Black Friday—the day after Thanksgiving in the US—marks the first official day of Christmas shopping, and is synonymous with stores getting ‘back in the black’ financially.
It’s the biggest shopping day of the year and has been a part of the American holiday season since the early 1980s. Thanks to the Internet, however, it has since become a global phenomenon.
As a business, you can benefit from Black Friday both by saving on business purchases as well as bringing in additional revenue from your own Black Friday sales.
Buying on Black Friday
1. Decide what you need
Think of what your business needs now, as well as what you’ll need in the near future in order to execute your overall strategy—office essentials, computers, etc. Classify everything else as a secondary need—these would be less integral purchases, like a coffee machine for the kitchen. That way, you know exactly what your main priorities are and can limit impulse purchases which could lead to overspending.
As well as considering your core business needs, you might also think about the following:
- Office environment: how will purchases impact the space and feel of your office?
- Marketing materials: From hard marketing materials to social media assets, there’s no limit to who might be offering discounts on Black Friday & Cyber Monday, so don’t overlook these areas.
- Legal & accounting solutions: It’s not the most obvious or glamorous subject for a sale, but many legal and accounting experts share their IP (such as bespoke learning materials) to businesses at a significantly reduced cost on Black Friday.
- Learning and Development: Black Friday sees many training providers slash the cost of video courses that would normally be behind a paywall. Gaining free access now could give you advance access something you know is going to come up later.
2. Do your research
Now that you’ve decided what you need, it’s important to know what the normal prices of these items are (so you know what you’ll save on Black Friday), and devise a safe buying strategy. Price comparison sites like Google Shopping and Pricerunner are also useful tools to determine baseline prices.
Drop into your nearest stores to test products in advance of the day—especially electronics. This will allow you to choose products ahead of time that you know will meet your needs.
Deciding whether you’ll get better deals at brick-and-mortar stores versus shopping online can also pose a challenge. Smaller items tend to be better-priced in-store once you factor in shipping, although many large online retailers now offer free shipping.
Also remember that many online retailers offer their best sales on Cyber Monday, while Black Friday is traditionally when brick-and-mortar stores have their deals. If you’re buying online, make sure you’re on the mailing lists of all your target suppliers so you can pick up the offers as soon as they’re released.
3. Timing is Everything
Some retailers have specific time limits on offers or limited stock availability. While it may be a little extreme to create yourself a Black Friday timetable of offers, keeping your fingers on the pulse as the day progresses is a good strategy.
Apps for major stores may have all the information you need. Retailers like Walmart and Amazon have robust apps that adapt well to offer days like Black Friday. Having them handily tucked away in your pocket is not a bad thing.
Social media is also a great way to track live updates for businesses that may not have such comprehensive apps. Follow the feeds and pages of your favorite stores for the latest!
For your physical journey to stores, getting there early is a great idea. But because you can’t be in several places at once, collaborating with colleagues or employees can be a game-changer here. Divide your list among different stores and decide which person will take which store for the morning rush. This way, you can benefit from multiple store openings rather than just one—just make sure you’re really in sync with one another.
Selling on Black Friday
1. Taking Part
Remember that Black Friday and Cyber Monday are the biggest shopping days of the year, so whatever your business, your participation is worth some serious consideration. It can be a great way to gain loyalty from existing customers and acquire new customers, but it will require extra work on your part to be ready for the onslaught.
Taking part in Black Friday sales is not a necessity by any means. For some businesses, however, your customers may expect it—and you don’t want to disappoint. Keep reading to see how easy it can be!
2. Decide on Your Deals
What you offer on Black Friday will depend on what kind of business you run.
If you sell physical products, think about bulk buying in advance so you can pass on savings to your customer. You can even pick loss-leaders to entice people into your online store, but if you do this, always aim for an upsell. Don’t overbuy, especially if you already have stock sitting around and going nowhere quickly. Be especially careful if you stock perishable products.
If you normally offer a service rather than a product, think about what makes sense to offer. Perhaps instead of discounting your gold-tier service, instead, offer a free or reduced-rate ‘Discovery’ or ‘Consultation’ call to pull more potential customers into your circle.
And if you sell digital products as well as services, discounting these assets (ebooks, apps, etc.) can be a great way to prevent devaluing your time.
3. Test Your Systems
Test that your store or website, payment processes, and fulfillment systems can deliver before the big day. How are you going to handle the extra site traffic and customer feedback? It’s all worth considering.
Are you sending out an email promoting your sales? Make triple sure you’ve included a great subject line and all of the fields are completed, and you include all of your terms and conditions. Send a copy to yourself and a friend as a test.
If you expect a lot of traffic on your website, make sure the server and your hosting account can handle the extra bandwidth. It’s worth a call to your website developer and/or your hosting provider to see if there are any steps you should take to make sure your website doesn’t crash.
Perhaps most important is compelling sales copy. Most people will get the product in their shopping cart, but not proceed with the transaction. Make sure you have some really enticing call-to-actions to really push them through to completion with the sale.
4. Getting Your Message Out There
It takes only a few minutes to set up some social media posts using Hootsuite or similar scheduling apps. Get your sales emails crafted as soon as possible, and schedule reminders and follow-ups throughout the day.
Think about your customer’s buying journey, and optimize your store/site to guide them along the path that seems most likely to drive revenue. Copy and layout are hugely important; try to group related products, and automatically offer accessories with the main purchases.
5. Finally, Have Fun!
Let’s face it, you’re in business not only to make money but to do what you love. In all the excitement of the Black Friday phenomenon, make sure that you have fun—don’t just get lost in the stress of marketplace chaos.
Celebrate the money you save, be grateful for the happy clients that come your way, and admire how a single day can mean so much for your business.
Namecheap’s Black Friday & Cyber Monday Deals
It wouldn’t be Black Friday without Namecheap’s annual giveaways! We are known for going a bit overboard when it comes to our offers. So check out our huge selection of Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals on November 24th and 27th. It’s a full two days with new offers every hour, so make sure you keep checking back.