Is your brick-and-mortar store prepared for the Black Friday rush?
Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and even Christmas are all fast approaching and if you’ve not already thought about your marketing strategy to capture the attention of consumers and attract customers to your retail store, there is no time to waste.
If you run brick and mortar store, you may still feel the effects of the pandemic-fuelled shift to online shopping this holiday season. Should you want to offer online shopping as well as an in-store experience, here are ways to prepare your eCommerce store for the Black Friday rush.
This year, however, while the pandemic is certainly not yet over, in many places life has normalised somewhat, allowing you to offer the in-store shopping experience. Read on about how you can really get the most out of retail’s hottest time of year.
Prepare Your Shop for Black Friday
Some of these tasks, while highly beneficial, are time-sensitive so the sooner you can get these covered, the more breathing room you will have!
1. Check Your Inventory
Yep, stocktake. You’ll want to know exactly what stock you have on hand because:
- If you need more stock to cope with demand, it’s critical that you get your rush orders placed before it’s too late.
- In line with your pricing strategy, you can use the sales period to promote slow-moving stock or lines that are being discontinued.
- Knowing your stock levels intimately will help you determine how much shrinkage may have occurred during the sale.
2. Check Your POS System
A few questions to consider when evaluating your point of sale experience:
- Depending on the size of your business, can your POS system cope with transactions quickly enough?
- Can it handle different types of payments? Avoid running your store as cash-only or card payment only as you will easily lose out on sales.
- Will you need extra cash in your float? Extra receipt rolls?
- Can you automatically update prices for promotions, or will you need to manually update them at the time of sale?
3. Staffing and In-Store Experience
If you succeed in getting your staff excited about your holiday promotions, that excitement will be felt by your customers too. Ensure you have enough hands on deck to cover additional shifts during the holiday period and give sales team members information on your products and promotional pricing. This gives them confidence in approaching customers and making recommendations to maximise the value of each sale.
Staff attitude plays a massive part in your in-store experience, but if you really want to create value for customers in-store, consider other ways to make your in-store sale an unmissable event:
- team up with neighbouring stores to create a one-stop Black Friday sale destination
- offer coffee or bubbles for shoppers while they browse
- door prizes, free gift wrapping, gift with purchase
Not only will this create value for your customers, but it can also help generate interest from passing shoppers and generate more foot traffic.
4. Don’t Forget Your Digital Assets
Sure, your store is physical. But that doesn’t mean that your customers are not researching your brand online. In fact:
- 80% of people use their smartphone or tablet to research local businesses.
- 75% of local searches result in the customer visiting the store.
- 50% of shoppers prefer to purchase in-store rather than via mobile device.
Even if you don’t have a huge investment in digital marketing, or you don’t want to get a web developer involved, here are two small things we recommend to ensure your customers are getting the correct information.
Claim Your Google My Business (GMB) Listing
- Search engine optimisation (SEO) – having your correct name, phone and address is a known factor for improving your search visibility.
- Own your brand reputation – answer customer questions, respond to reviews.
- Social proof – having a verified business on GMB lends legitimacy to your business.
- Make it easy for customers to find your address, phone and opening hours.
Ensure Your Socials Are Up to Date
Claim your business profiles on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Yelp, etc. Wherever your customers are, make sure you claim your profile and keep business info up to date. You can leverage these to promote your sales – it all depends on how much time and money you’re willing to invest.
5. Create Your Communications Strategy
We’ve said it before – and we’ll keep on saying it: SMS marketing is a powerful way to enhance the customer experience by building relationships, getting the word out to your target audience, and driving sales for your business.
No matter what type of business you run, SMS is a fantastic way to communicate with audiences. But why?
- SMS is preferred for most business-consumer interactions
- Text messages are unintrusive
- SMS does not rely on internet connectivity
- Delivery of messages is near-instantaneous after being sent
- Open rates for SMS are reliably 98%
Setting Up Your Black Friday SMS Strategy
SMS marketing is a great way to boost sales while remaining on-brand. You just need to ensure that your customers have consented to receiving your marketing messages. Let your customers know that receiving SMS from you is an option.
Onboarding refers to obtaining the opt-in from your customers and other consumers in the first place so they can benefit from your SMS strategies. It requires that you motivate their opt-in. Encourage opt-in via:
- the checkout
- in-store signage
- social media profiles
- direct mail fliers
- on printed receipts
- package inserts
- your website
…or by texting your dedicated short code to join your mail list.
