Black Friday is fast approaching and now is the time for business owners to start preparing for the annual shopping frenzy. The better equipped you are, the less stressful the day will be, and the higher the chances of your business seeing an increase in revenue.
The key to success is ensuring your business stands out amidst all the chaos and can handle the surge in traffic and demands. In this article, we will explore some essential steps to help you get your business ready for Black Friday.
Marketing and Promotion
Ensuring your business gets the traffic it deserves for Black Friday is the first step to maximising your outcomes. With so much fierce competition between businesses on the day, developing a strong marketing strategy ahead of time to generate hype is essential. Here are five good places to start:
1. Local SEO Optimisation
Local SEO optimisation will help you improve your online visibility in local search results, making it easier for potential customers in your area to find your business, especially in the lead-up to events like Black Friday.
Some of the easiest ways to improve your local SEO are to:
- Ensure your Google My Business page is up-to-date and accurate
- Make sure your website content includes localised keywords (like Web Design Canberra)
- Create content that speaks specifically to your local audience
2. Early Bird Discounts
By offering early bird discounts to incentivise early shoppers, you can help spread out the amount of traffic in-store or online on Black Friday itself and increase your sales over a longer period of time. An example of this might be offering free postage or a bundle deal for your customers the day before Black Friday.
3. Pre-Black Friday Teasers
If you wait to implement your Black Friday marketing strategy just before the big event, you risk losing out on traffic (especially in competitive niches).
Some channels you can utilise to build interest early are:
- Social media
- Email marketing
- Paid advertising (like Google Ads)
Some ideas on what you can post as teasers on these channels:
- Sneak peeks of upcoming offers
- Hints (like a blurred photo) of what’s to come
4. Customer Loyalty Program
Customer loyalty rewards are a highly effective way to increase customer retention and repeat business year-round, and targeting these rewards during Black Friday is a great way to ensure your most loyal customers feel appreciated and allows you to potentially tap into word of mouth from these loyal customers.
You can do this through segmented emails to your customers who make purchases the most frequently or use an existing membership basis. Some ways you can reward customer loyalty are:
- Early access to the sales
- Free shipping
- Increased discounts.
If you want to up your marketing game even further ahead of the big day, check out our list of 25 Black Friday Marketing Ideas.
Prep For Increased Traffic
If you run adequate promotion in the lead-up to the event, an uptick in foot traffic, website traffic and sales is almost guaranteed. Ensuring you have the infrastructure in place to handle the extra load is vital to providing a good customer experience and increasing your revenue on the day as much as possible.
Here are some of the most important things to consider when preparing for the big day:
1. Inventory Management
Effective inventory management is vital before any big sale. It ensures that you:
- Have sufficient stock to meet the increased demand
- Preventing disappointment for customers eager to snag the best deals
- Ensuring you can make as many sales as possible.
In preparation for Black Friday, it’s important to keep a close eye on your stock levels and monitor the popularity of your products. This will help you identify which items will likely sell out quickly and need additional stock ordered in advance. You should also consider ordering extra stock for any items that you plan to offer at a particularly good value for money.
2. Make Sure Your Website Can Handle the Load
Black Friday sales might result in a surge in traffic to your website, likes of which you’ve never seen before. Remember to ensure your website can handle the extra load before Black Friday – slow, unresponsive websites are a surefire way to deter customers and lead to missed opportunities! Even worse, your website could crash entirely due to server overload, and all your marketing efforts would have gone to waste.
By conducting load and performance testing of your website before the spike in traffic, you can take preventive measures ahead of time. If you find your website doesn’t perform well during testing, consider switching web hosts or upgrading your current plan!
If you find your website often goes down, check out our article on the most common reasons why.
3. Ensure A Smooth Checkout Process
A smooth and hassle-free checkout process is the cornerstone of a successful Black Friday. Consider streamlining the process as much as possible before the day. Some ways to do this are:
- Setting up a one-page checkout process
- Optimising the checkout page for mobile as much as possible
- Setting up Apple Pay and other quick payment methods
This will reduce any friction during the checkout process and increase your chance of conversions.
Black Friday aside, these changes are a good idea in general. Making the shopping process as effortless as possible will leave a positive impression on customers and increase their chances of coming back.
4. Roster Extra Staff
Accurately predicting staffing needs is a foolproof way to ensure your customer service is up to scratch, even with the increase in business. Rostering extra staff can help handle the surge in:
- Customer Inquiries
- Order processing
- Customers needing in-store assistance
Making sure your team can handle the load means you can maintain efficiency. Creating a smooth shopping experience means happy customers!
It might also be worthwhile considering extra training before Black Friday – well-trained staff will play a crucial role in ensuring everything goes smoothly. Make sure they know how to answer any questions customers might have and know what to do in case any problems arise.
5. Set up Increased Customer Support
Another way to handle the increase in customer inquiries and requests is to up your customer support. Consider providing live-chat support to address customers’ concerns in real time. This will:
- Improve the overall customer experience
- Increase their chances of making a purchase
- Decrease the chances of post-Black Friday returns
If this isn’t on the cards for your business at the moment, a more straightforward solution is creating an FAQ on your website. Consider answering common questions surrounding:
- Expected shipping times for different areas
- What your return policy is
- Product specifications and features
These FAQs might save you future hassle and take the pressure off your customer support team.
6. Conduct Post Black Friday Analysis
Once all is said and done and the Black Friday rush subsides, take the opportunity to analyse what worked well for your business in terms of marketing and customer experience and what you could have done differently. This reflection will help you be better prepared for next year’s Black Friday and help your business evolve overall.
You can conduct post-Black Friday analysis by looking at your sales and marketing metrics, like:
- Click-through rates
- revenue by product
- Bounce rate on your website
- Ratio of new to existing customers
It’s also worthwhile checking in with your team – by having a staff meeting to talk about their experience over the Black Friday sales, you can uncover any friction points and problems that arose.
Good luck and happy sales! If you’re looking to improve your marketing strategy year-round, read our guide on the types of digital marketing Canberra businesses should be using.