Are you ready for the Biggest GLOBAL Sale: Black Friday and Cyber Monday?
Are you a start-up or small business owner? If yes, this article is just for you! In this blog, you’ll be able to find out what Black Friday and Cyber Monday are, how they both began when they are taking place this year, and tips on how you can be prepared to boost your sales on what is said to be the biggest year-end shopping day!
How it all started?
Retailers in the UK caught on to the Black Friday and Cyber Monday trend from the United States a few years back. The sale period takes place the Friday and Monday following Thanksgiving Day in the US and since a lot of people have free time during this period, retailers took the opportunity to offer huge discounts to kick off sales and to start the Christmas buying season, making it known as one of the biggest shopping sales days in the world.
When is it happening?
Black Friday falls on Friday 26 November 2021 this year. However, many retailers start their sales from the start of the month, leading some to call it 'Black November' instead.
Cyber Monday happens the Monday after Black Friday and falls on November 29. In an attempt to ease the effect of the pandemic from last year, this year consumers will expect more exciting offers during the upcoming Cyber Monday deals than ever so be sure to keep that in mind as you prepare for the period. A lot of the deals are offered online only and are available before and after Cyber Monday itself.
This is a great time to promote your business and try to encourage customers to buy buy buy, helping you to recover from any loss of sales that may have been brought about by the effects of the pandemic. The key thing is to begin planning now. Here are some tips to help you make the most of this sales season.
1. If you fail to plan, you plan to fail - get a strategy in place!
As business owners, it’s never too early to get ready, like we say, stay ready so you don’t have to get ready! By planning well in advance, you give yourself time to explore and rework ideas, deal with adjustments and handle any unforeseen issues before it’s too late. One thing to consider is knowing where to start: what are you going to put on sale? How will you promote it? Do you have sufficient stock to meet demand? How long will you offer your deals? What sales and marketing channels will you use? Answering these questions and informing your team of the plan will be really helpful. Why not create a checklist of all the things you need to do with timeframes for completion.
2. Be visible: use your marketing platforms to create excitement
customers know that you are planning to take part in Black Friday and/or Cyber Monday sales. This means they can begin to budget and can get prepare themselves to spend with you. Start preparing eye-catching teasers to post on your different social media channels and make your content as shareable as possible. Once the sale has started, you want to continue the momentum and get your customers to join you in amplifying your brand.
Plan the posts you will use that can encourage your customers to share their purchases with their followers by creating engaging posts.
Remember to highlight your post that little bit more with the use of the right hashtags or by incentivizing your customers to post their store-bought items on social media too. Click here to see our download to help you with your hashtag strategy.
3. Create irresistible deals BUT manage your inventory!
Put yourself in the customer’s shoes; what are you looking forward to buying this year for yourself, for your family, or friends and why? What are the current trends and how can you connect your brand to them? Who is your target market and what are they currently looking for? Some customers will have waited for this sale season and are expecting great finds and discounts: this is your opportunity to delight them. Having irresistible deals is great, buuuutt it will count for nothing if you do not have the inventory to meet demand! In fact, it could damage your brand if you can’t fulfill your sales orders. Make sure you either stock appropriately or make it clear at the point of sale that delivery will take X number of days if you only get your inventory in once an order has been placed. Equally, don’t overstock because if you are not able to sell the items, your cash is tied up in stock that you can’t shift.
Major tip alert...
The holiday season is also a busy time for suppliers, plus Brexit and welp pandemic... be ready to order your stock in advance to avoid delivery concerns, running out of stock, and disappointing your customers. It’s a very difficult balance, but the key is: do not over promise to your customers, do what you say you’re going
to do, and keep them constantly updated!
4. Get others to assess the customer experience and make improvements where necessary
Act as a customer or ask your friends to try and purchase via your online store. How eas
y is it for them to make a purchase? Is the journey an experience? How can you make it easier for the customer? Is
the experience different on a phone, tablet, and laptop? Are there any issues encountered? If yes, remedy these issues asap to reduce shopping cart abandonment. When a customer visits your website, they should really only have to click three times to make a purchase and search for information: three mouse clicks sis! This suggestion is based on the belief that customers will become frustrated and quite simply leave your online store if they can’t find what they need within three clicks.
If you’re in need of a bit more help, talk to our Customer Experience advisor Natasha for guidance: click here to book in with Natasha.
5. Delight your loyal customers with added extras
Think of ways to thank and reward your loyal customers and confirm how special they are to you!
Here a few ideas you can explore and develop:
Send them an exclusive email for a glimpse of your upcoming deals before they are released to anyone else.
Let them place pre-orders so that they are the first to get a particular product.
Send them a discount code which offers more than your regular sale price.
Send them a little something extra when they make an order.
6. Understand & be aware of what your competitors are doing
I know, your mum told you that you have no competitors! Guess what, you do. Knowing what other stores are offering can help you to make your products, services, and marketing stand out by being a little different to the rest. It will also allow you to set your sales prices competitively.
Innovative idea coming up...
You can also help your customers have a more rounded shopping experience by directing them to other small businesses for instance if your customers are looking for other products not found in your store: wait, let us explain! So for example, if you sell handmade scarves, customers may want to pair that purchase with some statement earrings. You don’t sell earrings but have decided to collaborate with an accessories brand! Or if you are a nail technician, customers may want a whole pampering experience so why not direct them to a mobile masseuse or hair stylist...or both! This will allow you to further engage with your customers and at the same time support other small businesses!! #BetterTogether
7. Review your figures and use the data to inform your next sales strategy
Once all of the sales are over and done with, take your time to observe and analyse what worked well and what didn’t work so well with your strategy. This is especially useful if it is your first time taking part in the sales season. Then use everything you have learned to develop your next sales strategy and improve on your results.
Whether you are planning to join Cyber Monday or Black Friday, or both, the best thing to do right now is – make sure you're prepared. Put your thinking caps on, take action and start the countdown! Happy selling!
While we are talking about supporting independent businesses, here are a few to tap into either as a customer or as a business owner looking to collaborate with others:
Clothing and accessories
AFUSHE this beautifully branded company provides pieces that are influenced by global fusion style and timeless femininity. Need we say more?!
BIND London compromising on looking after your hair while working out is over: BIND London has put an end to all of that with their fitness and athleisure headwear.
IGBONY if you want fabulousness every time, this is where it is at!
Beauty and self-care
Brown Beauty Talk this brand has got you covered with their skincare, makeup, and hair care products for Black and Asian women!
Ayo’s Cakes and Bakes it’s that time when we all need a little sweet treat and some real comfort goodies! Ayo’s Cakes & Bakes offers sweet treats that are baked from scratch and they even do postal orders!
Let us know if you’ve found this article helpful, by dropping us an email: email@example.com
If you want more on sales and converting customers, watch our related webinar here.