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10 Ways to Prepare Your Business for Black Friday

by Imogen Wethered

During Black Friday in 2021, 154.5 million people bought something online or in-store, according to NRF. While, consumers are expected to spend less over the holiday season in 2022, retailers should still expect high footfall this Black Friday. 

Read on to learn what you can do ahead of Black Friday 2022 to prepare your business and maximize your sales. 

 

What is Black Friday?

Black Friday is the most popular shopping day in any retailer’s calendar whereby brands offer large discounts and great deals. 

It’s typically thought to kick off the holiday season–although this year, organizations have been preparing for peak season much earlier than usual due to the recession. 

 

When do Black Friday sales start?

Black Friday starts the day after Thanksgiving, on the last Friday in November. In 2022, it falls on Friday the 25th of November. Technically, Black Friday lasts for 24 hours. 

However, it’s worth noting that every year, brands are increasingly offering Black Friday sales deals a few days or even a week early to drive revenue. 

In fact, retailers generally offer huge discounts all weekend. As Black Friday ends, Cyber Monday begins–the ecommerce sales deal event of the year. 

 

Black Friday checklist: 10 ways to prepare your business

We’ve established when Black Friday is, but the important question still remains: what can you do to prepare your stores for Black Friday in 2022? 

Here’s our top recommendations: 

 

1. Grow your marketing list 

Hubspot found that marketing email ROI is a staggering $36 per $1 spent. That’s why email marketing is one of the top strategies you should be using to drive traffic to your stores during Black Friday. 

Evidently, the larger your Black Friday email marketing list, the more sales you’ll make. Fortunately, there are several ways to increase your contact list. 

For example, you could organize a social media give-away or contest and require your followers to submit their email address to enter the draw. Alternatively, you can add a pop-up onto your website which gives the consumer a voucher after they’ve entered their email. 

 

2. Be bold with your Black Friday deals

When Black Friday comes around, the consumer will be pulled in every which way by different brands offering flash sales. Don’t just add to the noise–find a way to stand out. 

Plan your Black Friday promotional offers several weeks in advance and craft attention-grabbing discount advertisements.

Retailers from Amazon to Target tend to do product-wide discounts. For instance, consumers may be able to get 25% off all your goods. However, gift cards are also well-favored by consumers. When they make a sale on Black Friday, you can automatically send them a discount gift card which they can redeem in the future. 

 

3. Eliminate physical queues

Black Friday is known for being one thing above all: hectic. The queues grow and grow, stock runs out and customers walk out of your stores in frustration without making a purchase. 

While your short-term revenue may spike, you risk permanent damage to your long-term ROI because of long queues. When consumers start to associate the long waiting experience they’ve had with your brand, they’re far more likely to switch to a competitor. Particularly if said competitor is using a Virtual Queuing Software.  

One of the breakout trends of the past few years, Virtual Queuing Apps allow customers to join wait lines remotely via a smartphone, store host or kiosk. They receive real-time queue position updates via a countdown on-screen and email and SMS notifications. 

Enterprise retailers and banks across the globe are rapidly investing in this popular technology to manage Black Friday traffic and wait times all year round. According to a recent report, the global Queue Management System (QMS) market size is expected to reach $0.6 billion by 2026. 

 

Qudini virtual queueu management software for Black Friday support

Create a better waiting experience and speed up service times with  the award-winning Qudini Virtual Queue Management App.

 

4. Optimize your website

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is the bread and better of any effective online marketing strategy. It’s arguably the greatest way to increase traffic to your online store because you’re making your website easier to find. 

Think of SEO in the same way you would your brick-and-mortar stores. The more stores you have–or in this case, optimized pages–the more online window shoppers will stumble onto your website. 

To make your products easier for Google and other search engines to find and crawl, you generally won’t need to do a website-wide overhaul. Start by optimizing your highest traffic pages, updating copy and making sure your product pages use the right keywords to appear in popular search results. 

Equally, don’t forget to work on your technical SEO (e.g., fix broken links). Let’s take a look at the key technical tasks you need to do to optimize your website before Black Friday. 

 

Improve your website speed

Online shoppers are used to having everything at the click of a button. As such, a slow website isn’t just a shock to the online shoppers system—it’s a deterrent. 

According to Digital, 1 in 2 of your website visitors will abandon your site if a page doesn’t load within six seconds. In this instance, time really is money. 

Ahead of your Black Friday online traffic spike, check in with your tech team and make sure your website speed is high. The last thing you want is a poor website experience costing you thousands of sales. 

 

5. Choose the best items for discounts

Some discounted items will always be more popular than others. One of the biggest decisions your team will need to make this Black Friday is to decide which products to put deals on. 

Your Black Friday 2021 purchase history data is a good point of reference, although retail trends will have changed since then. 

