6 Tips to Get Your Business Ready for Black Friday
Black Friday has become one of the biggest days of the year for retail businesses, with many retailers beginning to see even stronger sales than on Boxing Day. And, with wishlists in hand, customers have come to expect some pretty great deals from their favourite brands.
Sounds like a retailer’s dream, right? But, for many small shop owners it can be overwhelming to compete with the promotions of big-box retailers.
Here’s how you can get your retail business ready for Black Friday:
Participate in Black Friday
First and foremost, make sure you participate in Black Friday, even if you can’t offer huge discounts. As a customer, have you ever put something in your shopping cart, only to remove it later because you’re not sure if it’s worth the full price? For many of us, Black Friday is the perfect excuse to buy a product that we’ve been on the fence about. But, if I come to your store or website and there aren’t any Black Friday sales, I’m more likely to go find a comparable product from a brand who is offering a discount.
Have unique promotions
Offer your customers unique promotions and discounts. If you have 30% off sales every month, you need to do something different for Black Friday or your customers will notice your sale isn’t that special. On the flip side, if you typically have smaller seasonal sales and wait to offer your customers a more significant Black Friday discount, you create a sense of urgency and your customers will be more likely to buy from you.
Not everything has to be a discount for your customers. Brands with ethical agendas can stand out from other businesses by donating the discount to a cause that aligns with their values.
For example, rather than offering your customers 20% off bamboo cutlery, donate 20% to reforestation nonprofits. Customers are willing to pay a premium for ethical products and showing them that you align with their values will help reinforce their loyalty.
Learn from last year’s sales
If you have sales data or customer feedback from last year’s Black Friday sales, make sure you review it well in advance so that you can anticipate your sales for this year and order inventory accordingly. If you run out of stock, your customers can easily find an alternative at another store, and you’ll miss out on the sale.
Plenty of businesses are leveraging their smart point-of-sale systems to collect performance data so they can anticipate their future inventory needs. For retail businesses like Grow & Bloom, this has been a favourite feature of talech.
“With talech, we basically put in photos of all our inventory and it manages our stock for us. The cool thing is, even when I’m at home I can see who sold what at what time. It also provides great analytics. If I want to go back and look at Christmas last year, I can go back and see what the sales were and plan accordingly”.
Start promoting your sales early
Since Black Friday is such a big day for retail businesses, you can be sure that customers are going to be bombarded with promotional marketing messages. Make sure that you start promoting your sales early so your messages don’t get lost in the clutter. If your business doesn’t have a huge marketing budget, try leveraging social media and sending emails to your subscribers. You could even try sending your customers remarketing emails.
Use reliable payment technology
Black Friday waits for no one. You’ll want to make sure that you have reliable payment technology and work with a payment processing company with high service uptime and excellent customer support. If your payment system goes down on Black Friday and you can’t get it fixed right away, you’ll be missing out on some major sales.
Conduct a cost analysis to figure out the perfect discount
Finally, before you start discounting all of your products, make sure that you do a cost analysis to find out how much you can afford to discount your products and your minimum desired profit margin. Customers love great deals, but you want to make sure that you still get a decent profit at the end of the day.
Looking for more retail tips? Check out 10 Ways Your POS Can Help You Increase Retail Sales and Poynt 5: The Ultimate Sidekick for Small Shop Owners.