For shoppers and business owners alike, Black Friday and Cyber Monday are two of the most anticipated days in the calendar year. It isn’t even difficult to understand why. It represents a win-win situation for both clients and business owners. But most small businesses do not enter this period with a concrete strategy. This is why I’ll be discussing various tips and marketing strategies.
Not until a few years ago, I always looked forward to the festive period for a different reason. Festive periods used to mean pre-Christmas hype and decorations galore. I have never been much of a shopper so occasions like this never used to catch my attention.
I would guess that the growth of social media and various marketing endeavours of big E-commerce companies like Jumia and Amazon have played a part in the adoption of the US tradition of Black Friday.
Whether you are a brick-and-mortar store or an eCommerce business, this consumer-targeted retail holiday is an opportunity to increase profit as well as attract new customers. This is to say even Membership-based businesses can participate.
Did you know that about 30% of global retail sales take place between the Black Friday weekend and Christmas?
Most businesses however set themselves up to fail by approaching this day without a clear marketing strategy or timeline.
As a business owner, you shouldn’t just approach Black Friday without a plan. Your strategy should be more than just offering discounts. You must have a clear plan.
The first thing you should know is the exact day Black Friday falls in the calendar year. For example, it falls on November 26 in 2021 as it is usually the last Friday of November. It was November 27 in 2020.
It is however a normal occurrence for businesses to run Black Friday deals from as early as November 1. Jumia for example has its duration from November 5 – 29.
Big businesses plan for Black Friday sales months ahead. This is because they understand the power of being deliberate with marketing.
Why won’t they? The statistics behind this shopping weekend is jaw-dropping.
According to a report by National Retail Federation, in 2018 more than 164 million people participated in Black Friday shopping.
2019 was the year Covid-19 hit and even that plus the lockdown could not stop it from being a record-breaking year. In 2019, just 93.2 million buyers shopped online during this weekend. But the sales hit a record $7.4 billion, an all-time high at the time.
2020 was an even better year for businesses that positioned themselves to benefit from Black Friday shoppers. Sales hit a record $9 billion, which was a spending increase of about 22% YoY.
When you consider that more purchases were made on Cyber Monday then you probably understand just what you are missing out on. Cyber Monday 2020 saw sales hit a record $10.8 billion. It was the biggest e-commerce day in US history.
Covid-19 has been a blessing to online businesses indeed.
- Have you seen the marketing tips we learnt from the viral Squid Game series?
Other Facts About Black Friday Promotions
- About 186.4 million US consumers shopped online or in-store between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday in 2020.
- An average of about $311.75 was spent Shoppers spent an average on purchases during the five-day Thanksgiving weekend.
- 52% of shoppers take advantage of early shopping and sales.
- Mobile devices dominated Black Friday conversions with over 56% of purchases made from them.
- Over 107% revenue increase can be expected by small businesses over the holiday shopping season.
Factors Influencing Buyers’ Decisions During Black Friday (In Percentage)
- Free Shipping (49%)
- Promotions and limited-time sales (36%)
- User-friendly website/app (21%)
- Buy-Online-Pick-in-Store (20%)
Surely, you now understand just how much your business can gain from actively participating in Black Friday Special Deals. But how to make Black Friday sales work for you is a different thing entirely.
We have some ideas.
Do not panic, it’s not too late to prepare your business for Black Friday and boost your sales. Here are eight Black Friday tips small businesses can adopt this year.
Study Big Companies and Competition
There is no doubt that the best people to learn from are those that are already successful in your niche. ‘Big companies have acquired their status for a reason. They have continually shown expertise and know-how to stay on top of their industry.
You cannot replicate all the strategies of companies like Amazon or Jumia for obvious reasons. But you can study their promotional strategies for ideas.
How have they been preparing for and marketing their Black Friday deals? Which of the tactics are customers responding to?
A quick surf of their social media pages will give you tons of ideas. You can also spy on the type of ads they are running on Facebook and Instagram. This guide will help you.
You don’t have to stop at big brands, you can do the same with other small businesses that you know take their marketing seriously.
Develop A Promotional Plan
By now, you must have an idea of how your competitors are going about their marketing. It is now time to put your research to use by coming up with your Black Friday promotional plan.
A big part of your plan must revolve around deciding on the products and services you want to promote. Figuring out where you intend to advertise as well as the types of offers you plan to employ are also important.
It is very easy to feel overwhelmed by all this if you’re planning late but your focus must be on the goal. This is an advantage of planning early. You give yourself time to think.
