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The wake of Black Friday has now washed over retailers the world over. The last Friday of November has become the pinacle to this now week long shopping event. During this time, inboxes get swamped with reductions, voucher codes, and every variety of special offer under the sun.

While this annual shopping extravaganza is most popularly noted as a chance for customers to save money, and for retailers to get a focused influx of revenue, other even more important elements often get overlooked. The first purchases made on Black Friday can be the beginning of a long term customer relationship. If you play it cool and manage it right. To help you best accomplish this, consider the following six suggestions.

Don’t – Over Discount

The heady rush that accompanies an influx of new orders can create a classic ‘correlation equals causation’ mistake, an idea that discounts will lead to more orders. Naturally, there is some truth to this, people don’t like spending more than they have to, but discounting too much comes with its own risks. Customers can start to believe that the non-discounted prices are deceptive, and you could lose more than you gain. You will also lose credibility when you claim that an offer is ‘urgent’ or ‘time sensitive’ if another identical offer can be counted on next week/month. Specifics vary by sector, but a useful rule of thumb is that Black Friday might be a good time for site-wide discounts, while other periods are better for more tailored discounting tactics.

 

Do – Offer Shipping Discounts

Among the most consistently successful marketing tools of online retailers the world over is the offer of free shipping. The statistics bear this out. All the way back in 2006, research by the University of Pennsylvania found that 60% of online retailers reported “free shipping” as their most successful marketing tool, and in March 2018 further research found that the single most common reason for US-based digital shopping cart abandonment was shipping costs. While it isn’t practical for many companies to offer shipping discounts all year round, a time limited free shipping offer shortly after Black Friday is a great way of offering a discount that has site-wide effect, without actually being a ‘site-wide’ discount.

 

Don’t – Over Target

If you’re avoiding site-wide discounts in the aftermath of Black Friday, you might logically think that targeted discounts are the way to go. Work out the section of the store they purchased from, the particular product line, the specific specification selection, and send out some targeted discount codes for that area. In theory this has merit, but there are plenty of reasons a customer could well ignore such offers. Having just bought an item in this area, they may have no need or desire to purchase similar products again. This is especially true if it’s a first order. Also, if you have a limited data set for a customer, targeting the offer too precisely may make your system seem too robotic, too impersonal, and too calculating. Even though customers intellectually know that these emails aren’t personally composed, there are degrees of obviousness to work with.

 

Do – Offer sharing codes

Black Friday and Christmas are close enough in the calendar so as to be overlapping in marketing schedules. Yet while it could be a mistake to start branding your Black Friday advertising materials with snowflakes and Santa hats (bemoaning the over-eagerness of Christmas advertising is an increasingly widespread phenomenon), this does not mean there is no way to leverage the upcoming month of consumerist generosity. Giving out codes that aren’t for the customer themselves, but are in fact intended to be shared and gifted out to friends, gives you a new chance of a whole fresh set of new customers. Thanks to the gifting and generous nature of festive season, giving things out seems like the most natural thing in the world. Take advantage of that to both make your recent customers feel valued, and maybe even grab yourself some even newer customers.

 

Don’t – Forget payment plans

Because Black Friday sits just a few short days before the spending sprees of the Christmas season, customers are having to be a little more careful with their money than usual. While discounts are certainly a way to draw them in for the short term Black Friday splurge, an excellent way to keep them is to give them more payment options. A business that is understanding and helpful when it comes to cash flow is one that can become the subject of conversation. It’s well known that people are more likely to complain than praise, but exemplary above-and-beyond service, alongside an understanding and compassionate attitude to payments, can really make people notice you, remember what you did, and talk about it. To maximise your chances of fitting in here, compassionate understanding of the need for pre-festive season frugality is an excellent wedging technique.

 

Do – Make it personal

Keying into the festive season once more, prioritising the marketing of personalised items is a great way to maximise post-black Friday sales retention. Even if you can’t offer a discount or voucher for this service, simply making people aware of it could be enough to make the difference. The chance to give a gift that will be much more specific and tailored is always very much welcome, especially in contrast to the frantic sales of generic off-the-shelf items that is usually seen around Black Friday. Showing this kind of contrast can really broaden a customer’s perspective on what you offer and how you go about your business. By creating a more detailed picture of your brand in their mind, you strengthen the possibility of more orders in the future.

Black Friday is a challenging time for retailers of all sizes. The sheer focused weight of intense ecommerce demand, frenetic warehouse activity, and rigorous shipping logistics can collectively leave many businesses struggling. With the help of OrderWise’s business management software, you can precisely configure your stock control, and co-ordinate it with your Warehouse Management Software, to capitalise on every aspect of your operations. Seamlessly integrate each and every aspect of your business, both in this astonishingly busy season, and far beyond.

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