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Small Business Saturday Ideas For Retailers 2019

Small Business Saturday Ideas For Retailers 2019

6 MIN READ

Taking place on Saturday, December 7th this year, Small Business Saturday is a campaign encouraging consumers to shop locally and support small, independent businesses that are at the heart of communities. Since 2013 here in the UK, following suit from America where it began in 2010 by American Express, small businesses and consumers embrace the day with enthusiasm. There’s plenty of ways you can maximise on the event too, and this blog is to help you plan out brilliant Small Business Saturday ideas to promote your business and drive sales. 

 

Not only does Small Business Saturday raise awareness of how important it is to support independent retailers, but it’s great for business too! 

 

It’s proving to be more successful each year, bringing in high sales and brand awareness for retailers across the UK. Even in its first year, Small Business Saturday helped generate a spend of £468 million for retailers across the UK. Thanks to press coverage, clever marketing, and impressive social media campaigns, it’s going from strength to strength. 2018 was the most popular year yet, bringing in £812 million spend for independent retailers. This is an 8% increase in 2017, which saw £748 million spent – up from £717 million in 2016. It’s clearly a shopping trend on the rise and not something to miss out on. 

 

Here are some fantastic Small Business Saturday ideas you can implement for your retail business this 2019 and make the most of the day.

Tell your story

Something that is often overlooked by businesses is the power of story, and how telling your story will positively impact your business. Everyone can relate to a narrative structure, it’s engaging and draws people in, if done well, they’ll want to get to know you and by the end, they’ll feel like they do. This sense of trust then leads to a higher chance of conversion, people buy from people and a brand story gives your business an identity that consumers can resonate with and feel emotionally connected with. 

Stories shape brands and many independent and small businesses have fantastic ones to tell that really set them apart. This can be a great starting point for beginning your marketing for Small Business Saturday, plus once it’s done and on your website, it’ll help drive in customers after the date too.

Is your brand ethical? 

 

There is a huge demand right now for ethically sourced products and companies to be operating ethical practices. The growing popularity of eco-friendly, organic, sustainable, vegan and cruelty-free products is showing no signs of slowing down as people are becoming more aware of the serious matters surrounding climate change, plastic pollution and animal testing. If you’re a company that has a great story to tell of your backing these great causes, make sure you communicate it to shoppers and weave the narrative into your brand story.

Benefits for consumers 

 

The chance to buy something that not everyone else has is one of the most appealing reasons for consumers to shop with small and independent businesses. People love a one-off, it feels special and meaningful. Advertising your products as handmade, one-of-a-kind, quality, locally-sourced offers an array of attractive benefits for shoppers. This also goes for offering unique shopping experiences, there are plenty of ways you can express yourself across your website branding and customer experience, and instore.

Use social media 

 

There is a fantastic community feel to Small Business Saturday, so it’s a great idea to get involved online. You can get in touch with the campaign organisers themselves and tell them what you’re planning to do for the big day, and they’ll give you a shout out on their social channels too! Engaging with the small and independent retail community on social media is a really nice way to spread awareness, join in and attract customers and new business at the same time.

Think local with your campaigns 

 

Target customers using PPC and local SEO, something that small businesses tend to overlook. It doesn’t have to be super technical and reading up on a few short guides will help you get some foundational understanding. It’s definitely worth investing some time into this. Just think, the first thing you do when wanting to find something out? You Google it. 

You can also look into submitting press releases to announce what you’re doing for Small Business Saturday and your ideas for promoting your goods. Invite local press down for a taster of your store and what you do – it’s a great way to spread awareness and join in with the local community.

Host an in-store event 

 

Going back to how much people love unique experiences, if you’re able to host a special event for Small Business Saturday, it’s worth looking into and investing some time in. You can have an instore theme, special offers to reflect the day, goody bags on offer, etc. You might even consider partnering up with other local businesses to cross-sell to each other’s customer base and attract new shoppers.

