Tis the season.. to stress about holiday promotions if you're a small business!
Black Friday and Cyber Monday weekend is coming up fast, it can be overwhelming but don't let that get in the way of creating some great promotions for your business and your customers.
What is BFCM?
Black Friday has been the busiest shopping day in North America for over a decade now. It falls on the day after American Thanksgiving, and is traditionally when many people see the "shopping season" start. This is said to have started because there would be a big Thanksgiving parade and at the end would be a float with Santa Claus, signifying that he was here and he holidays could start.
Cyber Monday was created by retailers in 2005 to encourage online sales, and has quickly become one of the highest earning days of the year.
This year the BFCM weekend is November 26-29, 2021.
It doesn't have to be a BIG SALE
Sometimes we get lost in the big box store hype that has been created around BFCM, but you don't have to put all your stock at 50% off to participate in BFCM sales. It's important to create promotions that are feasible for your business and also rewarding for your customers, both existing and new.
A promotion can come in many shapes and sizes, and there is no right or wrong way to do as every business is so different. One idea is to try creating a bundle or gift basket from your products at a discounted rate. This is beneficial to you as the business because you are selling multiple items and as a customer because it is a comprehensive gift package with savings.
If a flat discount all across the board doesn't work for your business you can also encourage higher order rates with a 'buy one get one' sale that offers a discount when you spend a certain amount, like buy one and get the second for 25% off. You can also set price brackets for free shipping, like free shipping on orders over $100, this encourages higher orders and benefits the customers with free shipping rates. Its important to understand your shipping costs before offering something like this though.
Focus on Your People
It an be easy to get caught up in trying to land new customers during these big promotional 'holidays' but don't forget to reward your existing customers as well. Utilize your email list and social media followers to capitalize on the people that have already opted in to hear more from your business.
People that have already bought from your business will have a much lower barrier to overcome when it comes to deciding to make a purchase from you because there is already an established trust. They already know and love your products, and offering them a discount or special promotion is a great way to continue that relationship.
Email list subscribers and social media followers have shown interested in your business and your products by subscribing or following, so if you only have limited resources to spend on marketing this holiday season, focus on the people that are already invested in your business.
BFCM weekend doesn't have to be a hectic stress fest for a business if you plan ahead and schedule your content. Pre-write your social media posts, blogs, and promotional materials ahead of time and then just sit back and relax during the actual BFCM weekend.
You can use Facebook Publisher to schedule your social media posts on Facebook and Instagram, simply enter you text and an image, set a date and time and schedule your posts.
If you are using Shopify, you can even schedule your products to go live at a certain time on a specific date. Create your promotional products/bundles and schedule them to go live with your marketing materials for a seamless promotion launch.
Prime your Audience
BFCM weekend can become very saturated in promotions very quickly, don't get lost in the sea of sales! You customers are going to be bombarded with emails and banners and flyers and ads all weekend, so do them and yourself a favour and stop keeping secrets about your sales. Let your followers know what to expect, tell them to set reminders for your sale and give them as much notice as you can so they can plan to visit you ion BFCM weekend.
Don't Compare yourself to Others
This part is tricky, because you too will be bombarded by your competition's sales and promotions. It is all too easy to become overwhelmed with the feeling of not doing enough, or not doing it the right way. Keep reminding yourself that you are on your own path, and growing at your own speed. Look around for inspiration, see what other businesses are up to for the holidays, but don't compare your business to other businesses. If you aren't where you want to be this year, you'll get there for next year.