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12 Tips for Maximizing Black Friday 2021 Sales as a Merchant

October 29, 2021 • by jclarknationalprocessing-com

Last year, Black Friday generated over $188 billion in sales in the United States, up over $40 billion from the year before. Consumers and merchants are gearing up for Black Friday 2021, and it’s the perfect time of year to increase your quarterly profits.

If you’re a merchant who wants to maximize their sales, you can use the simple, straightforward tips we outline below.

Maximize Your Black Friday 2021 Sales Using These 12 Proven Tips

1. Offer a Cash Discount Program

If you walk into some stores, you’ll notice a “service charge” for people using credit or debit cards. As a merchant, you know that 2% – 4% of your revenue from purchases via cards eats into your bottom line.

Cash discount programs promote savings to the customer.

For example, if the sign at the front desk mentions a 4% charge on all sales, you can tell the customer they’ll receive a 4% discount for paying in cash.

Since there are no processing fees for cash payments, this is one sales tactic that can lower your processing fees, add instant cash flow to your business and help generate more sales in the process.

2. Slash Your Prices

People shop on Black Friday because every retailer slashes their prices. So, you need to offer unique discounts that make your sales attractive. You can have special discounts leading up to Black Friday 2021, or you can have a major blowout sale on the day.

In either case, you’ll be expected to offer incredible deals if you plan to maximize your sales.

3. Free Shipping on Orders

You’ve slashed the price of your goods, and now it’s time to also slash shipping costs. If you offer online shopping, be sure to offer free shipping – almost everyone is offering it.

Consumers are more likely to shop at a store with free shipping because It’s an enticing perk of ordering from the shop.

Of course, you can also opt to offer free shipping for orders over a certain amount. For example, many clothing stores will only offer free shipping on orders over a certain dollar amount, such as $50.

Best of all, consumers will spend more money trying to reach this figure.

4. Upsell Similar Products

If you’re selling products online, be sure to upsell these products as much as possible. Of course, you can also do this in a brick-and-mortar store. What do we mean by upselling? For example, if a customer purchases $100 bedding, offer them $50 pillows for 20% off when purchased together.

You can also offer discounts, such as:

  • Add a pillow set to your order and receive a 20% discount on your entire order

When you upsell, you’re making sales that you normally wouldn’t because you’re offering items that go well together.

5. Offer In-store and Online Sales Throughout the Month

Many retailers, especially smaller ones, are approaching Black Friday 2021 with the idea that Amazon and other major retailers will have prices they can’t beat. One way to help generate sales and capture some of their market share this year is to offer November sales.

For example, you can offer a big discount on camera lenses from the 6th – 9th of November, and then sales on home goods the following week.

Building up anticipation is also a smart idea. Send out promotional emails, advertisements and in-store promotions that mention major sales on a particular week. You can also build anticipation by not revealing prices until the day before or the day of the sales.

6. Leverage Your Social Media Channels

Who’s on social media? 

Nearly everyone.

This year, be sure to use your social media channels to create campaigns for social selling. In fact, studies show that nearly 80% of merchants that social sell will outperform those that use social media for marketing only.

Social selling through Facebook and Instagram makes the purchasing process more manageable.

You can also use social media in other ways this Black Friday, including:

  • Purchasing ads to promote your sales
  • Running contests to generate buzz
  • Connecting with potential customers to build trust

If you’re not using social media to its fullest extent, you’re missing out on significant sales.

7. Create Loyalty Programs

There’s a reason why restaurants offer loyalty programs: they work. Starbucks has used its loyalty program to build a massive fan base, and Dunkin’ quickly followed. Kohls offers something similar called Kohls cash, which you earn by making purchases.

Your loyalty program can be designed any way you want:

  • Offer a discount for different spending tiers
  • Offer cash rewards
  • Etc.

Loyalty programs are a great way to cross-promote, too. For example, you can use the program on Black Friday and lure people back into your store for Cyber Monday. Plus, when you create a loyalty program, you’re gathering the customer’s personal information, too.

You can then use this data to add the person to your email marketing campaign or connect with them in other ways.

8. Amp Up Your Email Marketing

Email marketing is one of the most valuable forms of marketing on the planet. When you capture a person’s email address, they’re giving you consent to market to them on a much deeper level.

Plus, these are consumers that already have an interest in what your business is offering.

You should take the time to use email marketing this Black Friday by offering:

  • Fast, lightning deals
  • Exclusive discounts and promotions
  • Early sales

If you’re not using email marketing and sending teaser emails already, you need to begin now. Excitement and anticipation drive sales, so don’t ignore sending out emails well ahead of Black Friday.

9. Offer Free Gifts for Big Spenders

Free gifts help encourage buyers to spend more money. For example, let’s assume your average sale is $44 and you want to increase this by 10%. One way to hit your goal is to offer a free gift for people that spend $50.

You can further increase sales by offering tiered gifts.

Spend $100? Receive a larger gift, or throw in a free mystery item at no extra cost. When you offer free gifts as part of your promotion, you’ll find consumers are willing to spend $5 more to receive a $2 gift.

10. Lower Your Cart Abandonment Rates

Consumers that add items to their carts are just a step away from a purchase. However, something happened along the way to make the person change their mind and abandon their shopping cart.

You can either let the sale slip through your fingers or fight to finish the sale.

A few ways to do this is to:

  • Send out abandonment emails 
  • Send SMS texts to the person

Automating this communication is key. For example, you can sweeten the deal by offering free shipping coupons or discount codes to the person if they purchase. Extra fees, such as shipping, are why 60% of consumers abandon shopping carts.

If, for some reason, your emails and tests aren’t helping you recapture sales, you’ll want to review your entire checkout process. During your review, it’s crucial to assess:

  • Any problem areas consumers may have when checking out
  • How many steps the consumer must take to checkout successfully

Does your e-commerce solution require people to sign up for your site? If so, this is a sticking point that makes the sale harder for the buyer. Instead, offer a guest checkout option to reduce this burden on the consumer.

11. Offer Last Chance Deals

Even when you’ve tried to build anticipation, some potential buyers will be on the fence about buying. Perhaps the person was waiting for a better deal or forgot about the deal that you’re offering.

In either case, you can also offer last chance deals.

A last chance deal may be:

  • A final hour to get the best price on the item this year
  • Sale extensions that last an hour or two

Ideally, you’ll let the shopping frenzy last just a little longer so that stragglers can make their purchases before the sale is over.

12. Display Inventory Levels to Buyers

One thing that irks consumers the most is missing out on a deal. When a consumer is reluctant to make a purchase, showing the remaining inventory is often enough to close a sale if the inventory is low.

For example, you may promote that there are only 47 items remaining.

However, when inventory levels are high, you might not list the remaining item count because this can make the buyer take even longer to make a purchase.

Final Thoughts on This Year’s Black Friday

Black Friday 2021 is a make-or-break sales season for a lot of sellers. Whether your brick-and-mortar location uses a cash discount program to generate sales or you’re purchasing ads on Facebook, you can generate more sales this shopping season by using the tips outlined above.

Think outside of the box, spend time testing promotions and work diligently across all channels to improve sales.

If you do use any form of influencer marketing, this is the one day of the year to ramp up your spending. Influencers can help you generate additional sales, especially with big reveals or unboxing on social channels.

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