Black Friday is traditionally the retail sale day that takes place the day after Thanksgiving. This year is Friday 24th November. While it originated stateside its something being adopted by more businesses this side of the pond. Usually, Black Friday conjures up images of people clawing each other to get at a tv or is more associated with online shopping!. Many smaller businesses are using Black Friday to grow awareness of their business, reach more customers & make more money. This blog is a round up full of ideas on how you can make Black Friday work for you!.
So how can you make Black Friday work for your smaller local business?
You don’t have to compete with the Amazon’s of this world and slash prices store wide if you are genuinely unable to do so. A few great deals that give true value to your customers & leave you still in profit, are better than a bargain bucket of items from the back of the stock room that will never sell. How you position your black Friday sale is very important. If you only have minimal stock to sell what about having an ‘Exclusive Black Friday shopping event’. Another great way to get on the black Friday bandwagon in the discount line is to throw in freebies.
A few examples of this;
- A fashion retail shop or children’s boutique offering a dress, shoes & accessories combo, ie buy a dress, shoes to match & pick an accessory for free from a chosen selection. The price of the shoes & dress will far outweigh the cost of a free pair of earrings or similar but customers will feel like they are getting a tonne of value getting something that usually costs, for free.
- “As one of our loyal customers you are invited to an exclusive black Friday shopping event, come and see our great prices & new stock for Christmas and shop in a calm & relaxed environment”. Take the frantic scenes out of Black Friday and have a calm environment in your store, make it reek of exclusivity, you could even offer a glass of fizz for shoppers, limit the number of items on the day to make it really exclusive!
- Buy any laptop and get a phone accessories kit for free (throw in something that only costs you a few quid to buy but sweetens the deal for the customer).
– Buy a car in our Mega Black Friday Discount sale & get a voucher for half price valeting.
What if you are a serviced based or B2B?
For anyone who is in B2B or a traditionally serviced based business (Personal Training, Accountant etc) it can be hard to think of a clever way to make Black Friday work for you. If you want to do a price slash to try and get new customers then make sure you are marketing yourself accordingly. Offering an easy entry point & disguising it as a ‘Black Friday Special’ can be a great way to open up a new customer base. Likewise, if you are struggling to fill appointment spaces offering a few additional extra’s or limiting yourself to a few slots at a heavily discounted ‘black Friday’ price can be a good way to get booked up.
A couple of ideas;
- “I have 10 appointments left for a pension review between now and Christmas. Anyone who books an appointment this Friday will get 10% off my usual fee” (you can always recount the fee at the other end to make sure you aren’t out of pocket).
- Always wanted to try whatever service you offer but worried it might not be for you? Im doing a free whatever it is you do session this Friday, especially for Black Friday & if you sign up for a course of 6 lessons on the day you’ll get your 7th free”
How should I be marketing my business for Black Friday?
You will have to think in advance, the Monday before is a great place to start but think even further in advance for newspapers or radios. Whatever you do, don’t wake up on Friday & decide to only market your specials and deals on the day! NOW is the time to start telling people what you will be offering, how they can buy & why they should buy. Use email, video, social media, local radio to spread your message far and wide. Take a look at this brilliant Black Friday Superhero themed video from a local hardware shop. It does the job perfectly, shared across Facebook, Twitter & Instagram, gives people a laugh & informs them on what deals and money can be saved on the day. Remember you are competing with other local businesses, so anything that will grab peoples attention is good.
What about on the day itself, do I need to do anything special?
On the day itself be ready & prepared. If you are running specials make sure you have enough stock, make sure you have extra staff if you are expecting more customers than usual & have your phone fully charged up and on your person to take extra calls. Think about offering services like carrying large items to peoples car for them or having a free Christmas gift wrap. If you are opening up your offices for the day for free appointments, or classes, then have a sign up so people can easily find you. If you are in a busy shopping centre have a refreshments station in your store, it doesn’t have to be fancy but having cups & cold water available will be a welcome added touch for busy or worn out shoppers.
I’m not sure Black Friday is for me.
If you aren’t running Black Friday specials yourself, its still a great day to get in some extra marketing and create a bit of buzz about your business. Towns & shopping areas will be busier than normal so use this as a chance to hand out flyers, or do a product demonstration. An artisan food producer might hand out free samples to people in queues (ask the store owners permission first obviously & check if you need a special licence). If you are a cafe or bistro why not offer a special Black Friday menu?
This is a great idea for drumming up extra business from a Pub, not a black Friday deal as such but a really clever way to get in new punters.
How to really win on Black Friday!
Try and collect the email address of anyone who shops with you or buys from you this year, then you have a ready-made database for next year to kick-start your black Friday marketing. Offer an incentive for signing up like ‘be the first to hear about our January Sales deals’ or ‘this places you on the advanced purchase list for next years sale”.
Make sure you take lots of photos on the day to use later on in your marketing & direct people to leave reviews about your business on the appropriate forum.
Lastly, remember when the day is done to take stock & reflect on what went well, then you can start planning the next years!!!