How to Prep Your Small Business for the Black Friday Rush
A record 196.7 million consumers shopped over Thanksgiving weekend in 2022, and Black Friday sales are expected to reach $9.8 billion this year. For small businesses, this presents a significant opportunity to bolster sales and attract new customers to their brick-and-mortar stores. That is, if they have the necessary tools to handle a serious influx of activity and still provide customers with an exceptional experience.
To help you prepare your store for Black Friday, here are five cost-effective strategies to not just survive but thrive this holiday season:
1. Streamline checkout by adding express lanes.
Along with your regular cash register, set up a couple of “express lanes” to quickly check out customers with a lower number of items. These lanes are typically best for customers with only a few items to purchase and paying with cards or digital wallets to ensure quick, easy transactions. Business owners can put this in motion without needing to purchase new point-of-sale (POS) hardware through free options like Tap to Pay via the GoDaddy mobile app.
2. Curate specialty displays of best-selling products.
When people are in a shopping frenzy, they want easy access to the best of the best. Therefore, position your best-selling products front and center in your store. You can even create displays based on popular categories like stocking stuffers to personalize your customers’ shopping experience based on their wish lists.
You may be tempted to experiment with new product offerings and services, but now is not the time. Customers want to purchase your most trusted products, so you should dedicate resources to highlighting those proven winners.
3. Compare your card processing rates before the holiday rush.
A new survey found that one in six small business retailers are considering switching payment processors due to high transaction fees. As the holidays approach, make sure you’re getting the best deal. If you’re paying more than 2.4 percent in transaction fees, there are lower options that will help you keep more of what you make.
4. Offer buy online, pick up in-store.
If your business has an online presence, allow customers to purchase online and pick up in person. This makes it more convenient for local customers to shop on Black Friday and means customers out-of-town for Thanksgiving can join in on the shopping fun as well.
To make this integration seamless, you’ll need to invest in a smart POS system that communicates with both your online and physical store. For example, you'll need a POS system that notifies your staff once something is purchased online so they can prepare for efficient customer pickup. This is especially useful when customers are in a hurry and looking for a convenient way to grab their goods.
5. Lean on generative AI for your Black Friday marketing push.
The modern consumer is using social media, newsletters, Google and more to discover the best Black Friday deals before shopping in-person. Businesses that are marketing across multiple channels and platforms will be more successful this season.
This can understandably be a lot for small businesses to take on. I recommend business owners tap into generative artificial intelligence to help them create cost-effective and branded marketing materials that they can easily deploy across platforms to reach consumers quickly.
Through small, intentional improvements, small businesses can enhance their customers’ shopping experience, build trust and perhaps gain repeat customers to ultimately boost sales beyond this year’s Black Friday shopping.
Pranay Agrawal, director of product at GoDaddy, oversees payment experiences and apps that simplify the way small businesses accept payments.
Pranay Agrawal, director of product at GoDaddy, oversees payment experiences and apps that simplify the way small businesses accept payments. With 11 years of experience in running and scaling businesses, Agrawal is passionate about reducing friction and mechanically repetitive tasks so entrepreneurs can focus on growing their business.