Ah, 2020… This year has brought a lot of new experiences to us all, business owners or not. One of those new experiences this year is going to be Black Friday and Small Business Saturday, during a Pandemic.
There are a lot of unknowns for Black Friday this year. How many businesses will be opening their doors? If they do, how many people will be allowed to enter? How long can lines be outside of the stores while still being socially distanced? If people can’t fight over TVs and children’s toys in person, will they try to argue over them online? So many questions!
You get the point, this Black Friday season is going to have a lot more thought put into it than ever before.
One thing we can say quite confidently is that this year’s Black Friday is going to have record-breaking online sales. Those doorbuster deals and camping out in the middle of the night are going to be things of the past (well, at least for this year) and are going to be replaced with entire month-long, online-only sales, and discounts.
For bigger businesses, this will be an easy transition to make, but many small businesses might struggle to keep up with these changes. So what can you do? How can you get ready for the shopping season and set yourself up for your best year yet?
One of the biggest keys to succeeding on Black Friday, especially this year, is going to be having a plan well ahead of time. If you don’t have any plan by the time you’re reading this, it is time to get moving!
Having a plan going into a normal Black Friday is important because there’s so much to do. Make sure people know about your deals, make sure advertisements are ready to be used, and making sure you have the correct amount of inventory for the big sales day!
This year things seem to be changing in the fact that a lot of businesses are going to be doing week-long or even month-long sales in some cases! That means if you haven’t started at least planning already there are other businesses out there that are already beating you to the starting line!
The bottom line, things never go as planned, so having as much time to test and prepare, the better.
Make sure your sales are online
Globally, online sales are expected to grow 30% year over year to $940 billion this holiday season(2020), compared with 8% growth in 2019, according to Salesforce’s 2020 forecast.
People have become comfortable with shopping online more than ever. With nearly every state here in the United States “shutting down” during some time of COVID-19, it has become basically a necessity to shop online. This is one of the reasons why online shopping is expected to grow so much during this holiday season.
The other reason is that the COVID-19 pandemic is still impacting our lives, and in some states, it’s now having more of an impact more than ever. This means that the huge, shoulder-to-shoulder crowds you typically see on Black Friday won’t be able to be around this year.
Stores will have limited capacity and standing in lines will be less appealing, especially in colder parts of the country (like here in Milwaukee, WI).
All of these means one thing… make sure your website is ready to handle additional traffic and support sales online. Even if you can have your products listed so people can at least know what you have in stock, it is better than going into the holiday season with nothing at all!
If available, offer curbside pickup
Again, this is going to be one of the most unique Black Friday and Small Business Saturdays to date. If your small business is able to offer curbside pickup, this is going to be a perfect opportunity to utilize it.
Having a customer able to call in or order online and pick up their order without leaving their car is a very efficient way to make a sale for your business and to shop for the customer!
Depending on your business, you might even be able to come up with a “curbside pickup special”. Creating a type of basket for your curbside pickup customers could be a great way to make these additional sales while being socially distanced!
This is the year that all small businesses have had to learn to be creative with how they run their business and make sales. The businesses out there that are doing the best during these times are the ones who have learned to adapt to the situation at hand! Make sure you do the same and have a healthy and safe holiday season!
Bonus: We wrote a blog about Marketing a Small Business During COVID-19 that you might find interesting!