Black Friday, although an American shopping tradition, gets bigger every year in the UK. In just a few years, it has disrupted sales trends and patterns, changed consumer shopping habits, and forced businesses to rethink their year-end sales strategies and processes.
This year will be the biggest Black Friday yet. And since it falls after pay day, on 29th November, consumers will have more discretionary income to spend – and they’ve been saving for this day for months. Consumers can expect a mix of deals online and in-store.
Spending spree stats
In November 2018, retailers reported strong growth due to Black Friday promotions which continues the shifting pattern in consumer spending to sales occurring earlier in the year. Surprisingly, online sales as a proportion of all retailing exceeded 20% for the first time, a trend which is likely to repeat itself again this year.
The reality is, few small businesses can match the inventory levels, buying power, or budgets of bigger businesses. Rather than trying to keep up, they should view Black Friday as an opportunity to attract new customers, delight existing ones, and focus on creating exceptional experiences.
Younger shoppers still value the in-store experience from brands they love – and they expect a slick, frictionless experience. You must be prepared to address the different shopping preferences of each generation and manage inventory at every point of sale this Black Friday season. This means allowing shoppers to make purchases and pick-ups in-store and online interchangeably, and building the visibility into your stock levels to track returns and exchanges wherever they happen.
To prepare your small business for the big day, answer these questions:
More consumers opt to shop from their couches to avoid in-store chaos. But nothing ruins the experience faster than slow websites, limited stock, and confusing payment processes.
As a small business, you might not have the budget or flexibility to scale your technology on demand, but there are other ways to reduce pressure on your systems.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday is as much about the experience as it is about the amazing deals.
Create a vibe that draws people to your small business:
This way, you’re not discounting your products or services, but you are giving customers more value for their money. And when customers feel valued, they tell other people: 96% of customers say customer service determines their brand loyalty, and loyal customers are five times more likely to purchase again and four times more likely to refer a friend.
Consumers know what they’re looking for on Black Friday. When they find it, they’ll want to bag it and move on to the next item on their list. Your technology, processes, and people should work together seamlessly to enable this.
Here are some ways to do that;
Black Friday is an opportunity for small businesses to win customers for life. Implementing alternate strategies can help your business benefit from Black Friday and uncover opportunities to provide a seamless customer experience, from browsing, through ordering, tracking, purchasing, and after-sales service.