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Making the Most of Black Friday (Even if Your Soul is Bursting With Colour)

See How Black Friday Promotions Can Help Your Business. 

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Many of the card & gift folk I know HATE Black Friday.

Loathe it with a passion.

And I get why. It oozes a level of commercialism that doesn’t really sit well with the heartfelt world of greetings and giftware.

We’re all about giving, thoughtfulness, colour and joy.

That is not Black Friday.

Black Friday has come to be seen as a ruthless pursuit. The shops are money-grabbing and deceitful with their so-called “bargains”. Consumers are so frenzied and greedy to grab a bargain that they’d roll a trolly over their grandma to get 50% OFF a flat-screen TV.

The whole thing is just not us. 

BUT we should give Black Friday a little consideration, and right here I’m going to show you why. 

What is Black Friday?

Just in case you’ve avoided it in the past. Let’s just have a quick recap on the what & how of Black Friday promotions. 

Black Friday started life as a shopping event in the USA; a day of bargains on the Friday following Thanksgiving.

The Black Friday concept then spread beyond America; becoming a fixed date in the shopping calendar.

As the online world has got involved Black Friday has grown further.

Now the Black Friday bargains are not limited to a single Friday. First, they stretched to a weekend of deals. Then the Monday following became known as Cyber Monday (the day when most online orders were taken).

In the last few years and most likely inspired by Amazon, Black Friday sales can last for weeks.

And without a crystal ball, it’s hard to predict what the next Black Friday will look like.

Taking a look at the news, there are reports both for and against the event. Last year some news sites reported falling interest from shoppers; others predicted the Black Friday sales would be bigger than ever.

For now, it seems like Black Friday is staying. But what it looks like for your business is up to you.

The Card & Gift Industry & Black Friday

As I mentioned earlier a lot of card & gift folks I work with are firmly on the anti-Black Friday bandwagon.

But I know that’s not the case for every greetings and giftware brand. There are many different bandwagons.

Here’s a few I’ve noticed over the last couple of years…

 

1. THE EMBRACERS

These brands take part. They embrace the Black Friday concept with promotions, which last the day, weekend or as long as they feel like it.

2. THE HARD-LINERS

Firmly anti-Black Friday these brands declare they will not take part. They proudly show the negative side of Black Friday and advocate for more considered buying. 

3. THE COLOURFUL CLAN

Last but not least are the colourful clan. Generally small, independent businesses. These brands offer small discounts of offers in the Black Friday tradition but they heavily advocate principles including shopping local, handmade and from indies.

 

Whether you choose 1 of these 3 options or carve out your own Black Friday path is entirely down to what works for your business. 

Whichever you choose there are lessons to be learned from Black Friday marketing.

So let’s take a look at how Black Friday can help your business. 

5 Lessons to be Learned from Black Friday Promotions

#1 ~ Give Great Offers

Black Friday promotions are all about deals. Customers are on the lookout for great offers. 

You need to come up with a promotion good enough to tempt shoppers into your store or onto your website.

Black Friday is often a short burst sale; John Lewis (for example) is advertising a quick one day sale.

This isn’t however universal, online retailer Amazon is planning a whole week of discounts.

Whether it’s a day, weekend or week, pick a period of time and a type of promotion that suits your business.

If you sell online you should also consider utilising Black Friday’s online companion, Cyber Monday, which follows Black Friday on 1st December.

 

#2 ~ Create Promotional Materials in Advance

To make things as easy as possible, create your marketing materials in advance.

Print flyers and coupons, write your promotional emails and blog posts, create graphics for your Facebook and Pinterest pages.

Whatever channels you will be using to market your event, make sure you have what you need ready before the day.

This will save you a lot of last-minute stress during the event and will enable you to concentrate on spreading the word.

#3 ~ Build Anticipation

Anticipation is an important factor in attracting customers.

Follow the example of big retailers with your Black Friday promotions and market your event before the day. Taking a quick look at the Amazon website you’ll see a countdown to the sale is already live on their home page. By promoting ahead of time, they’re able to build anticipation for their discounts. Consumers know that something special is coming and are pre-warned that they need to return for the event.

While you most likely won’t have the budget, resources or workforce of Amazon you can follow their lead. Tease details of your event ahead of time. Use flyers, posters, email and social media to let your customers know you will have Black Friday offers and encourage them to come back.

If you’re working in a brick and mortar shop consider using social media tools such as Buffer or Hootsuite to schedule your social media posts. This way you can concentrate on your customers and orders but still get the message out online.

#4 ~ Keep Active on Social Media

Social media is a great way to communicate your Black Friday promotions; allowing you to stream information about your event.

Keep your eyes peeled for trending #hashtags on social media such as #BlackFriday and #CyberMonday. Using the trending hashtags in your messages will get more people seeing what you have to say.

You can also customise your social media pages with themed cover photos or links to discounts to ensure your pages are highlighting your offer.

If you’re working in a brick and mortar shop consider using social media tools such as Buffer or Hootsuite to schedule your social media posts. This way you can concentrate on your customers and orders but still get the message out online.

 

#5 ~ Consider a Cyber Monday Extension

5. Consider a Cyber Monday Extension.

Cyber Monday is the online equivalent of Black Friday; occurring the following Monday.

If you have an online shop it may be worth including this day in your Black Friday promotions for a 4-day weekend sale.

Alternatively, you could use Cyber Monday as an added secret bonus. Announcing a last-minute extension to a weekend sale gives you another reason to reach out to your customers.

 

What to Do Now

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If you’re going to try a Black Friday event for your business the next step is to decide the parameters. 

What kind of discounts will you be offering?

Will it be on all or selected products?

How long will the event last?

Once you have the basics sorted you can then move on to creating your marketing materials. 

After that, it’s all about taking part and measuring the impact.

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