Can you make your store Instagrammable? If so, you’re on to a winner – set up a hashtag and tie in with your social media campaigns for the day. Over the course of the event, if people are sharing snaps of your store, it’s a great way to gain User Generated Content to use in your own marketing (just make sure you have their permission first!)

Managing your stock 

More stock going out and increased sales is a great position to be in, but you don’t want to get caught out by not being able to fulfill orders or delays in getting them out on time. Make sure you have efficient processes in place for this date but also over the holiday period at large. Offering bundle deals? Put these items closer together in your stock room or warehouse for easier packing. There’s no right or wrong on how you layout your warehouse, it will vary from retailer to retailer so take the time to plan out what will work for you best.

Get your website ready 

 

Make sure your website is ready for handling extra spikes in traffic at peak times like this – the last thing you want is a slow website where users will inevitably drop off and shop elsewhere. If you don’t already, investing in a cloud-hosted website solution is a great way to make sure your website is ready for anything. 

Communication is key at peak times like Small Business Saturday for managing customer expectations. Display all delivery dates and time scale estimates on your website to avoid disappointed customers. 

Offer an easy checkout process, including guest checkouts if people want to make a quick purchase without creating an account. Consider mobile optimisation too, is your website mobile responsive and can it handle orders from a potential increase of users from mobile devices?

Conclusion 

These Small Business Saturday ideas will hopefully go some way in giving you some inspiration for the big day. It’s an opportunity to get creative and try out new things to promote your business as well as engaging with a wider community of retailers. 

 

 

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Charlotte McKee

31st October 2019

Christmas Shipping For Retailers: All You Need To Know For 2019

Christmas Shipping For Retailers: All You Need To Know For 2019

7 MIN READ

Getting your retail Christmas shipping strategy in place is key for holiday success. To ship your customer’s all-important presents, party outfits, or table wear in time for their preferable delivery date is a true marker of Christmas shipping success. In such a saturated industry, you need to make sure this is achievable to keep ahead of your competitors and keep your customers coming back to you well into the new year. 

 

The Christmas season is crazy for retailers – busy is good – it means more sales, but you’ll also be dealing with high order numbers and even higher customer expectations. As the big day draws closer, you need to take the necessary measures to communicate Christmas shipping information with your customers so as to not leave anyone disappointed. Use this time to delight your customers and excel expectations. You’ll not only see an increase in profits but higher customer retention levels as you head into the new year. 

 

This short and concise guide is to help you effectively plan how to go about dealing with Christmas shipping for the upcoming holiday season while at the same time keeping your customers happy.

 

You’ll also find our super useful reference guides to our courier’s last Christmas shipping dates below.

What delivery options will you be offering? 

 

Think about what delivery options you currently offer and how these will work for Christmas shipping. Click and Collect, lockers, in-store collection, next day and nominated day… there are so many avenues to go down. Finding the sweet spot of what works well for your company and what your customers are going to use is fundamental.

Be transparent 

 

Transparency is crucial when it comes to conveying Christmas shipping options and retailers need to be upfront and honest. Not just to manage customer expectations but to also ensure you and your employees aren’t dealing with avoidable pressures from complaints or extra queries. To do this, your website needs to be as informative as possible; display your Christmas shipping dates and options clearly. Put a banner at the top of your homepage for easy access, and have the information accessible on product pages and delivery info pages.

Keeping this information up to date is also important to keep on top of – are there changes or courier delays you need to make customers aware of? How about international shipping? Delegate the ownership of this to a person or team so that you know these are treated as a priority – the knock-on effect to your business from misinformation or delayed deliveries is something you don’t want to incur if you don’t have to. 

Displaying stock availability and supplier information where applicable will help manage customers’ expectations; if you’re having to wait on stock yourself, make this clear on your website.

Delivery as a sales driver 

 

You can use your delivery options as a way to boost sales by creating a sense of urgency. Displaying the delivery availability times such as ‘order by the 15th to get this in time for Christmas’. Make this information available next to all delivery options so that shoppers can weigh up which is going to be the best delivery method for them. Consider offering in-store collections where you can – this is a great way to delight last-minute shoppers! Being able to collect in-store may help them get the almost-forgotten presents and avoid any disappointment!

