Black Friday – Is Your Store Ready?
With sales growing significantly year over year, Black Friday has become the make or break event that retailers are counting on this key date to make or break their annual budgets. While the launch of the holiday season is always exciting, preparing your retail business for multichannel success can also be a source of stress for retailers.
No need to panic—We’ve got a little advice on how to take advantage of the high traffic with promotion, remarketing, and loyalty-building incentives that can give your customers a reason to come back.
Grab your customer’s attention
Your store has to stand above the fray in order for customers to show up. Generate interest for your customer by designing a very straightforward doorbuster deal campaign to lure them in.
Get a head start and prepare the email content, social media posts, copy, and images that you plan to use for the campaign. Having these assets created ahead of time will help you execute a successful marketing campaign that your customers remember and anticipate.
Get your customers energized with one absolutely irresistible promotion on a flagship item. Once inside the store, there is a high likelihood that many customers who come in for the doorbuster deal will pick up a couple of other items before they checkout.
Send emails to your subscribing customers and focus the copy on the item that you consider to be the most enticing. For a major event such as Black Friday, consider using your flagship product as a loss leader. You can make up the difference with customers adding other promoted products to their carts while they shop.
Design specific email and content to create a remarketing campaign targeting your existing customers. Use data about their purchase history to push more personalized notifications or even include some loyalty bonus for frequent customers. Shoppers who have already purchased from you once are more engaged and more willing to buy from you again.
Spruce up the store
Keep in mind that on Black Friday you are going to see a lot of customers who are not your regulars. A great first impression can usually influence whether they will buy from you again.
Right from the storefront, unfurl those promotional banners, display your wares in the windows, and have a greeter outside handing out flyers. Make sure nothing impedes your customer’s path into the store and that parking area is fully accessible.
Inside the store, clear out your floor space so customers circulate freely throughout. Remove any obstacle that may prevent customers from walking around high-profit display areas or getting to the featured promotions.
Ensure that your sales associates respect the company dress code to make them easy to recognize by customers as soon as they enter the store. Better yet, implement special attire for that day by having your staff wear a Black Friday cap or t-shirt.
Investing a little time to train your employees in preparation for the sale can have a huge impact on how successfully they interact with customers. Before the doors open, brief your staff on how to welcome customers into the store. Make sure that your employees are knowledgeable about the products that are on offer, not only your flagship items, but also the slow movers that you want to turn over during this event. Your staff should be able to provide information and answers about these products, quickly and courteously.
Have the products ready to go in your inventory. Use your retail management software tools to forecast and plan your inventory in preparation for the spike in demand. Inventory is a success critical element in your Black Friday sale.
Finish on a positive note by getting on your customers swiftly through the checkout process. Test your POS system to determine how well it can handle the increase in transactions. Fast transaction processing, whether for debit, credit, cash or money/gift cards, will extend the positive customer experience right through to the last step of the purchase.
Capture the multichannel shopper
With online revenue steadily on the rise, there is no doubt that the customers in your store have been browsing for bargains on their mobile or laptop devices.
Create lots of anticipation and buzz by putting a countdown banner on your homepage before the Black Friday kickoff. Link the CTAs in your email promotional communications and social media marketing straight to the items you want customers to see.
Build in scarcity whenever possible by letting customers see how many items are left and how many people are viewing the same product. Convey a sense of urgency by telling customers that time is running out on your deals and when the promotion will expire. There’s nothing wrong with creating a little FOMO!
If you offer next-day delivery or BOPIS use these marketing opportunities to promote the services extensively.
To reduce the risk of a crash, run a few tests to determine if your website can manage the surge in traffic. If you notice that there’s a potential for your website to get bogged down by an uptick in simultaneous demand, take a close look at your server load capacity and reconsider if it is still meeting your needs in terms of the number of website visitors that you can handle at once.
Our tips have covered the basics of what you can do to prepare for a successful Black Friday. And there is a retail management solution that can help you put these tips into practice and put your business in a winning position for the year’s biggest sales event.
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