The beginning of the Christmas shopping season, marked by Black Friday — the day following Thanksgiving Day in the United States — is one of the biggest consumer spending holidays each year.
Black Friday is known for the increase in sales and store traffic that businesses across the nation will experience. Last year’s Black Friday sales “broke records and consumers showed an increased appetite for shopping despite the recent negative headlines: euro zone debt crisis, high U.S. unemployment, falling stock prices,” according to Yahoo! Finance reports.
Will last year’s shopping momentum illustrate the same resilience this year?
Holiday sales are expected to reach $54.47 billion, up 16.8% over 2011 levels, according to eMarketer.
How can you capitalize on the anticipated holiday sales boost?
Every small business can take tactical steps to increase Black Friday revenue and engage prospective buyers. Here are six simple ways to gain Black Friday sales traction.
1. Develop a promotional email campaign.
Hopefully you’re already using an email marketing client to gather email leads and nurture those relationships in some way – whether you own a brick-and-mortar or e-commerce business. If so, create, launch and track a Black Friday email campaign dedicated to driving revenue by offering a compelling sales promotion.
Small businesses can utilize email campaigns to offer Black Friday previews of new product and service offerings, flash sales, 24-hour coupon codes, or early access to sales in exchange for increased engagement (i.e. joining your company’s social networks, etc.).
2. Use social media to promote sales offers.
Using Facebook, Twitter and other social networks can be an effective platform to drive sales, but don’t over do it. Create and schedule a healthy blend of content that informs, inspires, engages and sells.
Social media can be an effective sales driver without the hard sells. Instead of telling people to buy, show them why they should. Feature customers who have purchased from your business. Re-purpose customer testimonials with captivating graphics that users can share. Black Friday shoppers will expect huge deals, so look for ways to give back without compromising your bottom-line.
3. Upgrade e-commerce technology to include wishlists and shopping tools.
Sometimes, the easiest way to captivate your customers is to make their shopping experience more seamless. Help customers do things that they’ll do anyway, with or without help from your company.
Upgrade your e-commerce technology to include wishlists and enable social sharing. Create branded budget sheets to make Black Friday shopping easier. Show customers what they’ll save, directly in their shopping cart. Congratulate customers for shopping smarter and saving more.