For many Americans, Black Friday is a staple of their Thanksgiving tradition. Retailers count on these shoppers enough to open on Thanksgiving Day, a move that provides more chances for shoppers to find bargains. Even so, Black Friday remains one of the biggest shopping days of the year, as consumers brave crowds and long lines to take advantage of deals — which can lead to considerable profits for businesses.
The most successful stores have established strategies for marketing deep discounts to consumers. When these strategies are effective, stores can stay top-of-mind with consumers on Black Friday and rise to the top of their shopping list.
Why You Should Offer Black Friday Deals
Local and small retailers may have reservations about offering Black Friday deals. Business owners may wait to provide deals on Small Business Saturday, leaving Thanksgiving weekend for big-box retailers with mass inventory and room to slash prices. But Black Friday gives local stores opportunities to:
- Clean up their inventory: As Black Friday approaches, small businesses can move overstocked or seasonal items to point-of-sale displays — and reduce prices to ensure they sell. This process helps retailers clear slow-moving items to make room for in-demand products that consumers will seek on Black Friday.
- Score first-time customers: People who hunt for deals may go out of their way to shop at stores that they’d otherwise pass up. Black Friday offers chances for stores to attract these first-time customers and create a shopping experience that gives them reasons to become repeat customers.
- Get a revenue boost: Stores shouldn’t assume they must price inventory at a loss to attract customers. Most stores — big and small — move a considerable number of products on Black Friday and the surrounding shopping days, providing a window for generating revenue.
Understanding How Black Friday Shoppers Think
Black Friday presents a unique shopping experience. Many consumers plan for crowds, scout for deals, and revel in scoring hard-to-find products. Retailers who understand how these shoppers think can create unique shopping experiences that boost their chances of driving revenue. Here are thoughts that consumer experts have shared about the thought processes that can occur on Black Friday.
- Crowds create enjoyable shopping experiences: Typically, shoppers try to avoid crowds. But a study led by Sang-Eun Byun of the University of South Carolina found that competition for products can spark excitement and positive feelings. This finding may explain what draws many shoppers to stores on Black Friday.
- Preparation adds to the excitement: Savvy shoppers map out game plans to make the most of their time and money before hitting the stores. But plans that go awry can lead to what Sharron Lennon, a professor at Indiana University Bloomington, calls “consumer misbehavior.” This occurs when shoppers engage in mischief after missing out on bargains.
- Black Friday shopping is habit-forming: Black Friday shopping is now a tradition for many Americans. Winthrop University professors Jane Boyd Thomas and Cara Peters say that dedicated shoppers plan their Black Friday expeditions as thoroughly as they plan holiday meals and other traditions. But the rise of Cyber Monday may be changing those habits.
Online Marketing Raises the Stakes for Holiday Shoppers
Cyber Monday has produced deals on top of what stores offer on Black Friday. Stores of all sizes offer bargains on Cyber Monday, not just big-box stores and Amazon. This extended shopping window provides small businesses with opportunities to sell more products online and grow revenues during the holiday season.
- Manage your online presence: During the lead up to Cyber Monday, businesses should ready their websites to attract more traffic. To begin, they should develop engaging content and create product pages that entice people to visit online stores. It’s also important for businesses to test their website functionality to ensure they provide seamless digital shopping experiences.
- Go mobile: A Pew Research Center study found that 81% of Americans own a smartphone — and many of them likely use their devices to shop online. Therefore, businesses should ensure their websites are responsive and navigable on all devices. For the best results, retailers can develop mobile apps for easy checkout.
- Dip into e-commerce sales: Small businesses can add products to Amazon and eBay to reach an international audience. This third-party approach is especially beneficial for small retailers that don’t have the capacity to build complex commerce systems.
Of course, most retailers compete for customers on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. As a result, businesses must develop effective marketing strategies to avoid losing shoppers to the competition.
To learn how to thrive in business, consider the online bachelor’s degree in marketing from Concordia University, St. Paul. Through a comprehensive curriculum, you will explore core marketing strategies and tools to help your business stand out during busy holiday seasons and beyond. Designed for busy adults, this online program gives you the flexibility to complete your studies where and when it works best for you.