So how can your small business take advantage of the rush and stand out in a sea of big box retailers? Here’s what you need to know.
Offer strategic discounts
For many entrepreneurs, discounts are what Black Friday is all about. They drive more revenue, build awareness around new products, and convince potential customers to take a chance on your small business.
Before you start marking down everything in sight, you’ll need to come up with a solid BFCM discounting strategy. How much revenue do you need to meet your financial goal? How much profit do you expect to make for each order? Have you included advertising costs in your projections? Ideally, any discount you apply should be tested against your budget to lower the chances of losing money on the deal.
The following discount strategies are designed to make your customers happy without breaking the bank:
1. Buy more, save more: Unlike a fixed site-wide discount, giving customers a purchasing threshold can help you maintain profitability. Try Black Friday messaging like “Get 20% off when you spend $75 or more”.
2. Add some mystery: If you’d like to offer a big splashy discount without hurting your bottom line, try offering a mixture of discounts. Ask customers to ‘roll the dice’ on their purchase by rotating 5%, 10% or 50% discounts when they hit buy.
3. Reward your VIPs: Choosing to give larger discounts to those who’ve purchased your products multiple times will ensure your brand is top-of-mind with the customers most likely to support your small business all year round.
But seller beware. While discounts can be a powerful part of your Black Friday toolkit, attempting to keep up with what your competitors are doing is a guaranteed race to the bottom. Lowering the price of a premium product each year could devalue your brand and train your customers to only buy during promotions.
Provide value add-ons
Discounts may grab attention during the BFCM weekend, but they’re not the only way to offer an irresistible Black Friday deal.
When deciding on a compelling offer, focus on value above all else. If your customers feel like they’ve gained something extra, they’ll be more likely to shop at your small business again, even if you haven’t slashed your prices.
Value looks different in different industries. When planning your BFCM campaign, it’s smart to play to your strengths:
4. Ecommerce and retail: Offers like “buy one get one”, “free gift with purchase”, and “free gift wrapping” are tempting ways for holiday shoppers to get more bang for their buck. Plus, if you plan strategically, your BFCM deal can help you unload excess inventory.
5. Course creators and consultants: If your small business sells online courses, ebooks, or other downloadables; consider a “bundle” offer for Black Friday. Choose two or three complementary products to sell together at a reduced overall price.
6. Software as a Service: Instead of giving a one-time discount, think about how your offer helps your small business in the long term. Incentives like “get a free month at a higher price tier” or “get a product upgrade for the regular price” can entice users to try more features of your product and become loyal customers.
Get creative with your offer
Black Friday is an opportunity to experiment with discounts, promotions, or advertising that you wouldn’t normally try. An unconventional offer or a dash of delight could be exactly what helps you attract attention in a crowded market.
Whatever you decide to do, just make sure it feels true to your brand. (And if your experiment succeeds—don’t forget to double down next year.)
Here are some ideas to get you started:
7. Promote exclusivity: Create a product specifically for your Black Friday promotion. Or partner with another small business to design a limited-edition run of something your overlapping audience will love.
8. Move from online to irl: If you run an online business, launching a one-time brick and mortar pop-up shop can be an exciting brand event. It lets prospective customers see your products for themselves and gives your super-fans a tangible experience.
9. Donate to a good cause: Instead of discounts, think about giving a portion of Black Friday sales to a charity or non-profit organization. This shows your customer that you care and they can feel good about buying from your small business.
How Bench can help this sales season
As a small business owner, there’s no better feeling than watching your sales surge. For many retailers, Black Friday is the start of a busy end-of-year sales season. But more sales mean more business transactions to categorize—and more room for error.
Bench’s team of bookkeepers are experts in ecommerce bookkeeping. Our easy-to-use platform imports your transactions from Amazon, eBay, Shopify, Facebook, and more. Then, our bookkeepers categorize every transaction including your merchant processing fees, chargebacks, returns, and sales tax.
Our team keeps your business financials organized so you are all set for a stress-free tax season. And if you need help with filing your taxes, we can handle that too.
This sales season, keep your business accounting organized and have Bench do your bookkeeping for you. Give us a try with one month’s books done free.