Black Friday is a shopping event that started out in the USA, on the Friday immediately after Thanksgiving. It is a day that is less than a month from Christmas and has traditionally been a time where online festive shopping starts to reach its peak, as shoppers hunt for bargains that they can get delivered in time for the big day.

This event has exploded over the past few years, reaching many other countries, including the UK, whilst expanding the one day of shopping to a week, or in some cases even a month. Savvy stores know that shoppers are desperate to find the best bargains, at a time of year when money can be less easy to come by and the expectation of receiving fantastic gifts is higher than ever before. 

Along with Cyber-Monday, a big sales event specifically for electrical products, Black Friday 2018 saw a £7 billion cash boost to the British retail sector alone. Whilst the bulk of these sales were from purchases made online, the high street is by no means dead, primed and ready to bring shoppers back through the doors this year.

We have put together 5 easy to follow steps on how to make the most of this global shopping event, whether you are a big business or small. 

Plan well ahead of time

Don’t leave your preparation until the last moment. This event happens every year and shoppers often begin to plan their Christmas purchases around sales that they know will be happening. 

Do your research as to which products are set to be popular this year, giving you time to shop around for the best priced suppliers. Look at your competitors and see what they have planned or what they have done the previous year. This may inspire you in how best to make the most of this opportunity.

Also consider the best way to display these Black Friday goods in your store. They will need to be visible and easy to reach, with the potential for window displays to draw customers off the street as they pass by. 

Advertise your event

Getting the word out is very important in the weeks leading up to your Black Friday deals. Shoppers will begin to plan their purchases as early as they can, so that they can access the best deals without having to spend hours walking around the local shopping centre.

Social media is vital in getting yourself onto people's shopping radar. If you already have a good following then your customers will perk up to see that you are offering sales on items that they already love, from a company that they trust. Make sure that you make clear the dates that your offers will be running.

Posters and signage are also a great idea for grabbing the attention of any customers who enjoy the thrill of hunting the stores without researching things first. Pavement signs or banners are perfect for this and if worded correctly, can be used year after year. For example, “Step this way for some amazing Black Friday deals!”

Do an in-depth stock take

Leading up to the event complete a detailed stock take to ensure that you have enough products to make a sale or offer worth while. They need to fit in with your research of what you expect shoppers to be looking for and be priced competitively.

There is nothing worse than a customer seeing you advertise a product for Black Friday sales, only to arrive and you have already sold the two that you had in stock. Ensure that you have enough in store on the day, or at least have the ability to order more should customers want them. This adds a personal touch to your service, especially if you are able to organise easy pick up or even delivery to their home.

Black Friday is a great time to sell off old stock too, making more room for your official Christmas products. Just be sure to mark these items as “last chance to buy.”

Change your opening hours

If you are planning to only have a Black Friday event on one day, be prepared to open early and close late. Some larger stores will advertise their opening from 4am for example, and although you don’t need to be quite so extreme, it is a good chance to take advantage of the extra footfall outside your store.

Should your event be lasting for a week, it can still be beneficial to change your opening hours to suit bargain hunting shoppers. Early weekday mornings do not necessarily make sense as people will be at work, but staying open until 7pm could entice people in as they travel home. 

If you do intend to change your opening hours, be sure to advertise this on posters in the window, on your social media and even in the local press if possible.

Encourage the customers back

Once you have customers in the store make them feel welcome and be available to answer any questions they may have, even if you are busy. If they feel that they have been looked after and have received a good service, as well as finding bumper deals, they are more likely to return for further purchases in the lead up to Christmas.

As an incentive you could offer some money off vouchers, which are only available during the Black Friday period and can be redeemed on future purchases made up until Christmas Eve for example.

Take this opportunity to advertise future events whilst you have these customers in store, such as more Christmas or January sales, or a look at new products that you have arriving soon. Poster pockets and snap frames are perfect for displaying these events professionally and neatly.

Post By Kimberley Roderick