handle a large number of shoppers.
Whether you’re planning for an in-store or e-commerce rush, then ensure you are prepared for the extra demand that will be placed on your business.
If you’re selling online, test your bandwidth to see if you have the capacity for a traffic surge. On previous Black Fridays, websites have crashed, resulting in lost revenue.
In-store this may mean increasing the number of staff on shift, and in the times of Covid-19, then it is best to make sure the shop is as safe as possible.
5. Plan Your Logistics
If you’re operating a small business, then you need to be prepared logistically, when sales suddenly increase, especially if you’re running a one-person operation. Ensure you have enough stock and packaging materials to fulfil all your orders.
If the scale of potential sales requires it, then it may be worth signing up with an order fulfilment service. This means the storing, packing, and shipping of your products is outsourced to a third party.
Dependent on the number of units you sell, order fulfilment can be relatively cheap, costing as little as £10 per month.
6. Stay True to Your Brand
Don’t forget what makes your brand unique and what about it appeals to your existing customer base.
Outbrain found in a study that 43 per cent of UK consumers say that sustainability and eco-friendliness will be important when making a purchase during the holiday season, while 32 per cent favour brands that support diversity and inclusion.
However, even if you do miss out on Black Friday this year, the sales continue through the weekend and into Monday, also known as Cyber Monday. Therefore, there is plenty of opportunities to further increase your sales.
We have shown the ways small businesses can get involved with Black Friday, however, it is very important that small businesses don’t try and directly compete with larger rivals. Small business owners need to remember their unique offering and what they can offer consumers that big businesses can’t. It isn’t just about price and a lot of shoppers are driven by incentives, like unique products, loyalty, referral bonuses, and extended returns.
We hope these tips are useful for small business owners who are looking to get involved this year, as more people look to spend their money locally.
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