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18 Quick Tips to Prepare Your Small Business for Black Friday

9 Mins read

We all look forward to Black Friday (and now Cyber Monday) as a permanent addition to the holiday season. As small business owners, the excitement can have an added flavor of nervousness. What can I do this year to really maximize my revenue?

This year, you’ll be armed to the teeth with almost 20 tips that you can easily add to your arsenal this season. We asked CEOs, founders, and other marketing veterans for their expertise on how to prepare best for Black Friday. Get ready to learn everything from texting your customers directly to the benefits of cross-selling.

Below are the best tips that you can do to prepare properly and hit 2022’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday out of the park!

  • Use Email and SMS to Cut Through the Digital Chaos
  • Streamline Your Purchasing and Checkout System
  • Deck Your Website With Banners & Promotions
  • Reach Out for a Strategic Partnership
  • Research the Competition to Make an Outstanding Strategy
  • Ensure Your Team is Knowledgeable for Smooth Operations
  • Make Sure You Have Enough Customer Service Agents Available
  • Review and Organize Your Product Supply
  • Create An Influencer Campaign
  • Maximize SEO With Updated Product Descriptions
  • Segment Your Subscriber Lists for Effective Advertising
  • Introduce Loyalty Programs for Data, Traffic, and Engagement
  • Prepare Your Website for High Traffic Levels
  • Simplify Your Product Offering and Plan Around It
  • Create a Countdown Timer to Generate a Sense of Urgency
  • Offer Gift Guides to Entice Customers With Convenience
  • Put Effort Into Your Seasonal Staff
  • Increase Units Per Transaction With Cross-Selling

 

Use Email and SMS to Cut Through the Digital Chaos

The digital marketing world can get very crowded and diluted around the holidays, which is why using email and SMS to nurture engaged audiences is a great way to inform shoppers and prepare for Black Friday. 

The holiday shopping season will see a flood of promotions and sales that are all-encompassing and often lack personalization, leaving shoppers without a clear picture of your brand.

However, through email and SMS marketing, you can use data to highlight shopper interest, notify them of daily promotions, keep them up to date in real time, and all while positioning the information in the palm of their hand.

In addition, by being proactive and transparent in your messaging about price surges and shipping issues, you will also gain trust. In using email and SMS to prepare for Black Friday, you can create a more personalized customer experience that will keep your dispensing of information seamless and help boost conversions.

Greg Gillman, CRO, MuteSix

 

Streamline Your Purchasing and Checkout System

My best tip for preparing a small business for Black Friday is to have a system of purchasing and checkout that is super quick. Many business owners don’t think about this because, normally, their current system works fine. However, Black Friday is different and people waiting to check out can grow fast. 

You might get extra payment pads from your payment processor and enable several key employees to do checkout around the store other than at the cash register.

Set up a second check-out area away from the first and even consider having an employee checking people out while they are in line if they can use a portable processor and can text or email receipts like you can on Square and PayPal.

Another change is to separate your cash customers from electronic payers. That would divide your line and speed up the process since each line will handle only one type of payment.

Baruch Labunski, CEO, Rank Secure

 

Deck Your Website With Banners & Promotions

Ring in the excitement of Black Friday shopping by decking out your landing page with festive banners announcing “Black Friday Deals are Here!” 

This year, more shoppers than ever will scour the Internet for the best deals possible before they miss out. So your site must communicate clearly what discounts you’re offering and how long customers have to take advantage of them with a unique Black Friday banner in a clean design and easy-to-read font. 

Making it easy to see the benefits of purchasing from your brand makes people more confident in their seasonal shopping decisions.

Shaunak Amin, CEO & Co-Founder, SwagMagic

 

Reach Out for a Strategic Partnership

Ask yourself how your business’s unique product or service could be marketed for a Black Friday sale. 

For example, our company sells a tattoo numbing cream. Black Friday naturally motivates local tattoo shops to advertise their own Black Friday sales on their social media, which allows us to reach out to potentially partner with any shop for a collaborative Black Friday deal. 

