By David Along
What is Black Friday?
A brief origin of the event can help to understand why sales promotions and deals are usually flying around the traditional media and digital media during this period of the year.
Black Friday is a day after United States Thanksgiving, the fourth Thursday in November, an event that showers the commencement of Christmas holidays and shopping season dated back to 1952. During this period, people turn out for Thanksgiving – families, friends, associates and community members have their time to come together and celebrate. Since there is traffic of cheerful people, retailers and salesmen used the period to sell their goods and services at a very discounted rate in the competitive marketplace. Stores opened at the early hours during Thanksgiving Thursday over to Friday to lure customers with attractive sales offers and discounts; thereby, increasing their sales and profits. This custom becomes competitive and more popular to be adopted into the business marketing strategy by much larger corporations.
The word ‘Black Friday’ was said to have been made by the Police in Philadelphia to describe the heavy traffic that was experienced during the Thanksgiving season in 1961. As time went by, the words were indoctrinated into retailers dictionaries to describe the heavy sales experienced after Thanksgiving Thursday, hence, the name Black Friday.
Why is Black Friday important for small businesses?
According to reports, the US made a whopping $5 billion in sales on 2017 Black Friday, a number that increased to $6.2 billion in 2018 and $7.4 billion in 2019. This year’s Black Friday is projected to beat the records due to the massive shift to online shopping, an effect of social distancing from the COVID-19 pandemic. As 2020 Black Friday is on the corner, this article will help businesses and retail stores to leverage on this year and make more revenue in sales.
Here are the key strategies to boost your sales during this Black Friday for your small business.
Shift to Online Transactions: Your customers are spending more time online having their various moments with their devices, data are dropping in exponential rate about your customers preferences, interest, shopping habits, location and many more. It is only wise to meet your customers at the point of their spontaneous moment online. Creating a special Black Friday product or service offers for your customers who are already online on your website or social media platforms will go a long way to drive sales at the same time, drive more traffic to your page which can be rechanneled to other benefits. With the help of a good SEO and Google My Business, you can also redirect the online visitors in close locations to your online stores or physical location when searching for related products or services.
Deal Of The Hour: Pick an hour during the Black Fridays for a deal with your customers or prospects. Give your customers a top irresistible mouth watering sales splash within a particular hour and see people jostling to benefit from the offer in your digital stores. Giving 70% off for 5 lucky customers to shop within the hour of 12 noon to 12:30 will not only bring more people to notice your offer but also help people to check out your other products or services they might be interested in. Jumia Nigeria has vividly shown this with their sales splash strategy during their Black Friday promo. At every hour, Jumia would give massive discounts on some products that customers can benefit from; thus, directing buyers to their shopping page where other products can also be introduced to the visitors for immediate transaction or retargeting. A great idea to get customers data for further analysis.
Create A Gift Guide: Have you ever seen a product that described who or what is meant for? The seller will unconsciously lead the pathway of the gift in your mind and trigger your emotion to take action for the product, it’s known as a gift guide. You can simply create a gift guide with one or two of your products that will activate the interest of your buyer to get the product or service for the course. Imagine a gift store creating guide with the tag ‘Hamper for Mum’, or tag as ‘Perfect gift for Her’, or even for the supporting boss in office with ‘Special Package for Boss’. However, having deep knowledge about your audience needs, their value and their preferences will help you to develop a better gift guide for the Black Friday sales. Audience segmentation will help you know who your audience are, where they can be found, what they like, how to sell to them among others.
Introduce New Product: There is no better time for your customers to know about your new product or service than the time they slide into your product page in larger quantity to benefit from your promo. There are chances that your new product will come to their understanding and may interest them to take action, which is the ultimate goal. Therefore, it is advisable to introduce a new product or service during the Black Friday in order to create more awareness and more importantly, get patronage from your customers and prospects. If it is possible and profitable for you as a small business, you can also give a discount or gift for getting the new product to optimize interest and sales.
Promote Your Deals: If you want to make more sales during the Black Friday window, you will need to promote your offers beyond your immediate organic reach. Major businesses and retail stores have been flying their irresistible deals all over the media – both traditional and digital; letting people know about their offers and deals for Black Friday. If that works for them, it can also work for your small business or organization as well. Create contents, blog posts, social media posts, copy or short video ads for posting on the digital media across platforms. Aside from posting it on social media, promote your content with paid ads on social media platforms. Paid social media allows you to specifically target specific audiences of your choice. Depending on the platform your audience can be found, you can target audiences by criteria such as location, age, gender, search history, interests and activities, device use, even things like employer or job title. Using this will help you direct your message to the right people who are likely to take actions. You don’t know how to strategize this, consult professionals or agencies to help your business out with a great idea that can bring more sales.
VIP Discount or Referral Coupon: The most effective means of marketing is through referral or word of mouth, especially when it comes from an opinion leader. Getting important personality to promote your products based on discount for their referee will not only bring more sales to your business but also help you to access greater networks. Generate a coupon code for close influencers or opinion leaders around you for your product and watch them doing the marketing for your brand to get more sales. Aside the fact that this will help your small hustle during the Black Friday sales, it will also boost the ego and prestige of your influencer within and outside his networks.
Last Minute Sales Extension: To be honest, you can’t just make all the sales on a single day, you won’t want to stop your buyers from buying at the end of Black Friday. The sales can still be extended to the preceding Saturday, Sunday and even the Monday known as Cyber Monday. So, you need to prepare to extend your sales at the last minute to enable more people to benefit from your discounted offers. However, there is need to carefully strategize this process to retain the trust of your customers along the line.
Having explained the key strategies for Black Friday offers, there’s need to look beyond just the Black Friday sales. Looking beyond just the Black Friday will help your business to rechannel efforts to the end of the year sales strategy which can also be of great value for your business growth. Don’t hesitate to drop your comment, suggestion and question on these tips for further engagement and enlightening.
David Alonge, Team Lead at Harlong Digitech is a passionate digital marketer