There’s no shopping day quite like Black Friday. Whether you participate online or battle your way through hoards of determined shoppers, Black Friday can be a stressful time for retailers looking to make money.
But just like how shoppers plan out their mall trips to maximize their time while getting everything they need, stores need to ensure they are equally prepared for a massive influx of shoppers. A little digital preparation can help you stay ahead of your shoppers while you compete with some of your larger competitors. As you build out your Black Friday planning list, make sure to include some gentle research on your customers and their spending patterns, as well as what other businesses like yourself are doing for their marketing efforts.
It’s estimated that one in three Americans plan to shop on Black Friday and that number is expected to rise as stores take advantage of online marketing and add more days for consumers to shop. Minimize your stress and any headache by preparing and putting your business in the best position to succeed.
1. Research and engage with your customers.
Like any other store sale, it’s important to research your customers and identify marketing tactics to research your target audience. If you have an email list full of loyal customers, give your customers a heads up and let them know of the sales that are coming up. Or you can build hype around Black Friday by offering special rewards and loyal customer discounts for certain items. You can also utilize free tools like social media to encourage shoppers to come to your stores or hosting giveaways prior to Black Friday.
“The success of a Black Friday promotion is no longer determined by in-store deals, nor is it determined solely by sales on Black Friday itself,” says Steve Cuffari, Senior Content Marketing Manager from CouponBox.com. “Most retailers now begin their promotions and sales well in advance of Black Friday and continue them long after. For example, big players like Best Buy and Bed, Bath and Beyond create promotions branded as Pre-Black Friday sales, Sneak Peeks and Black Friday Previews.”
2. Organize all of your sales.
While the goal of Black Friday may be to sell all of your products, you also want to make sure you keep track of all of your inventory. The holiday season is crazy hectic; it’s important to stay organized so you know exactly what you have in your stores at all times. When you organize your products in a spreadsheet format, you can identify which products you want to put on sale and also determine how much of a sale you can afford to discount your items.
With an organized spreadsheet, you avoid mispricing items on-the-fly as customers roll into your stores, and it also helps you create a contingency plan if you need to order additional products prior to the sale. The last thing you want is to face a horde of angry shoppers looking for a popular item that sold out in the first minutes of Black Friday.
Jeneba Jalloh Ghatt can be heard nightly at 8pm on DCRadio/WHUR 96.3HD4 on "Coming to America with Wayna and Friends. She is an editor at Techyaya.com, founder of the Digital Publiching Academy and JayJayGhatt.com where she teaches online creators how to navigate digital entrepreneurship and offers Do-It-For-You Blogging Service. She manages her lifestyle sites BellyitchBlog, Jenebaspeaks and JJBraids.com and is the founder of BlackWomenTech.com 200 Black Women in Tech On Twitter. Her biz podcast 10 Minute Podcast is available on iTunes and Player.fm. Follow her on Twitter at @Jenebaspeaks. Buy her templates over at her legal and business templates on Etsy shop!