Christmas is just around the corner – really. Chances are you’ve already heard your first Michael Buble track (the human Advent calendar). Decorations have probably started to crop up in your local pubs, and coffee shops seem to think it’s Christmas Day already. While the slow trickle of the season may have already begun, the floodgates of the Christmas season really open up on the newest of British holiday traditions: Black Friday. Will you be ready? Do you care? Is there a different way?
So why all the fuss about Black Friday?
Until a few years ago, Black Friday had primarily been a US invention – referring to the day after Thanksgiving, when many Americans having had their fill of Thanksgiving turkey and extended family, would flock to their local shopping centres to get started with their Christmas shopping. Retailers, realising this was a perfect opportunity to woo shoppers began promoting specials. As competition for Christmas shoppers increased, so did the scope and intensity of their promotions. Have you seen the TV coverage of frenzied mobs clamouring for that half-price flat-screen TVs in one of your stores? Well, that was a sign of a good deal… and a good year. This year it is next week on Friday 25th November
For many retailers, Black Friday became the most important day of their year, as it was a strong predictor of sales for their Christmas season. The time in which most retailers had their peak sales, accounting for roughly 20% of their annual revenue. So, that’s why it’s been sort of a big deal. In fact, it’s become a significantly bigger deal over the past decade, steadily growing year over year, and generating roughly twice the revenue in 2014 than it did in 2005.
In the past two years there has actually seen a decrease in Black Friday spending in the US. Is this a sign that the whole shopping splurge around Black Friday fad has passed? Quite the contrary – it has grown and evolved. In short, Black Friday has competition in the form of Cyber Monday (dedicated to online shopping on Monday 28th November) and Small Business Saturday (for promoting smaller retailers on Saturday 3rd December in the UK). And even beyond the themed shopping days, retailers have begun to become much more savvy in how and when they serve up offers to customers throughout the holiday season.
Are you ready for Black Friday?
Again, although the Christmas season seems far off, it really is just around the corner. If you’re a retailer, you may feel as though you’re behind the curve if you haven’t already fully prepared by the end of September. By prepared, I mean are you able to answer all of the following questions. Have you anticipated what your peak demand will be? Which of your customers will be shopping online vs in the shop? What’s your optimal campaign schedule for Seasonal offers for your customers? What’s the most important differentiator for shoppers when choosing a retailer? How will social media channels impact your sales or customer service?
What if you don’t want to join in with the mass consumerism and price slashing?
I am proposing an alternative approach!
A more colourful and inclusive approach to businesses wanting to drive traffic and new clients to their websites. I’ve used the colours of my logo and what they mean to me, to count down the next 2 weeks to Small Business Saturday.
Blue Monday (21st and 28th)
Blue is the colour of water, of the spirit, of the purpose of our business. So Blue Monday I am proposing is the day we all stand up for what we believe in, what our reason for being in business in the first place, our big why. Let’s be bold and not hide our higher intentions. Let’s raise the vibration!
Ruby Tuesday (22nd and 29th)
Red is the colour of Fire, of connecting with people, of appreciating others so Tuesday is the day you will recommend someone else’s business, not your own. This is a tradition I have been hosting in my Facebook group for over 6 months #Testiomonial Tuesday and I love hearing and collecting stories of people who are doing great work and give fabulous service.
Green Wednesday (23rd and 30th)
Green is the colour of money in a lot of countries, of green shoots, of starting new ideas and new businesses so green is the day we share our story of how we first started in business, our first business idea, our first significant client. The challenge is to share that in a tweet of 140 characters or less.
Orange Thursday (24th Nov and 1st Dec)
Orange is the colour of earth, giving back, of service. So Orange is the day we declare which charitable or sustainable organisations we support either privately or through our business.
Black Friday (25th Nov)
Here it is! Go ahead and cut your prices if you want to join in. It may be better to bundle things together to give better value or give a free gift if a certain amount of revenue is spent, rather than cutting your prices and along with it, your profits. We have #FreeFriday on my Facebook Club to promote your offers and events on Fridays anyway.
Rainbow Saturday – Small Business Saturday (3rd December)
This is where it is all leading up to – support local small businesses, buy your Christmas presents and Christmas preparations from people you personally know, like and trust rather than the big corporations.
Let’s have some fun, let’s get to know each other, let’s do business with each other and let’s have some colour other than black.
Who’s with me?