How small businesses can prepare for Black Friday and the 2021 holiday season

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Sign up for a free webinar on November 2nd on Strategies for Driving Black Friday and Cyber ​​Monday Traffic to an Ecommerce Store.

There’s no doubt about it: Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber ​​Monday will look very different again this year as the world continues to adjust their behavior. But just because Christmas shopping may look a little different this year, it doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to get the most out of your customers’ willingness to buy throughout the entire holiday season.

1. Accept that things will be different this year on Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber ​​Monday

Your first course of action is to unequivocally accept that everything will be different this year. Many shops are still closed for indoor shopping.

And while there have been many innovative efforts to date (like retailers taking reservations for in-store purchases, organizing outdoor pop-up shops, or using one-in-one guidelines to limit the amount), it is not for big sales days where the demand will be high.

Wondering how to accommodate buyers, protect everyone, comply with local health regulations, and still keep your business profitable? COVID-19 hygiene measures are a must. But your focus should probably also be on selling online. More on this below.

Related: 10 tactics to adapt your business to social distancing

2. Skip the traditional early morning rush (but start early)

Swinging the doors open early in the morning on Black Friday won’t work. People can’t stand in line to shop. Keep the timing relaxed.

In fact, extending the sales period could be a great way to get those sales without it becoming such a timed and high pressure affair.

If your area allows for indoor shopping, have sales for an entire week instead of just the weekend after Thanksgiving.

3. Use the roadside pickup and BOPIS

Businesses have rapidly expanded their roadside collection and online purchase and collection (BOPIS) offerings in the past seven months. And that’s definitely something to take advantage of on Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber ​​Monday, and throughout the entire holiday season.

Your website should make it clear what shipping or collection options are available for each product. This also requires an up-to-date inventory system. If you haven’t already invested in this infrastructure, do it now.

Related: Tips and tricks to make shipping easier for small ecommerce businesses

4. Prepare your online presence

With regards to the above, you also need to prepare your website for what’s to come. When promoting your upcoming sales, double check that your website’s bandwidth can handle a surge in traffic.

Likewise, add any ecommerce features that you think are beneficial, such as coupons or abandoned cart plugins.

Also, search for your business on Google, Yelp, and Facebook and see what the result is. Update any required items like opening times or menu, upload new product photos, and reply to ratings and reviews so your customers can see that you are listening and taking care of their feedback.

5. Embrace online strategies completely

If you can’t have a huge lineup in your location, dive headfirst into online marketing now.

Turn on social media ads and run full social media campaigns (both organic and paid) on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to promote and promote your sales.

Invest in email marketing that you can use before Black Friday to get customers old and new to review your sales and retain them throughout the season.

6. Stand out in a crowded field

Red tulip blooms in the field

It’s not easy, but finding a way to break through a significantly more crowded online ad space than it has been in years past will be the key to success here.

It depends on creativity and initiative.

Make Black Friday a big deal, but make sure your November marketing efforts keep customers coming back to your store throughout the season. Create a fun social campaign that encourages followers not only to buy, but also to interact on Instagram Stories or Facebook Live.

Offer unique coupons or discounts. You can even run giveaways or special promotions to attract more customers.

Prepare yourself now, reap rewards for the entire Christmas season 2021

This may all sound like a lot and a little outside of your comfort zone if you are used to focusing on personal selling. But just because Black Friday 2021 is highly unusual, it doesn’t necessarily mean bankruptcy.

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