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Black Friday 2018: How Shops Can Compete with Online Retailers

Ryan Willis

The term ‘Black Friday’ has many rumoured origins, but it is now commonly known as the Friday after Thanksgiving in the USA when retailers offer highly discounted products and promotional sales to customers eager to nab a bargain in time for Christmas.

Wherever the term came from, there’s no doubt that Black Friday has burst its American banks and made its way all around the world – this is thanks largely to the internet and ever-growing popularity of online Black Friday deals. But with these online deals becoming ever more attractive, how can high-street retailers entice customers away from their laptops and into stores instead?

Attracting Shoppers on Black Friday

With so many attractive deals waiting online, shop-owners can no longer rely on increased footfall every Black Friday. One tactic favoured by some of the States’ biggest retailers is to offer their own Black Friday deals and promotions that are only available in-store, with a limited quantity of the discounted products up for grabs.

Even if you aren’t offering any online sales yourself, you can still use the internet to your advantage; make sure you really push marketing for your in-store deals in the time leading up to Black Friday via social media, email lists and online advertising, as well as traditional print adverts and signage.

Window displays can also play a huge part in both making customers aware that you’ll be taking part in Black Friday and in enticing customers to enter your store on the day itself. Give yourself time to plan and install an eye-catching and unique Black Friday-themed window display well ahead of the day so that your customers have plenty of time to notice it.

As well as being interesting and memorable, your display should be very clear about what will be on offer; make sure any promotional deals are easy-to-read in a bold and legible font, and think about working some of your sale merchandise into your display. This will be more effective at attracting customers than a vague promise of ‘deals’.

In-Store Black Friday Strategies

 Getting customers through the door is one thing; getting them to make the most of your promotions and even buy non-sale items is another matter entirely. Here are a few top tips for converting visitors into sales.

Strategic Sales

If you haven’t already, the time leading up to Black Friday is the time to brush up on your sales techniques. Don’t be tempted to try to match the huge discounts that bigger stores are able to offer, as this often isn’t feasible for smaller retailers – if you really want to offer large discounts, make sure it’s only on old merchandise to avoid making a loss.

Instead, identify which types of deals and promotions are right for your shop; BOGOF or 2-for-1 offers are great for shops that need to move stock, while ‘added value’ (such as a free gift/service with every purchase) or product bundle deals can be a great way to convert customers without taking too much of a hit on price. If you stock large items such as furniture or appliances, throwing in free delivery can also be a good way to encourage sales.

Consider Aesthetics

As with any other shopping day, the look and feel of your store will make a huge difference as to whether customers are tempted to make purchases or not. Make Black Friday feel like a special day to get your visitors in the mood for buying; consider promotional decorations and displays in tactical locations to entice customers through to doors and into the rest of the store.

Bear in mind that shoppers will be most likely be excitable and impatient to get shopping; don’t make them go on a hunt for the best deals. Customise your shelving to make sure promotional items are clearly displayed, well-labelled and easy to find. Shelving that makes merchandise highly visible will also be effective when it comes to promotions with limited produce, as customers will be more tempted to buy if they feel like stock is running out. Last but not least, remember that Black Friday shoppers are in the mood to buy, so make the most of this with flexible queue-side shelving units that entice customers into last-minute impulse purchases.

Think About Timing

One highly effective technique employed by some of America’s biggest retailers is to stagger deals throughout the day and in specific parts of their store. Walmart releases deals at certain times and locations on Black Friday, giving customers a special deal map that makes sure people stay in the store for long periods of time as they wait for and hunt out their favourite deals.

Hopefully that’s given you some ideas on how to maximise in-store sales this Black Friday but, if you do want any more help with design services or retail consultancy, feel free to get in touch with us today.

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