It’s not too late to capitalize on both the chaos & the opportunity that Black Friday Weekend presents. There’s no denying that it’s the king of all shopping weekends, with no slowing down in sight. Last year, U.S. shoppers spent over $3.34 billion online on Black Friday alone, a 21.6 percent year-over-year increase. On top of that, Cyber Monday is now even bigger than Friday. Last year it was the largest online sales day in history, according to Adobe data: with $3.39 billion in online sales.
However, the tactics small businesses use to stand out need to be more creative than what those big box stores and well-established brands are doing. WIth smaller budgets, lower reach and less brand awareness, it’s important to focus on how to break through all of that Black Friday clutter. Below are 6 ways your small business can drive sales, increase reach and give shoppers a great experience this Black Friday Weekend, without breaking your bank.
It may sound counter intuitive – if this is the weekend that everyone is shopping and actively looking for things to buy, shouldn’t I try to put some money behind my offers? Your target audience, whether it’s women between the ages of 18-24 who love beauty products and live in big cities, or middle-aged, high-income moms, you can bet they are being targeted by just about everyone else who is selling something. This causes your cost-per-action to increase dramatically from what it may normally be with an effective social ad campaign. Most marketers plan to increase their ad spend by about 50% during the Black Friday Weekend. If that’s not doable with your small business budget, instead try running an ad on the less competitive days – the day before Thanksgiving, or the day after Cyber Monday. Make sure you’re using your best creative assets, and include a strong call-to-action (CTA).
Play the Discount Game
Many brands are adamant about not getting stuck in the promotional trap – and for good reason. Once a brand relies too heavily on promotions, they are essentially training their customers to only buy when there is an offer. However, during the Black Friday Weekend I’m afraid there is no escaping the promotions. But what offer should you give to your customers? According to a new report from Retail Me Not, expedited free shipping and discounted gift cards are good, an amount or percent off of a single item or cash back offers are better, but a dollar amount of percent off storewide is best.
Reveal New Products
Apart from steep discounts, there’s nothing that gets customers excited like brand new products from their favorite brands or stores. Have something that you’re wanting to add to your E-commerce site or display in your store? Save it for Black Friday Weekend! Be sure to utilize a multi-channel approach to lettings your customers know there’s something new. Tease the new products on Instagram, host a live stream showing the product details on Facebook, send an email campaign creating excitement, and put it front and center on your website.
While much of the focus during the busy shopping weekend takes place Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday, another “holiday” is starting to get more and more buzz: #GivingTuesday. In its sixth year, the holiday is a reminder for both individuals and businesses that giving is better than receiving. Thousands of creative campaigns are launched each year, all with the goal of supporting a local, national or international charity. One campaign idea we love is to donate a percent of your purchases to a charity that aligns with your business’s values – encouraging customers to shop while letting them know they’re supporting a worthy cause at the same time. Another idea to boost engagement is to have your followers vote on a charity that you’ll donate to as a business. For more great campaign ideas, visit the #GivingTuesday website!
Grow Your Email List
While standing out as a small business and competing for sales with bigger brands can be tough during the ultimate shopping weekend, there are other goals you can set for yourself that capitalize on the gifting frenzy. After the big weekend passes and we inch closer to the official holidays, offer to help out those who are still not done with their shopping. Put together a big gift basket filled with great products, then run an email capture giveaway. Simply create a landing page on your website that captures first name, last name & email and promote the giveaway on your social channels, email and on your website homepage. Work back from your last date to ship before Christmas, pull a random name from your new email subscribers and send the lucky winner the gift basket in time for them to have all of their last minute gifts covered!
Embrace Being Small
Created by the Small Business Association, #SmallBusinessSaturday takes place the Saturday after Thanksgiving each year and is a day to celebrate and support small businesses and all they do for their communities. You likely have people who are actually LOOKING to #shopsmall that day, so make sure you reward them for it! Come up with a fun offer for the day – perhaps a discount time clock (50% off from 8-9am, 40% 9-10am, 30% 10-11am & 25% off the rest of the day) and be sure to capitalize on hashtags associated with the day for increased visibility if you’re an online retailer (#smallbusinesssaturday, #shopsmall, #smallbizsaturday, #supportsmallbusiness, #smallbiz). If you’re a brick-and-mortar store, be sure to let all of your followers and email subscribers know in advance what they can expect if they pay you a visit on Saturday!
Regardless of the tactics you use to boost your holiday sales, don’t forget a crucial final step: track and evaluate your results. Be sure you have key performance indicators (KPIs) you’ll be looking at to tell if your campaign was successful (increased website visits, increased social followers or email sign-ups, increased sales, increased impressions or reach, etc.). Know your benchmarks by checking your KPIs before the campaign is live. Most importantly, remember to put your customer first and try to make them smile!
Plan ahead! If you want to make the most of other upcoming holidays for your business, reach out to Team 624 Communications to help!