When it comes to hot shopping days, it doesn’t get much hotter than Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Black Friday sales kick things off, and for business owners, it can seem like a 96-hour rollercoaster ride from Friday through Monday.
While you don’t need to extend your sale more than just those two specific days, many businesses have a four-day bash to slash prices left and right.
1. Never Stop Learning
If this is your first year in business, congrats, but you’re in for a chaotic couple of days! Between talking to customers, managing sales and getting shipments out the door from web site orders, you’re going to be SLAMMED. While it’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle, try to take notes throughout the day so you have something to evaluate when it’s all said and done.
For those of you who have been in business longer than a year, hopefully you took notes and can review your previous Black Friday sales so you can be ready. Make any necessary changes if you want to have another amazing sales event. Never stop learning from your previous years. There’s always going to be something you can improve upon.
2. Utilize Social Media
Whether you have a physical retail location or you’re an e-Commerce brand, social media is a fantastic outlet to promote your Black Friday sales. You can promote or even tease sales ahead of time to get people excited (more on this later).
Also, don’t be afraid to give a little something back to those who follow and engage with you on social media. Maybe give them an extra 10% off if they mention your social media or type in a special coupon code at checkout. Be creative.
3. Make Sure Your Web Site Can Handle The Traffic
Not only will your web site blow up over Black Friday, but also the days leading up to it. People will bounce from web site to web site seeing who has deals. This added traffic, depending on how large, can cause your site to crash.
Make sure your site is upgraded if need be and can handle the increase in traffic. Your Black Friday sales can’t grow your business if people aren’t able to make a purchase. Plan ahead.
4. Don’t Forget About Mobile Users
More than ever, people are picking up their phones and doing all of their online shopping directly from their device. The holiday season keeps people busy, and they often don't want to wait in long lines at the store. Shopping on their phone provides a fast way to purchase on the go.
Is your web site optimized for mobile? If not, start working on it now (ahead of time) and get everything ready. Ensure products and pages load quickly, checkout works properly and the overall visual look is easy to read and scroll.
5. Be Ahead Of The Curve With Promotions
As you have probably experienced personally, trying to plan where you want to shop for Black Friday sales can be overwhelming. Businesses tend to wait until the 11th hour to disclose what sales and promotions they are having.
Why not be ahead of the curve? Utilize social media or your email list to blast out the promotions you will have for your business. This gives shoppers the ability to make sure your business is one of their stops, in person or online. Don’t get lost in the chaos.
6. Know Your Margins
Businesses across the nation are all fighting for attention. They want everyone to rush to their store for Black Friday sales and clear out their inventory. They heavily discount anything and everything just to get people through the door or over to their web site.
What many forget is the cost of actually doing business. It’s great if you sell hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of inventory, but if your margins are so small that you only make a few hundred bucks for your effort, was it really worth it?
Know your margins. Know how much money you will make per sale. Maybe you’ll need to look at blended margins where you have a loss-leader product to bring people in the door, but you upsell them a higher-ticket item.
Properly price your products and don’t discount the products so deeply that people start to question if you’re ripping them off with your everyday pricing.
Small business Black Friday sales, when done right, can lead to increased profits and repeat customers. Following these tips to prepare can help your business navigate the Black Friday madness with ease.
Dustin Ray leads business development and growth initiatives at Incfile, a national incorporation service company specializing in business formation and small business services. Founded in 2004, Incfile has assisted in the formation of more than 150,000 corporations and LLCs.