Keep customers in the loop 

 

Integrating with courier tracking puts less pressure on your other channels of communication as it enables customers to access the information themselves. They’ll also feel more in control of the process. Can you use SMS and email delivery tracking updates? Getting notifications on the delivery progress is a really nice touch and you’re bound to delight your customers by providing these.

Factor in peak shopping days 

 

There are a number of peak shopping days interspersed throughout the holiday season – you need to be aware of these and factor them into planning your Christmas shipping in advance. With Black Friday falling on November 29th this year, the peak shopping season is slightly shorter than normal. Be sure to communicate and encourage early shopping to your customers so as not to be disappointed.  Keep in mind your stock and fulfilment planning so you can prioritise and structure effectively to meet higher demand.

Small Business Saturday: 7th December 

This is great for smaller and independent retailers to drive sales and brand awareness. As many consumers will opt to shop with independent businesses at this time, you need to plan for higher volumes of orders to process and send out when it comes to considering your shipping plan. 

Panic Saturday: 21st December 

The last Saturday before Christmas there is always a surge in purchases as Christmas day is on the horizon. The chances are that this will be too late to meet Christmas shipping deadlines with your couriers, so if you have a store too – prepare to cater for an increase in footfall or click and collect in-store orders. You can also offer website deals for shoppers who may have missed this and can’t get into the store to entice conversions. An integrated system that works to keep track of your website and in-store stock levels in real-time is going to be invaluable for seasonal events like this! 

Christmas Eve: 24th December 

Here come the last, last-minute shoppers. This is, of course, way too late for deliveries but you can cater to this group of customers with in-store collections and store shopping. Go the extra mile here and delight them with some festive treats and seasonal extras. 

Crisis management 

 

Even for the most prepared of retailers, disaster does sometimes strike. Every business can benefit from establishing what to do when things go awry and putting a plan in place. Hopefully, you won’t need it but it’s best to be prepared in case you do. If delivery or shipping issues occur, how will you handle it? Take charge of the situation, even if you could pass the buck to the courier – it’s best to show your customers how much you value their custom by helping manage the problem where you can. Train frontline staff on how to handle issues, communicate any issues on your website and social media. Be upfront and proactive in the resolution, working with the customer and courier where possible.

Important Christmas shipping dates

for retailers 

 

Royal Mail last recommended shipping dates

Post by

Service

Wednesday 18th December 2nd Class and 2nd Class Signed For
Friday 20th December

1st Class and 1st Class Signed For

and Royal Mail Tracked 48

Saturday 21st December Royal Mail Tracked 24
Monday 23rd December Special Delivery Guaranteed

 DPD Christmas Schedule

Date

Availability

Wednesday 25th December Closed
Thursday 26th December Closed
Wednesday 1st January 2020 Closed

Parcelforce last posting dates

Service

Delivery by 24th Dec

Timed Services:

 express9, express10, expressAM, expressPM

Send by Monday 23rd December
Next Day Services:
express24, express24 large
Send by Monday 23rd December
Two Day Services:
express48, express48 large
Send by Friday 20th December

FedEx Christmas Schedule 

Date

Pickup

Delivery

Wednesday 25th December Christmas Day

Unavailable Unavailable 
Thursday 26th December Boxing Day Unavailable Unavailable

*Please note that some couriers haven’t released their Christmas shipping dates for 2019 just yet but we’ll be updating these as soon as they’re released. All dates are subject to change depending on the courier but we will always update this information when we know. Please drop us a line if you notice any changes before we do.

 

Getting your Christmas shipping right is going to underpin your holiday success this year, so you want to get it right. Hopefully, this advice will go some way in helping you plan your shipping dates and strategy easily.
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Charlotte McKee

29th October 2019

Which Online Payment Methods Should You Use For eCommerce?

Which Online Payment Methods Should You Use For eCommerce?

