Recent stats show Black Friday and Cyber Monday now rank as Australia’s largest retail weekend. So, how can your small business make the most of these sales events to rake in the big bucks? Melissa Haywood, head of Vistaprint Australia shares her top tips.
Black Friday originated in the US and has grown to become a global retail phenomenon which has escalated in recent years. The weekend (which now includes Cyber Monday) encourages frenzied shoppers to grab huge discounts for a limited time across a wide range of products, brands and often services. Outside of the Boxing Day sales, the promotional weekend is the largest discount offering of the year, with brands slashing their prices up to 50 per cent. Stats show that online purchases around this time are up around 19 per cent with the average customer spending $1k+, $600+ of which is on gifts ahead of Christmas.
Tease ahead of the event
Create excitement around your Black Friday and/ or Cyber Monday offering by posting ‘teasers’ ahead of the event. Social media is a great avenue for this. Here you can hint towards potential discounts and show curated visuals of the items on offer to encourage customers to return and purchase on the day.
If you are new to social media, this can seem a daunting task. If your business is not already on social media, ask your customers which channels they use the most (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest) or look at the platforms your competitors are using. As a general rule of thumb, consider visual platforms such as Instagram or Pinterest for physical retail and something quicker or informative such as Twitter or Facebook if you’re selling a service. Every social media platform has unique demographics of gender, age, location (and more) which is worth exploring before jumping in and set aside a budget to increase your chances of being seen either via dark posting or onboarding influencers to help talk your business and offering.
Treat your VIPs
It is important to make your existing customers feel special, after all your competitors will be competing for share of wallet. Consider offering your key customers something unique ahead of the promotional weekend as a chance to reap deals early. This can be done as a physical event to or granting early access to the sales perhaps via a one-off discount code.
Having a physical event, particularly if you are a retailer, can be beneficial and make your key customers feel valued as well as giving you the opportunity to capture content (for use on social media channels, for example). Consider partnering with other small businesses to make your event stand out and share costs.
Consider teaming up with other businesses to help boost your offering, for example, cross-promotion or splitting the costs of marketing materials. If your business involves distribution, this ‘partnership’ could be in the form of cheaper mail service or even a free gift or voucher. Partnering with other small businesses whose offering doesn’t cannibalise your own can be invaluable for small business recognition and growth.
Cyber Monday is a big deal for any eCommerce business, so ensure you are technically prepared and your website and processing systems are able to handle the additional traffic heading its way.
ABS report that overall Australian retail turnover rose by 3.6 per cent during Black Friday 2018 compared to the previous year, so be prepared! If processing isn’t a concern, then perhaps consider investing in a mobile site to make purchasing faster and easier for those on the go.
Additionally, it is important for all of your digital platforms to align and focus on the same message. Ensure that your Black Friday message is easy to find on your website landing page and that all outlets are projecting the same message.
Plan your next move
During promotional periods it is all too easy to get wrapped up in the ‘now’ without considering what should be done before and after. As with all promotional periods, there will always be customers who don’t make the deadline or ‘miss the memo’, it is here where you can make additional sales. Consider running a ‘post-Black Friday/Cyber Monday’ promotion to market any leftover stock and to reach those who missed out previously. This new sales pitch should be ready to go to your email database and on any social media platforms you use immediately after the promotion – so plan this ahead of time.