Doesn’t it seem as though the big brands have a hold on Black Friday? People camp out in line for hours on end just to get their hands on a 75% off blender, video game, or the latest movie release. It seems a bit over the top, and some stores are taking a stand against the insane shopping holiday, but folks love Black Friday shopping.
It’s no secret that proper marketing techniques can easily align a small business with a big brand, especially when customers are looking for the best deals and products this time of year. However, it’s overwhelming!
Between understanding the unique customer profile, marketing to mobile trends and determining where to begin, marketers have their work cut out for them during the holiday shopping season.
When to Begin Your Black Friday Marketing Efforts
The holidays start earlier and earlier every year. Next thing you know, we’ll be selling pool supplies the day after the winter holidays end. The question becomes, when is the best time for your small business to start advertising holiday specials or sales?
Black has turned to gray and the big retailers are beginning their promotions earlier every year. That means that, by the time Black Friday has rolled around, the party has already begun for major retailers. Often, small business owners do not have the means or time to rev up their Black Friday marketing efforts so early.
While the major retailers gear up for the major shopping holidays early, it’s imperative for small business owners to consider when do the customers begin shopping?
A July 2015 Google survey turned up the following results:
- 48% of shoppers stated they started their shopping on or before Black Friday and Cyber Monday. This stat is up 8% from 40% in 2013.
- 25% of shoppers started their holiday shopping prior to Halloween
Google’s survey provides a wealth of information for small business owners looking to take advantage of the holiday season:
The Friday after Thanksgiving is still the most active single day for shopping. Last year, Walmart upped the ante by starting massive sales at 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day. They are expected to repeat that strategy this year but with an earlier start time of 6 p.m. Crazy, right?
Major retailers and big brands need to generate buzz about their Black Friday deals long in advance in order to edge out their competitors. As a small business, you have one major advantage — local, loyal customers.
You don’t necessarily need to open your doors at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day in order to make a great return on investment or profit. Instead, market about a month in advance to your most loyal customers and provide them an offer of value. Entice them to choose your local store on Black Friday rather than a big box retailer.
If you are looking to use Black Friday to drive new customers to your store, a targeted online advertising campaign would work in your favor!
Know Your Customer
Shoppers are smart. Is that printer on the shelf the one sporting a red 40% off discount tag really that good of a deal? New technology allows customers to instantly search what your competitors are offering on the spot. The person wandering into your store is much more likely to have compared prices, considered the specifications, and may even know more about the product than the salesperson. Most customers will take a look at online reviews, competing businesses websites or stores, blogs, social media posts and alternative sources for information about an item before making a purchase.
Your local competitors are included in this research. Before crafting your Black Friday marketing campaign, take your competitors’ current and previous tactics into consideration. What can you do to influence customers to choose your business on Black Friday? Is it a better deal? Higher quality products at a steal of a price? Perhaps you’re offering an exclusive Black Friday offer for blog subscribers or loyal customers. Whatever you choose, your offer needs to stand out from the other offers your customers have to choose from.
Takeaway: More than ever, you and your staff have to do some homework. The one who knows more, sells more. And don’t just know the key components of the brands you carry, know your competition’s products as well.
Mobile Engagement is Key
Whether you are online, offline, or both, your customers are using smartphones to help them make a decision. In their July 2015 survey, Google found that 53% of shoppers used their smartphones for shopping all through the holiday shopping process. In 2014, close to $1 trillion dollars, approximately 28% of all retail sales, were influenced by mobile shopping activities and searches.
Mega brands are taking the rise in mobile technology into consideration and making it easy for customers to shop via their phones, while in store. For example, Walmart has created a store map for Black Friday shoppers to navigate through their store with simplicity.
Considering that you run a small business, don’t fret about creating a mobile app or spending your budget on sending targeted text messages to customers. Instead, think about how your current Black Friday marketing strategy incorporates mobile devices. Is your website mobile responsive? Are you utilizing social media networks that your customers frequently view from their phones? If the majority of your customers utilize mobile technology, it is an imperative part of your Black Friday marketing strategy.
Use Small Business Saturday to Your Advantage
Is Black Friday not a good avenue for your small business? Small Business Saturday is a shopping holiday designed to benefit the hardworking entrepreneurs around our country. Create specific offers and values available only at your business location on Small Business Saturday. It is in your best interest to create an entire digital marketing campaign around this event, including social media posts and email marketing messages sent to frequent customers.
Black Friday will be here before you know it. Do you have a strategy in place? Are you content with the results it is currently producing? Whether you need a plan of action, a new strategy, or marketing advice, contact the digital marketing aficionados at Titan Web Marketing Solutions today.