7 MIN READ

Let’s go back 25 years to 1994. It was a pretty big year. The Channel Tunnel had just opened, you could catch classics like Forrest Gump and The Shawshank Redemption at the cinema, and Wet Wet Wet’s “Love Is All Around” dominated the charts for 15 weeks at the top spot (we have the popularity of Four Weddings and a Funeral to thank for that one…). 

 

It was a memorable year – and a pivotal one for eCommerce too (see, it IS on-topic, this isn’t a blog about Wet Wet Wet. If you’re here for that, sorry,  you’re in the wrong place.) 1994 is when the first eCommerce payment transactions started taking place. Sting album ‘Ten Summoners Tales’ was sold on NetMarket, purchased for $12.48 by Mr. Brandenberger who used encryption software to send over his payment details. Ecommerce giant Amazon was also founded in 1994 and began trading just a year later as an online bookstore. And, quite unbelievably, Pizza Hut started taking online orders in 1994, too. 

 

We’ve come an awfully long way over the past 25 years when it comes to buying and selling online. There are more payment options out there than ever before, and with recent FinTech booms, this is showing no signs of slowing down. 

 

Consumers have so many ways to pay for their goods, credit and debit, apple pay and digital wallets, PayPal and p2p, shared payments – these varieties are boosting eCommerce sales as convenience reigns. You need to leverage this and use it to your advantage when deciding on which online payment methods you should use, and what kind of checkout and payment experience you want to offer your customers. 

 

Long and complicated checkout processes and lack of payment options both feature in the top 10 reasons for checkout abandonment. This signifies the importance of getting it right to secure sales.

 

Here are some things to think about when introducing a variety of payment methods onto your website. 

 

Presentation of payment methods

It’s a good idea to include as many options as possible to maximise the chances of customers making a purchase, however with loads of payment options comes choice overload and you don’t want people to be put off. But what can you do to strike the balance between multiple-choice and great usability? 

 

  • Display payment methods close together so customers can make a decision from a single viewpoint of options. Even if you have many choices, displaying them in this way will minimise the feeling of being bombarded. 

  • Use a default selection (the most popular one) to speed up and simplify the process. 

 

  • Once an option is selected, make sure that this is highlighted so when proceeding, the user knows what they have selected.

International payment options 

The number of payment options you accept is likely going to go up the further afield you sell in. Widening your market is great for business and in keeping with today’s growing global economy, but it’s also something you need to prioritise getting right so as not to alienate any potential overseas customers. Knowing your market is key and what payment methods are favoured.

 

Country

Payment method

China

Mastercard, Visa, WeChat Pay, UnionPay, AliPay, PayPal

USA

Visa, Mastercard, Maestro card, American Express, PayPal, Amazon Pay, Apple Pay

UK

Visa, Mastercard, PayPal, Amazon Pay, Apple Pay

Japan

Visa, Mastercard, Cash, Konbini, Bank transfer, PayPal, Pay-easy, Yahoo! Easy payment

Brazil

Credit card, Boleto Bancário, PayPal, MercadoPago

Germany

Visa, MasterCard, SOFORT, Credit Transfers, Giropay, PayPal, Klarna, Ratepay, Paydirekt

France

Visa, MasterCard, Carte Bancaire, PayLib, PayPal, American Express, Credit Transfer, e-Carte Bleue

Canada

Visa, Mastercard, American Express,  Instadebit, Interac Online, PayPal, Prepaid cards and vouchers

Italy

MasterCard, Visa, CartaSi, PayPal, Prepaid cards, Cash on delivery

Spain

MasterCard, Visa, PayPal, Trustly, SOFORT, SEPA, Euro6000, Teleingresso

Netherlands

 Visa, MasterCard, Maestro, American Express, Discover, iDeal, Mobiamo, SEPA, SOFORT, MINT prepaid 

Denmark

Dankort, Visa Dankort, Mastercard, Maestro

Switzerland

PayPal, Mastercard, Visa, Cash on delivery, Bank transfer, prepaid and rechargeable credit cards, SOFORT

