It’s November, and for many, it means Thanksgiving, harvesting and the peak of fall is here, but for others, it means business - Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday. As a business owner, these special holiday shopping days can bring opportunity for increased consumer awareness and significant sales. By not taking part, your business may be missing out on some of the most lucrative days. There’s not much introduction that needs to be made for these days, but it’s important to know the basics.
Black Friday has been around for decades and there are many theories as to how it began. Today, it is known as one of the biggest and most important shopping holidays of the year. Cyber Monday and Small Business Saturday are fairly new to the shopping holidays but are rooted from the same theme as Black Friday. The difference of both from Black Friday, which occurs nationwide among big businesses, is that Cyber Monday is optimal for omnichannel and online businesses, and Small Business Saturday is set away for non-traditional retailers with smaller chains. It’s fair game for all business owners no matter the size
If you’ve already joined the bandwagon or are new to it, there are tips to help you make the most of the days that fit your business. The key to taking advantage of these shopping holidays is preparation, marketing, and timing. By strategically planning out each one, the big consumer spending days of the Holiday season to come can be very profitable for your business.
Evaluating how well your strategies from the past year went is a good place to start. What product sold better than others? Are there any promotions or marketing tactics that brought more traffic than others? If this is the first time your business will be taking part in the festivities, then start asking yourself the basics. What products can sell well during the Holidays? How can your current marketing tactics (email, social media, radio, signage) boost awareness for special offers? It’s never too early or too late to plan ahead. By ensuring your marketing materials and strategies are solid, executing will be a breeze. Another good tip to note is research. From analyzing what your competitors are doing this year and how well they’ve done in the past, you can adjust your ideas and deals to make it better.
It’s important to start executing your marketing plan as early as possible. Don’t wait to post about it on social media the morning of - unless you’ve planned it out as an exclusive deal that you’ve been teasing. Getting the word out by any means is vital. This could be an ad on social media, banners on your website, flyers around your physical store, email marketing, local radio advertisements...the list goes on and on. If you feel stuck, just refer to the marketing materials you’ve already created for deals or promotions in the past, and add a holiday twist. Getting an early start allows you to know what works to attract the most consumers and convert the most sales versus what doesn’t. Also, if you have attended our recent Women’s Success Summit powered by Google, you also know how important it is to make sure your business is listed on Google Maps and other directories alike.
This is a crucial aspect when executing and overseeing your marketing plan. Knowing the most lucrative times of your consumer business on each shopping holiday will set you up for success. Black Friday is pretty straightforward. Consumers are lining up the night before or showing up at the crack of dawn and the sales last all day. Be prepared to have your staff and functions ready in a timely manner. According to USA Today, Cyber Monday peak times come between 8:00 and 11:00 p.m. in each time zone. Plan on offering extra-special deals and optimize your promotions to appear at these times. For Small Business Saturday, plan on opening earlier than your competitors and staying open later. Since you have more leeway, you can also utilize special deals at certain times of the day. It may be helpful to add a celebratory-type of element to the atmosphere to get potential consumers.
Don’t forget: the deals don’t have to stop on the same day. Your business can get more out of these shopping holidays by keeping the momentum going. Plan to reach out to consumers for the days to follow with different deals and incentives until the end of December. They’re most likely to be shopping until then and that’s an opportunity you don’t want to miss.
Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday are right around the corner, but it’s never too late to engage in marketing strategies for the biggest retail events of the year. By pre-planning, using some of the tips we’ve provided, and researching more on what works best for your business, you are well on your way to making the most of the Holidays - with some time to spare for the delicious turkey and pumpkin pie.