For most retailers, Black Friday and Cyber Monday starts long before the end of November. In fact, the journey begins many months in advance. Laying the framework for any successful sales period requires a large amount of planning and investment – and in Black Friday’s case, preparation needs to be supercharged.
With a substantial amount of sales being made online, many retailers need to consider the stability of their websites in order to cope with the sharp spikes expected in web traffic at peak times.
With Black Friday and Cyber Monday being such a competitive worldwide retail events, and an increasing number of stores taking part every year, it’s important for smaller retailers to realise that the event doesn’t exist in a vacuum. The best way to maximise efforts is to look beyond just the autumn period and consider the whole of the retail year to lay the foundations for the strategy ahead.
Leveraging the event to convert would-be buyers
Taking regular stock of metrics such as basket abandonment rates throughout the year can help smaller retailers leverage the flash sales event to convert would-be buyers. The awareness and emotional pull of Black Friday and Cyber Monday for consumers who want the best deals can be a great way of prompting hesitant customers to complete dormant purchases. These customers may be persuaded to follow-through with an order if sent a bespoke offer code on the product they were already very close to buying. Email is consistently the most trusted channel for customers when it comes to receiving relevant and timely materials such as discount codes.
Attracting new customers and retaining them
One-time promotions and discounting can also be great a way to ignite attention and cut through the noise. But the problem for smaller retailers is always the risk that these messages will be drowned out by larger retailers with more resource to shout the loudest.
Attracting new customers involves presenting them with a unique offering alongside great value and a great service; something that’s very much attainable during the Black Friday sales event. Once the attention of new customers has been caught, offering tailored post-purchase support can go one step further in showing customers that their custom is appreciated, and their needs understood. This can pave the way for earning and securing the loyalty of repeat custom throughout the year. With the right kind of retail enhancement and personalisation technologies – from overlays to offer codes – Black Friday can be a golden opportunity for brands to boost exiting customer retention while building up their database of engaged customers.
It’s not ‘discount or die’
Finally, it’s important that smaller retailers don’t think these events are all about slashing prices and discounting down. During this period, its likely customers will be in the mood to shop more generally. While many will be bargain hunting in relation to some items, a lot of people will buy products regardless – meaning sales over this period may well be up anyway.
As such, choosing the right products to discount is key in order to protect the profitability of the business. Items to discount could include those that are soon to go out of season and those products that need to be moved in large volumes. Brand new products are also ideal for discounts; it’s a tactic that can maximise sales, increase relevancy and boost visibility.