Now Halloween and Bonfire Night are out of the way, the race for Christmas sales is really on, and no doubt you’ll be wanting to make the most. Black Friday and the associated ‘Cyber Monday’ sales (not to mention the enormously popular Singles’ Day, if you’re selling in China) have gained enormous popularity over the past few years, essentially becoming pre-Christmas sales. Black Friday falls on 23rd November this year, so here are a few thoughts about how you can really capitalise on the event.
1. Start Early
Don’t wait! Amazon have already announced their deals for their Black Friday Sale, which will run between November 16th and November 25th. Amazon have said that there will be new offers as often as every five minutes – if you’re one of those sellers, get prepared now! Even if you’ve not signed up to provide special deals through Amazon, shouting about your deals on your social media is going to increase your chances of customers visiting your website on the day you launch your offers.
2. Be Prepared
This should go without saying, it’s common sense – but make sure you have enough stock to cover the whole season, from Black Friday on, particularly with your best-selling items, and any trending items. If you sell out of popular items, you’re going to lose customers who might have bought additional items while they were looking for a specific item on your website. Also, think about the potential damage bad word-of-mouth can do.
You don’t have to rely on this one, but every year there’s a toy or game that sells out everywhere – remember fidget spinners?
By having this year’s big hit in your inventory, so you can capitalise on customers being on your page to buy it – once they’re on your page, they’re likely to buy further items while they’re there. If you don’t have room in your warehouse, or have the capital free to purchase the items, think about having those orders drop shipped by a supplier – avasam has made the process quick and easy.
4. Build Customer Loyalty
It takes an average of five purchases for customers to consider themselves loyal to a brand, so make sure you’re giving your customers reasons to return to your website through the holiday period – if you’re planning a sale event, talk about it, use your social media to make special offers and so on, and encourage your happy customers to tag you in their social media images.
5. Offer Free Shipping
If you’re not already offering free shipping, consider offering it to attract more customers. You can always offer free shipping with a number of items sold, or when an order is over a certain amount, so you’re keeping your margins – and it can (if done well) encourage customers to put more in their basket.
6. Become The Customer
This is where Black Friday has potential for you to make money with careful purchasing! By buying items for your inventory at discounted prices, you can then sell that stock at a higher price later. This needs careful planning though, to make sure you don’t end up with your money tied up in dead stock, and make sure you’re careful with VAT receipts and so on.
7. Don’t Rely On Black Friday Sales
If you’ve got great deals, you’re bound to make sales over the Black Friday period. But it’s not the only time you’ll need to be prepared for – UK shoppers know that to capitalise on the best bargains, they can wait until nearer Christmas. This means that you need to be careful not to cut your margins too thin with your Black Friday offerings, as you may need to provide even bigger discounts to remain competitive nearer Christmas; but smart shoppers will need some incentive to buy early, so make sure you find that balance.
If you have questions about how you can implement any of these approaches, get in touch – we’re happy to advise you.