While lockdowns and social restrictions have limited the amount we spend outdoors or with friends, lots of crafty individuals have found more time to focus their efforts into creative hobbies. This has meant that an abundance of small handmade and self-starter businesses have arisen and have begun gaining traction amongst shoppers.
Consumers throughout this period have also started buying more from smaller brands and supporting local businesses that have struggled throughout the year. This has set the long-awaited Black Friday and Cyber Monday events as fruitful opportunities for small businesses to thrive. But for many new brands, making themselves known to a larger customer pool can be tough, and with little to no marketing experience, getting noticed can be an uphill battle.
We want small brands and little budding businesses to excel and now has never been a better time to embrace promotions to entice customers to buy your lovely products. That's why we've created this guide to help new businesses know how to run sales and create Black Friday promotions and Cyber Monday deals that will get you noticed now!
Just a quick note: Black Friday is on the 27th of November and Cyber Monday is always the following Monday which is the 30th this year - don't forget these dates!
Try focused discounts over blanket deals
Black Friday and Cyber Monday have, over the last few years, spread into longer sales events that often span the week prior to the weekend itself and continue until Christmas, on some occasions.
If you simply applied a '25% off' to everything in your store, running from the 20th of November to the 25th of December, you would discover very quickly that customers' interest will be short-lived. Keep customers on their toes! Roll out smaller, more specific sales events like welcome discounts to subscribed customers, flash sales and limited-time discount codes.
By creating a sale campaign with varying offers you can keep consumers interested in what deals and promotions you have going on and will be more likely to visit your store to have a peek! Plus, discounting all your products can damage your profits, so make sure to place the best promotions on less popular items to clear stale stock.
Create order value promotions
We've all seen them - the 'spend £100 and get 50% off' promotions that entice us to spend a little more when filling up our basket online. The reason these are so common amongst eCommerce merchants is that they work. Even if this is the only Black Friday promotion or Cyber Monday deal you use, you should see customers buying more!
Creating a larger discount for customers when they spend over a threshold amount can significantly improve profits overall and customers too can save money on the items they buy. This is also a great way of avoiding blanket discounts, as they can often devalue the products you're selling to customers.
This also works great for shipping promotions! We've been through many Black Friday and Cyber Monday events and have been there to help businesses lower shipping costs so they can offer discounted or free shipping to their customers when they spend over a certain amount. This way businesses don't lose money over the busiest annual shopping period and customers can benefit from our reliable and convenient courier services.
Put together bundles or subscription boxes
Product bundling is when you package complementary products together, often sold at a discounted price or with an added value. These can be a fantastic means of bumping up your average basket value and giving customers the opportunity to try new products.
These are ideal in the run-up to Christmas too; often shoppers use Black Friday and Cyber Monday to purchase all of their gifts for Christmas, and many will be looking for pre-prepared presents to reduce hassle. Bundles, especially if they come wrapped and ready to gift, can be perfect for those out there without the time to buy, wrap and send presents this year.
And why not create a subscription service at a discounted price? Bundle subscriptions have become increasingly popular in recent years, and no wonder, who doesn't like receiving a little gift in the post each month!
So why create a sales campaign around your bundle subscription? You can offer this service at a lower monthly cost throughout Black Friday/Cyber Monday to encourage customers to sign up. By doing this you can guarantee income via subscriptions so you're not left out of pocket for the festive period.
Send an email or twoIf you've been able to gather a few emails and built a solid list to send your marketing efforts to, you'll be able to create excitement over your upcoming Black Friday deals and Cyber Monday promotions. Although emails don't seem like the best place to get customers visiting your website, it's still very effective! So check your (email) list, and check it twice, in the run up to Christmas and this includes the period before Black Friday. Make sure that addresses are correct and start sending emails about your discounts and promotions and offer these subscribers exclusive deals! By doing this you can advertise that special discounts are available to subscribers, bolster your email list AND improve awareness of your upcoming promotions!
Make your promotions seem urgent
One of the best ways to improve conversions is to create a sense of urgency for the customer. This is especially true during a heavy sales period like Black Friday and Cyber Monday when deals and discounts are time-sensitive. The anxiety over missing a product or service encourages people to take quick action and make a purchase.
Lots of businesses opt for the obvious ticking clock when creating a sales campaign and place it on the first page of their website, this very clearly instils urgency reminding customers that your sale is limited time only. It's a good idea to incorporate something similar to your online store, try:
- Making the deadline time and/or date of your sale visible on every page and larger on your homepage
- Make the scarcity of stock levels clear, even if they may not be this creates a strong sense of urgency
- Create an incentive to buy by offering free shipping or further discounts to the first 10 or 20 people that buy a particular product
Create a charitable donation promotion
In recent years there has been a growing trend wherein businesses have chosen to donate a portion of the profits from Black Friday promotions and Cyber Monday deals to charitable organisations. This approach is very effective and may perhaps be most poignant this year, as more shoppers seek to give back rather than cash out on clutter.
Businesses can incorporate this by creating a banner or note on their website that allows customers to choose from a pre-prepared list or select a charity of their choice to which their money will be donated. By doing this, businesses can build trust with their customers as caring, responsible brands and can give back to important causes.
Shout about it!
Social media is your friend during Black Friday and Cyber Monday! Use it as a vital space to shout loud about your sales and promotions. Customers are more than ever using social media platforms to find brands that they buy from and they'll be much more likely to choose yours if they know you're being active and participating in the busy shopping season.
Create a fun countdown on Instagram or Twitter to your next sale or even create a promotional video showcasing all the stock that customers will be able to buy. By doing this you can create excitement and improve online engagement which can't hurt your eventual conversions! Lots of businesses learn how to run sales campaigns through social media so have a play around with it and see how it can help you!
This shopping season could be defined by small businesses so even by implementing and rolling out a few promotions you will show that your brand works to give customers the best deals!
P.s. For all your shipping needs watch this space over Black Friday and Cyber Monday...you might just find a deal you really love to help with all your parcel delivery needs!