Korea

Mastercard, Visa, PayPal, KG Inicis, Bank transfer

Russia

Visa, Mastercard, Maestro, Mir, Yandex.Money, QIWI Wallet, Alfa-Click

Singapore

Visa, Mastercard credit cards, bank transfer, eWallets, cash on delivery

New Zealand

Mastercard, POLi payments,  Payment Express Account2Account, Masterpass, PayPal, cash on delivery

Gift cards and eVouchers as payment 

 

The great thing about taking gift cards and evouchers on your checkout is that it enhances an enjoyable customer experience – when done right. It also supports customer loyalty and retention as you can use these as a great marketing tool for both new and returning customers. When it comes to the payment side, however, this often translates into partial payments. Customers will often have to use multiple payment methods to complete the order as gift cards and coupons may only cover part of the value. 

Finance options

Offering the chance to purchase for people who may not have the immediate funds for larger or higher value items is really taking off for retailers. Buy now pay later payment methods are definitely getting more popular.  Klarna, for example, is a financial service provider allowing a ‘buy now, pay later’ option, used by big retail names like ASOS, Topshop, and Michael Kors. They’re hugely popular and this kind of flexible payment model is allowing retailers to sell more items and increase average order sizes.

Subscription models and continuous payment 

In recent years, we’ve seen an increase in subscription models across many different types of business. From meal kits and beauty boxes to pet supplies – there’s a subscription for pretty much any service or product you can think of. Amazon offers subscription on items that you’ll likely need to repeat the purchase on; like groceries, toiletries and health, and beauty. You can select a delivery schedule and the items are often discounted when subscribed to. 

 

If your product or service could be sold using a subscription payment method, then it’s definitely high time you incorporate this into your strategy. People love the convenience and you’ll see an increase in your ROI of customer acquisition, and less of a headache when it comes to inventory management – knowing your number of subscribers, you’ll know how much stock you need.

 

How secure do your payment options look? 

Did you know that 17% of users have exit a checkout due to security concerns according to Baymard? Of course, your site needs to be completely secure, but you also need to consider how secure it looks

Users will instantly doubt the security of your website because of how it looks on the whole – in other words, how much they trust your brand. You can have the most secure online payment processes on the back end, but if your site design doesn’t match up to this, you will see a decrease in the number of conversions you make.  Here are some ways you can do this: 

  • Display well-known security seals and badges like Thawte and Google Trusted. Bear in mind that lesser-known ones may convey the opposite to users and make your site seem less trusted. 

  • Make the card details field stand out, apart from the rest of the page content; this gives a feeling of security according to Baymard’s testing. 

  • Test out your payment page on all browsers and that no warnings like ‘untrusted connection’ will appear. 

  • Ensure your security certificates are always kept up to date.

Conclusion 

Offering more ways to pay on your website is a great way to boost sales and give a fantastic customer experience. But you need to make sure you do it right to reap the rewards, and hopefully, this short guide has gone some way to help you do so. Security, design, knowing your market, and offering a variety of payment options are key to providing the best purchasing experience.

Venditan have a partnership with Global Payments to ensure all our clients, and their customers are receiving the best payment experience possible. If you’d like a chat about how we can help you achieve more, get in touch.

Find out more about payments with Venditan Commerce here. 

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Charlotte McKee

22nd October 2019

5 Reasons To Take Your Distribution Business Online

5 Reasons To Take Your Distribution Business Online

4 MIN READ

Driven by the demands of millennial trade customers and the need for real-time visibility of sales and stock, many distributors are choosing to take their businesses online. If you’re still unsure about the opportunities digitalisation could bring and whether it’s right for your business, here are five ways you could receive an instant return on your investment.

Allow trade customers to place orders with you any time of the day or night

Over the past few years, the buying behaviour and expectations of trade customers have changed. They are no longer happy to sit through long sales pitches or shift through paper catalogues. Instead they want to be able to complete research, consult with colleagues and place orders in their own time.

