The big shopping season is upon us! Here’s how your business can make the most of it.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday seem to be growing in popularity – and competition – every year.
Originally a US-based brand initiative, Black Friday is traditionally the day after Thanksgiving, and marks the first ‘official’ day of holiday shopping. But in recent years, that’s changed a lot.
Black Friday is now seen as a trading staple and, joined by Cyber Monday which targets tech sales, can take place over several days or even weeks. Big brands are taking more and more advantage of the days to boost sales through massive mark downs and month-long events.
So how can your business prepare for the big shopping weekend, and stand out in the crowd? Here are 6 ways to make the highly-anticipated, highly-promoted event work for you.
Whether you have a website or an app or both, it’s important to take some time to test your digital assets, particularly if you’re solely an ecommerce business without a physical shop. Any surge in traffic during Black Friday and Cyber Monday could result in your sites crashing, and you losing out on sales.
So stress test your infrastructure, and be sure your IT support is on hand to support you on the day should you need it.
This is likely the most promoted shopping event of the year. So boosting your visibility during this period can significantly improve your outreach and customer base for the rest of the year too. Make sure you understand platforms’ algorithms, research the right hashtags, encourage customers to tag your brand, the list goes on.
Also, it’s a good idea to produce all of your content at least 3-4 weeks in advance, and use a scheduling tool to ensure you’re keeping your posts consistent.
If you’re a small business or a sole trader, make the most of that. While big brands will try to dominate the market, there was a notable spike in popularity of small enterprises during the peak of the pandemic, and that’s still a popular option for many choosing Christmas gifts.
Think about your USP(s) and use them: handmade products, 1-2-1 customer service, gift wrapping, sustainable supply chain… These are all huge selling points.
When you’re deciding what items to mark down (and to how much) think about what your buyers will be most attracted to in the lead up to the holiday period. Yes, there will be some who are looking for deals on items they need rather than want. But the majority of shoppers will be looking for winter clothing, gifts, decorations, or kitchen appliances.
One of the biggest criticisms of Black Friday and Cyber Monday is brands that mark down items which would’ve gone on clearance anyway – so learn from others’ mistakes.
Before the big day, it’s a great idea to do a cursory review of your business’ finances, ensure your accounts are up to date, and that your infrastructure is ready to support a potential spike in activity. So if you’re not sure if your current system can cope with a busy weekend of sales, it could be time to update your management.
You might be busy prepping for your external promotion, and the experience you want to give your customers, but do take some time to ensure all of your operations are running smoothly internally too. That’s your shipping arrangements to get orders out promptly, your site’s SEO, info and FAQs, mailing distribution lists are kept up to date – you name it!
Above all else, prioritising customer support will pay dividends. Something might well go wrong, but as long as you have a contingency plan in place, you’re sure to succeed.
There’s a lot to do when you own or run a business, and that’s significantly magnified during the busy shopping season. But done right, Black Friday and Cyber Monday could help your business in the long-term.
The event will boost your sales in the immediate, build your customer base and loyalty in the long-term, and provide you with a one-stop-solution to your PR and brand efforts.
Importantly, it gives you the opportunity to review how your business performed, and even make strategic adjustments to your sales and marketing strategy in the future.