Another Black Friday is approaching, and businesses across the country are gearing up to increase sales on one of the year’s most important shopping days.
Black Friday kicks off a season that can make or break small businesses. In fact, the months of November and December often account for as much as 30 percent of a retailer’s annual sales volume, according to the National Retail Federation.
The best way to boost profits this Black Friday is to make sure your customers have a great shopping experience, says Becky Boyd, vice president of MediaFirst PR, a boutique public relations, social media and marketing firm.
“This includes dealing with any touchpoint that customers would have with your business — from ordering to delivery,” Boyd says.
Following are five ways to push Black Friday sales higher — both online and in-store.
1. Keep your website customer-friendly
If customers struggle to interact with your website, they won’t make a purchase. So, keep your site friendly to shoppers.
This includes fixing technical glitches, so shoppers won’t “abandon their cart because your website takes too long to load an image,” Boyd says.
Other tips include:
- Making the website easy to navigate
- Giving customers fun options, such as the ability to virtually “try on” apparel
- Offering a range of shipping options, from free shipping to next-day or same-day delivery
“Customer choices like this make for an excellent customer experience and will entice loyalty,” Boyd says.
2. Send email blasts
Alerting your customer base to promotions can be a great way to boost sales. And don’t fret that sending notes will irritate shoppers. A survey by MarketingSherpa found that:
- 91 percent of Americans want to receive promo emails
- 86 percent want to receive promo emails at least monthly
- 15 percent want to receive promotional emails every day
Boyd recommends sending out email newsletters to your subscribed list of customers and prospects. These should contain special ads, or articles about your products.
“Use the newsletters to draw people to your website,” she says. She adds that newsletters should be colorful and full of graphics, but not overloaded with too much content.
“The goal is to make people go to your website so they will learn more about your offerings,” Boyd says.
3. Use social media
Social media can be a great avenue for reaching customers. Boyd says Facebook and Twitter are often the best social media forums for consumer-oriented businesses.
“Post often — multiple times a day — and make sure your posts have graphics,” she says.
One way to use social media is to post about a product, then offer people a percentage-off discount if they like your post, Boyd says.
4. Have your staff ready to go
In-store customer traffic should surge during Black Friday — and in the weeks beyond. Don’t get caught flat-footed when demand suddenly increases.
Instead, make sure you have enough staffing, and that your employees will be ready to meet the needs of every customer who shops for your goods and services.
“The most important thing for training staff is to make sure they are focused on giving customers the best experience they can,” Boyd says. “Staff should be friendly and work with the mantra ‘the customer is always right.’”
Boyd says she gets frustrated when she is shopping and staffers don’t offer to help. “I find them engaged in conversation with other staff members — completely ignoring their customers,” she says.
Don’t let your employees make similar mistakes.
5. Train staff to up-sell
Getting customers to spend just a little bit more can make a big difference to your bottom line. So, encourage staff to hone their sales pitch.
“For example, if you sell apparel, have staff show customers a belt or earrings that will go with the outfit they are purchasing,” Boyd says.
Putting one or more of these tips to work can help your business boost its bottom line this Black Friday.
For more information about partnering with Talus Pay, Contact us today to discuss how we can help your business increase profitability.