According to Forrester, 93% of business buyers prefer to buy online when they’ve decided to buy. Offering a transactional B2B eCommerce website, on top of your telesales team, instantly gives your customers the option to shop at their own convenience. Busy independent business owners will be able to place orders with you 24/7, from any device and any location.

Increase sales without increasing staff 

Another benefit of having a B2B eCommerce solution is that you’ll be able to provide customers with a personalised experience without the need to increase sales and customer service representatives. You will always want to give your customers access to these teams, however by providing answers to common questions, custom product pricing, credit limits and online order tracking, you will reduce the number of telephone enquiries you receive significantly.

Having a single view of your customer data will also allow you to anticipate your buyers needs automatically. You can upsell with on-site product recommendations based on their previous buying behaviour, send out relevant follow-on marketing campaigns suggesting new products, and send replenishment reminders when you think their stock may be running low.

Get your products live fast

 

If you still offer your customers traditional paper catalogues, you’ll know how much work goes into each one, from content to organisation, design to proofreading, layout to imagery. Even once you’ve finished planning your catalogue, you still need to wait for it to be printed and posted before you can get it in front of your customers! With a digital catalogue, your new products can be in front of customers within a matter of hours. Product details and specifications can be uploaded in bulk via a spreadsheet and automatically formatted into a pre-designed, clean and easy to navigate layout.

In addition, online product pages contain far more information to help buyers make their decision. You can, and should, include multiple images with the ability to zoom, demonstration videos, detailed specifications, frequently asked questions, customer reviews, and customised pricing once the user has logged in.

Reach new customers

Listing and selling your products online automatically opens you up to multiple new audiences. You are no longer restricted to selling to the select few who receive your paper catalogue. SEO is one of the best ways to increase the visibility of B2B eCommerce sites.

To improve your chances of being found by trade customers on Google and other search engines, provide as much unique information about your products and services as possible. Identify phrases that your customers are likely to query when searching for your products then use them in your product page’s meta title, meta description, H1 tag, image and video file names, image alt text and naturally throughout the description and specification.

If in the future, you find that you are receiving a high amount of traffic from overseas, an online catalogue means that you can easily provide translated content, currency converters and international delivery information for your new customer base without having to set up a large native-speaking customer service team. For more tips on expanding overseas, see our 7 Steps To International Success.

Reduce admin and keep data in sync

Taking your distribution business online gives you the opportunity to manage your entire B2B and B2C operation through a single platform, reducing the time, money and headaches involved in transferring data from one system to another.

Having one cloud-based solution will also allow data to flow around your business in real-time so that every team has a clear, up-to-date view of stock, accounts, and orders. This means:

 

  • Buying will have visibility of stock and sales across the business.
  • Finance can quickly pull up outstanding invoices or cash availability.
  • Customer service teams can accurately predict when stock will be replenished or when a customer’s order will be delivered.
  • As soon as orders are placed, they are sent directly to the warehouse and worked into picking lists, leading to faster and smarter fulfillment.
  • Orders can be fulfilled from multiple locations to get them to your customers in the most efficient way possible.

If you’re a distributor interested in finding out more about how Venditan Commerce could help you to survive in the digital age, take a look at our Bradshaw Taylor case study.

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Stephanie Fenton

22nd October 2019

Not Another Black Friday Survival Guide: For Retailers Not Taking Part

Not Another Black Friday Survival Guide: For Retailers Not Taking Part

4 MIN READ

Black Friday – you either love it or hate it. Regardless of which side of the fence you land on, its undeniable how much of an impact this American import has had on consumers in the UK. If you’re one of the retailers not taking part in Black Friday, and are looking to boycott the retail bonanza, you still need a solid plan in place to maximise on your sales throughout the holiday period. 

 

There’s so much rehashed advice out there on how to ‘smash’ Black Friday and guides on ‘surviving’ these turbulent times. But there’s a limit to how many of these blogs can really benefit anyone – no matter how many gif-based listicles are used to convey the message. 

