Utter the words ‘Black Friday’ to any retailer, and you’ll likely be met with one of two reactions: sheer horror or utter delight. As the peak of the retail calendar, the seasonal tradition – adopted from the States – has become a force to be reckoned with. And of course it comes with its fair share of rewards and drawbacks.
Last year, Black Friday amassed an impressive £810m sales in the UK. For retailers like John Lewis, it was a high point of their biggest sales week on record. For one brand – Nutribullet – that resulted in one sale every 30 seconds via John Lewis alone. So how can you earn yourself a slice of the Black Friday pie?
Start planning, right now
Black Friday requires extra special treatment from both brands and retailers. It’s a much-anticipated and highly-charged day in store, bringing serious footfall and the potential for a huge sales boom. On the other side of the coin, 2014’s Black Friday saw furious competition between customers, involving more than a few elbows to reach the best deals. Some stores ran out of stock, websites suffered downtime, and many headlines cited ‘chaotic’ scenes across the country.
The retailers that fared well, the Big Four in particular, planned their Black Friday promotions well in advance. As a brand, your Black Friday success is underpinned by clever planning in conjunction with retailers, which means your relationships with in-store teams become more important than ever. So what should you be doing right now in preparation for Black Friday?
Here’s how to do it
By joining up with an experienced field sales team, your brand can forgo ‘chance successes’ and plan for a booming Black Friday. To achieve seasonal profits your brand needs in-store visibility, not just on the day itself but in the run up to the Black Friday peak.
For consumers, anticipation is key. Your customers will be planning their Black Friday strategy in advance. They’ll be researching deals before the day, so use your relationship with retailers to build demand for your product.
Over the weeks and months prior to Black Friday, you’ll need to keep a tight handle on stock levels with store-level insight and proactive stock management. If supply is running low while demand hits its peak, we don’t need to explain that your brand will miss out.
As for the day itself, retailers should be using every method at their disposal to encourage sales of your product. Psychological tactics are important – your product should be placed in an optimal position at arm or eye level, colour blocking should draw customer attention, and scarcity can be used to encourage customers to snap up that deal. It’s the job of your field sales team to make sure retailers deliver on behalf of your brand.
Topped off with a little Christmas cheer, your customers can be steered towards enthusiastic gift buying during this vital one day peak.
Looking beyond Black Friday
As the day comes to a close, the role of your field sales team is not over. This is the Christmas period, after all. Armed with data and insight, you can implement swift stock replenishment in preparation for continued seasonal success.
To plan for your Black Friday, get in touch with our team today. We’ll talk you through the next steps, and set your brand on course for a booming Christmas 2015.