What’s the number one asset a small business has over their giant retail competitors? The answer to that is essentially the same answer to this question: what should you be leveraging during the holiday shopping frenzy known as Black Friday and Cyber Monday? The answer is ‘you’. The business that you cultivated in your community, the jobs you provided in your region, the unique services or products you provide that make life better for your neighbors – these are all traits that can create loyalty with your customers. And believe it or not, loyalty can be stronger than convenience.
An estimated $7.9 billion was spent on Black Friday alone in 2017 – a record-setting day and almost an 18 percent increase year over year from 2016, according to a report from Adobe Analytics. So anyone who says Black Friday is dead is jumping the gun a little bit.
An estimated 43 percent of American adults shopped small on Small Business Saturday in 2017.
My opinion is that it’s incredibly difficult to compete with huge slashes in prices and big marketing campaigns offered by larger companies, so use your strengths that they don’t have. Small Business Saturday is the best tool for that holiday shopping weekend. A study by the National Federation of Independent Business states about 43 percent of American adults spent money at a small business on Saturday, November 25 in 2017, according to Business Wire. I would focus more on Small Business Saturday, but I also wouldn’t ignore Black Friday or Cyber Monday either.
Those one or two days a year shouldn’t make or break your bottom line. But attracting these holiday shoppers on one of the busiest weekends of the year can make a huge impact as you dive deeper into Q4. Below, I pinpoint some important don’ts when it comes Black Friday practices for your business.
Don’t Compete Head to Head with the Giant Retailers – Some say small businesses shouldn’t compete with the big box stores that can strike massive discounts – often way too big for a SMB to compete with. You can certainly still put out sales and discounts (it’s said holiday deals should discount by at least 25% to have a real effect), but don’t try to go head-to-head with the Goliath to your David.
Don’t Rely Only on Traditional Media – We are in an age where there is a relatively even split between online and in-store shoppers on Black Friday. PracticalEcommerce reports, “Approximately 58 million people chose to do their shopping online only, versus roughly 51 million at physical stores only [from Thanksgiving to Cyber Monday in 2017]”. You can utilize physical signage and traditional media but also don’t skimp on digital marketing, which Office Depot offers services in. Since it’s still early, blogging (and getting your blogs on websites with higher domain rankings) could do wonders for your business – at little cost.
A few ideas include live streaming deals, events, and fun behind-the-scenes videos for your audience to enjoy to bolster social media activity and exposure. If your content provides value (ie; educational, inspiring, entertaining, community-oriented, etc.), your audience will remember that and your brand will come to mind more often – especially if you’re publishing content consistently. For an example, check out Office Depot’s #BackToSchoolProud live stream campaign on Facebook with each video garnering over 50,000 views.