Is your store ready for Black Friday and Small Business Saturday?
It’s almost here – the busiest shopping weekend of the year! Doesn’t that just make you want to burst into song? In case you’re more of a car-or-shower-only singer, let’s forego the caroling and focus on some final tips for handling the Black Friday weekend rush.
If you’ve read our last three posts in this blog series, we hope you were inspired to create a marketing plan, prep your store, and hire enough holiday staff to help you soar through the season. With the big weekend now only a few days away, we wanted to provide you with a few last-minute tips. Check them out below!
Make sure your website and social media pages are updated.
Many people “window shop” online before braving the crowds to make their purchase in store. That means your website will be the first experience customers have with your holiday sales and product offerings. Be sure to keep it updated with promotion announcements, inventory counts, info on exclusive events, and more.
Once you have your website updated, post those announcements to social media with bold, eye-catching graphics. There’s plenty of competition for your customers’ attention, so do your best to catch them while they’re scrolling. For holiday social post ideas, check out this article from Influencer Marketing Hub.
Spend less time in the office and more on the store floor.
As the store owner, it’s your job to make sure everything is running smoothly. During the slower months, you may be able to do this from your office while your associates handle the floor. However, the holidays require all hands on deck to assist customers and keep them moving through the store. During this season, try to spend as little time as possible in the office and more time with your customers.
While this may require you to work some longer hours for preparing the schedule and pulling reports, the sales numbers will balance out that extra time spent. If you think you need to hire additional cashiers or sales associates to keep up with customer demands, click here for some hiring advice.
Closely monitor sales and expenses.
The hustle and bustle of the season means it’s easy for things to slip through the cracks. Even though the days are long, it’s important to stay on top of sales and expenses. Balancing the registers at the end of the day may seem tedious and can sometimes take some serious thought and effort, but it will save you time in the long run.
Unanticipated expenses can especially occur during the winter months. If you need to hire a plumber to fix a frozen pipe or have trouble with the heat in your store, make sure you keep those invoices in a safe place. Take a photo or scan and save them on your computer just in case the hard copy gets lost in the shuffle. Again, with little extra effort now you’ll save yourself some time and headache later.
Make sure every customer receives the best experience possible.
Your customers will most likely visit many different stores this season. To keep them coming back even when you aren’t having a big holiday sale, make your store stand out. The best way to do this is by offering experiences that your competitors aren’t.
For example, let’s say you run a seasonal clothing store. An inexpensive but effective experience to offer could be a free hot chocolate bar. It’s both tasty and suits the winter season! While your customers are searching for the coziest coats, boots, and gloves, they’ll be sipping on hot chocolate and thinking about how awesome your store is.
Maintain momentum and festive spirit!
Shopping never stops. Of course, stores are typically busier around the holidays, but when all gifts have been unwrapped and holiday meals consumed, customers will still need to shop.
Especially if you’ve sold gift cards for your store, December 26th may be another big shopping day for you. When your future customer receives their gift card to your store, they’ll instantly be thinking about the purchase they’re going to make. If they aren’t already familiar with your store, they’ll probably turn to your website first. Keep that website updated, and consider offering post-holiday sales to encourage those gift card shoppers to stop in.
If you’re website is equipped with an eCommerce shopping cart, don’t forget to also follow up on those abandoned or “saved for later” carts! Consider offering those hesitant customers free shipping or an additional 10% off as an incentive to complete the purchase now rather than later.
Don’t have a website, eCommerce shopping cart, or gift card program? We can help with that! Our creative professionals can work with you to bring your website or gift card design dreams to life. Visit designsbyems.com for samples of our work. Contact us today to learn more!
Thanks for checking out our blog series on preparing your business for the holiday shopping season. If you missed one of our other posts, check them out by clicking on the link below:
We wish you a safe and profitable holiday shopping weekend!