When customers sign up/opt-in for SMS messaging from your store, it creates many more opportunities for you to encourage more sales, generate more leads, boost loyalty, and create a positive B2C relationship.
Once you have established consent, you can crack on with creating your SMS marketing journey.
Black Friday SMS Communications for Retailers
So how can you boost sales in your retail store using SMS marketing?
The sooner you can start sending your marketing messages, the more you can build excitement around your Black Friday event. We typically see a lot of retailers build Black Friday drip marketing campaigns for maximum effort. Set up SMS campaigns in our dashboard and use the scheduling feature to send messages at optimal times.
2-3 Weeks Ahead: Build Excitement
Let your customers know that your business is planning for a big Black Friday event by text message. This not only puts your business top of mind but allows customers to start thinking about when/how they can visit your store.
1 Week Ahead: Promote the Value
Start promoting your products based on the value-add to your customers, rather than the discount they can access on Black Friday. Convince customers why they need your product, how it will benefit them, and to stay tuned – building anticipation for Black Friday.
3 Days Ahead: Exclusive Early Access
Open your Black Friday sale early for your VIP members. Let them know about the promotion you’re running and what they get early access to.
Black Friday: Drive Action
This is it. Get the word out about your in-store Black Friday event every way you can: via text message, email, social media posts, etc. Give an enticing offer and compel people to come to your store by offering additional value in-store, or highlighting the value of buying in person (eg. having their items immediately or the ability to try/touch products). Don’t forget to include a strong call to action and the sale end date to further drive urgency.
3 Days Later: Cyber Monday
Typically a day for massive online sales, you can use the momentum of the Black Friday/Cyber Monday weekend to push the final hours of the sale.
1-2 Weeks Later: Hightail into Christmas
As more consumers become used to online shopping and factoring in shipping times and delays, more are forced to start their Christmas shopping early. Encourage your customers to come to your store for their holiday shopping to avoid the crowds that inevitably come in the days before Christmas.
Using Black Friday to Grow Your Contact List
Not only can you use text messages to drive action from your existing customers, but the Black Friday weekend is also a great opportunity for collecting customer details.
Encourage customers to leave their contact number when making a purchase so that you can provide value to them by offering a signup discount, birthday offers, first pick of new stock, priority sale alerts for the holiday season, invitations to VIP events, etc.
Once you have acquired these new opt-in contacts, you can add them to your regular text messaging campaigns:
- Welcome Messages
Thank your customer for signing up for messaging from your SMS strategy and advise what they can expect from you, how to sign up for email newsletters and where to find you on social media.
- Event Promotion
Planning an in-store event this holiday season? Get the word out via SMS with a clear call to action.
- Customer Service
Thank customers for purchases and invite them to provide feedback or leave a review.
- Back in Stock
Advise when popular items have been restocked. Segment and send these messages to customers who have purchased similar products in the past and those who have requested to be informed when specific products are back in stock.
- New Arrivals
Exclusive announcements for new products ahead of general accessibility will make your subscribers feel like VIPs and drives sales (and word-of-mouth).
- Special Offers
Showcase sales, special offers, and time-sensitive deals to encourage customers to visit your store. Offer early access to subscribers so they don’t miss out!
Personalise messages to loyal customers and members of your rewards program. This enhances the customer relationship and drives more sales.
- Birthday Promotions
Make customers feel extra special and appreciated and bring them in through your doors with birthday messages and a special, time-sensitive birthday discount.
Partner with ClickSend this Black Friday
Boost your revenue and reach this sales season and implement a simple yet incredibly effective SMS strategy. This is a cost-efficient way for even small retail businesses to compete with and even rival bigger brands – the power of modern technology at work!
We have a wide catalogue of the ideal tools and technologies to help you succeed in a crowded marketplace – helping you stand out from your competitors and grab the attention of your clients, customers, and other target audience members. Everyone who has ever opted in for your messaging will be instantly reachable via SMS and from bulk SMS to online postcard print and mail, we know how to get your message out on time and in the right way.
Even if you’ve left it late to start planning your Black Friday strategy, text messaging is a great tool for creating and sending messages to your contacts at the last minute. And it’s never too early to implement savvy SMS strategies for future sales periods – from Christmas to Valentine’s Day, Easter to Mother’s Day, to next year’s Black Friday/Cyber Monday, and everything in between.
And we’re happy to provide all the advice you require to make using ClickSend a success for your business.