Black Friday may have started as a U.S. tradition, but by this point, in time it’s firmly established here in the UK, which means that B2C SMEs need to take it seriously. With that in mind, here are some tips as to how B2C SMEs can get the best from Black Friday marketing.
Much the same advice applies to SMEs and Black Friday deals as applies to consumers and Christmas shopping; a deal is only any good if you can actually afford it. The big-name retailers may be able to offer discounts on everything, but if you look really closely, you will find that they have come up with ways to continue to turn in a profit regardless.
SMEs, however, are not necessarily going to have the scope to do the same. The idea is to induce consumers through your (digital) doors to spend money so you make a profit, not to bankrupt yourself by trying too hard. You are not Amazon, and your customers come to you for a good reason. Make them want to buy from you because you are you, not because you offer bargain-basement prices trying to compete in an impossible marketplace.
This means you may need to get creative, for example, you could run different promotions at different times of day (this can be easier online but can be done offline too) and/or look for scope to upsell.
One of the standard media shots for Black Friday is the scrum of frenzied shoppers trying to grab bargains at a store that just didn’t anticipate the demand.
This can make for good media coverage, but it’s horrendous for stores, especially SMEs.
If your business is online (or partly online) then make sure you have the IT resource to deal with it. This means additional bandwidth and tech support on standby. Businesses that work in the cloud will probably have an advantage here as it’s generally easier to scale up and scale down in this environment.
These days, the goal of every business should be to build relationships with its customers (and potential customers) so that you become a customer’s first choice for purchases, even when you are charging full price. This means that you want to leverage your Black Friday footfall to obtain customers’ contact details – in a GDPR-compliant manner.
At this point in time, one of the most effective ways to do this, while keeping on the right side of the regulators, is to use your Black Friday deals to promote competitions or other special activities on your website. Ideally, you’ll want to keep these going through the month of December as well and use them to get people engaged with the rest of your content so that they want to continue visiting your website and/or social media platforms over the course of the year.
Get sign-ups to your email newsletter, promote your social media properties and then invest time and energy into making those follow-up opportunities fantastic.