Ask yourself, who could you reach out to be a good strategic partner for your business’s Black Friday marketing campaign?

Ubaldo Perez, CEO, Hush Anesthetic       

 

Research the Competition to Make an Outstanding Strategy

Research what your direct competitors are doing and have done in past Black Friday campaigns so you can distinguish yourself from them. 

Consumers are inundated with Black Friday promotions and ads. They’re expected and, at a certain point, all blend into each other. Make a plan to set yourself apart from the pack so your efforts don’t go unnoticed. 

You could start your campaign earlier counting down your promotion, run a contest that engages your social media followers, or create an Augmented Reality experience with your brand. The more you know about what the competition is doing, the more you can plan how you’ll stand out amongst the pack.

Monte Deere, CEO, Kizik

 

Ensure Your Team is Knowledgeable for Smooth Operations

With Black Friday, knowledge is power. Ensuring your team knows what is happening and what the deals are will be important factors in making sure everything runs smoothly. 

The sales day itself can be highly overwhelming for physical stores, so it is part of your responsibility to make sure that a team feels prepared for it as much as they can.

A team who knows the information will help reduce turmoil when being asked questions and can guide consumers in the right direction, giving them the best advice possible. 

The consumers likely already know the deals they are after, and what will be offered, but having a knowledgeable team who can efficiently guide consumers will not only make them much happier in a stressful situation but will also have an impact to make everybody’s working life easier.

Hopefully, your customers will move quickly through your stores to create less upset for everyone

Brett Downes, Founder, Haro Helpers

 

Make Sure You Have Enough Customer Service Agents Available

Black Friday at most brands could mean an influx of demand, and it will serve you well if you’re prepared to handle it. 

One strategy that’s bound to show positive results is ensuring there are enough customer service agents to handle customer issues as they shop. This could be of great help in accelerating the process of purchase and making every customer’s experience a pleasant one.

Dillon Hammond, Marketing Manager, Achieve TMS East

 

Review and Organize Your Product Supply

One quick tip to prepare for black Friday is to review and organize your product supply.

This will better accommodate the high volume of business, as well as make sure your stores do not run out of stock, or overstock too much of one particular product. 

Finding the appropriate balance of supply per customer demand is crucial in maximizing profit for the company, without wasting time, products, or resources.

Chris Coote, Founder & CEO, California Honey Vapes

 

Create An Influencer Campaign 

With the help of influencers, you can raise brand awareness, drive more sales, and convey your message directly to your ideal customers in ways that were previously challenging. 

This is critical to the success of your online store’s conversion rate. It’s next to impossible to keep tabs on everything and exercise real-time management over your merchandise. 

You need highly automated merchandising that responds to this sort of pressure. Generally speaking, sales can be boosted by improving product relevance.

Mark Valderrama, Founder & CEO, Aquarium Store Depot

 

Maximize SEO With Updated Product Descriptions

You need to have product descriptions that can convert your website visitors or app users into buyers. 

Be sure to add specific words and phrases that people will be on the lookout for when browsing through Black Friday deals and discounts. Some examples are “only a few units left” or “available for a limited time.” Such phrases will persuade more people to take advantage of what you have on offer.

Plus, don’t wait until the last minute. Do it as early as possible to allow search engines to pick up the new information. This will depend on how long it takes for changes in your descriptions to appear on Google and other online searches.

Mike Stuzzi, Founder, Mike Stuzzi

 

Segment Your Subscriber Lists for Effective Advertising

Many businesses will put out their best offers and discounts during BFCM to entice buyers. These businesses use traditional promotional messages on channels like email, SMS, Messenger, ads, and others to push out offers—which is more like a mass promotion—one message to them all.

If I were to recommend following one thing that can set you apart and help you stand out in the noise, it is personalization. Go beyond first names and segment your subscribers/ customers based on their engagement with your previous campaigns, communication, and purchases. The idea is to hit promotional messages as close to what is contextual to them as possible.

