8 ways to prepare for a profitable Black Friday
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8 ways to prepare for a profitable Black Friday

How can businesses make sales this Black Friday in a cash strapped economy? Here are Zanthe’s 8 steps for brands of any size to prepare and capitalise on this shopping holiday.
by Zanthe Agrela
11. 15. 2021

Last year, COVID-19 drove digital adaptations through the roof- a trend that carried into the holiday shopping season. We can only expect e-commerce to continue its upward trajectory this year- despite a recovering economy and reopened stores. Retailers and business owners alike should expect online shopping trends to continue going into this Black Friday, the holiday season and beyond.

Black Friday this year falls on Friday, November 26, 2021. Cyber Monday is on Monday, November 29, 2021. So how can businesses prepare for this shopping season and make sales and profits in a cash strapped economy? Here are 8 simple steps for any and all business-to consumer outlets, start-ups, and established brands to prepare and capitalise on this shopping holiday.

Learn from the past

If your business has previously partaken in Black Friday throughout the years, look at your sales- analyse what sold well, what failed and what succeeded. If you need a refresher on how the world pivoted in 2020, read about the performance of Black Friday last year here.

Re-think the role of in-store

Since 2020, brick and mortar stores have been under immense pressure with most industries going digital to better serve their customers. This rise of e-commerce needs to be paramount in your Black Friday planning . Offer free delivery where you can, as well as shopping online and collecting in store.

It’s not just for retail to partake

Black Friday sales aren’t just for retail outlets to partake in. Any B2C businesses can enjoy the benefits of such an enticing reason to spend. Industries that can partake include:

  • Hospitality industries- such as BnBs, hotels, guest houses and other accommodation sites are projected to do well with everyone desperate to get away from a hard 2 years this holiday season.
  • Wedding suppliers- this industry is slowly picking up again, so it’s the perfect time to make sales.
  • Back to school merchandise- any and all school merchandise such as uniforms, school books and equipment are all items parents will need to purchase for the new year, so the sale is almost guaranteed.
  • Home décor, home improvement, appliances, furniture, garden supplies and equipment etc. Since a large part of the working force is still working from home and re-looking at their interior spaces.
  • Non-perishable FMCG items that can be bought in bulk.
  • Restaurant and takeaway outlets can offer discounts for Black Friday weekend.
  • All things that could be Christmas gifts. You could create gift guides according to specific interests such as “gifts for green-loving enthusiasts”, “gifts for foodies”, “gifts for Crossfit lovers”, “gifts for her”, “gifts for him”, etc.

Be clear on your objectives

Before you even think about your Black Friday or Cyber Monday deals, decide why you want to participate and what you’re trying to achieve. From there , you can choose the right sales promotions based on your business objectives and match the right type of solution to your goal. Here are a few possible objectives:

  • Want to boost your bottom line? Then focus on promoting items that bring your business the highest profit margin or offer discounts on your most popular “bread and butter”, best seller item. Perhaps things that need to be replenished often, such as consumables or FMCG items.
  • Get rid of overstock? Whether it’s stock that hasn’t moved and you need space for new inventory, you’ve had overstock of a certain item, demo stock etc., creating Black Friday deals on these items is the perfect solution. Buy one get one free, 3 for the price of 2 or other multi-buy offers through combined promotions will help you move overstock and offer value to your customers. Just remember to consider if these types of sales make sense for the item. For example, buy one get one free can work well on win, but not so much for items you don’t need multiples of such as a dinner set.

Start planning early

To really catapult your sales offering, plan early and keep your online game incredibly strong. If you don’t already have one, hire a marketing agency to help set up and implement your Black Friday sales now. If you have one, be sure to brief them in early. If your business operates somewhat in the retail space (regardless of size) you need an e-commerce site that’s equipped to handle an influx of traffic.

Your Black Friday campaign needs a buildup awareness campaign, followed by an on the day, sales-driven campaign and finally, any Cyber Monday deals you plan on offering.

The types of digital marketing material you’ll need include an e-mailer, paid social media ads and re-marketing campaigns. You’ll also need to ensure your website can handle huge volumes of traffic, and that all tracking codes are well-implemented.

If you haven’t done so yet, conduct a stress test on your e-commerce site. Ensure your UX and UI are thoroughly tested before launching. Gauge your online store’s speed, performance, and reliability, then find ways to cut down on load times without compromising on quality. Ensure your sales are put up from early on and stay on until midnight. Have reviews of products and your customer service available during add to cart. 

Entice with good offers

Black Friday deals don’t necessarily need to just be on one day. You can have your offerings on for a full weekend, week or even extend it to a Cyber Month with a build-up to the real big savings on the actual date. For example, you could have old stock at a discounted price throughout November. While on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, you could feature new or limited edition items. Make your build-up campaign enticing with awareness campaigns, enable a wishlist functionality on your site so customers can ear-mark these items and give loyal customers a sneak peak to some of the offers that’ll be available. 

Don’t forget about SEO

If you want potential customers to find your deals online, you need really great SEO. Create landing pages specifically dedicated to your Black Friday offers and be smart with how you name your pages. For example, naming your page “Black Friday 2021 Women’s Shoes” is pretty much exactly how your audience will be searching for these items. Double up with specific targeted pages and get these pages found through organic searches. Such pages can go live early, giving your audience a sneak peak of what’s on offer so they can plan their shopping ahead. 

Do something unexpected

Give your customers something special and memorable that leaves a sweet aftertaste after dealing with your company. Examples of this include Yuppiechef’s hand-written cards, beautiful packaging and branded tissue paper from high end stores like Forever New, free gift wrapping services such as at Poetry, Jo Malone's free fragrance samples. These are just a few examples of simple acts of kindness that go beyond your offering, to make a lasting impression of your good service. Think about something wonderful to offer your customers at no extra charge. Or perhaps give back in some important way, such as donating a percentage of your Black Friday proceeds to a charity, or offer sustainable products, discounted product refills, compostable or eco-friendly packaging.

That’s it- my 8 steps to help your business crush Black Friday 2021! If you need a marketing agency to help get your digital campaign set-up and management on track, e-mail me on zanthe@arcinteractive.co. You can also follow us at Arc Interactive on FacebookTwitter or Instagram.