It’s been a challenging year for small businesses across our province. COVID-19 restrictions have forced many businesses to reduce their physical capacity, while others have moved to embrace customers in an online environment. Amid these difficult circumstances, the annual sales bonanza of Black Friday and Cyber Monday represents an invaluable opportunity to boost your bottom line and start the Holiday season off right.
The good news is, there’s still time to prep your business – and your website – to make the most of the spending season. Here are some practical steps you can take to prepare your business for Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday – Think Mobile
How many customers visit your website on their cell phone? If you aren’t sure, you can easily check using Google Analytics. Black Friday 2019 was the single biggest ever day for mobile shopping, with 61 per cent of all online retail coming from smartphone transactions. It’s never been more important to provide a mobile experience that’s every bit as robust as your desktop website. Customers should be able to navigate, search and pay for products quickly and easily. Don’t have the money to develop a bespoke mobile site? Many platforms such as WordPress, Shopify and Squarespace allow you to pay for an off the shelf solution that’s customizable to your needs.
Test Your Capacity
Whether you’re welcoming customers to a physical space, or your online store, ensuring you have the capacity to meet demand in a safe and efficient manner will make a big difference in 2020.
At Your Store
COVID-19 prevention must remain top of mind during heavy sales period. Create adequate space for people to line up in a manner that promotes physical distancing. Encourage customers to wear masks, and ensure you have an adequate supply of PPE and protective measures for your staff. We’ve prepared some articles to help with this effort:
If you’ve ever ran into technical difficulties on your website during a sale, don’t fret. Even the big boys go through hiccups from time to time. In 2018, Amazon’s website crashed during their much-publicized Prime Day promotion. That being said, Black Friday is the commencement of the busiest time of year in eCommerce, and it’s one you don’t want any outages during. As a starting point, make sure to stress test your servers. If you saw high numbers of visits last year, it’s likely you will exceed those numbers in the coming years. Consider turning off some features of your website to create a pared back experience that will load faster for customers. If you want to upgrade aspects of your website performance, contact your hosting provider and look to upgrade your server capacity.
Create a Marketing Plan
As a marketer, you’ve never had more tools at your disposal to spread the word. Creating a content plan for your Black Friday promotions should be a multi-channel event, taking advantage of lots of different streams. Do you have a blog? If so, prepare some Black Friday content to put out on social and build your SEO efforts. How is your email marketing game? Email Marketing is more relevant than ever and shows remarkable conversion rates. Make sure you’re sending out your deals via your email list. Consider staging contests, and even enlisting the help of industry relevant influencers to assist with your marketing effort.
Build a Buzz in Advance
Don’t fall into the trap of keeping your deals hush hush until the last minute. Modern customers love browsing previews of deals, so give them what they’re looking for. Previewing your upcoming Black Friday deals won’t cannibalize sales. Instead, it will build a buzz around your business that will lead to increased sales and attention. Produce flyers highlighting the deals and share previews on your social media channels. It’s an excellent opportunity to leverage the buzz around the day into increased exposure for your business.
Join the BC Marketplace
Earlier this year, Small Business BC launched the BC Marketplace. This free online directory connects small businesses with a passionate, province-wide audience that’s eager to support local businesses. Signing up is easy, and free, and you’ll enjoy the following benefits:
- Increased Marketing Exposure
- Regional Landing Pages
- Increased Online Presence
- Ongoing Support
Sign up now and join over 1,200 businesses across British Columbia.
Here to Help
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Small Business BC is here to support your business with the resources you need to succeed. Discover our range of educational webinars, book a one-on-one consultation with one of our business experts, or share your business with our province-wide audience and list yourself on our BC Marketplace. It’s free and signing up is simple!