 

Now, it’s great if you want to take part in the Black Friday hype – but with the volume of businesses plugging their deals, and for extended periods (like Black Friday-week), it’s harder than ever to get heard. This is especially the case for smaller, independent retailers who may not have the big ad budgets, bigger margins for deals, etc. Not to mention processing the heightened number of returns following customers regretting their impulse buys. It’s not surprising that many retailers are opting to not take part in Black Friday festivities. 

 

The past couple of years has seen a trend in retailers opting out of the Black Friday and Cyber Monday promotions. Last year, Asda announced its second year of not participating and choosing to run their own ‘deals period’ outside of the event. Marks and Spencers are another of the retailers not taking part in Black Friday and haven’t joined in the retail event for the past couple of years, instead offering deals like 50% off gift-sets on the run-up to Christmas instead. Not only does it give shoppers more time to get items they really want (rather than panic buying their fifth 55”, HD, 4K Curve TV and skiing gear they’ll never use) but it also allows retailers to extend promotions and drive sales for longer. 

Why Would You Not Take Part In Black Friday? 

 

Getting Heard

Imagine hundreds of people all stood in a room shouting. Imagine being one of those people, trying to get your voice heard above the others. That’s what it’s like being a retailer competing for consumer’s attention on Black Friday. You need to make sure you’ve got the budget and audience to be heard amongst the others. Many small and medium-sized, independent retailers often find that investment here would be more beneficial in other areas of their business. Is the ROI there to justify taking part in cyber weekend? 

 

Discounts v Profits 

In a bid to remain competitive, smaller retailers would need to reduce items way below the line of what they realistically can in order to still profit. There are better ways for you to leverage the holiday retail season to drive sales, and invest where it will benefit the business most. If you have a smaller margin, you may want to rethink your position on BFCM and offer discounts elsewhere, at other peak times.

Relevancy 

For some retailers, Black Friday is simply just not relevant to their product or service. Luxury brands typically veer away from Black Friday deals as they don’t align with their overall brand. Other’s may find the demand for their product or service isn’t in keeping – like a florist, who’s main traffic is driven by events like Mother’s Day or Valentine’s Day – as a shopper, you’re probably not going to be impulse buying bouquets.

What can you do instead of Black Friday sales? 

 

Roll out deals throughout the season

People are becoming more aware of retailers offering better discounts and sales throughout the year rather than on Black Friday. Many retailers are going for this option by not taking part in Black Friday and rolling out their own deals for extended periods. This gives shoppers a longer time to make their seasonal purchases while generating a steady amount of interest and consistency in sales.

Take advantage of the traffic


Regardless of whether you’re advertising specific Black Friday deals or not, you can still promote your site and drive the bargain-hungry shoppers to your site. People are savvier than ever when it comes to shopping around for the best deal. Use this as an edge to attract people to your site, even if you’re not taking part!

Price matching 

By offering a discount through price matching you’re instantly creating a more personal experience for the shopper as it’s done via the customer claiming the difference with you. The opportunity for interaction gives you extra time to delight your customer base and give them the ‘one-off’ discount. It’s also beneficial for retailers as the discount is only taken up by a smaller percentage of the customers. They’re getting the best deal from you without you feeling like you’re devaluing your brand and shopping experience.

Loyalty schemes 

For retailers with loyalty schemes like memberships and cards, think of implementing special offers for members, or extra loyalty rewards for during this time period. Boots are a good example of this and will offer double or triple points for their cardholders at certain times throughout the year. You can integrate this with your marketing campaigns easily to also increase more member sign-ups, and feed into your customer retention strategies. Remember to include personalisation as an approach here, using segmentation and customer data to really hone in on what individual consumers want. 

This time of year is great for retailers and eCommerce businesses, whether you take part in Black Friday or not. Make sure you have processes in place to support the customer journey from sales and marketing to stock management and dispatch processes throughout the holiday season. 

 

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Charlotte McKee

16th October 2019