Black Friday, which falls on November 24 this year, divides opinion across the UK – some love it and some hate it. But which ever side you fall on, it’s here to stay. Understandably, the thought of giving huge discounts across the board can have even the savviest of small retailers breaking out in a cold sweat.
But smaller merchants can still join in without their bottom line suffering. All it takes is a bit of creativity. And while some businesses do choose to offer discounts with great success, it doesn’t mean it’s the best tactic for everyone.
“One way for bricks and mortar SMEs to capitalise on Black Friday is to adopt some tricks of their larger counterparts,” says Greg Liset, Head of Propositions at Barclaycard. “For instance, it’s absolutely key to build anticipation and urgency.”
Make a noise
One clever Black Friday marketing technique is to create an urgency to buy among consumers when you have a limited amount of products – for example, by saying how many are left . Big retailers often use this technique, encouraging customers to ‘Hurry! While stocks last!’.
But you can also use this key date in the retail calendar to remind customers who you are and what you offer.
Email, traditional adverts, social media, flyers and signage online and in-store can all be used to attract more customers with marginal discounts – or even none at all.
Lots of people prefer to shop online during Black Friday to avoid big queues and the crowds that discounts draw. This means it is really important to make sure your online payments system is up to scratch. As there are so many deals online and across social media, make sure your online payments are effective too to avoid customers going elsewhere.
Take a stand
Some small retailers have capitalised on their size by highlighting the importance of local businesses in the community.
“Even little gestures in store, such as providing free seasonal food and drink, can help to turn your shop into a neighbourhood meeting point as the festive period kicks off – potentially leading to many more sales,” says Greg. “Remind shoppers that their purchases are supporting a small business and local communities. The concept of ‘buying local’ is a growing trend, so you should try to take advantage of it.”
Some retailers have previously used Black Friday to remind consumers of the value that they offer. Emphasising the fact that they sell well-made products – and so intend to keep prices that match the quality of their goods – can be a good tactic amid the noise of discounts in the market.
Vendors can even use the event to boost footfall later in the year. Consumers can be offered discount vouchers that can be redeemed in the future, encouraging them to come back at a later date. For example, you could have special offers that relate to Christmas shopping or the January sales.
With the possibility of attracting a lot of new customers, make sure you can take a variety of payments to make spending easy for them. Many retailers miss out on business if they can’t accept card payments . Contactless payment methods are also becoming increasingly in demand and can help you cut queues.
Once you hit upon the right idea for your business, take advantage of your agility as an SME to implement it straight away – and you’ll be well on your way to Black Friday success,” Greg adds.
The views expressed by any third party and any articles written by any third parties and featured in this article are the views of the authors alone, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Barclaycard. Barclaycard accepts no liability for the impact of, or any loss, however arising, from any decision made based on information contained and views expressed by any third parties or in their articles featured in this article.
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