Johannesburg – Black Friday, a global shopping phenomenon celebrated on the fourth Friday of November, unofficially marks the start of the holiday shopping season with stores offering massive discounts and sales to eager consumers in hunt of a good deal.
In 2019, Black Friday and Cyber Monday purchases hit the R6 billion mark.
For small businesses that have borne the brunt of the Covid-19 economic depression, Black Friday may offer a chance to recoup some of the lost revenue from the past eight months.
It may provide a marketing opportunity to reach new audiences, paving the path for returning customers.
Here are tips to make the most of this Black Friday:
If not careful, excessive discounts can leave businesses in the red. Make sure to do your research before determining your marked down prices or sales offerings. Consider factors like production and business costs, revenue goals, and competitor pricing. Some businesses use sales as an opportunity to offload older or unmoving stock. Also offer added value to purchases; for example, a 50 percent discount on a follow-up service when purchasing a particular service.
Shoppers hunt for the best bargains in advance. Get creative in your marketing. Consider creating eye-catching designs describing your offering, printing flyers, boosting social media posts, targeting your existing customers with newsletters or getting listed on websites and blogs with deals to look out for.
Customers have changed their shopping habits in Covid-19 times. Offer online purchasing for your product or service. If you do not have the budget to develop your own website, consider offering your wares on existing e-commerce platforms. Consider integrating a WhatsApp service with delivery.
Make sure you are prepared should you receive a lot of interest in your offering. Ensure that your customer service team are available on the day to trouble-shoot and manage any potential customer complaints. It’s also a good idea to have a plan in place for the worst case scenarios, such as running out of stock or experiencing technical issues.
If you do not achieve the sales you wanted on Black Friday, do not despair. Cyber Monday also offers an opportunity for making sales. As the name implies, this has more of an e-commerce slant, so make use of your digital platforms, as touched on in point three.
Extend some of your existing promotions, while maintaining the “limited offer” messaging to instil a sense of excitement and urgency. This second wave of offerings may require some additional marketing, so prepare to be pro-active and adapt your strategy accordingly.
As a small business, your unique selling point could be the personal story behind the brand, so be clear in communicating this, highlighting the impact your business is making in real people’s lives (such as staff, value chain, etc).
* Ben Bierman is the managing director at Business Partners Limited.