6 Ways to Increase Your Black Friday Sales
While Black Friday may have begun as a celebration of American post-Thanksgiving consumerism, Canadians are just as eager to gobble up the savings. Annual surveys repeatedly show more than half the population will take advantage of the event by spending billions of dollars in one spectacular, often frenzied, 24-hour shopping spree.
But with so many retailers and business owners now jumping onto the Black Friday bandwagon, consumers have more to choose from than ever before. And, it will take some advance planning to get shoppers through your doors. Here are six ways to increase your Black Friday sales:
- Special offers.
Shoppers expect deep discounts on Black Friday, often 50% or more. That doesn’t mean you need to slash prices on everything. Consider marking down high-margin products for the sale or offer your deepest discounts on unique but slower moving inventory. “Buy one, get one free” or “buy one, get 50% off an additional item” will also help sales while giving shoppers a real incentive to come in, look around and buy something at regular price.
With every purchase, you can provide a coupon or discount card to get customers back in the future. They’ll view this as added value and will appreciate your generosity!
Special offers can also apply to services. For example, if you’re a contractor, interior designer or handyman, entice clients to book a home renovation or any needed repairs by offering a free upgrade or discount to anyone who books a job and makes a deposit. If you’re a hair stylist, esthetician or massage therapist, you could offer a special Black Friday deal to entice clients to pre-book future appointments.
- Promote specials through social media and your storefront.
Canadians spend an average of 36.3 hours online each month according to a recent comScore Canada study. That’s more than both Americans and Britons! Spreading the word via digital hot spots where your customers are already hanging out – like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter – is good for business.
In addition to your own posts and sponsored posts, encourage loyal customers to spread the word. Don’t forget to use relevant hashtags so people searching for deals will find you first! And if you’ve got an opt-in email list, this is a great time to use it.
In store advertising is inexpensive and in your face. Tell existing customers that you’ll be offering deep discounts on Black Friday by placing signs in strategic locations in your business. Repeat the message in handouts at the checkout.
- Prep items for fast sale.
If you know that certain products are going to be in high demand as Christmas gifts, pre-wrap them. Increase sales by bundling complementary products together with a discount based on each additional product purchased. Have gift bags and tissue ready for items that can’t be pre-wrapped.
- Flash sales!
There’s a lot of competition for consumer dollars on Black Friday, so do whatever you can to get shoppers into your store first and/or often. Doorbusters are a popular way to attract early birds who are ready to shop.
You can also promote exclusive specials throughout the day, like different products or services at specific times. This works for typical retailers but can also be served up in coffee shops (half-priced lattes or snack) and restaurants (free appetizer or dessert with a minimum purchase).
Be sure to promote flash sales on social media!
- Accept payments on the spot with mobile point-of-sale terminals.
Being ready to accept a customer’s preferred method of payment is essential, especially with debit cards being the most commonly used payment option in Canada
A fast, intuitive system for payment processing is important to keep lineups moving , but it’s even more critical on Black Friday when shoppers want to quickly move on to another sale down the street. The ability to process transactions anywhere will help too – both in retail storefront locations and for business owners who take their services to the client.
- Collect email addresses.
Black Friday is not only a time to increase sales – it can benefit your business in the future too.
Consider providing an incentive for customers to join your email list. You could donate a dollar to the local food bank for everyone who opts in at the checkout. Or, ask customers to drop their business card or a hand-filled slip into a box for a draw and to join your email list. You can send those who don’t win incentives to come back, like future coupons and special offers.
A growing number of retailers and service providers are also asking customers if they want to receive their receipt via email – this is another way to get clients into your database. Just be sure your email marketing practices meet Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation.
Prep work to increase Black Friday sales can also be applied to other annual shopping extravaganzas, like Boxing Day, so the time you invest now will pay off again and again.