Black Friday Sale Final Checklist – Is Your Retail Store Ready ?
The holidays are here and every household in the US is all set to shop its way to Christmas. They have their lists ready; their budgets planned, and have looked up all their options for purchase as they eagerly wait for the Black Friday sales to commence.
Q4 is a hysterically busy time for retailers so much so that many start preparing for the upcoming holiday season a year in advance (probably the best thing to do, I guess!). This year, with the holiday season upon us, we’ve prepared a checklist to help hard-pressed retailers make sure they’re all geared up for the most awaited time of the year.
But before we start ticking off our list, let’s look at how big this year’s Holiday sales are going be. According to PwC’s 2018 Holiday Outlook – a national survey of 2,071 consumers,
- Consumers will spend an average of $1,250 each this holiday on gifts, travel, and entertainment
- The estimated spending reflects an increase of 5% over last year
- Shoppers expect the best value for their money this holiday
- 70% opine that brand trust is essential to their shopping decisions
- 57% consumers say that they will do more of their holiday shopping in stores on Black Friday
- High-earning millennials, Hispanic parents, and shoppers over 35 will be the biggest spender
- Gen Z consumers are expected to spend a higher proportion of their holiday budget on gifts
- 30 million consumers say they would shop on Thanksgiving Day this year
That’s big, isn’t it? With the holiday season fast approaching, quickly run through our checklist to make sure that you are not missing out on anything important.
In the retail business, managing inventory is not only challenging but time-consuming as well. Efficient inventory management is important to the success of retail. If you’re looking forward to a spike in revenue on Black Friday this year, make sure you have done the following –
- Estimated high-demand products that’ll run out of stock quickly
- Gained insights on what sizes and colors sell fast
- Predict styles that are most in demand
- Automated inventory management processes
- Digitized counting, controlling and predicting available inventory
- Incorporated tools to view your inventory in real-time
- Implemented tools to enhance the efficiency of in-store associates
- Briefed suppliers to help them get ready for the projected sales
If you’ve done all of the above-stated, then sit back and hit the countdown timer. Make sure you’re rightly stocked up before the Black Friday frenzy hits!
“You know you are ready when your storehouse is organized, your stock is optimized, your processes are digitalized, and your team is synchronized.”
Fine-tune Digital Presence
The traffic your website receives is going to get bigger and bigger as we inch towards the big day. Here are a few things you can do to make researching and buying with the digital you, a smooth sail for your customers –
- Stay clued-up of how much traffic influx you expect to see coming
- Ensure seamless internal communications
- Make sure that your team is well-connected and on the same page
- Test your store’s server load capacity
- Optimize images to cut down on load time
- Prepare your mobile app for increased volumes of traffic
- Create a Black Friday Week timeline
- Launch products, introduce deals and deploy coupons accordingly
A regimented digital presence is important for your brand’s reputation. Make sure to build a solid digital foundation to lure all those tech-savvy shoppers to your store.
“You need to create a buzz now to be buzzing later. ”
The current generation of consumers can access information in clicks and taps. They’re smart and you need to be smarter. The best way to portray your smartness and creativity is through your marketing campaign. Let’s see out how ahead of the game you are –
- You’ve started sending Black Friday email blasts to prospects and customers
- You plan to promote Black Friday sales via your landing page
- You’re using social posts mentioning Black Friday sales
- You’ve set aside a countdown timer to hype the event
- You propose to launch new products a day before Black Friday
- You have designed downloadable coupons
- You are creating gift guides and offering printable gift cards
- You have your retargeting and follow up strategies in place as well
These are not the only marketing tricks to boost Black Friday sales. The more creative you are the more customers’ you’ll attract. Build a marketing campaign loud enough to cut through the ongoing cacophony.
Focus on Mobile Users
The best way to make an impact on your tech-savvy customers is by optimizing your mobile strategy. Here’s a recap for those who are already armed for the upcoming shopping euphoria and guidelines for retailers in the preparatory stage –
- Develop a strong and compelling SMS campaign
- Build a dedicated mobile app for your store to facilitate mobile shopping
- Leverage proximity marketing techniques to know where your customers
- Use customers’ location to provide them with information about your brand
- Push personalized messages and offers to encourage visits
- Implement cross-channel integrations
- Optimize mobile wallet integrations and mobile coupons
- Focus on value creation using personalized brand communications
Smartphones have opened a big door of opportunities for retailers to interact one-on-one with their customers and offer them customized shopping experiences. Tap into this valuable resource to boost your Black Friday sales this year.
Prioritize Customer Experience
Customers crave convenience, they value experience over things, and they are willing to spend more for better experiences. Here’s how you can keep your customers happy and engaged when they’re shopping with you –
- Provide them with a personalized shopping experience
- Use data from customer touchpoints to fine-tune shopping experiences
- Employ data to prioritize the needs of each shopper
- Impress customers with immersive in-store experiences
- Implement technology to make store visits engaging and enlightening
- Extend outstanding customer service
- Equip your associates with tools to make them the perfect sales guide
- Make sure your store is well-staffed and your staff is well-trained
There’s been a lot of buzz around interactive and innovative store experience by brands like Amazon, Lowe’s, Sephora and many others. All aim to impress their customers and so should you. Make in-store visits memorable and watch your Black Friday sales swell.
Running it through once again!
Let’s run through our checklist one final time before you plunge back into prep mode. Before crazy shoppers bust your doors open on Black Friday, make sure you have
- Optimized your inventory
- Fine-tuned your digital presence
- Generated enough buzz
- Laid full focus on mobile users
- Prioritized customer experience as number one
The countdown to Black Friday has already begun. Gear up. Lay the groundwork. Get everything ready as we pace towards the year’s biggest shopping fiesta.