Be sure to research new product trends and to use current sales data to figure out which products to discount.  

Once you’ve finished organizing your Black Friday deals, get promoting. The sooner the better. Make your customers excited for the upcoming sale and let them know what to expect. 

 

6. Launch an Appointment Scheduling App

The pandemic brought about a significant shift from transaction-based retail to experiential-retail. It also drove retailers to become more omnichannel. 

The top Scheduling Apps help you to digitally transform your business while simultaneously offering a better, personalized experience and increasing revenue. 

With Qudini, your customers can seamlessly schedule time slots to visit any of your stores on Black Friday. Once their appointment is booked, the customer receives confirmation and reminder emails and SMS messages with links to cancel their booking or reschedule if they need to. 

Qudini can also enable you to offer virtual service to customers who don’t want to shop in-person the busiest shopping day of the year but still want to take advantage of your deals online. An international electronics retailer recently increased online foot traffic by 40% by leveraging our Video Appointment service

 

What are the use cases of an Appointment Scheduling App?

There’s a myriad of useful ways you can use Scheduling Software to enhance your customer offering. 

Here’s the 7 top ways our clients use the Qudini Appointment Booking Software:

 

Learn more about Appointment Booking Software

 

7. Plan your shipping strategy

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are two of the busiest days of the year for delivery and shipping services. 

This year, Amazon is hiring an astonishing 150,000 seasonal employees to help with increased order requirements during Black Friday and peak season. 

Fortunately, due to a more staggered peak season, shipping costs are now falling month-on-month. While transportation costs are currently volatile as countries around the world go into recession, retailers should be saving costs on shipping this Black Friday. 

To make sure you’re ahead of any spikes or hikes in shipping costs, monitor peak pricing and prepare a contingency plan. 

 

Why retailers should offer free shipping on Black Friday 

Now, more than ever, consider free shipping. As Gartner found, 51% of consumers said free shipping was one of the top factors that would affect their shopping decisions this holiday season. 

It’s well-documented that free shipping and free returns increase conversion and boost sales. 

However, if you can’t afford to offer free shipping across the board, you can save costs by: 

Offering every customer free shipping may not be right for your business. However, if you can make the numbers work, offering conditional free shipping is a major incentive for customers. 

 

8. Embrace social media

To drive more traffic to your brick-and-mortar locations, use your social media channels to share highly-targeted store news. 

Set up social media profiles for each of your stores and encourage your store teams to build a following in their local area. As Black Friday comes nearer, they’ll be able to post location-specific updates about discounts, deals and stock. 

Likewise, narrow your advertisement reach by either zip code, city, region or state to ensure the right people are seeing your ads. You’ll see a higher ROI per $1 spent on ads because the narrower your targeting, the higher the conversion rate. 

 

Social media tools to use

 

9. Make your storefronts are attention grabbing

Consumers are spoiled for choice on Black Friday. Heavy discounts mean that they’re likely to look to expand their horizons and shop with retailers they haven’t before. You have a fantastic opportunity to engage with a new customer base on Black Friday. 

But first, you need to make sure your shop windows are eye-catching. 

Our top tips for creating captivating window displays include: 

Likewise, don’t forget to make your website displays pop. Keep them colorful, clear and make sure your deals are front and center. Consider using pop-ups to promote best-selling items as well. 

 

10. Create a contingency plan

To become fully prepared for Black Friday, you need to ask the difficult questions: What’s plan B if anything goes wrong? What if your stock doesn’t arrive on time? What if you receive more or fewer customers than you expected?

It can feel pessimistic to plan for the worst but when it comes down to it, retailing is about making good out of bad situations. By preparing for the worst-case scenario, you’re making sure that you can still deliver a great customer experience and run operations smoothly. 

Ultimately, it’s far simpler and cost-effective to come up with a plan B than to have to fix an issue on the busiest shopping day of the year. 

 

Prepare the perfect customer experience with Qudini

Want to launch a brand new software in your stores to prepare for peak season? In the past, we’ve helped international brands to deploy our award-winning Customer Experience software solutions within a week. 

 

Meet our new solution suite

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Do you know how you’re going to stay relevant and profitable during the recession?

Peak season is just around the corner!

Have you thought about how you’re going to manage peak season traffic this winter?

New best practice guide

Our new best practice guide explains how Appointment Booking Landing pages will drive traffic to your in-store and virtual appointment services.

Latest consumer survey report

Our latest consumer survey report shows which types of retail stores and banks customers want to be able to schedule appointments within…

Recent consumer survey report

Our recent consumer survey report shows how the pandemic has changed consumer shopping habits and which habits will be here to stay…

Upcoming Webinar

Our Upcoming Webinar will present consumer insights on how the pandemic has changed consumer shopping habits. Sign-up below for Tuesday October 12th (2pm ET | 11am PT).