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Boom or bust on Black Friday?
Black Friday has been with us since 2010 and has become a firm feature of our calendar. It’s not just on the High Street or online; lots of businesses are getting involved.
Amazon said that 2019 would be its ‘biggest Black Friday sale ever’, and early results seem to show they were right. However, according to Barclaycard, despite all the excitement during the last month, spending grew by less than 1%; an overall decline when you allow for inflation.
But what does this all mean for a special small business like yours? Did you have a bright Black Friday bonanza of offers that left you in a whirl, trying to keep up with demand? Was business sleepy and slow while people waited to see what Black Friday bargains they could bag?
Or did you utter a few incantations and hold on for this weekend’s Small Business Saturday to give things a boost? After all, its job is to support the UK’s 5.6million small businesses. Last year saw an 8% increase in sales on the day, at an impressive £812million.
Is it the real deal?
Although there’s a lot of coverage about Black Friday, sales seem to have reached a plateau. Last year, Barclaycard said that, although shoppers bought 10% more, spending went down by 12%. The trend is to replace larger purchases with smaller, more affordable alternatives.
According to Which? research, more than nine out of 10 Black Friday deals they investigated were available for the same price or even more cheaply at other times of the year. People are becoming increasingly concerned that real discounts are harder to find than a unicorn horn.
What’s your plan?
Short-term Black Friday style discounts can mean misery for small business margins. While discounts can help to increase sales and give your cashflow a short-term shine, smaller and more consistent discounts for longer periods could be more of a love potion for your customers.
Focusing on bespoke services, up-selling and cross-selling based on the relationships you have with your customers can build loyalty and your reputation. Making genuine offers to your new customers can be the start a something wonderful.
But whether your plan is to take advantage of big events like Black Friday or to run smaller but more consistent offers throughout the year to match your own business trends, managing all the administration can be a challenge.
Sharing the festive spirit
The ecommerce marketplace, Groupon, surveyed 2000 UK shoppers on their spending habits leading up to Christmas. Four out of 10 said they start buying presents up to three months in advance, so focussing all your efforts on Black Friday could be a missed opportunity.
Tempting your customers with relevant personalised offers can give you an advantage over larger organisations too. You can set and test offers throughout the year, working with key dates that fit with your business, from Valentine’s Day for florists to Harvest Festival for green grocers. Better still, you can ask your customers to share their frank feedback.
If stock-taking, pricing, online updates, campaign planning and customer surveys are amongst your business nightmares then let a Genie make your dreams come true.
As experienced Personal Assistants, they can take your ideas and conjure up sensational solutions that will soon make you smile.
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