November always seems like a tough month in the beginning. Sales seem to be slow and your regular customers may not be visiting as often as they usually do. But fear not, November is all about Black Friday and Cyber Monday. A recent consumer study showed that 69% of South African consumers intended to participate in Black Friday. In fact, South Africa has one of the highest adoption rates of the Black Friday concept in the world, with Black Friday website sessions jumping 936% last year vs the previous Black Friday weekend.
The Yoco community is no exception, we took some time to look over Black Friday and Cyber Monday stats from last year and spoke to a number of our merchants who managed to increase their daily sales by more than 1000%. Here are their tips and tricks to make the most out of Black Friday 2018.
1. Talk the Talk, from early
Use social media to talk up your Black Friday specials. Post a few Instagram stories, reach out to your Facebook fans and tweet up a storm. Some of our most successful merchants went old-school and put up some signage in their stores or advertised in local newspapers. Don’t forget to mention it on your website as well.
It’s important to make sure that your customers know you’re planning something big. Build up some hype and give them something to look forward to. Our merchants with the biggest uplifts last year began advertising their specials from mid-November to pump up the excitement. Stats from the USA shows this trend, in particular, is growing, with most of the major retailers starting their Black Friday advertising earlier and earlier, some as early as the end of October.
Another growing trend is the use of teaser emailers. Consumers increasingly plan their Black Friday shopping well before time by trawling through the specials they have already seen advertised and deciding what they will take advantage of. So don’t wait for the day, use your email database to get your specials out there.
A couple of other great promotion ideas to maximise the day:
- The Every Hour Sale – a different product, every hour. This call to action can allow you to stand out, creates urgency and showcases your product range
- Hero Product Promotion – it is a cluttered day, so why not just choose your one Hero product line and promote it with deep discounting.
- Gift cards – a lot of people want to get a deal and move on. Discounted gift cards are a great way to get people into your store, and back again at a later point.
2. Make sure you’ve got the goods.
Now it’s time to walk the walk. It’s important that you have enough stock to make the most of Black Friday. Decide on the specials you want to run and make sure you have more stock than usual to keep up with the demand. Some Yoco merchants learnt this the hard way last year, running out of their top sellers early in the morning on the big day.
Black Friday is also not just for your traditional retail outlets, some of the biggest growths stories from last year came from merchants in industries you perhaps wouldn’t associate with Black Friday – Health & Beauty and Food & Beverage. Gift cards were especially popular in the Health & Beauty industry as customers don’t want to spend their precious shopping time on Black Friday getting a beauty treatment.
Insider Tip 1: Yoco merchants can use their Business Portal to look at their sales volumes from last year. This can help you decide how much stock you should buy for this Black Friday.
Insider Tip 2: We know that buying extra stock can mess with your cash flow. To avoid the stress of cash flow problems, eligible Yoco merchants can apply for a cash advance to help them buy extra stock. Take a look at Yoco Capital to learn more.
3. Are you ready to face the masses?
If you Talked the Talk and got people riled up about your Black Friday specials, then your store is about to get busy. Make sure that you prepare your staff for a busy day. It might make sense to bring in an extra person to help out.
It is also a critical day to capture customer information for loyalty and future campaigns, so make sure you have a way to get repeat customers out of Black Friday, rather than just one-day bargain hunters – another reason to hire up for the day so you have extra pairs of hands to help out.
4. Making use of Cyber Monday
Cyber Monday is the Monday after Black Friday. It’s a great way to extend the Black Friday mania and keep sales going, particularly this year, where Black Friday falls before payday for many people, but Cyber Monday is right on the money.
You can use Cyber Monday to give your slow-poke customers a second chance to make use of the specials. It’s also a great opportunity for you to get rid of the extra stock that you might not have been able to sell on Black Friday. Even if you don’t have an e-commerce business, Cyber Monday has morphed into a continuation of the Black Friday craziness.
5. Last, but not least
While Black Friday seems like it’s for customers to get a sweet deal, it’s also a great opportunity for your business.
If you plan ahead, talk the talk and make Black Friday a success, it can increase awareness for your business. It can bring in new customers and increase your reach. People who may not have known about your business before may become new customers. So make sure you capitalise on this great sales and marketing opportunity in 2018 for your business.