Black Friday, Cyber Monday and even Christmas are all fast approaching, so if you’ve not already thought about your Black Friday strategy, there is no time to waste.
Get the most out of retail’s hottest time of year with this guide. We’ll cover:
- How to prepare your shop for Black Friday
- Black Friday SMS communications for retailers
- Using Black Friday to grow your contact list
💡 if you also sell online, here are ways to prepare your eCommerce store for the Black Friday rush.
Ready to maximise sales this Black Friday? Let’s go.
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 stock
Yep, stocktake. You’ll want to know exactly what stock you have on hand. Knowing your stock levels will help in all aspects – stock management, sales, pricing strategy, reporting.
And if you need to order more stock to have enough for the busy period, it may already be too late.
2. Check your systems
A few questions to consider when evaluating your point of sale experience:
- 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. Check in on your people
Your team are critical in making sales and keeping customers happy. And happy employees are more productive employees.
It’s so important to ensure that you have enough hands on deck to handle the busy season.
- Talk to your team and find out what they want – do they have holidays planned or are they hoping to pick up extra shifts while on study break?
- Are you planning to extend your trading hours? Do you have enough team members? Or do you need to hire short term employees for the busy season?
Give team members the training and product information that they need in order to confidently solve customer pain points and make cross-sell suggestions.
Looking for a quick way to contact staff about rosters? Why not send SMS alerts whenever the roster is updated or a new shift is available?
4. Check your shop floor
Look around your store – are displays tidy and organised? Are prices clearly labelled? Is there anything that could deter potential customers from shopping with you (temperature, smell, mess)?
What about your shop window? Is it inviting? Do passers know what you’re selling?
If your windows are looking a bit blah, you don’t need to be visual merchandiser to attract more interest (although we think you’d be well on your way to becoming one after reading this VM guide). Signage and lighting can make a huge difference – play around with whatever collateral you have in store.
Then kick it up a notch to make your sale an unmissable event. Here are some ideas:
- team up with neighbouring stores to create a one-stop Black Friday sale destination
- offer coffee or drinks for shoppers while they browse
- door prizes, free gift wrapping, gift with purchase
5. Don’t forget your digital assets
Sure, your store is physical. But that doesn’t mean that your customers are not searching for you online. In fact 80% of people use their smartphone or tablet to research local businesses. And 50% of shoppers prefer to purchase in-store rather than via mobile device.
Even if you don’t have a digital marketing budget, here are two must-dos. And they’re free, so why wouldn’t you?
Claim your Business Profile on Google
Why? According to Google, 76% of people who search for something nearby on their smartphone visit a related business within a day, and 28% of those searches result in a purchase.
And that’s not all. Claim your profile to unlock more benefits:
- Search engine optimisation: consistently having the correct name, address and phone number (NAP) across your online profiles is a known ranking factor for search engines.
- Own what is shown to searchers – add your value props, imagery, branding and products to your listing instead of letting Google decide for you (or worse, someone else claiming your listing).
- Social proof – having a verified business on GMB lends legitimacy to your business.
- Easily communicate your seasonal opening hours to searchers.
How? Check out this guide from Yocale.
Ensure your social media profiles are up to date
Claim your business profiles on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Linkedin, Yelp, etc. Wherever your customers are, make sure you claim your profile and keep business info up to date. It also helps to future-proof your business, getting your brand name before someone else snatches it up.
Want to kick your socials up a notch? Use your profiles to promote your sales – it all depends on how much time and money you’re willing to invest.
6. Create your messaging strategy
We’ve said it before – and we’ll keep on saying it: SMS marketing is a powerful way to connect with your customers and drive sales.
Setting up your Black Friday SMS campaigns
Firstly, you must have customer consent before texting them. (Need a quick refresh on consent? Check out our SMS opt-ins guide).
There are plenty of ways you can get marketing consent from customers. Here are a few popular places to encourage customers to sign up for promotions:
- at the checkout
- on all in-store signage or posters
- sign up forms on social media profiles or ads
- via direct mail campaigns with dynamic QR codes
- on printed receipts
- packaging and inserts
- signup forms on your website
Or level up with your own dedicated short code and allow customers to text you to join the messaging list.
Once you have established consent, you can create your SMS marketing journey.
Black Friday SMS for retailers
You could do an SMS broadcast to promote your sale.
But better yet, start early and build excitement. We typically see a lot of retailers build Black Friday drip marketing campaigns for maximum impact. Set up SMS campaigns in our dashboard and use the scheduling feature to send messages at optimal times.
Typical journeys have a mix of the following SMS touch points:
- 2-3 weeks before Black Friday: build excitement with a teaser message.
- 1 week before Black Friday: showcase products and their benefits.
- 2-3 days before BF: exclusive early access for subscribers. Not only do your loyal customers feel special, it can help with getting sales in before Black Friday and evening the spread of traffic to your store.
- Black Friday: drive action. This is it, make your offer compelling and include a strong call to action. For best results, include sale end dates to drive urgency.
- Cyber Monday: sure, it’s more for online stores but nothing stops you from one last push over this massive weekend, while customers are especially bargain hungry.
- 1 week after Cyber Monday: use the momentum to drive Christmas sales. Encourage customers to get ahead with their Christmas shopping and avoid the crowds (which they may or may not have just witnessed during Black Friday).
And all the while, use the increased number of shoppers in store to grow your contact list, for future promotional SMS campaigns.
Use 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 shopper 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.
Make this Black Friday your biggest yet
…thanks to the humble text message.
Even if you’ve left it late to start planning your Black Friday strategy, SMS is a great way to contact customers at the last minute. Talk to us about nailing your Black Friday sales.