Preparing your retail business for Black Friday

Black Friday is an entirely different event this year with shoppers currently on lockdown and already moving to more online shopping than ever before, it really is an event that shouldn’t be ignored by savvy retailers.

So what can retail businesses do to prepare for the challenges of Black Friday and Cyber Monday this year?  Here are some top tips :-

Make your customers feel special

Think about Black Friday promotions that are only offered to your loyal customers. Loyal customers feel like they have an emotional connection with your brand and as data shows these customers will spend more time and more money with the businesses they are loyal to and love. 

And they will also share their buying experiences with their friends so that word of mouth can be invaluable to your retail business.

Improve your product pages

Make sure your products pages are upto scratch – are the images of top quality and enticing?  Add promotional overlays on the images such as Black Friday deal or Mega offer to catch the shoppers eye. 

Are the product descriptions descriptive enough?  These will not only help the buyer decide whether they want the product or not, but also helps with important SEO.

Remember your important upsells here, it’s a chance to promote and sell related products and improve on basket order values. It might not necessarily be a related product, how about offering a Gift Wrapping service which can be extremely beneficial at this time of year.

Make sure your delivery and returns information is clear and concise; returns are not ideal but if you make it difficult then the customer is unlikely to buy from you again.

Offer product bundles

Slashing prices is not the only answer to offering discounts as these have the potential to hurt your bottom line. It's a fine balance to offer money off to the customer so they can save money, and you still make money.  Instead think about offering bundles as this is a win-win situation – the customer saves money and gets that crucial deal, and you get a larger basket order value that doesn't eat into your profits.

Discount old inventory

But if you really want to offer those fantastic discount deals on Black Friday then consider offering discounts on your older stock. This is a great way to get rid of the old and make room for the new. Also consider offering this old stock as impulse buys, items that might not otherwise have been bought.

Offer click and collect

Click and Collect  service means you’re giving the customer the choice of how exactly they want to shop and receive their purchases – some prefer home delivery but others like to save on shipping costs and pick up at a time that suits them.  It also means you can save on packaging and shipping costs too!

Sell Gift Vouchers

What about the customers that just can’t decide what to buy for their loved ones?  That’s when Gift Vouchers come in handy but make sure these can be redeemed both online as well as in-store, as lockdown will not last forever and many people will be looking forward to visiting their favourite stores again and coming back in-store to browse and buy with their new Gift Vouchers.

Live chat can help make that online sale

People often purchase on impulse, with decisions being made in the first few seconds of viewing a product. If customers can receive immediate feedback on their questions then that's a potential dealmaker.

Live Chat facility can help make that important sale by allowing a shopper to ask a question about delivery or a product they are interested in and the live chat facility can be used to answer in real-time with an immediate response. 

It can also give you the opportunity to highlight other products that the shopper might not have thought of and advise them about any promotions if they purchase additional products etc, so it really is your online sales assistant helping you to close vital sales.

Getting the word out

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are well known for their discounts, but you still need to promote your specific deals to your existing customers and to new, in order to attract their attention and encourage them to come and buy.

Sending emails to your loyal customers about your special Black Friday promotions just for them works a treat and social media is great for not just your existing followers but also to get your message out to new. 

Also Facebook and Instagram now allow you to market your products via their platforms so this really works in getting your message out to a bigger audience.

Handling the logistics

Remember that all your sales need to be processed and fulfilled as efficiently as possible before you can make a profit. Invest in enough stock to fulfil the kind of demand you can reasonably expect to experience, and be sure you have the materials required to ship packages rapidly.  Customers will expect their goods to be paid for, shipped, and delivered in a timely manner.

Also ensure your website is speedy and can handle the potential increase of traffic for this Black Friday weekend . Any investment you make in stock and your ability to handle volume sales through your eCommerce platform is going to stand you in good stead.

Think beyond Black Friday

By offering a first-class customer service and making the online experience great, you can expect to reap the rewards not just through Black Friday weekend but in the days and weeks ahead.

Encouraging those first-time shoppers to join your loyalty programme will turn them into loyal customers that keep coming back and by continuing with regular email marketing and social media posts you can show your customers you are providing products and services that your customers want both in-store and online.

All-in-one retail platform

ShopTill-e is an all-in-one retail platform that gives retailers everything needed to run, manage and sell their products everywhere, using just one system.

It takes away the headache of running multiple systems, with the seamlessly combined ePOS system and ecommerce platform everything is in one place and everything is included, you get access to all the great features from day one.

Sell on marketplaces  (Amazon, eBay, Wayfair, Etsy etc), sell at events, sell on Facebook, Instagram and Google shopping.

Multi-channel selling with ease.

Try ShopTill-e  free for 14 days or book your personalised demo to see how it can help your retail business.

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