The holidays are quickly approaching and as a business owner you know that this season can make or break your bottom line this year. Black Friday and Cyber Monday are two of the biggest sales days of the year, also making them the best opportunities to get your bottom line out of the “red”. So how do you make the most of this golden opportunity? Here are a few tips to use to market your business for a successful Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
Have a Sale, Unlike Everyone Else
Everyone is doing it! That is the reason you need to stand out from the crowd. Add an element of surprise to your sale. For example, give your customers a coupon with a hidden or a mystery value that they can only reveal at checkout. Everyone gets a discount and they’ll be interested to see just how much they can save. People are often attracted to “winning” even if it is winning a higher discount and it happens at random.
Time is of the Essence
Making an offer that creates a sense of urgency is highly effective for getting people into your store. There is also something to be said for when your products are selling quickly. The scarcity of an item makes it more attractive. Let your customers know which of your products are selling and may not be available if they don’t act fast.
To the Internet!
Your business has a Facebook page, Instagram, Twitter, maybe even an Ello page. Probably not an Ello page. You have these outlets and platforms, so leverage them to speak directly to your customer. Tell your friends and followers that you are having a sale when it is, and why they should be interested. You can put a small amount of budget behind your Facebook or Twitter posts to expand your reach and let more of the public know about the wonderful sale you are having. Also, be sure to have someone on staff actively monitoring your social channels. There is no telling who will be asking questions about hours, sales or your products that will make or break a sale that day.
Email is another great way to spread the news of your business and sales. This does require you to have an email subscription list and/or a newsletter. If you don’t have this and would like to start, this is not a bad time to get going. A great free tool to start with is MailChimp. If you do have an email list, leverage it by sending out a teaser email a few days in advance.
Yelp and Google both take a strong stand against incentivizing reviews and for good reason. If I was offered a month of free rent to review my apartment complex, I would happily leave a review but would feel incredibly guilty about leaving anything negative. Yelp does allow you to create a Check-In Offer that allows the store proprietor to give a bonus or discount to people that check-in on the Yelp app. This could be a free product or a percentage off a purchase. Yelp says this also allows you to “provide a measurable way to reward your most loyal customers while attracting new ones”. Also, if anyone from my apartment complex is reading this, a check-in offer for a month of free rent would be fantastic.
Too Good to be True
Offer your customers a discount that no sane person could refuse. You can do this and still have it worth your while. Select a product that may not have flown off the shelves immediately, or that you accidentally ordered two shipments of and mark the price of the product down significantly. A price reduction may encourage more sales of the product while providing your customers with a good deal. The entire goal should be to get your customers in the door. Once they are there, they are much more likely to buy one of your more popular products not to mention tis the season for giving. Plenty of Christmas gifts are being purchased so you could even set up a gift wrapping station to seal the deal.
Team up with a local charity and donate a portion of your holiday weekend sales to benefit them. I have seen businesses hold a “This is Not a Sale” event where instead of reducing the price they donate a percentage of sales from that day. Get the charity involved so they can help promote the event to maximize the potential donation. Having someone there to answer questions about the charity can help grow awareness for the charity as well. Who doesn’t like a business that gives back to the community?
Don’t Forget About the Customer
Take care to remember you will have customers filing into your store coming from many big box retailers and busy malls packed full of shoppers clamoring for a good deal. Give them the personal service that you are able to provide as a small business owner because this could be their first experience in your store. By providing great customer service you will keep them coming back to your store. What other marketing tactics do you have up your sleeve this year to make the most of Black Friday?