How to Prepare for Black Friday Sales

Hi, I’m Syama Meagher, CEO of Scaling Retail, and I’m so excited to talk to you small brand owners about the importance or not importance of participating in Black Friday. Now Black Friday is one of those big, epic retail days that’s subsequently followed by Cyber Monday. Now, what’s so great about Cyber Monday and Black Friday is it gives you an opportunity to liquidate product and put things on sale that you have a lot of inventory on. So it’s important to take a look. What could you put on sale? What do you need to sell through? Think of this as an amazing opportunity to move through product.

When it comes to thinking about Black Friday though, you have to think about what your marketing efforts are going to look like and how it’s really going to be met by the public. Do you have the budget to compete with the big guys when it comes to Facebook marketing? Do you have the budget to compete with the big guys when it comes to Instagram marketing? If you don’t have at least $100 a day or more to compete in this digital marketing during this specific time of the year, you should not do the digital marketing aspect of it, the paid one at least, right? Feel free to use all of your organic channels to go ahead and support your sale. In fact, I even suggest being able to work concurrently with influencers or people in your social media space who are real brand ambassadors and are fans of what you’re doing. Those guys are going to be the best at promoting and telling everyone, “Hey, this brand over here, they have a really cool sale going on.”

Now, getting on to logistics. When it comes to actually preparing your back-end for logistics, you want to make sure you have enough inventory of the items that you are marking down. Now please don’t take the entire store on sale, it’ll look like you’re going out of business. But maybe you take some strategic products, mark them down, but make sure you have enough inventory, especially if you’re going to market it. Next, make sure you have the right shipping procedures and policies in place. Maybe you’ve just been working with USPS and sending out boxes kind of ad hoc as you get them, but if you’re going to be putting some energy in marketing towards a holiday selling season such as Black Friday, you have to make sure that you’re going be able to ship these packages out on time. Maybe that means you hire a friend or get someone on board for a few hours to help you with fulfillment. You don’t want to let anyone down by not getting their package on time for that special person for that holiday present.

Next, you want make sure you have the right packaging. And by that I mean have the right boxes, the right tissue paper. Someone who’s taking a chance and buying your product for the first time, even if it’s on sale, they also deserve an excellent customer service experience. So think about how your branding is going to translate across all of the purchases, whether they’re on sale or whether they are full price.

Now lastly, you do not need to participate in Black Friday as a small business. And the reason why I say this is really, truly, you have a very special relationship with your customer. You can have dialog and communicate with them 365 days a year. Maybe you’re a small enough brand that they’re not expecting you to go on sale every Fourth of July or, you know, every Thanksgiving period. You have the opportunity to break sales strategically and mark down and drive your business when you need it. So don’t feel like you necessarily need to fall in alignment because every other company out there is doing something for Black Friday.

Alright guys, I hope you get a lot of great ideas from this. You know, some other tips and tools can be found in the holiday sales planning guide. Head over to scalingretail.com to make sure you get yourself a copy. I go over things like how you’re going to be able to plan your products a year out in advance so you can take advantage of better markdowns. Ideas like product bundling, you know, taking best selling products, putting them together, putting them at a special price and other great digital indirect marketing strategies specifically for the holiday season. Feel free to leave a comment below, shoot me an email if you have any questions. You can find me at hello@scalingretail.com, and then come on over and find me on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter. I am where you are. Thanks, bye.