Black Friday Offers – should you, and if so, how?
Black Friday and Cyber Monday will soon be here again.
Should you join in?
Should you stay away?
We’ve got some answers, some pointers and some questions for you too! Watch this to find out more!
Hi and welcome to another episode of BaranovTV, designed to demystify the world of accounts and tax and to help your business grow.
This episode is going to come out on Friday the 8th of November which will be just three weeks away from Black Friday, which this year is Friday November the 29th. It’s the Friday after Thanksgiving in the States.
For anybody who’s been hiding under a rock for the last few years, it’s the start of a mad weekend of offers and sales and incentives for people to part with their hard earned cash. It started off as Halloween did, with a big push in the States, and it slowly crossed the Atlantic and is now with us here in good old Blighty.
Last year in the US firms like Target and Walmart and Amazon sold a massive $6.2 billion worth of goods on Black Friday, and on Cyber Monday which is the following Monday, they outdid that by selling $7.9 billion worth of goods.
So there’s huge amounts of money at stake and it’s a great opportunity! It’s a brilliant way of being part of the party, and getting a good offer out there and increasing sales in the run up to Christmas.
It’s as I say a really good opportunity, but there are also dangers inherent with making an offer to your customers.
It can be like Groupon which, when Groupon was at its peak a few years back, lots of businesses were saying they were losing money massively, because they weren’t structuring their offers very well, or they weren’t following up, they weren’t capturing data when people were coming in to them. Actually all they were doing was giving away profit for very little return.
And the people who bought weren’t coming back because they were only just interested in the bargain offer.
To make sure that none of you fall foul of either Black Friday or Cyber Monday, I thought it would be really useful just to run through a few things to avoid and some things to think about if you are going to get involved.
Things to Avoid
- Giving away too much of your profit.
A lot of offers are done around 20% off, 15% off, 10% off, whatever it is, just a straight percentage off of your normal price.
It can be much more savvy to think about actually packing more into that offer, so trying to cross-sell, and sell more as part of your offer. So it could be, rather than listing something at £100, you could say ‘this weekend only £150 but get all of this extra’.
You’re making it more difficult for people actually to identify what the individual prices of those items would be, and actually selling it as a deal you don’t, you’re not giving away your profit.
- Avoid over-selling
Make sure that you can actually cope with all of the orders that you may get if lots of people take up your offer, and make sure you’ve got the resources to actually cope with all of those, and that you can service that business, because the last thing you want to do is dent your reputation as a result of having too much response to an offer that you make.
- Don’t join the big companies like Walmart and Amazon etc and lose out.
These were the big winners with the huge sales, but they are huge for a reason. They have teams of marketeers working out what products are best for them to offer the deals on, and how many people they’re going to have take up the offers and things. So they are very savvy, they will have a team of people working on their Black Friday offer for months in advance, and their campaign and everything else around it.
- Make sure that you are absolutely crystal clear that it’s going to work for you before you commit.
If you’re unsure what to offer, and you want to make sure you don’t want to lose, our advice is steer clear. Don’t get involved in Black Friday. People do get a little bit too carried away, and they expect massive offers, and it can be really easy to get dragged along by that as a business owner and put too much into your offer. So if you’re not sure, if you’re not convinced, then our advice would be ‘don’t do it’.
If you do decide not to offer a Black Friday or Cyber Monday deal, what can you do?
Well you can actually take part in it without doing so if you like, you can take ‘the integrity stance’ as we’re calling it. And that is to turn round to your customers and do a mailer or a sequence of them, and just say, we’re not making an offer, because our prices are absolutely spot on all year round, we don’t need to give an offer to enhance our value because of this, this and this.
There are lots of ways you can sell that line in different ways, and you could have a campaign of emails going out around the time, so you’re piggy backing the activity but without actually risking your profits.
Think about what your customers may be doing.
Additionally, if your customers may be offering Black Friday deals, then think about how you can get through to them in advance of that, and you’ve probably just about got time to do that this year.
- Think about if you’re a printer, do your customers need to get their Black Friday out? Do they need extra leaflets? Do they need mailers? Will they be doing a direct mail campaign to promote interest in their offer?
- If you’re a copywriter or a web developer or an online marketer, can you sell your services in advance of Black Friday to encourage your customers to use you to enhance their internal skill set?
- Even down to if you’re an HR consultant, are you making sure that your customers are aware that their team will be under more pressure around this period, and do they need more support? Have they got their culture right? Have they thought about the impact it could have on team morale and things that you could be doing to encourage them to use you in the run-up to, and possibly to deal with the fallout from, Black Friday or Cyber Monday as far as it occurs to them?
So think about your customers and how they may be promoting Black Friday and Cyber Monday and how you might be able to piggy back that with them.
If you do decide to do an offer, there are things that you need to consider.
- Statistics show that people start considering their purchases a good week to ten days before they actually, those offers become live. So it’s a really good idea to tease your offers out to people first, before they become live on Black Friday or Cyber Monday. Think about getting details out or starting a campaign early, ‘watch this space we’ve got a great offer coming’ or something like that.
- Don’t stop too early. There is often so much activity over this period that by continuing after the event, so onto that Tuesday or even into the Wednesday, you may be able to mop up some of those people who have been sidetracked with something else, who actually did see your offer or see it afterwards and think, yes I do want to take advantage of that.
- Make sure all of your emails include value so that people don’t get tempted to unsubscribe, but if you do think people are likely to unsubscribe, add an extra ‘unsubscribe from this campaign’ link, above the unsubscribe in your footer. What you want to do is give them the opportunity to opt out of this campaign, but not out of all of your marketing and all of your messages.
- Additionally make sure that your email subjects are enticing. Include, if you do do an offer, what that offer is so if you do go a straight 20%, save 20% Black Friday, Cyber Monday, make sure that’s in there because that is going to pop when people see it.
- Then also, include a deadline, everyone responds much better to a deadline, so make sure that is front and centre, ‘you must do this by this point on this date, to qualify for the discount or the enhanced offer’, whatever it may be.Some email marketing systems, or something like Nifty Images, enable you to put a countdown timer in your emails, which can be really useful for people to see that deadline is getting ever closer.
- And use all your channels, think about direct mail, leaflets, email marketing, and all the different channels you could be using in combination with your social media channels, and start to think about how to tie all those together.There will be a lot of traffic and a lot of attention, and what you want to do is make sure that you’re appearing in your customers’ eye line as many times as possible, You want to make sure that they’re going to spend their money with you not anybody else, particularly your competition.
- Stack your offers. You could have an offer for Black Friday, and then you hit people with another offer on the Monday, for related products.It could be buy product A on Friday, and then products B, C and D in a package on Monday for this price, or with this value, or with free postage whatever it may be. But you’re actually then offering more value because they’ve purchased product one, and actually they’re going to need products B, C and D to get the most out of that, and look, aren’t you helpful you’re here with those?
- And finally, if you do get interest, make sure that you follow up with those people. It’s your job to remind them to spend money with you when they’ve done it once. Follow up with your customers after Black Friday and Cyber Monday, and also I would reiterate please avoid giving away your profit.
If you’re unsure what type of offer to make and how to price it, then please do get in touch; we’re more than happy to help if we can. That’s about it.
If you are going to think about it you need to do that quite quickly, so I’ll leave you with that and I’ll see you very soon.