Are you one of the 4.9 million SMEs unprepared for Black Friday?

posted by 4 years ago in Features

A massive £1 billion is expected to be spent online on Black Friday and police have issued a warning to retailers to have enough staff and security in stores to facilitate the bargain bonanza. Here are our tips for making sure that Black Friday is a success for your business…

  1. Don’t let the cat get your tongue

Make some noise, you should be advertising regularly. A great and cheap way to advertise is to do it on social media – of course if you have a budget to promote it, do it! This will increase your potential reach and your engagement rates. You should also email any existing customers who may have signed up to your weekly newsletters or look out for your promotional offers. It is important to spread the word!

  1. Revaluate last year – if you don’t have a last year run a test

Was last year successful? If this is your second, third or fourth time experiencing the famous sale then look back at previous stats and figures – if something went wrong, look at why that happened and change it. If this is your first time participating in the Black Friday sale then run tests, put out offers and discounts during the up and coming weeks, you will notice many businesses have already started to test the discounted water. A survey carried out by the Royal Mail, has shown that 31% of business owners thought their biggest issue was the distributing orders from their own warehouses – check that everything is there, and that your employees there are ready to deliver to stores or homes efficiently.

  1. Give your customers something positive to talk about

In this case, the bigger the better! You want your customers to be engaging with your sale, you want them to share it all over their social media networks. Not only will this encourage people to visit your store and your site on Black Friday it could also build/create your brand awareness. The sale needs to make a difference to the original price, knocking 10% of something isn’t going make headlines, you need something big, and offering a higher percentage on an overpriced item will get people talking! – Especially if you know it is an item most people want, but can’t necessarily afford.

  1. Don’t give your customers something negative to talk about

Like previously mentioned, don’t put everything down to that one day. It is so important to run tests. Realistically you have no idea who is going to be visiting your site or your store on the 27th of November, you can have an idea but you won’t know exactly. You must ensure that you have the right amount of stock displayed in your store, last year 44% of 250 business owners said that managing stock became a big issue for them. You have probably heard of hundreds of sites that crash because their server/hosting services are too small or slow. In 2014, according to research carried out by Royal Mail, 48% of 250 business owners said their greatest challenge was not being able to cope with the mass of website traffic they received.  You don’t want that and you especially don’t need that on the day. Offering discounts in advance is a great way to run a test which will show what will happen if a lot of customers visit your business online or instore.

  1. Make sure you have enough staff working!

A crucial mistake anyone could make, not having enough staff working – it could ruin your sales and potentially your day. Preparation is everything, whilst you’re worrying about the planning and the offers make sure you don’t forget about having enough people working the day, this could destroy any hard work you have done to create your Black Friday sale. Everyone is aware that the ques are going to be massive, but try and avoid it by having enough tills on and people behind them, and don’t forget the shop floor workers, customers want clarity before buying. It’s not just in a building that you will need enough staff, if your business is online, make sure there is always someone there available to answer the phone and someone to take care of any emails regarding the sales or an item.