6 Tips for Black Friday Promotions
It's time to get your Black Friday promotions strategy in place before the big day on November 24. In case you're wondering whether an all-out marketing effort is really worth it, consider these compelling statistics from the same event last year:
E-commerce sales attained a record-breaking $3.34 billion in revenues, representing a year-over-year growth rate of more than 20 percent from the year before. It was also the first day to generate more than a billion dollars in online sales from mobile devices. Online holiday spending for Thanksgiving and Black Friday combined was nearly 25 percent of all sales, a spike of 6.4 percent over the previous year.
With these figures in mind, here are some tips for Black Friday promotions you can incorporate into your marketing plans:
1. Build excitement through a focused email campaign. People are on the lookout for holiday-related sales offers, so now is the time to contact customers on your email list with Black Friday updates generate interest. Remember to include clearly identifiable calls to action aimed at online purchases and/or shopping in your brick-and-mortar outlet.
2. Entice current and prospective customers with free shipping. Customer expectations for Black Friday are high, and often include the prospect of free shipping for their online purchases. You may already provide this service, but you can do more to publicize it with banners and other eye-catching imagery on your website. If free shipping isn't part of your business, Black Friday is a great time to consider experimenting and assessing the kind of response you get.
3. Be sure your business site is working at peak efficiency. No business can afford to lose potential sales due to glitches or hard-to-navigate functions on their websites. An assessment of all your website pages is worth doing regularly, particularly in advance of the holidays. Consider using website and online marketing services to maximize sales opportunities on Black Friday, whether you need to create a new site or want to upgrade your current site.
4. Partner with other small businesses for maximum ROI. For many small businesses, there's strength in numbers when it comes to Black Friday promotions. Enlist the help of a complementary small business and explore opportunities to host a joint shopping event, share in the expenses of a focused marketing campaign, or highlight Black Friday signage in each other's store to boost customer interest.
5. Make a big social media push. Black Friday is an optimal event for social media promotional efforts, such as:
- Posting tweets using the hashtag #BlackFriday.
- Inviting customers to tweet about your store after they've made a purchase and/or sharing photos of their shopping experience on Instagram.
- Encouraging customers to take brief videos of your products in action and posting on their own social accounts.
- Exploring paid and free promotions on Twitter and Facebook.
As part of your social media campaign, focus on providing fresh, engaging content that excites your followers and moves them to share your posts. You can get insights into social engagement and activity through Twitter and Facebook analytics.
6. Offer gift cards and certificates. Black Friday is also a great time to honor your loyal customers. Let them know in advance they can receive a gift card for future purchases if they visit your store on this day (or if they spend a specific amount). Other variations on this theme include giving each customer a small, holiday-themed gift with their purchases or enclosing a gift certificate for a future item with their Black Friday purchase.
Finally, remember to do all you can to make the customer's Black Friday experience as pleasant as possible. This can range from personalized, on-the-spot service to no-hassle, post-sale returns and other features that set your small business apart from less nimble retailers.