Is it too early to start thinking about Black Friday? Not at all! The best way for a small business to make an impact on the busiest day of the year is to start pumping their audience up early.
Several steps go into preparing your business, online presence, and audience for Black Friday. We will go over them one by one – from choosing your offers to managing the hype of the day!
These tips work for all festive occasions. Whether we are talking about Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Halloween, Christmas, or Valentine’s Day, the basic principles are the same. You have an offer, people are looking for it, you want to put it in front of them. Without further ado, let’s go over how!
1. Choose Your Offers
The first step when getting ready for Black Friday is to decide what your offers are going to be. Discounts are the most popular option and what people look for. However, in case they do not work for you or you want to spice it up, here are three others.
Special packages are a type of discount but still deserve a separate mention. This is when you pair related products and sell them together at a discounted price. It means selling more and therefore is only useful for businesses who can deal with the demand.
Another option is to offer free items with each purchase. These could be related products, samples, or even merchandise. Once you know which free items you are going to offer decide in which cases you are going to offer them. It could be, for example, with the purchase of a specific product or when the total cart reaches a certain amount.
Finally, you could also go for exclusive items. While this takes a longer time to sort out, having an exclusive item available only on Black Friday may be the incentive your regular customers need to visit your website and check your other offers!
2. Tease Your Offers
What is a sale worth if your audience does not know about it? You have to put your offers in front of your potential customers so that they can avail of them! Let’s start by creating momentum with some healthy teasing. There are many ways for you to do this. Here are some essential ones.
Start by updating your home page with your Black Friday offers. You can change your top section to tease that you will be having special offers or to feature your most important ones!
Shout about your plans on social media. You have been building your community, now it is time to reap the rewards. Your followers follow you because they care about you and your products. Let them know how excited you are about what you have in store for Black Friday and they will be the first in the queue. To reach people outside of your community, consider running ads!
Don’t forget to send newsletters! You can send a couple of them leading up to Black Friday so that your loyal customers know to look for your deals when the day comes.
If you have a physical store put up eye-catching signs to advertise to customers and passers-by.
3. Prepare Your Business
This one apparently has nothing to do with marketing, but missing out on preparing your business for Black Friday could ruin months of branding efforts due to poor customer experience.
You will be selling more than usual. It is time to look into your processes and make sure you can handle the demand. Can you produce and ship enough? Make sure your customers do not wait too long to get their products by planning and preparing ahead for the flow of orders.
4. Update Your Website
This one is especially important for businesses who mainly sell online, whether through ecommerce or brochure websites. You may be able to get away with not updating your website if you have a physical store, but not otherwise.
So, what does updating your website entail? Start by creating pages for your products and setting up your offers. Do not go live yet though. This step should be done in advance because it takes a while to get the imagery and wording right. Setting up your discounts and offers will also be time-consuming for ecommerce websites and should be done in advance.
Next, it is time to look at the technical aspects of your website. Your website is hosted somewhere, meaning that a server is somewhere showing it to users. Too many users at the same time can be too much for your server, which is why you need to think about how many visits you expect on Black Friday and check that your server can handle them. If it cannot, it is time to upgrade. If all this is going over your head, just speak to the person who maintains your website and they will sort it out for you!
When Black Friday comes, go live! Time to see all your effort bear fruit.
5. Keep the Hype Going
Black Friday can go one of three ways. You will either not get enough, get just enough, or get too many orders. Getting just enough orders is not going to be a problem. It is the other two options you need to prepare for.
What if it is just too quiet on Black Friday?
Start by checking if you missed something. Is it clear what your offers are and how customers can avail of them? Do they buy online, head to your shop, or get in touch with you? Make sure they know.
You made sure you did everything right but not many orders come in anyway. It may be that you need to promote your offers with ads during Black Friday. Many people will not research in advance what to buy and decide to just browse for good deals on the day instead. Make sure that they find your offers when they search for them on Google and social media! You will need to prepare these in advance to be able to launch it on the day.
If you are running low on budget, share your offers with social media posts instead. For businesses with physical stores video is the way to go but the options and endless. Regardless of the type of post you go for, make sure you use popular hashtags and share it on relevant groups!
What if you are flooded with traffic and orders on Black Friday?
Most importantly, keep an eye on your website server to see if it is holding up despite the increase in visitors and deal with any issues that arise.
Next, stay on top of customer service (e.g. social media messages, emails, calls). Eliminate any problems that your potential customers face and make their Black Friday that bit less chaotic!
Finally, update your audience about what is happening. Did you run out of a product? Are you closing for the day? Let people know on social media and your website to reduce the amount of direct queries that come your way.
There you go. Five steps to conquer Black Friday (and all other shopping holidays)! Do not let the international dimension of the day stop you from trying. Big established players will have customers look them up as soon as the clock strikes. Small businesses have to earn their attention. No better time to start than this year!
One bonus tip before you go: talk about your Black Friday sale after it is done. Why? So that you start building expectations for the following year. Do this and you will be one step closer to becoming a business to look up every year when Black Friday hits.
And if you want help with your website, talk to us and we will make sure it is up and running all through Black Friday!