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Black Friday 2018 Tips for Small Business Retailers

Black Friday is every shopper’s dream. Amazing discounts, jaw-dropping prices and the launch of the new season’s products make it the national event it is. The weight falls on the shoulders of the retailers to transform the customers’ Black Friday dreams into a reality. This Black Friday falls on November the 23rd of this year, giving you enough time to prepare for it. Here are some tips and predictions to help you kick-off your business to a great start this season.

1) Start Ahead: Most businesses begin leaking their Black Friday promotions a good three weeks in advance. Most customers begin planning where to shop on Black Friday around this time too, so seeing your business pop-up frequently is sure to attract them to your store. Prepare a strategy that includes:

  1. A buzz-building campaign: These include a countdown to Black Friday using ads, emails and social media promotions.
  2. Video Sales Pitch: Why not create a video for your store showing what’s going out on sale. Even a video shot on your phone can be edited and shared across social platforms to boost walk-ins to your store before Black Friday.
  3. Host events: If you’re a store that sells household equipment, you can host how-to make Indian pudding or other Thanksgiving dishes for customers on the days leading to Black Friday.
  4. Special Sneak Peek: Build anticipation by giving your customers a sneak-peek to things that will go on sale exclusively on Black Friday and no earlier. This will compel your customers to visit your store on Black Friday.
  5. Pre-Black Friday Deals: While the best and most important of your sales can go up on Black Friday, give your customers a reason to visit your store before the big day as well. Maybe even hold lucky-draws at your store for additional discounts when your customers return on Black Friday day. Shopify reports that in November of 2017 alone, 23 consecutive days reached over $1 billion in e-commerce sales even before the big day arrived, proving Black Friday has become a month long event.

2) It’s all about the Offer: Black Friday is the one time of the year that you can put up fantastic discounts without losing your brand integrity. For your small business it’s the best way to build brand recognition. This can compensate for your reduced profit margins. Start now and enable streamlined processes that can reduce operational costs. Employ more automation to handle volumes of customers If you can’t reduce on price, offer extra services such as free home-delivery or 12 hour-drop off on purchased goods.

3) Host Hourly Sales: Similar to Amazon’s Lightning Deal Sales, you can promote certain products that will only be on hourly sales. Make sure these are given equal priority in your marketing campaign. Play on peoples’ FOMO by showing how much products are left in stock to create a sense of urgency among your customers.

4) Offer some breaks: Since most Black Friday sales happen in a rushed, crowded environment, you can offer your customers a place to sit down, relax and have some refreshments before continuing with the day’s shopping. If you have a line of people waiting at your store before the Black Friday opening, make sure they’re well attended to. You can even hand out pamphlets and maps of where everything is so people know where to look for what once they’re inside.

5) Increase Incentive: Offer gift coupons or online discount codes along with certain products on Black Friday to increase the original value of the product. You can also hand out flyers on these and ask that the flyers be brought to the store and handed-in at the time of purchase to avail the offer.

6) Optimize on Deal Sites: Sites like Groupon appeal to people who proactively search for deals.They can be your best Black Friday customers, if you provide exclusive offers on these sites, and you can promote the discounts on social platforms like Facebook and Twitter.

7)  The VIP Scene: Offer a deeper more alluring deal to the best 3%-5% of your customer base by directly emailing out to them. According to reports by Klaviyo, targeted emails to your VIP customers can outperform the rest of your customers in your database.

9) Employee Preparation: Make sure your employees are well-prepared with the deals, sales and where everything is. You wouldn’t want your customers to feel blocked by an employee who responds with “I don’t know” to their queries. Another tip would be to give out walkie-talkies to your employees so they can reach out to you in case of any questions or to report something.

9) Crowd Control: Monitor the number of people entering and exiting your store to avoid theft and make people feel comfortable. If you may face a lot of customers on Black Friday week, you can hire additional security to help manage the crowds. Keep every register open so people don’t have to stand in long queues, and you can process customers faster.

10) Bundle Up on Products: Bundle together commonly bought items or products of one theme and give a significant discount when they’re bought together. It’s the best way of selling most of your inventory at once, increases the value of your products and makes shopping on Black Friday a much easier decision for your customers.

Although these tips can help you with ideas on way to create a joyful experience this Black Friday, more often than not things can get stressful and overwhelming on Black Friday day. The trick is to be well-prepared beforehand, get financing to stock up on inventory and prepare for markdowns and customers on Black Friday. It’s sure to be a great start to the joyous season ahead!

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