High Streets Initiative · 7 November 2017

Ten top Black Friday marketing strategies for independent retailers

Black Friday sales are expected to exceed £6bn in the UK in 2017
Black Friday sales are expected to exceed £6bn in the UK in 2017
  1. Create a separate sales page for Black Friday

Assuming your retail business has an online presence, a designated Black Friday page is useful in sending all traffic and marketing links to a single destination.

A simple “/black-friday-sale” URL brought back each year helps builds authority with Google and prevents backlink value from disappearing.

Read more about staying competitive in ecommerce in 2018

  1. Run a competition

At any time of year, competitions and prize draws are useful way of driving social media engagement and brand awareness. On Black Friday, shoppers will be keeping an even closer eye on any additional deals.

A competition will also allow you to collect data and grow your database, boosting your marketing efforts throughout the rest of the year.

Read our guide on how to run a successful (and legal) promotional prize draw

  1. Make it an event

For bricks and mortar retailers, offering in-store events and experiences can encourage more customers into your store and help your business get heard above the advertising offensive of corporate neighbours. As well as increasing footfall, it’s likely your sales will increase. Retailers offering live demonstrations of products, classes and sales previews have been found to increase turnover by an average 14 per cent.

To go even further, try partnering with other local business owners for a joint Black Friday event. Either way, make sure customers are informed of your events through email alerts and social media.

  1. Stay open late

The infamous crowds that have become associated with Black Friday typically occur at high street chains for early-morning deals. As an independent retailer, it isn’t worth competing on this playing field, so extending your opening hours can offer them sanctuary from the morning rush. Make this clear on your social media and marketing emails beforehand.

  1. Free shipping and in-store pick-ups

Although it’s not always profitable, the offer of free shipping is a guaranteed way to increasing conversion rates on your online store. If margins are already squeezed, try restricting the offer to sale items only, or introducing a minimum spend baseline.

For high street retailers, in-store pick-ups for online purchases could help combat the power of ecommerce rivals. Shoppers enjoy the flexibility of a pick-up option, and you could benefit from simply having more customers inside the store, with incremental purchases always a possibility.

Prepare your company by taking a look back at our other Black Friday content:

This article is part of a wider campaign called the High Streets Initiative, a new section of Business Advice championing independent and small retailers by identifying the issues that put Britain’s high streets under pressure. Visit our High Streets Initiative section to find out more.

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ABOUT THE EXPERT

Simon Caldwell is a reporter for Business Advice. He has a BA in politics and communications from the University of Liverpool, and previously worked as a content editor in the ecommerce industry.

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