Black Friday is one of the biggest shopping days of the year. I’m not sure I even have to actually say that, it’s just one of those “intro”-y kind of things you say to start off a post. I remember my mom leaving the house early every Friday after Thanksgiving in hopes of getting our Christmas list at a huge bargain. Sales have crept into late afternoon for many big-box retailers, taking the holiday away from their team.
What I find interesting is the way that Black Friday works for independent retailers. Though it’s a huge shopping day, it doesn’t necessarily translate into increased revenue for your business. So what do we do with that? Here are some things to consider in how you market yourself this Black Friday.
It’s All About Price
If you want to be the reason people leave their house on Black Friday, it’s going to have to be because of price. This means offering a steep discount on some or all of your products. For many, this isn’t the ideal way to go but it can be an incredible way to bring new people into your store. Should you go this route, I would recommend tying discount items in with pushing the sales of full-priced items.
Do not do “50% everything”.
This is the time of the year you should be stocking up for a huge spike in sales. To give away your newest goods at a discount will only hurt your margins and your sales in later weeks.
If It’s Not About Price, It’s About Location
It’s possible you could still benefit from Black Friday without offering steep discounts: Benefit from proximity to another store with a huge discount. For most independent retailers, this means being in a large shopping center, a town’s main square, or a mall.
To do this, focus on creating an experience that is different from the other shopping experiences going on that day. Black Friday is normally incredibly stressful, so think through what you can do to be the opposite of that (think mimosas!). The ultimate goal here is pulling in shoppers intending to visit a different business into your store. This can be done through promotions, give-a-aways, and, obviously, free booze.
Black Friday for Independent Retailers: An Alternative
Black Friday isn’t a day that everyone likes to shop but it is a day that everyone knows they need to shop, at least at some point in the near future. This is where online sales can be huge. I’m not likely to leave my house (or grandma’s house) to visit a packed mall, but I will check my email for the deals I can shop online that day.
By focusing promotions on a day known for in-store sales, you get to separate yourself from the Cyber-Monday crowd yet reach your customers on a day that shopping has at least crossed their mind. Here are some simple ideas you can plan now:
Re-engage Recent Shoppers: Send an email to recent shoppers from your store about a Black-Friday sale on particular collections of items. Offer something unique like gift-wrapping or guaranteed returns after Christmas for their loved ones.
Re-engage last year’s gift shoppers: In your POS, pull reports on who shopped with you last November and December but did not revisit your store. These are perfect candidates for an email campaign encouraging them to buy gifts from your store again.
Bring them in-store, but when it’s less crazy: Offer in-store pickup to your Black Friday shoppers and encourage them to visit you that next week. Add the extra appeal with free gift wrapping. To add to this, send out a discount code for use in-store only when they pick up their items. This will increase revenue per-shopper and move inventory faster.
Ultimately, you know your business and your customer. The important thing is to not get swept up in the hype of a particular shopping day and pick the days that will most appeal to your shopper – and go hard after those.
Best of luck. We hope this is your best holiday season yet.
Streamline Retail helps independent retailers scale their business both in-store and online through utilizing the right tools, process, and providing the best customer experience possible.