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What you need on your Black Friday checklist

What you need on your Black Friday checklist

The day after Thanksgiving is one of the biggest shopping days of the year. People who are home for the holiday have another day off and take it to do a little early Christmas shopping. Over the past fifty years, marketers and shoppers alike have made Black Friday a big deal. According to Snopes, the term originated in the late 1950s or early 1960s when thousands of workers would call in sick on the day after Thanksgiving. Later, police officers used the term “Black Friday” to indicate the headache of dealing with post-Thanksgiving traffic and the increased number of travelers into the city.

Nowadays, Black Friday is more of an event than anything else, and it’s a big source of income for businesses across the nation. According to CBS, shoppers spent over $9 billion last year – and that figure doesn’t include all of the shopping done online or on Thanksgiving day itself. Whether it’s a marketing tactic, good timing or a combination of the two, Black Friday is good for business and it’s here to stay.

But it’s not a magic formula. There’s a lot of planning that goes into a successful Black Friday sale. If you want to know what to put on your checklist, we’re here to help.

Top 9 tasks for your Black Friday checklist
There’s so much to think about when it comes to getting ready for the big event. Everything from store displays to marketing materials needs to be thought out carefully. When you’re forming a strategy, keep these things in mind.

1. Creative ads
According to Business News Daily, shoppers are searching for Black Friday deals as early as October. The earlier you can plan your advertising strategy, the better. The goal here is build anticipation – tease your customers with tantalizing deals, and they’ll begin to think about your store in their sleep. To really get things going, consider using targeted ads through social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. By using these kinds of ads you won’t waste any money advertising to people uninterested in your products.

2. Gift guides
This tip comes in the same vein as the previous one: It’s all about building anticipation. A gift guide takes time to set up and publish, but it’s well worth the effort. People will be able to see exactly what they want to buy. And remember to display the sales prices next to the original prices. Whatever you can do get people excited, do it. Another great way to distribute gift guides is via blogs – see if you can write a guest post for a blog that’s relevant to your shoppers.

3. Displays
It’s one thing to build anticipation, but it’s another to actually deliver. When customers approach your storefront on Black Friday, they don’t want to see the same thing they’ve been seeing all year. Spruce up your displays with some visually striking pieces from our C3 Custom Color Collection. Get racks and mannequins that match your store’s signature color.

4. Door Busters
Door buster deals will make sure that yours is the first store shoppers go to. If you don’t have one, the competition already has a leg up on you. Basically, you just advertise one spectacular – and limited – deal or special item that’s only for early arrivals. Sometimes the door buster is a free complimentary item or piece of candy, other times is a big discount on a certain product. Whatever you chose, make sure it’s exciting.

5. Planned scarcity
This tip follows directly after the last. Scarcity is the name of the game on Black Friday, reported Shopify. But don’t overdo it either. Pick a few items from your merchandise and decided on some way to make them scarce. Perhaps the discount on them only lasts for a few hours, or maybe your stocks are running low. Scarcity gets customers in the door quickly and ready to buy.

6. Connect with customers
It’s very likely that many of your Black Friday customers will be visiting your store for the first time. Take this opportunity to connect with them. While it’s great to have a lot of shoppers in your store on Black Friday, it’s better to keep them around all year. Try to get new customers to sign up for a mailing list. You can do this the old fashioned way, or do so online. An easy way to stay connected is to offer an extra discount if shoppers “like” your Facebook page.

7. Prepare your staff
The Black Friday rush can take a real mental toll on your employees. The first thing to do give your staff lots of incentive to come to work. It may sound harsh, but there have been thousands of documented cases of Black-Friday-itis, a mysterious disease that affects workers on the day after Thanksgiving. Inc. magazine said to offer lots of encouragement to your staff members and keep morale high.

“Don’t get caught without the proper supplies.”

8. Check your supplies
You don’t want to get caught without the proper supplies. If you’re running low on hangers, pricing equipment or crowd control stanchions, we’ve got you covered. Check out our security devices if you have worries about keeping track of inventory amongst the throngs of shoppers. By being properly prepared, you can better deal with any situation that arises during the day’s long shopping hours.

9. Price matching
Your store doesn’t exist in a vacuum. With pricing information so readily available online, it’s key to match the prices of your competitors. If not, you’ll see those shoppers walking out the door and down the street to a better deal.

Black Friday might be stressful, but it can also be a lot of fun. Once you’ve ticked these nine items off your checklist, you’ll be ready to take on the busiest shopping day of the year and the rest of the holiday shopping season to come.