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Is your Business Ready for Ireland’s Black Friday Weekend? Here’s 4 Ways to Get There

Historically, Black Friday and Cyber Monday had been defined as phenomena confined to The U.S. However, over the past decade, their influence has very tangibly stretched across the pond with these days, for many shoppers and retail businesses, unofficially marking the beginning of the Christmas shopping season.

December 8th had once traditionally marked the beginning of the Christmas rush for most Irish families with shoppers landing on urban capitals for high-value Christmas presents, big-ticket electrical items and stocking fillers.

It’s now more common for the festive shopping spree to start just after Thanksgiving. Google recently revealed that searches for Black Friday in Ireland had increased by 138% compared to last year.

Overlooking Black Friday or Cyber Monday in the calendar is no longer an option for most business owners and managers. While retailers leverage the shopping-frenzied period to offer significant discounts to their customers around these dates, smaller shops opt to galvanise a shop local campaign coming into the Christmas period. The opportunity for all businesses, whether multi-national, a high street store, operating exclusively online or at a micro capacity, to tailor their special offers or messaging around these dates to compete within their markets is vital.

With Black Friday and Cyber Monday fast approaching on November 26th and 29th this year, it’s not too late for any business to plan, prepare and benefit from this week to drive sales, customer loyalty and brand awareness.

Get your Message out

Whether a retailer is online, bricks and mortar or hybrid, utilising traditional and/or digital media channels can lift visibility without breaking the bank or stretching the marketing budget.

There’s no doubt Black Friday will increase the number of people window shopping for bargains or deals, particularly after Covid restrictions limited the in-store shopping experience in 2020. Having collateral ready to catch potential shoppers’ attention will harness footfall and boost revenue. Posters and signage highlighting discounts are simple but effective ways in converting interest into sales with the increased volume of shoppers around Black Friday and Cyber Monday weekend.

Very few retailers do not have an online presence and increasing content on a business website and social media pages is an inexpensive and targeted way to engage with their customer base. Using relevant hashtags for your sector as well as ones connected to Black Friday and Cyber Monday improves visibility to a wider audience. Tagging or mentioning companies that a retailer works with can also help boost a digital presence in the run up to the weekend. If you are offering discounts on your product or services, it’s also a good opportunity to boost activity with a post or two on social media too. Just in time for Black Friday this year, Instagram have added a website link feature for businesses to use in their stories platform, helping to channel followers directly to their website.

For business owners with both an ecommerce website and a physical store, engaging in both digital and in-store marketing is key as customers may purchase online after visiting a shop or vice versa. While a sale might look abandoned in an online basket or a customer has left the store, that doesn’t necessary mark the end of a potential transaction.

Turn Discounted Sales into Returning Income

Utilising Black Friday to just increase short-term sales would be a missed opportunity. The country will be in the Christmas shopping swing, so it’s an ideal time for retailers to demonstrate their value with only four shopping weekends left before Christmas Day.

To do this, retailers might offer a percentage off their next purchase over the next 30 days or a small free gift as a gesture of their appreciation. This approach can be used online and in-person.

To encourage returning trade, a company doesn’t necessarily need to offer an item with monetary value. Demonstrating their appreciation by saying thank you can be a very powerful currency. In shops, it can be done by simply giving a small appreciation card with every purchase or perhaps a postcard with information about the business and their ethos. Online, it could be a note with the receipt mentioning the importance of the buyer’s custom to their business.

Both avenues should certainly have details on how they can stay in touch, an opportunity to subscribe if the company sends newsletters and, most importantly, a request to review their experience.

However, again, if a customer doesn’t opt for an in-store or online purchase, that may not be the end of their consumer journey. A positive customer experience, both in-store and online, will stand to a business in the long-term, with the interaction positively informing their next one.

Reward Regulars

In the drive to gain new custom and boost purchases before Christmas, it can often be easy overlook returning customers.

Sale events shouldn’t just be for new faces or irregular buyers. Whatever the sector, these dates should also give an incentive to a retailer’s regulars. Not only are these familiar faces supporting the business by making purchases but also at home, in their work and at social events by acting as cheerleaders for an enterprise through positive feedback.

If a business operates online, they can spot returning customers through a business’s sales history and offer a discount just for them for a limited period.

Turn Black Friday Green

Undoubtedly, consumers desire to shop local has grown in recent times. A survey by the Local Enterprise Office noted that 80% of consumers they interviewed claimed they would look to support more local businesses this year. Google have also noticed that the term “near me” has increased by 50% in the run-up to November 26th.

Movements like Champion Green, a partnership of trade bodies and businesses supported by Visa and Kilkenny Shop, has furthered this cause by calling on consumers to ‘go green’ again this year for Black Friday.

They’re committed to turning Black Friday green by encouraging everyone to support local in store and online to help Irish communities remain vibrant. Businesses can submit their top Green Friday offers to have them feature on the Champion Green website, with shout-outs across their social media channels. Their website has downloadable collateral for the day for businesses to make use of too.

For smaller and medium size businesses, aligning with movements like these can help them stand out and not aside on one of the busiest shopping weekends of the year.

Whatever your business’s plan is for this weekend, it isn’t too late to get involved and find your groove for the Christmas season.

 

About BOI Payment Acceptance

BOI Payment Acceptance (BOIPA) is a marketing alliance between Bank of Ireland and EVO Payments. EVO Payments, Inc. (NASDAQ: EVOP) is a leading payment technology and services provider. EVO offers an array of innovative, reliable, and secure payment solutions to merchants ranging from small and mid-size enterprises to multinational companies and organizations across the globe. As a fully integrated merchant acquirer and payment processor in over 50 markets and 150 currencies worldwide, EVO provides competitive solutions that promote business growth, increase customer loyalty, and enhance data security in the markets it serves.