Black Friday 2016 – Are You Ready?
Black Friday – one of the country's biggest retail events – is almost upon us. On November 25th, millions of customers around the country will be chasing bargains, Christmas presents and even items for themselves. Last year consumers in the UK spent £3.3 billion over the Black Friday weekend. And Black Friday isn't just a windfall for the big retailers; if you're a small business you can get on the bandwagon and take advantage of this growing shopping phenomenon too. Here are some tips on how to make the best of Black Friday.
Tell people you're on board
If you haven't organised any formal Black Friday advertising and marketing, don't worry – it's not too late. Customers will be Googling "Black Friday" and the goods they are interested in so to give yourself a better chance of getting them through your door, make sure your website has a banner and a page with information on Black Friday deals you have going on, so your business gets picked up by a search engine. A simple sign in your store window can make a huge difference too.
As an instant and responsive marketing tool, you can't beat social media; tweeting and posting on Facebook and Instagram will help you reach digital-savvy customers. Most importantly though – don't forget the hashtags. #BlackFriday is the most popular tag, so make sure you use it in every one of your posts.
Preparation is key
It can be difficult to predict in the UK as we haven't hit the shopping frenzy seen in the US on this day, but generally speaking, if you're offering good Black Friday deals then it stands to reason that you'll be pretty busy. Your staff will need to be across any deals or discounts you have on to avoid confusion and messing customers around. Consider if you'll need to put extra staff on, because at the end of the day, although customers love a bargain, they love great service just as much. If you get it right on a busy day like November 25, they are more likely to come back. Remember that Saturday 26 November is likely to be busy too, so keep that in mind.
Showcase your Christmas products
Many people are already well into their Christmas shopping or at least on the look-out for that perfect gift. Black Friday is a day when you're going to get more people into your shop than usual, so take advantage of their presence and make sure your Christmas displays are shown to their best advantage. If you are having a special Christmas event, like late-night shopping with deals, mulled wine and mince pies, hand out leaflets with purchases or have them on the counter. You want them to come back again, even if they don't snap something up on Friday.
Give them something a little extra
Serious shoppers on Black Friday will have been putting in the miles to find their bargains and a lot of the shops they will have been visiting will be hot and crowded and busy, so why not offer them a little respite at your store? Things like offering extra seating for tired feet or providing free seasonal biscuits are little things that can make an excellent impression.
It's not just the bargains you offer on Black Friday that bring in customers, but the way you operate on busy shopping days that bring them back. Great service, good, informed staff and a well-presented and inviting shop are all things that consumers rate highly, as well as good deals, so making the most of November 25 can set you in good stead for the rest of the holiday shopping season.