Four quick ways small businesses can maximise Black Friday

For small businesses, there are few bigger shopping days in the year than Black Friday. Marking the start of the holiday shopping period, it’s a chance for retailers up and down the country to capitalise on consumer interest in gifting and deals.

As the cost of living continues to bite, enticing customers into your online and offline store remains challenging, but there are smart strategies small businesses can implement to set themselves up for success during this golden quarter. Black Friday may be right around the corner, but here are four last-minute top tips to maximise this period of trading.

Time your marketing right

Black Friday, Cyber Monday and the entire holiday shopping period is incredibly noisy as businesses large and small compete to get consumers’ attention. Therefore, timing how you communicate with them is vital.

Our data shows that in the US alone, 1.8 billion emails are sent on average on Black Friday and 1.3 billion on Cyber Monday. Yet, over the weekend in between only 744 million emails a day are sent, despite customer engagement remaining steady throughout all four days. This means that during the (relatively) quiet days, there’s an opportunity to promote your products so you can stay top-of-mind with consumers for Cyber Monday.

Adapt your promotions

Over half (55%) of British consumers say holiday promos are extremely or very important to their purchasing decisions over this shopping period. While that shouldn’t come as a surprise, it’s important to remember that every customer is different. Therefore, it’s worth considering a varied and tailored approach for the promotions and discounts you offer. That doesn’t mean you need to offer sweeping discounts to your entire customer base though. For example, you could focus on exclusive promos for your most loyal or valuable customers, by either limiting the period that a certain discount is available, or incorporating a minimum spend to activate it. Despite taking time, this test and learn approach could help you to identify the most effective promos and learn more about your customers, while still generating revenue.

Integrate to innovate

There are lots of different technologies that can help you run your business more effectively, but it is important to think about how they all integrate together. You may have the best ecommerce service for your online store, but if it doesn’t link up with your marketing platform or social media to give customers a personalised experience, you could be spending too much time switching between services and not enough time supporting your customers.

By using technologies that work together online and offline you can create your own personalised ecosystem that works for your needs with just the click of a button and get much better insight into how your business is performing. For example, by linking your marketing, commerce and accounting systems, you can seamlessly track the sales process from targeting a consumer right through to payment, so you can worry more about creating new products to help prospective customers, and less about your technology admin.

Learn more about your customer

Learning more about your customers and their interests is one of the most important factors for success. If you don’t have that information, there’s a chance you’re not reaching the right people and potentially losing business as a result. Ensuring you have that insight can enable you to tailor your approach, so marketing collateral can be personalised to potentially increase sales. Our research shows consumers actually want this too; 73% of British and American consumers say they feel more valued when they receive personalised emails, and 87% said they’re more likely to to click on an email that’s personalised to them.

And consumers may be happy sharing more than marketers might think too. Over two thirds (69%) said they’d be willing to provide information about their gender, 65% their age, 58% their product preference and 55% their interests and hobbies, so it’s worth investing to get the insight of who you’re trying to reach. But remember, they’ll likely want to see value back in return in the form of personalised offers, discounts or competitions.

Whether it’s message timing, promotion adaptation, technology integration or personalisation, being able to combine these tactics together into one clear strategy for the peak holiday retail season, can be the difference between success and failure. If the strategy is right, this can help you to outperform the competition during a critical period in the calendar, and set you on a successful path for growth in 2024.