Using the time you have at hand right now to segment your audience will make your offers a lot more effective!

Vanhishikha Bhargava, Founder, Contensify

 

Introduce Loyalty Programs for Data, Traffic, and Engagement

The Black Friday season is one of the best times to introduce a loyalty program. Consumers can sign up at the checkout, intending to stick around for the long term. 

In fact, according to the 2021 Premium Loyalty Data Study, 49% of consumers will provide the necessary information at checkout to join a loyalty program. The program can have a lasting impact on your business, not only driving more traffic to your website but also serving as a source of useful data to improve user experience (UX) and increase future engagement.

Andrew Chen, CPO, CommentSold

 

Prepare Your Website for High Traffic Levels

The first thing you need to do is make sure your website is ready for the influx of traffic. This means ensuring that your site can handle the increased traffic and that your products and services are easily accessible.

Look at your website analytics over the past few months to see what your average traffic levels are. This will give you a good idea of how much traffic you can expect on Black Friday.

Then, look at your website infrastructure. Do you have enough bandwidth to accommodate the increased traffic? If not, you may need to upgrade your hosting plan. Finally, make sure your website is easy to navigate.

Martin Seeley, CEO, Mattress Next Day

 

Simplify Your Product Offering and Plan Around It

Get specific on which products and services you want to promote and make a plan. One tip, if you’re feeling overwhelmed by Black Friday, is to take your power back by directing your customers to specific products or services so you know you can deliver. 

For example, pick a few products to promote and advertise, bolster your supply of those products, and draw your customers’ attention to those particular products, and you’ll set yourself up for success. 

A simple tip for preparing your small business for Black Friday is to take control of the situation by promoting and advertising specific products you know you can supply—that way, everyone is happy and satisfied.

Gabriel de la Serna, CEO & Founder, On Post

 

Create a Countdown Timer to Generate a Sense of Urgency

Your customers are sure to be bombarded with Black Friday sales from all angles, so it’s important to make sure your small business stands out. 

One way to do this is by creating a countdown timer on your website. This will create a sense of urgency and encourage customers to take advantage of your sale before it’s too late. 

By counting down the days, hours, or even minutes until your sale starts, you will grab your customers’ attention and drive sales.

Burak Özdemir, Founder, Online Alarm Kur

 

Offer Gift Guides to Entice Customers With Convenience

As consumers turn online to plan for Black Friday, a ripe opportunity to market to them opens up. 

With the number of deals going around, many consumers feel overwhelmed by the sheer volume of potential items to buy. As a small business, you can use social media and/or email listings to create neat, organized graphics that lay out the deals you’ll be running. 

Organizing them by type, price, demographic, etc. can take much of the work out of planning for a Black Friday shopping spree. By offering potential customers this convenience, you’re making it more likely that they’ll choose to shop at your small business.

Jonathan Krieger, VP of Sales, Fabuwood

 

Put Effort Into Your Seasonal Staff

Hire early and hire right. Even if you’re hiring seasonal employees who may not be with your company past the holiday season, it is still hugely important to make sure that they are the right hires for your business. 

Ensuring that all employees align with your corporate culture and values and are equally passionate about your product or service is imperative to having a successful holiday season. Get the right employees on board and trained early on to hit your goals by EOY.

Sam Sarullo, CMO, Daniel’s Jewelers

 

Increase Units Per Transaction With Cross-Selling

Be prepared to cross-sell. If customers are already on your site to shop Black Friday sales, increase their units per transaction (UPT) by recommending products that would go well with what they’re already viewing. 

For instance, if a customer is viewing a day cream for their skin, suggest a night cream as well. Black Friday is an excellent day to cross-sell because customers are already planning on making a purchase.

Kim Walls, CEO & Co-Founder, Furtuna Skin

Brett Farmiloe is the founder of Terkel, a Q&A platform that connects brands with expert insights.

Black Friday stock image by maximmmmum/Shutterstock

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