Black Friday is a relatively new retail promotion in Australia and due to low awareness around it a lot of Australian businesses are missing out on the opportunity to capture new customers with great deals.

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According to national research by McCrindle, less than 1 in 20 Australians (4.7%) are expecting sales, and more than 1 in 4 (27%) have never even heard of Black Friday. 40% of Australians say Black Friday doesn’t really happen in Australia and another 39% don’t know. Most Australians (54%) don’t know whether Black Friday is online only or also in stores.


So what’s it all about anyway?

Black Friday is the name given to the shopping day after the Thanksgiving holiday in the United States and is the unofficial start of festive season shopping. It started in the 1950s and was dubbed Black Friday by police because the huge volumes of shoppers caused mayhem in shops and on the streets.

Despite these somewhat negative associations with Black Friday, it is one of the most profitable days of the year. For retailers, Black Friday is a term of endearment, with “black” signifying profits rather than being in the “red”. Black Friday has since spread to other countries, despite the tradition and associated public holidays.

Should you stage Black Friday?

In Australia, Black Friday is not a big event – yet! Cyber Monday, which is the Monday after Black Friday when online shops host their sales, is even less of an event. But, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t consider staging Black Friday.

Australians love a bargain. Late November is a good time to kick start festive season sales with some enticing discounts. You would probably be offering some discounts and promotions around this time anyway, so why not hop onto the Black Friday wave? Small businesses can take advantage of Black Friday by winning customers with great deals. As it has in other countries, Black Friday will be observed more widely in Australia in years in to come. Be on the cusp of this trend.

Here are some tips for riding the Black Friday wave:

Start the conversation early

Use your website, advertising, social media, newsletters and direct emailers to tell your customers about your Black Friday deals from early November. Consumers typically start researching Black Friday deals weeks in advance.

Think about your deals

Think carefully about specials or promotions that would entice your customers. Big stores typically offer a few choice items at an extremely discounted rate. You might have a special product or service that you want to promote. Perhaps, you have a popular, fast moving product that your customers would love to get at a discount? Maybe you have a new product or service that you could promote by packaging it with a more popular one?

Create an experience

As a small business, you have the opportunity to personalise the Black Friday experience for your customers. Try to create a relaxed environment for your customers in contrast to the frenzy that may prevail in larger businesses and stores. Use the opportunity to allow customers to sample your products and make you, or your representatives, are available to answer questions.

Be prepared

Make sure that your stock levels are up to date so as not to disappoint customers. You can easily track inventory and sales with an online solution. This will give you insight into your in-demand products. If you are in the service industry, ensure that you have enough staff available to deliver. For instance, a beauty salon offering discounts on manicures and decorative nails may have to have extra staff available to attend to the influx of customers.

Train your people

Meet with your staff and go through the pricing, discounts and specials that you will be offering on Black Friday. Prepare some cheat sheets with all the pricing details that they can keep on hand. You want your employees to be fully prepared to answer questions from your customers as well as take opportunities to up-sell.

Make payment fuss free

Make sure your payment system can handle a higher transaction rate. Hire more staff to serve more customers or get a wireless point of sale system that takes the checkout counter to the customer. Online, confusing or non-functioning payments pages are one of the biggest reasons why shoppers abandon their carts. Develop online payments shortcuts and make sure that your website is mobile friendly. Adopt a payments solution that accepts a variety of payment options.

Extend it

Black Friday doesn’t have to be a one day deal. Some retailers offer discounts as early as the Wednesday or Thursday as well as extended store hours to give shoppers a jumpstart on their holiday shopping.

The next steps

Chat to your ActionCOACH for some advice on leveraging Black Friday which falls on 29 November this year. You need to gather some insights into what is happening in the market, what trends are at play, and what kinds of deals customers are looking for.

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Written by ActionCOACH January 21, 2021
ActionCOACH is recognised as the creator and most successful practitioner of business and executive coaching methodology that offers owners and managers a new perspective on their businesses and companies.