If you are unsure of where to start, you can start by asking yourself these basic questions:
- What are the products or services that I intend to push?
- Where do I advertise my deals and how?
- What will be the duration of my marketing campaign?
- Will my deals be offline or online?
- How much am I willing to spend on my promotions?
One understated part of promotional periods like this is the advantage of having a website. If you are an online shopping enthusiast, you must have noticed numerous Black Friday promotions on various landing pages. You must have also started getting emails about various Black Friday offers for companies you have subscribed to.
These digital marketing plans are possible because they have a website and are maximizing its potential.
By the way, did you know that we can help you create a responsive and highly converting website? We can also help you optimize it for various digital marketing endeavours like email marketing and the likes.
Offer Mouth-Watering Discounts
This is quite obvious but you mustn’t offer discounts for the sake of it.
To attract new customers, you must be willing to make enticing offers. There is no rule of thumb for the exact discount to offer. This will be based on your preference, your industry and your competitors.
However, a survey from CreditDonkey suggested that 43% of consumers are willing to clip coupons when they receive up to 25% discount.
Don’t Forget Gift Shoppers
There is an aspect of shopping that most small businesses tend to overlook. Gift shopping is an aspect of shopping that business owners need to explore more.
Unless a special occasion arises, most of us don’t just shop randomly for gifts for friends and family. But as a business owner, there are ways you can position your business to attract gift buyers. An example is to offer two products at the price of one.
The SweeterMen Brand have a perfect example on their Instagram page.
The advantage of offering discounts is that people can actually buy more.
Check Your Inventory
One thing you do not want to experience during your Black Friday sales is a shortage of products, especially your best selling products. In fact, you do not want to run out of anything, even packaging materials.
Be sure you take stock of your inventory levels before you begin your sales.
You must also be careful not to have too many products that are not selling well on your hands. You can however gamble by creating enticing offers around these products as well.
However, this is made easy if you have an e-commerce website. From your website’s admin dashboard, you can easily get analytics of how well your products are doing, where they are being purchased from and many more. This also goes a long way in planning your advertisements.
Plan To Hire Additional Staff
It is important to anticipate your sales volume ahead of time. Big companies tend to hire a lot of temporary staff during the holiday season. Even courier companies like DHL are not left out. This is because of the share volume of stocks they have to move.
You can make plans to hire additional staff if need be. If this isn’t your first Black Friday campaign, then you will have an idea of what to expect.
According to a report on Reuter, Amazon is planning to hire more than 150,000 seasonal workers in the US for the holiday season.
In India, Alok Kumar, the senior director at Manpower suggested that over 300,000 job vacancies will be created during the 2021 festive season.
When you decide to hire more staff, you must decide on the number of additional staff you will need and how to quickly and efficiently train them.
You do not want to end up making all the profit and then struggle to deliver on your end.
Take Advantage Of Email Marketing
Are you familiar with email marketing? Do you have a mailing list? Do you keep in touch with your customers?
An email list is one of the most efficient ways of disseminating information to your clients and customers.
A lot of small business owners do not bother with growing an email list because they believe it doesn’t convert. Well, I have news for you. If it doesn’t convert, the big businesses won’t waste a penny on it.
The email sales conversion rate reached an all-time high in 2018 at 18.49%. Do not miss out.
If you have a mailing list, you can use it to remind them of the offers you have in place and the timeline.
If you also have a contact list, you can send out bulk SMS or send a BC on platforms like WhatsApp.
Keep It Simple
If there is one mistake I don’t want you to make, it is overthinking your strategy. It is very easy to have a book full of marketing plans but are they connected?
Your marketing plan must be able to flow through a funnel. Of course, I am talking about the four stages of a sales funnel:
One or two sales strategy is enough for your Black Friday campaign. This means you have less to focus on and you can avoid unnecessary mistakes.
The good thing about creating a plan around your Black Friday sales is that you can carry that plan over. The marketing strategies you come up with do not become useless after the holiday season is over. You can simply redefine it after.
Difference Between Small Business Saturday Compared with Black Friday/Cyber Monday
Black Friday is a consumer-targeted retail holiday where businesses reward customers with juicy deals.
Cyber Monday is Black Friday’s sister holiday. It is usually celebrated the Monday after Black Friday.
Small Business Saturday is a bit different. It is usually a day set aside every year to support small businesses. Small business Saturday help improve awareness and strengthen community relationships.
Not sure how to go about your Black Friday marketing plan? Contact us for your free Marketing Strategy Session.
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