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The eCommerce Black Friday Guide for Small Business

Nov 16, 2020

Black Friday and Cyber Monday (BFCM) are fast approaching as well as the rest of the holiday season shopping rush. If you are selling goods or services online as a small business owner then you must give yourself enough time to prepare. Especially this year, where many brick and mortar stores have limited hours or have closed completely as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Although many things have changed during these unprecedented times, one thing you can count on is that people will continue to be on the hunt for the best deals. While big businesses always make bank during this weekend, small businesses can do incredibly well too. Here are some tips to start preparing your business now and stay ahead of the curve.

Plan Your Marketing Strategy in Advance
The classic trademark of holiday deals is steep price cuts and Black Friday doorbusters. This alone definitively drives a good amount of holiday business, but you can stand out in more ways than one, especially as a small business. While social media marketing can go a long way and reach new target audiences, so can direct response marketing. This year, the pandemic negatively affected everyone in different ways, but it also made time for the average consumer to become more engaged with and interested in supporting local, black-owned, and female-owned businesses. This holiday season is the perfect time to capitalize on that. You don’t have to have a big budget for influencers. Even those with a smaller following are still a great way to curate new audiences that will be eager to support a trusted small business instead of their usual corporate monopoly.

Offering some more creative perks like gift wrapping, curating holiday gift guides to send out, raffles, and rebates or curbside pickup in addition to regularly planned discounts are all meaningful ways to add value. Realize that this year many people aren't willing or able to risk long lines, big crowds, and increased COVID exposure for a good bargain. Many businesses have already turned BFCM sales into early online discounts.

Many people have more time to browse options which means it will be really important to utilize and abandon cart campaigns and ramp up your retargeting efforts. There are many automated options to gently nudge customers down the conversion funnel and incentivize them to complete their purchases.

Make Sure Your Site is Ready
Dedicating extra time and money to produce successful marketing campaigns only to have your website malfunction is a business owner's biggest nightmare. Give your e-commerce site a thorough once-over before traffic picks up. Make sure that your site will be able to handle the influx of holiday traffic without fail. This includes optimizing your site for mobile browsing. After waiting just 3 seconds, 57% of average users will abandon the page, and 80 percent of those will be gone for good. Be sure that your best sellers and top deals are easy to find without over-cluttering the site. Is the checkout and shipping processes running smoothly? Are any changes in holiday operational hours and contact information updated? Have you considered relaxing your return policy to reassure customers shopping during the pandemic? Or offering a buy online, pick up in-store option? In a stressful time, customer loyalty will stem from making things as easy as possible and going above and beyond to create a positive shopping experience.

Revamp Your Customer Service Team
How much you can offer in terms of additional customer services will depend on your businesses’ resources. It’s essential to have a concrete customer care staffing plan so you can respond effectively to returns and questions, no matter the size of your business. Make sure any employees have given notice of time off so you can plan accordingly. Retrain everyone and hire seasonal employees early so everyone is on the same page from the start. Having an online chat, text campaign, customer service line, or FAQ page easily accessible on your site will help all you during any rush and make it easier on your customer.

If this isn’t your first holiday season, revisit what worked last year and consider how that can be adapted for success in the current climate. As much advanced thought and preparation as possible will likely make your holiday season more fruitful and enjoyable rather than stressful.

Meet The Author:


Nick Rojas

Nick Rojas

Nick Andrew Rojas is a business consultant turned journalist who loves working with small and medium-sized companies. He has contributed to many publications such as Entrepreneur, TechCrunch, and Yahoo. In his spare time, he hangs out at the beach with his dog Presto.
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Courtesy of NASE.org
https://www.nase.org/about-us/nase_blogs/self-made/2020/11/16/the-ecommerce-black-friday-guide-for-small-business