Although it’s originally a (crazy) American tradition, Black Friday has made it over the pond and is fast becoming a huge shopping day here in the UK too - this year, it falls on Friday 29th November with Cyber Monday following on December 2nd.
Research suggests UK shoppers are estimated to spend a whopping £7 billion on Black Friday and Cyber Monday this year and naturally, business owners want a slice of that pie. So, we’ve put together nine nifty tips on how you can prepare for one of the biggest shopping days of the year.
First things first, make sure you’ve got enough supply to meet demand. If you’re going to knock 20% off candles, for example, make sure you don’t run out early in the day. It’ll leave you red-faced and consumers won’t be happy.
Of course, on a day like this, it’s not possible to predict how well sales will go and it’s almost expected that the first through the door will get the best deals. But, if you can keep sales going for as long as possible with ample stock, you’ll be boosting your profits for the day.
And if you overdo it? Stick the excess items online for Cyber Monday.
Tip: Contact your suppliers ahead of time and find out when their next delivery date is after Cyber Monday, that way you can let your online customers know when they can expect their goods.
Yes, you want a piece of the action and to boost your bottom line as much as possible by making the most of this extravaganza, but, and it’s a big one, don’t get so caught up in the mania that you end up leaving yourself short.
Will you need extra staff to cover the influx? If so, look at the cost of paying them versus the money you expect to bring in and work out if it’s worth it. The same principle can be applied to ordering stock (paying for delivery) and advertising your sales - crunch the numbers and be sure the benefits outweigh the outlay.
We’ve all seen the manic scenes where people start scrapping over a flat-screen TV but remember the reality is that it’s not a free-for-all. You want to join in the excitement of the day, yes, but you also want customers to come back and buy from you again.
If you put everything in your store on offer, what’s to stop people buying everything they like in one go at a discounted price? Select the items you’ll be reducing ahead of time and leave everything else at full price.
This way, Black Friday will bring the consumers in and they may buy your full-price items at the same time as the discounted ones or come back for them at a later date (when there’s less hustle and bustle).
“Do you know who’d like that? Me!” - We’ve all been there, innocently browsing for our nearest and dearest when we stumble across something we just can’t resist.
You can use Black Friday to elicit such purchases by considering how you display your products and putting 2-for-1 offers on, that way the customer might consider buying one for a present and one for themselves.
Have you got a mailing list and/or social media presence? If so, let your customers know about your exciting Black Friday and Cyber Monday offerings and drum up plenty of interest so all your efforts in the run-up are worthwhile.
This doesn’t just have to be an online effort either, you could also stick a flyer in your window or put some leaflets on your counter.
Sticking with the mailing list idea, why not offer your existing customers an extra 5% off on Black Friday? It’d be a great way to show them how much you value their custom and no doubt leave them feeling appreciated and more loyal than ever (not to mention boost sales even further).
Want to really stand out from the crowd? Make the day your own and do Black Friday your way. How about calling it Blue Friday, where you donate a percentage of your day’s profits to a prostate cancer charity?
Whatever the cause you decide to support your efforts won’t go unnoticed and your customers will be super impressed with your generosity, making them more likely to come back to you in the future.
Having all these extra customers through the door is the perfect time to boost engagement. So, grab the opportunity with both hands and get as many people signed up to your newsletter and following you on social media as possible.
Not sure how? Why not tie it in with your offers - 10% off item A if you subscribe to our mailing list today! Or hand out little treats (sweets or biscuits, for example) to anyone who likes and shares your page on their social feeds.
Last, but certainly not least, is the way you allow your Black Friday and Cyber Monday customers to pay. Once you’ve gone to all the effort of putting on an unmissable day, the last thing you want is paying customers walking away because they can’t pay the way they want to, and studies show almost 50% of consumers would.
Cash payments are on the way out with chip and pin, contactless and mobile payments taking over in popularity, so be sure your payment systems can accept these methods. And don’t forget about Cyber Monday - make sure your online systems, whether they’re payment gateways or pay by link options, are up to scratch too.
Want some extra support when it comes to taking payments? That’s where we come in. Whether it’s in-store transactions (EPOS systems or card machines) or online payments, we’ve got everything you need to never have to turn a customer away again. To get the ball rolling, get in touch today on 0808 274 2017.