01 Nov Tired of Seeing Red? Your Black Friday Preparation Can Bring Big Business
The holidays come every year, and somehow always sooner than we think. But if Halloween candy is on sale, then you know the big day is almost here – Black Friday, of course. If you have a retail business, then you know the Friday after Thanksgiving is famously the point at which highly seasonal consumer goods businesses go into the black on their books. But Black Friday preparation (and for its hipper, younger cousin, Cyber Monday) is key to bringing all the spirit (ok, sales) of the season that you want.
Ring in holiday cheer with thorough Black Friday preparation:
Holiday help. We’ve written before that even Santa needs his elves to manage the bump in business this time of year. Make sure that you’ve hired holiday workers well in advance so you’re not scrambling for extra hands.
Promotion perfection. Decide early what you’ll do to entice customers. Special sales that expire by noon? Longer hours? Even if you can’t afford to do a big marketing push, you can leverage your social media accounts, even just to say free cider and holiday cookies are on offer.
Mobile mastery. Even though Cyber Monday is famously the online showstopper, the truth is, shoppers will be looking at your site on Black Friday – in fact, there’s an average of over 200% more web traffic on that day versus others. Make sure that you are tech-proof of any problems.
Does your website resize for viewing on mobile devices? Do you offer wishlist capability for those with accounts, so they can save potential purchases? Have you arranged some links by recipient (“Gifts for Her” and “Gifts for Him” are super easy ways to pull customers to certain products)? Do you offer gift cards (online is best; paper gift certificates are so 2005)?
Stress-free shopping. Remember that most consumers are investing in this day, all day, and your Black Friday preparation – or lack thereof – will be tested. Some will line up outside the big box stores in the wee hour of the morning to snag big-screen TVs. Others will still be recovering from the overeating frenzy and family overexposure of the day before.
There is zero tolerance for additional stress in people’s shopping experience. Be sure to have extra registers if necessary, or invest in mobile cash register tools like those offered by Square. Offer a variety of shipping options online, especially one- and two-day options, but also offer discounts for the early birds. Whatever it takes, make it an enjoyable experience.
Black Friday preparation takes time and planning.
Don’t wait until the week before to get ready for the big day, because this is just the beginning of the season. Have a plan right through December 25, and the inevitable Big Return and Exchange that starts the day after. It’s a marathon, not a sprint, but the end could be very jolly indeed.