There’s a chill in the air, the leaves are changing colors, and the days are getting shorter.
Black Friday is coming.
November and December are huge months for retailers—they can account for as much as 30% of annual sales, according to the National Retail Federation. While Black Friday was only popularized in the UK quite recently, 91% of UK retailers took part last year.
To make the most of the biggest shopping weekend of the year and keep your customers happy, you need to prepare your business.
Ensure your front-line staff is ready
Is your front-line staff prepared to handle an increased number of shoppers?
It’s up to them to ensure each shopper is acknowledged, has their questions answered, and goes through checkout as smoothly as possible. Even if a customer is rude or impatient, your sales associates need to remain courteous and respectful. 76% of UK consumers say a positive customer experience is more important the product, according to a study by Lithium Technologies.
Your front-line staff should also aim to help customers discover additional products—not just to increase sales, but to help them get the most out of their purchase. Doing so will increase customer satisfaction, build trust, and make shoppers want to keep coming back to your store.
Have at least one doorbuster sale
Have at least one major, jaw-dropping sale on one of your most popular products to attract shoppers to your store.
This could work as a loss leader pricing strategy—once customers come through the door for that sale, they’ll likely grab a few more items on the way to checkout.
For more tips on how to improve your in-store CX ahead of Black Friday, sign up for our free 5-day training course!
Build buzz around your sales
Many shoppers start searching for Black Friday deals early, so you need to make sure they find you.
Tell shoppers about your upcoming sales well in advance through email and social media campaigns. Create a sense of urgency by letting shoppers know when a specific product is about to sell out, and when a deal will end. You can also share sneak peaks of upcoming discounts to build anticipation.
Don’t neglect email marketing—you can upsell or retarget your existing customers by offering loyal customer discounts for certain products. Compelling cart abandonment emails also work well to encourage shoppers to complete their purchases.
Organize all upcoming sales
Staying organized ahead of Black Friday is crucial. You can plan your deals and discounts ahead of time using a retail management system. Your system should allow you to easily organize sales and track inventory so you’ll always know what’s in your stores.
You can outline what products you want to put on sale, determine how much you can afford to discount your products, and schedule the sale start dates through the system. Then when Black Friday arrives, you can simply refer back to your sales plan.
Prepare your store for increased demand
Forget spring cleaning—now is a crucial time to declutter your stores and make them spotless. Create more space for shoppers and remove any items that block their pathway. Place all products within easy reach, and display high-profit items so they stand out.
Pinpoint specific areas of your store that need improvements, and address these issues before Black Friday. You’ll also want to communicate with your vendors and suppliers ahead of time to ensure they can keep up with increased demand.
Test your website
Just as you should prepare your store for an surge in shoppers, you also need to ensure your website can handle an uptake in demand. A website glitch can seriously cost your business—test your site before Black Friday to make sure it’s fully functional.
Since most people shop on their phones, your site should also be mobile responsive. Test how your store looks on mobile, and ensure it’s easy and intuitive for users to make purchases.
Plan for worst-case scenarios
Are you prepared for any tough situations that could arise this Black Friday? Think of everything that could go wrong and create contingency plans.
What will you do if your shipping company gets too busy? What about if your inventory runs too low? One of the worst things that can happen is running out of stock faster than expected and being unable to meet customer demands. One idea is to equip your front-line staff with tablets so that shoppers can easily order via your website.
It’s better to create back-up plans now than to be left scrambling in the midst of your busiest time.
Let customers know you care about their experience
Even though shopping online can be easier during Black Friday, shoppers still want to touch and feel products in person. If they decide to brace the crowds and visit your store, they need to know you’re offering a superior shopping experience.
One way to show shoppers you care about their in-store experience is by asking for feedback. Turning their feedback into actionable changes will help you build trust and promote customer loyalty.
To learn how to create a better in-store shopping experience with customer feedback, download our “Ultimate Retailer’s Checklist: 5 Secrets to Happier Customers”.