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Get Ready for Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2022

The holiday season is upon us, and that means you must make sure your store is ready for Black Friday and Cyber Monday. The long weekend after Thanksgiving, sometimes shortened to BFCM, is widely regarded as the most profitable day of the year by marketers and store owners alike. While there is great potential for impressive revenue increase, it is often a stressful and even hectic time. Business owners should be properly prepared.

A Brief History of Black Friday and Cyber MondayBlack Friday and Cyber Monday

Though Black Friday sounds more like a day that would be associated with Halloween, the name does not reference historic violence or a departure from Thanksgiving themes, per se. It was coined after a series of coinciding circumstances spanning roughly 100 years, including a substantial stock market crash, a Macy’s department store promotion, and the increased traffic and congestion following turkey day.

The name itself is a product of a time when financial ledgers were filled in by hand. Red ink indicated a loss while black ink reported a profit. Because so many flocked to stores on the day after Thanksgiving, stores would often move to the black on that Friday. The fact that people would camp outside stores and sometimes be trampled in the shopping chaos didn’t help. Fortunately, the worst of Black Friday’s physical craziness is hopefully behind us.

Cyber Monday is a much more recent addition to the holiday calendar. The National Retail Federation used the term for the first time in 2005 to encourage online shopping. Encouragement is no longer needed, with most of the season’s spending taking place on the internet. This shift was helped along by 2020’s global pandemic. In fact, last year shoppers spent $8.9 billion online on Black Friday alone, with 43% of those transactions being conducted over mobile phones. Cyber Monday saw about $10.7 billion in sales. 

Strategies to Prepare for Black Friday and Cyber Monday

Make Sure Your Inventory Is Ready

Having sufficient inventory is key during the Black Friday and Cyber Monday weekend, especially with the supply shortages that have plagued the whole country. Be prepared for the numbers that visit your store and plan accordingly. Know which products are most in-demand and have them ready in sufficient quantities, but do not shortchange the products that are less popular.

AdvertiseBlack Friday and Cyber Monday

Advertising is the way to let people know what deals you offer and what products you provide. That includes best-selling products and more hidden gems. Take advantage of Facebook and Google Ads to let the online community know what your holiday plans are, and be sure to use good SEO strategy. Consider having professional signage printed or using custom T shirts as a Jo Malone-esque marketing strategy.

Offer Appealing Deals

During this Black Friday and Cyber Monday season, plan your promotions. You want to make sure they are appealing to your customers while at the same time being profitable for your business. Make sure your discounts are reasonable in terms of your books while being dramatic enough to draw in the crowds. If a deal looks like it could crop up at any other time of year (for example, only 5-10% off), customers are less likely to bite.

Other strategies include bundling to move product or offering incentives for large purchases. As you plan your strategies, consider your competitors’ product ranges. While you certainly do not need to copy and paste what the shop around the corner is offering, knowing the competitions’ rates will allow you to offer competitive deals. 

Prepare Your Staff

While the incidents of people being shot or trampled are fewer these days, people can still lose their heads when they anticipate saving a lot of money. Be prepared for customer service experiences that might be difficult or overwhelming, and help your staff be prepared too, mentally, emotionally, and physically by the number of employees on the clock. 

Have customer service avenues available that are right for your business. For example, if you do a lot of business online, enable an online chat feature. Train your employees to utilize these features as well as your point-of-sale systems.

Get Your Systems in OrderBlack Friday and Cyber Monday

“All systems go” may be reminiscent of Apollo 11, but with the sheer number of online transactions taking place over Black Friday and Cyber Monday, it is crucial to have both physical and digital systems ready for the rush. Take steps to ensure that your point-of-sale system runs smoothly. While you cannot plan for every hiccup, you can perform checks before the big day(s).

Websites sometimes perform differently (i.e. not as well) when online traffic is high. You can check the progress of your site beforehand by intentionally loading it and seeing how it fares. Have all your employees and even friends and family get on at the same time to monitor website performance.

While they are on, they can also check for how user-friendly your website is. Do not give any hints on where deals are located or how to find specific products. See how well they navigate on their own to find areas you might want to improve. Have some of your testers log in on their phones, since mobile sites often perform differently than when accessed from a desktop computer.

Expect the Unexpected

While preparing for Black Friday and Cyber Monday can feel overwhelming, it can also be exciting. Consider setting goals for your business, and work to achieve them with the other strategies you implement. In all your planning, however, remember that surprises happen and hiccups occur. Do not panic, and embrace each challenge as it comes.