There was a time when the biggest sale of the year meant fighting off that Christmas dinner food coma and heading out to battle with other keen bargain hunters in the Boxing Day sales.
But over the last few years, American holidays have crept in, and the adoption of Black Friday (as well as other sales such as Cyber Monday) has meant there are lots of other opportunities for shoppers hoping to bag a bargain.
And Black Friday has become known for its impressive discounts and is the ideal way for families to get their Christmas shopping wrapped up for a fraction of the price.
But this doesn’t just apply to traditional retail stores; everything from gyms and restaurants to photographers and online streaming services offer discounts at this time of year. Some will slash the prices of their goods, others offer free or express shipping services, and some will reduce the price of their subscriptions.
Because of this, it’s no longer just an event for huge corporations like Amazon. Nowadays, businesses big and small are getting involved and making the most of the opportunity to sell, sell, sell!
However, this also means that lots of companies start preparing for Black Friday pretty early, especially if they want to stand out from their competitors. And the same rules need to apply to smaller local businesses too.
This can range from preparing adverts and social media content to creating a Black Friday landing page and everything in between.
But if you’re not sure how to go about getting the perfect strategy in place for one of the biggest retail events of the year, we’re here to help. Below, we’re going to look at six Black Friday strategies for local businesses.
1) Do your research early on
With businesses keen to attract customers and beat the competition, they will begin sharing news of the Black Friday offers well in advance. This gives you the perfect opportunity to do some research and find out what’s going on in your area and amongst your key competition.
The best way to do this is through local online web pages and social media accounts. Firstly, you can use hashtags to run searches and see what’s already being shared.
You can also set up alerts to see what your consumers and loyal customers are posting about and whether your business could help them. You can then point them towards your own Black Friday sales.
At this stage, you might also become aware of any local events or promotions that you could join in with to gain publicity for your Black Friday deals. For example, lots of people are prioritising local businesses and encourage others to shop locally. Weighing in on these subjects and sharing your own details can be a great way to get your name out there.
2) Build anticipation around your offers
You should begin building some excitement and anticipation around your offers long before Black Friday rolls around. And the good news is, there are several ways you can do this. Some of the best ways to build excitement include:
- Posting teasers on your social media channels
- Using targeted advertising such as Google or Facebook Ads
- Putting a sign up in your store (if you have a physical shopfront for your goods or service)
This can be a great way to reconnect with your audience, drum up interest and also get them excited about purchasing from you on the day.
3) Do an (e)mail out to your loyal customers
If you’ve built up an email list over the years, now is your time to utilise this. You can offer your loyal customers a sneak peek at your Black Friday deals before you start running your other adverts or social media content.
You may have also built a list of phone numbers; perhaps you have more numbers than email addresses. If so, you could reach out to customers via text if you prefer. Either way, this gives you an opportunity to build interest from those who have purchased from you before, so you know they value your goods or services.
4) Make the most of social media and hashtags
We’ve already mentioned social media on more than one occasion, but this is because it is going to be an important part of your Black Friday promotions. It’s a good idea to create some interesting content and eye-catching images that you can share on your profiles in the run-up to Black Friday and then on the day.
You should also do some research into hashtags that you can use on your posts to gain more visibility and help consumers to find your goods. You can use the more generic tags such as #BlackFriday, but it is also a good idea to find some more niche tags that help you stand out from the crowd.
If you’ve got any testimonials or helpful content about your products or industry, this is a great time to share these. This can add real value to your customers and help them make better purchasing decisions during the event.
5) Encourage customers to share their purchases on social media
Reviews are important to consumers, and they take the opinions of other shoppers very seriously. So why not add a little spice to your Black Friday deals and encourage or even incentivise your customers to share their purchases and savings on their social media profiles.
To do this, you could create your own hashtags or enter names into a draw for everyone that shares their experiences with your brand on Black Friday. This can be a great way to promote your brand, secure some new reviews and drive more people to your website or storefront.
6) Make your offers unique (and irresistible)
Finally, one of the best ways to attract customers to your local business is to make your Black Friday offers as unique and irresistible as possible. Think about what your customers want and adjust your offers accordingly.
Remember, if customers have a great experience with your brand, they are more likely to shop with you again in the future. So, where possible, offering impressive and unique deals can help your brand to stand out and potentially bag a new loyal customer base.
That being said, this doesn’t mean you have to drastically drop prices and risk all your profit just to stay ahead of larger corporations – you still need to be realistic.