Get ready to hold onto your shopping trolleys! Black Friday is fast approaching and is now reported as one of the most critical shopping days of the year. As a retailer, Friday 24th November 2017 is a big deal and if you want a share of the pie then make sure you’ve got your Black Friday Plan ready to go. The countdown is on…
Originally from over the water, with Black Friday being the day after Thanksgiving in America, it heralded the start of Christmas shopping there. It’s now a well-established date in the UK calendar, having grown in popularity here over the last few years. Eager Christmas shoppers and bargain hunters now excitedly wait for deals and discounts, wanting to grab a bargain.
On Black Friday 2016, Barclaycard, which processes nearly half of the credit and debit card transactions in the UK, said payment transactions were 6% higher than 2015’s Black Friday.
Most of the major high street and online retailers from Argos to John Lewis participate, but if you want to take advantage of Black Friday and capitalise on the purchasing frenzy, its essential to plan ahead. Here are some campaign planning pointers to help get your Black Friday sales off to a good start!
Take few minutes to review what went well and not so well last year. Decide which products sold best and whether you can build on this; electrical items and clothing are both popular Black Friday buys. Review any customer feedback and see if you can pre-empt any problems with fulfilling orders or ensuring deliveries are timely. On Black Friday there is usually one big retailer whose website will ‘crash’, so make sure your online offers are not impeded by your site’s performance.
How do you choose what offers and promotions to run? You could go with 10% across your whole website or look at offering discounts on specific products or ranges. If your website is flexible, a good opportunity is to change the offers throughout the day and have time-limited sales to entice and help customers to make the buying decision.
Even smaller gestures such as free delivery on orders placed on Black Friday or a free Black Friday gift can help increase online sales. Don’t forget good old fashion BOGOFs (Buy One Get One Free), theme these around Black Friday and they usually work well too. It’s essential to check that your website can cope with whatever offer you choose and is ready to go live on Black Friday.
The likes of Amazon and Argos seem to extend Black Friday longer each year, from a day to a week or more. Think about how long your Black Friday promotions will last and whether extending the sale over the weekend could help spread the load on getting customer orders packed and delivered. Let customers know your plans and make sure these are clearly displayed on your website and social media channels.
Even with a few weeks to go before Black Friday, you’ll see that the social media channels are warming up the hashtags! Get your social media campaign ready to go by ensuring your creatives are designed and your posts are scheduled to avoid any last minute panic. This will also leave you available to answer any questions or reply to any tweets that your customers may post about your offers or promotions – don’t forget social listening shows you care about what customers are saying and allows you to react appropriately.
Preparation is key, take a look at how Argos are trying to manage customer expectations and avoid the chaotic scenes we saw a few years ago.
It’s also essential to measure your Black Friday efforts, whether by leads, sales or increased website visitors, but get ready to learn from this year’s endeavours, as it looks like Black Friday is here to stay.
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