With a staggering $9.12 billion spent by online shoppers alone in 2022, Black Friday is a pivotal sales day for businesses, but with great opportunity comes great responsibility – and also stress. Unless you’re experiencing your very first holiday season, you’re likely well-acquainted with the meticulous planning, strategic thinking, and creative ingenuity required to not only compete with larger retail giants but also to secure a larger market share and maintain composure amidst the frenzy. As shoppers eagerly anticipate the possibility of snagging the best deals of the year, let’s explore some practical ways to prepare your small business for a successful Black Friday sales extravaganza.
Black Friday isn’t just any run-of-the-mill sales event. It serves as the linchpin of a small business’s annual revenue stream. According to the National Retail Foundation, holiday sales spanning November and December contribute to approximately 19% of the total annual retail sales. In simpler terms, a poorly executed Black Friday strategy could translate into missed opportunities for acquiring new customers, boosting sales, and expanding your business.
Everyone wants to make massive sales on Black Friday, but what does that look like for your business? Before crafting strategies for marketing and promotional campaigns, take the time to set specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) goals. Here’s what we mean:
- Revenue goals: Set your sights on achieving a particular revenue figure or a percentage boost in sales when compared to past Black Fridays.
- Customer growth: This might involve goals related to newsletter sign-ups, first-time purchases, or expanding the membership base of your loyalty program.
- Enhanced brand presence: Typical indicators of improved brand visibility encompass metrics such as increased website traffic, heightened social media engagement, or the expanded reach of your advertisements.
Implement a strong marketing strategy
A marketing plan is essential to help you plan your goals and create the relevant supporting strategy, tactics, and offers. With retailers investing an average of $2.5 billion in holiday season advertising in the last few years, you’ll need a strong marketing strategy to stand out from the noise. Some must-haves in your marketing strategy may include:
- Social media – Use platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter to post teasers, countdowns, and deal announcements.
- Email marketing- Send targeted emails to your subscriber list announcing your Black Friday deals and promotions. This is also an opportunity to grow your email list with simple tips like
- Optimize sign-up forms – Keep forms simple and easy to fill, use clear and enticing language, and include fields for essential information only.
- Utilize pop-ups and banners – Use exit-intent pop-ups and banners to capture visitors before they leave your site.
- Offer exclusive deals – Provide a gift, special discounts, or offers exclusively to subscribers and loyal customers.
- Use lead magnets – Offer free resources like templates, checklists, or tools in exchange for email addresses.
Get your website ready
Assuming your promotional efforts go as planned, Black Friday and Cyber Monday will likely drive a substantial surge in traffic to your website. While that’s certainly good news, it’s crucial to assess whether your website or online store is prepared to handle this increased traffic. In the days leading up to Black Friday, prioritize technical maintenance for your site. If you observe slow loading times or irregular functionality, it’s advisable to promptly reach out to your hosting provider for assistance. Additionally, consider the option of expanding your hosting bandwidth to accommodate the anticipated traffic volume effectively. For e-commerce businesses, it’s imperative to have proper security measures in place. Ensure your website is safeguarded with an SSL certificate and prominently display a secure site seal to instill trust among your visitors. In essence,
- Conduct website performance testing to ensure your website can handle increased traffic.
- Find website optimization opportunities, such as improving page load times and compressing images.
- Review checkout processes for a smooth customer experience – this will help reduce cart abandonment.
Craft Black Friday offers
According to Prospect Theory, people tend to make decisions based on perceived gains and losses rather than the absolute value of something. Customers perceive bundles as a better deal compared to buying individual items separately. So, offering bundled deals is a great way to attract customers to buy more of your products. This typically calls for a bit of creative thinking to figure out which products complement each other well. It’s a great chance to assess your inventory and identify lower-cost items that can be bundled with higher-priced products to create enticing package deals. Bundling not only enhances the perceived value but also motivates customers to buy multiple items. Alongside eye-catching deals, you can also:
- Introducing exclusive products: Offering limited-edition items or special holiday-themed products can pique the interest of customers seeking one-of-a-kind treasures.
- Offering alluring discounts: Offering significant discounts on popular items can entice large crowds, whether in your physical store or online.
- Crafting compelling sales copy: Deciding on your Black Friday offers is only the initial step. To entice shoppers to your sale, crafting persuasive copy that emphasizes the advantages of your promotions and instills a sense of urgency is equally vital.
Monitor and track your performance during the Black Friday weekend
The Black Friday weekend may bring about some unexpected chaos, but there’s a silver lining. Keeping a close eye on performance metrics and diving into data analysis can be your secret weapon for boosting success. Keep a keen watch on your analytics, which includes monitoring website traffic, conversion rates, and sales figures. Be open to making real-time tweaks to your strategies as new orders and insights roll in. For instance, if you observe that a specific product is flying off the shelves faster than expected, consider shifting your marketing efforts to shine a spotlight on other enticing deals or bundles.
Ensure your website or platform is mobile-friendly and geared for lightning-fast performance. Why, you ask? Well, in 2022, a staggering 48% of all Black Friday transactions took place on smartphones. You might be weary of hearing about the importance of having a mobile strategy, but during the holiday season, this message couldn’t be more crucial. Many customers will be on the move, standing in queues, and making purchases on their mobile devices. Small businesses can reap the rewards of mobile-optimized content, even if you don’t have a fully overhauled mobile website or app. You can start small by experimenting with a third-party email client that automatically tailors your emails to the recipient’s device, ensuring that all your Black Friday notifications reach the widest possible audience.
Why stop at Black Friday?
When it comes to ensuring a successful holiday shopping season, you can’t simply pin all your hopes on one date like Black Friday. As a small business owner, it’s crucial to consider the shopping days that follow Black Friday and devise a strategy to participate in them. One such opportunity is “Small Business Saturday,” which falls on the Saturday after Black Friday.
“Small Business Saturday, originally established by American Express in 2010 and co-sponsored by the Small Business Administration (SBA) since 2011, has evolved into a significant part of the busiest shopping season for small businesses.” According to research conducted by American Express, Small Business Saturday saw record-breaking spending in 2020, reaching an estimated $19.8 billion. Wouldn’t you like to claim your share of the holiday sales this year? To make the most of Small Business Saturday, keep an eye out for our Small Business Saturday article.
Cyber Monday, a term officially introduced in 2005, characterizes the surge in online sales that occurs on the Monday following Thanksgiving. In 2020, Cyber Monday sales hit an astonishing $10.8 billion, establishing it as the largest single day for eCommerce sales in history. Aside from Black Friday, these shopping days can also bring in massive revenue for your business.
The tradition of Black Friday shopping has been around for decades, primarily benefiting large retail chains. However, in the digital age, this shopping day has become more equitable, offering smaller businesses a chance to partake in the excitement. It’s essential to prepare your business for this monumental shopping weekend to seize the opportunities it presents.