If you’re a small retailer, Black Friday can be a daunting time. Many simply cannot afford to slash their profit margins to compete with the levels of discounts on offer by John Lewis, Amazon and Currys PC World.
Most of our smaller clients (64%, to be exact) listed their Black Friday discounts as somewhere between the 11-20% mark, with only 10% on track to compete with the giants by offering over 50% off. However, our top tips listed below are tailored to those growing online retailers still hoping to make the most of Black Friday this year.
Provide some calm in the chaos
As thousands of consumers undergo the hassle of buttoning up coats and queuing outside high-street shop entrances at ridiculous-o’clock, your online shop can offer the happy alternative: ticking off the Christmas shopping list from the sofa.
Why not take advantage of the more personal touch that smaller retailers can offer by incorporating this into your take on Black Friday. Tailor your product listing to gift purchases by creating personalised filters, for example ‘Our Favourites’ or items that are perfect ‘For Mum’. Throwing in free gift-wrapping is another perk to reel in bargain-hunters and prevent last-minute basket abandonment.
Create a guest list
Make your tempting offers exclusive to ‘members’ of your site alumni. By signing up and verifying their email address, customers will receive discount codes and you’ll receive plenty of new contacts to target with future offers that you may feature in the future (*cough* January sales *cough*). With 61% of small business revenue coming from repeat customers, this method can be great for marketing and great for your sales.
You could also generate a sense of urgency surrounding your Black Friday offers with a countdown timer, so that any visitors to your site leading up to 23rd November will keep you in mind.
Ensure you’re fully stocked
We carried out a survey with our very own clients, asking them what they felt customers valued most about shopping online in the lead up to Christmas. Their feedback illustrated that customers value the speed of delivery and availability of stock most, with both aspects of the consumer experience receiving 78% of the vote.
With this in mind, it is a must to optimise your inventory control in order to accommodate the surge in sales you may forecast for Black Friday. Having enough stock already in storage will prevent the need to place last-minute purchase orders. In turn, this will decrease order lead times and boost your overall delivery performance to customers during a day renowned as the biggest shopping event in the UK.
Have a Plan B
Black Friday profits don’t go as planned? Don’t panic. Consider other retail holidays as a chance to bring it back. Small Business Saturday falls on 1st December and at last year’s event, roughly £717 million was spent at small businesses across Great Britain. Continuing to gain traction year on year, don’t waste a prime opportunity that gives niche retailers the spotlight of national attention over huge, household names.
Participating could provide your company a feature in local/national press, or even publishing companies that specialise in your niche. It’s also good strategy to collaborate with other small businesses that compliment your product range and amplify your reach; perhaps offer product bundles or discount vouchers for your partnering businesses when customers spend over a certain amount online.
With these Black Friday tips, we hope to support the sector of smaller, hard-working online retailers that make up the majority of our customer base. Tailored towards growing sales and niche requirements, our order processing software and flexible storage also help eCommerce businesses to boost their delivery performance and inventory efficiency. To get a quick quote and get in touch, click here.
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