Black Friday is one of the most important retail events in the UK, having originated from the US. Amazon introduced Black Friday to the UK in 2010 and since then it has grown year on year, Black Friday this year falls on the 26th November 2021, so get ready it is fast approaching.
SME’s often feel the pressure to compete with larger businesses so they can capitalize on the increase in sales around Black Friday and Cyber Monday. However, if a Black Friday sale or promotion is poorly organised it can cause issues and, in some instances, even be damaging to a business and its reputation. In this article we look at some tips for SMEs who are in retail to help make sure Black Friday is a roaring success.
Preparation is key
It is key to prepare for Black Friday in advance and make sure your business has the processes, people, and stock in place to fulfil the potential increased demand around this period. Even if you aren’t running a promotion on Black Friday, you’re likely to see an increase in website traffic. Make sure your servers can handle this higher level of website traffic and make any changes to your website a few days before to test the impact on website speed.
Mobile speed is especially important to test once any new changes have been made live, you can easily test the speed of your website using PageSpeed Insights. Enter your website URL into this tool and Google will provide you with a score out of 100 for mobile and desktop, it will also provide recommendations to improve the speed of your website. Consumers aren’t likely to stick around and purchase if your website is slow and has a poor user experience, with the increase in website traffic on Black Friday it is more important than ever to make sure your website runs quickly and smoothly.
If you are planning on offering a discount on Black Friday, you will want to advertise this ahead of the day to make current and any potential new customers aware of that you are going to be running a promotion. To do this we recommend creating the following:
- A clear plan detailing out the promotion/offer and timeframes – share this internally so everyone is aware of what the promotion is and there is no confusion when it comes to answering customer questions
- A banner or message to put on your website homepage, this is usually the page that gets the most traffic, so you want to make customers aware of an upcoming promotion or offer
- Social media assets – create assets you can post out on social media advertising your upcoming or current promotion
- Tease your audience – don’t give your promotion away up front before Black Friday but tease your audience to let them know something is coming and to get them excited
- Email your current customers or email lists – make use of the email lists you own to promote your upcoming Black Friday promotion or offer. You can also send an email during the promotion linking through to your offers to make it even simpler for people to purchase
One of the key issues with some Black Friday offers and promotions is limited stock, if you can have stock ready based on forecasts to avoid customers missing out that is a good approach. Alternatively, there might be a good reason there is limited stock, in this instance keep a close eye on the number of orders and your systems to try to avoid orders being processed and payments being taken on orders you are unable to fulfil. This can cause issues with customer service, distrust and put a potential customer off your brand for life.