Education

Black Friday & Cyber Monday checklist for SMEs

4 Nov 2022

With Black Friday and Cyber Monday just around the corner, you’ve probably already prepared your promotions and discounts. But have you missed anything out? To help you fine-tune and maximise your campaigns this year, we’ve pulled together a quick checklist for SMEs. Just in case you need a reminder –⁠ Black Friday falls on Friday 25 November this year, with Cyber Monday following suit on Monday 28 November.

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Originating in the US, Black Friday is named after the big shopping day after Thanksgiving, when retailers offer large discounts on goods. Cyber Monday is a 24-hour online shopping event that is viewed as an extension of Black Friday. 

Needless to say, both events have gone global, with shoppers around the world visiting online and bricks and mortar stores to grab a bargain…or three! 

The cost of living crisis this year will see some people cut back on their Black Friday shopping in order to reserve cash for essentials. However, others will be taking the opportunity to secure some early Christmas shopping deals.  

Black Friday stats you need to know 

1. Shoppers are looking for household goods

This Black Friday and Cyber Monday, 22% of Brit shoppers plan to spend their cash on small kitchen appliances, with 20% opting for gaming consoles or devices and 20% intending to spend on discounted home decorations. 

2. Online is top, but customers spend more in-store

46% of shoppers are planning to only shop online in the Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales, with just 10% shopping solely in store. In-store traders shouldn’t focus all their efforts on e-commerce though, as the average spend per person in-store is predicted to be £174, compared to £167 online. 

3. Gen Z is ready to spend

Gen Z consumers are the most likely to take part in the sales this year, with 65% planning to spend. 51% of Millennials will be looking for discounts, followed by 35% of Gen Xers, 24% of Baby Boomers and just 8% of people from the Silent Generation. 

4. SMEs should start prepping early 

To compete with the large retailers, SMEs should prepare well in advance. 

Google Trends data indicates that people are searching “Black Friday” earlier each year. In 2014, the number of people searching for Black Friday content began to increase seven weeks before the event. In 2022, searches began at least 12 weeks before. 

So, if you’re a bit late to the Black Friday/Cyber Monday party this year, set a reminder at least 12 weeks in advance for Black Friday 2023!

(Statistics sourced from finder.com.)

Black Friday checklist for SMEs

1. Keep an eye out for discounts too 

We often associate Black Friday and Cyber Monday with individual consumers, but your business should also be keeping an eye out for any bargains. 

After all, your commercial suppliers might be offering discounts on the equipment or machinery you’ve been meaning to upgrade for ages. If you don’t have the cash to fund equipment outright, you might be able to access it through equipment leasing.  

2. Do what you can marketing-wise

If you’ve not had time to pull off a mega multichannel marketing campaign to promote your Black Friday deals, don’t panic – there are still low effort, high impact things you can do. Even a sandwich board outside your business premises can work wonders. 

Here are a few quick tips:
  • Send out an email newsletter showcasing your deals

  • Write a “gift guide” like this one and publish it on your blog 

  • Create eye-catching social media deals using Canva 

3. Have enough stock

 Whatever the reason for a seasonal spike, whether it’s Black Friday or Christmas, work with your suppliers to make sure you have enough stock to meet demand. If you can afford to buy in bulk you might even be offered access to discounts. 

4. Optimise for mobile

 If you run a bricks and mortar store and are new to the ecommerce game, optimising your ecommerce website for mobile may have slipped your mind. But it’s super important. Black Friday and Cyber Monday see a huge spike in mobile shopping, so the customer experience needs to look good and work well across all devices. 

5. Get a card terminal 

New businesses: if you’re yet to get a payment card terminal, now could be the time. 

These days, transactions can be processed via PSPs (payment service providers) using an app on a smartphone or a small terminal. Your PSP might even offer special Black Friday rates to your customers, so it’s well worth exploring now. 

Did you know that your business could be eligible for a merchant cash advance?

The lender provides you with a cash advance which you repay through your card terminal as a percentage of your customers’ card payments. 

6. Be cyber secure

Four in ten businesses (39%) and a quarter of charities (26%) reported having cyber security breaches or attacks between March 2020 and March 2021, according to government data. Cyber criminals can be particularly drawn to online retailers because of the amount of customer data they collect through their online platforms. 

The following measures will help protect your business:
  • Use strong passwords (such as three random words), and store them securely; to keep track, you can use a Password Manager.

  • Enable two-factor authentication to help prevent criminals accessing your accounts, even if they have your passwords.

  • Backup, password protect and isolate your data.

  • Update your software and devices to protect against new vulnerabilities.

If you need to secure extra funding in the run up to the festive season, Funding Options can help. We’ve been chosen by the government-owned British Business Bank as a designated platform to find finance for businesses, and we’ll match you with our database of over 120 business finance lenders. Start your funding journey today.

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