Many businesses have been planning for Black Friday sales for almost a year, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get a last-minute plan in place to boost your Black Friday sales if you’re a little late to the party. Don’t let the name fool you. Friday may be in the name, but your business won’t look out of place if you celebrate special offers for two days, three days, or even a whole week.
Black Friday 2020 looked different to past years as lockdowns and other social distancing measures caused the sales event to take place almost exclusively online. In 2021, some retailers may have their brick and mortar stores back open during this busy sales period depending on their local restrictions. The tips below can help you promote both your physical store and your e-store.
It’s not too late to refine your plans for Black Friday success! Here are 8 tips to help you boost your Black Friday sales.
1. Build excitement and anticipation for your offers
Use your social media channels to post teasers in advance of Black Friday. Consider using targeted Facebook ads to reconnect to the fans of your page and even past customers. If you can easily change the homepage of your website, you can do a Black Friday homepage takeover to drive awareness of your offers.
2. See what your competitors are doing before Black Friday
It never hurts to see what your competitors are doing. If you’ve missed the chance to get access to their discount mailing list, check social media for the hashtag #BlackFriday to see what consumers are excited about. This is also a great way to gauge your customers’ expectations around the topics of shipping, timing, and other elements of the sale that you might not have considered. For example, will your deals go live on your website at midnight the night before? Are people going to use Black Friday to buy holiday gifts and therefore do you need to guarantee shipping before a certain holiday date? All things to consider when keeping your customers happy.
3. Do a virtual walk through of your online store
It needs to be easy for your customers to complete the checkout process and pay. Maybe it’s been a while since you’ve put yourself in the shoes of the customer, or maybe the look of your store on Black Friday has altered the design of the website and the customer journey, either way you need to do a test drive to make sure there are no bugs stopping people from making a purchase.
4. Remember to reward your loyal customers
Your existing customers are more likely to avail of your Black Friday offerings, so be to sure increase the probability of this happening by sending your mailing list an exclusive early deal the day before, or a special discount on Black Friday. It’s a great opportunity to reward them for their loyalty throughout the year and helps build the customer relationship for the future. (Remember to only email customers If they’ve opted into text or email messaging from you.)
5. Only discount your profit margin, never sell at cost
Consumers will be expecting steep discounts and great deals, but these deals shouldn’t damage your bottom line. Your offers should be good enough to get people in the door but the discounts should never be so large as to lose your money with each sale. Examine your stock and see what inventory you’d be happy to price to clear, for example last year’s model of an item or a display model. If you have a physical store you can give warning that some premium discounted items are limited to the first five sold, or are only discounted for the first hour. A successful Black Friday event shouldn’t leave you at a loss so leverage accounting and inventory software which lets you look at the previous year’s data to help you find price points that keeps both you and your customers happy.
6. Know your stock levels
Make sure you’ve got the right amount of stock so your customers aren’t left disappointed. You’ll want to ensure you have enough of your top-selling products so you can meet demand and make a nice profit. At the same time, buying in too much of a product that’s not going to sell will cost you in the long run, in terms of unwanted merchandise, so it’s helpful to try and make deals based on your existing inventory.
You also need to keep an eye on what’s being sold, particularly for online sales. Customers don’t want to keep receiving ads for several days featuring an offer you’ve sold out of or discontinued. Make sure you know how to turn off, edit and change the imagery of your paid social ads at a moment’s notice.
7. Encourage customers to share their purchases on social media
You can invite them to include your unique hashtag for your business or store on Instagram. If you feel activity is slow during the Black Friday event why not join conversations on Reddit and Twitter telling people to visit your e-store? There will be plenty of deal hunters asking for pointers in the right direction. Have a list of URLs for discounted products in a word document so that you can instantly paste and post.
8. Learn from this year and do better next year
Don’t be disheartened if you feel you’ve missed the opportunity. Black Friday has become a staple of the sales season and customers will expect you to run an offers campaign again this time next year. Take some time to evaluate what worked this year to make things run even smoother next year.
You might also like: How to Master Black Friday Order Fulfillment
About the Author
Owen Sweeney, Digital and Social Content Manager for Sage Canada
Owen is the Digital and Social Content Manager for Sage Canada. For more than 10 years, Owen has worked as a writer and editor for a number of national and international publications, frequently breaking stories in the fields of finance and technology. He’s committed to providing helpful and problem-solving content to both local and global audiences.
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