“Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving, November 28, 2014, and the busiest shopping day of the year. It kicks off the critical holiday season, where retailers make between 20%-40% of their annual revenue.” Black Friday is an important day for business owners. In all of the rush and holiday mania, it is easy to forget a few things … and make a few holiday business blunders.
Here’s a look at seven Black Friday mistakes that you don’t want to make:
Mistake: Forgetting about the rest of the year.
Holiday sales targets are important. But don’t become myopic about the bigger picture here – the last two months of the year offer an unprecedented opportunity to start the new year with a bang. Take advantage of increased demand and seasonal sales peaks to test non-holiday related offers.
Mistake: Competing on price, and price alone.
Black Friday shoppers are prowling for a deal. But not just any deal – the best deal known to mankind. But let’s not forget. Every business cannot compete on price, nor should they. Consider your market, customer needs and the value you create.
Break from the holiday “give it to me free” mold and consider non-price competition. Distinguish your business from competitors on the basis of attributes like quality, design and workmanship.
Don’t dilute your brand by waging price wars if it is in conflict with your branding strategy and current position in market. Yes. You can gain market share, but generally, competing on price alone leads to disloyal customers, low margins and many sleepless nights.
Mistake: Underestimating digital foot traffic.
Retail giant, Best Buy experienced a website outage on Friday morning … during one of the busiest shopping days of the year. If it can happen to them, it can surely happen to you. Running an ecommerce business may help you avoid the stress of long lines and crowds, but don’t forget how similar your online business is to that of a brick and mortar store.
Holiday ecommerce is big business. According to comScore, “Black Friday 2013 (November 29) saw $1.198 billion in desktop online sales, making it the season’s first billion dollar day and heaviest online spending day to date, while representing a 15-percent increase versus Black Friday 2012. Thanksgiving Day (November 28), while traditionally a lighter day for online holiday spending, achieved a strong 21-percent increase over Thanksgiving Day last year to $766 million.” Your digital foot traffic will likely increase. Are you prepared to handle the influx of website visitors?
Mistake: Ignoring security – online and offline.
Larger retailers have ramped up security staff to control the anticipated crowds of shoppers in anticipation of Black Friday mania. However, many small business owners view added security as an unnecessary expense. The truth is, it could end up being more costly if, and when, loss occurs.
The same is true of ecommerce, cyber threats intensify during the holiday season. From deceptive advertising, to phishing scams and more McAfee has identified this year’s top “12 Scams of the Holidays” that you should be aware of, and prepared for.
Mistake: Launching misleading pricing gimmicks.
Some retailers are guilty of using pricing tricks like misleading original prices and they are fond of making shoppers jump through mail-in rebates hoops. Don’t let this be you. Consumers have access to unprecedented information in the digital age. Serious shoppers compare ads beforehand. Pricing schemes and gimmicks can quickly backfire – demolishing your sales and brand reputation in the process.
Mistake: Forgetting about Cyber Monday.
Some of your customers simply will not venture out into Black Friday insanity. Why? First, “Black Friday is this: It is carefully designed to make you behave like an idiot.” Secondly, savvy customers know that you also promote sales online (and in the store).
It’s much easier to click and save in lieu of getting trample by herds of shoppers. Black Friday, they know, is just the beginning. They’ll be on the lookout for Cyber Monday deals too – which are often much deeper. If you can’t compete on Friday, roll out the welcome wagon on Cyber Monday.
Mistake: Making it too hard to impulse shop.
Not every online shopper is visiting your company website with a prepared shopping list. This is why you’ll need to help them out with a list of recommended holiday buys. If you haven’t already, create a personalized shopping list with gift ideas and blast it out to your email subscribers and post it on your company blog to generate more search and social traffic. Take the guesswork out of holiday shopping and make it easier for customers to spend – and save.
But let’s face it, if you didn’t witness any #BlackFridayFights like this one — all and all … it was a good business day.
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