5 Ways Small Businesses Can Wipe Out the Competition on Black Friday

Black Friday:  the day high-strung, bargain-hungry shoppers wake up unreasonably early (or stay up unreasonably late) to save on holiday gifts.

Consumers spend the day seeking out great deals on everything from electronics to Victoria’s Secret underwear, and stores, regardless of size, make drastic markdowns on prices to boost sales and ensure a nice piece of the holiday spending pie.

And while the event is certainly well-established at this point, stores continue to invest an incredible amount of marketing dollars in it every year. That being said, if your big box store competitors are advertising Black Friday Deals, it is imperative that your small business offers deals that week, as well . Consumers have recently made it clear they like to support local businesses, but they also expect bargains the week of Black Friday and Small Business Saturday.  Even if your store can’t compete with the deepest price cuts of the larger stores, participating with discounts you’re comfortable with will still draw in potential customers.

Here are some more tips on how to effectively compete with corporate chains during the week of Black Friday:

1.)    Develop a multi-channel marketing campaign.
Create a strategy that will leverage the way you communicate with existing customers while also getting your message in front of new customers. You’ll also want to tie in a unique message that communicates the value your store will provide your target audience.

2.)    Offer gift wrapping and shipping deals.
It’s likely shoppers will be giving much of what they are buying on Black Friday as gifts. With that being said, offering free services such as gift wrapping or discounted/free shipping would certainly be valued by potential customers. Many consumers choose to shop from small, local businesses over the mall because of the more “personalized service” they provide. Black Friday is the perfect time to market how your small business truly goes above and beyond to ensure a customer’s needs are tended to.

3.)    Create a comfortable shopping experience.
Let’s face it, very few people actually enjoy the ruthless, cut-throat crowds found at the malls during Black Friday weekend. Market your store as an oasis for shoppers! Provide amenities big box stores cannot such as a table serving refreshments like flavored coffee, cider, and other holiday treats.

4.)    Push the “local” messaging.
If people are out shopping on Small Business Saturday, they are likely interested in “supporting local businesses.” If your store sells any local products, be sure to highlight them in any marketing or store displays. If you don’t sell local goods, consider offering samples of local cheeses and/or other cuisine. Having unique products or a unique shopping experience is a great incentive for attracting consumers during the week of Black Friday.

5.)    Have a straightforward return policy, and let people know about it.
Consumers are taking risks when they spend their money on products or services. If you are confident in the quality of what you are selling, an easy return policy will give peace of mind and ultimately make it easier for potential customers to buy from your store.

Last and not least, remember that as a small business owner, you truly have the opportunity to leave a lasting impression on customers on Black Friday. Unlike the big box stores, you are given the chance to interact with customers and ensure they leave your store satisfied with their shopping experience. The week of Black Friday is the perfect time to establish long-term customer relationships that create lasting success.