After a difficult year of social distancing and lockdown due to the pandemic, South African businesses are looking forward to Black Friday and the start of the festive shopping season. Retailers are hoping to realize lots of shopping engagement as South Africans look for bargains throughout November.
According to BankservAfrica, South Africans spent R6 billion on Black Friday last year. This year, with specials running throughout the month and people getting used to ecommerce during lockdown, Black Friday could be even bigger this year. So, how does your small business catch the interest of the customer’s spend during the month?
Here are a few ideas:
Offer something extra to nudge buyers
This year many businesses may be offering deep discounts on products and services to help interest potential buyers. A good way to help stand out is to add a little something extra to sweeten the deal. You could, for instance, offer free delivery. Or you could give a voucher for their next big purchase. A value-add like a set of utensils with a premium pot set or two pairs of socks with a shirt valued at more than a certain Rand amount, could make an attractive deal become an even greater one. Splash these offers all over social media and your website to help get the word out and people know about them.
Create gift bundles and gift guides
Black Friday is traditionally the day that many people shop for themselves. Why not remind them that Christmas is just around the corner by compiling gift bundles and gift guides? People who are busy, will appreciate help getting a head start on their festive season shopping.
You could organise your online product catalogue or retail space to reflect different gift ideas – for example, gifts for you, gifts for mom, gifts for dad, gifts for geeks, gifts for sports fans, gifts for bookworms, gifts under R200, gifts under R1000, gifts for kids and so on. Another idea is to combine products into bundles—for example, a bundle of fine wines and cheeses, or a handbag with matching accessories.
Engage your existing audience via email
Don’t forget about your current or lapsed customers. These could include people who haven’t shopped with you for a while—perhaps because coronavirus changed their habits—and might include loyal, repeat customers too. Email can be a great way to engage with them. You can send your opt-in email database exclusive ‘insider’ offers featuring special deals. You could also consider perhaps sending an email offer and then a reminder email when time is running out.
This can be a successful strategy because it helps you build relationships with existing customers. It also targets people who may be more willing to purchase again, based on their previous engagements with you. Many Black Friday shoppers are just looking for the best prices and it can be hard to win these bargain hunters as long-term customers, yet it is worth the try by making them feel special when shopping with your business.
Use incentives to buy now to your advantage
This year, retailers are running Black Friday specials for most of November. With so much time people could become a bit blasé about the promotions, figuring they can wait to see what better deals come up. For that reason, it’s important to make them feel that they have made their purchase at the right time.
Here are a few ideas for tapping into reasons for buying now:
- Offer a bonus for the first people to order—for example, a free toaster with the first five washing machines you sell.
- Attach a time-limited coupon code to your email newsletter—giving customers 24 hours or a week or whatever to get some money off with a purchase of more than a certain amount of Rand, for instance.
- Running flash sales—a time-limited promotion where customers have only a day or two or even a few hours to make the buy if they want the discount.
- Send emails and use social media to drive excitement and reason for buying now—you can remind people time is running out, let them know how many bonuses have been claimed, or alert them when stock is low.
Getting ready for Black Friday 2020
Running successful Black Friday and Cyber Monday campaigns takes preparation and planning, but it’s time well spent. Do it right, and you ‘ll be ready for this exciting time of year. Choosing the right approach for your market and your audience can help to give your business a head-start as we head into the festive shopping season.
By Selina Bieber, Senior Regional Director, GoDaddy