BLACK FRIDAY 2021 Shopfloor

36 And so it begins…

As we head into the most crucial trading period of the year, after many ups and downs so far already, what will Black Friday 2021 look like? ERT hears from industry experts…

How indies can maximise their Black Friday impact By Graham Soult, high street champion from retail consultancy

Imported from the US a decade ago, Black Friday is back for 2021 – and likely to be bigger than ever. Last year, Britain’s second lockdown meant that the annual pre-Christmas,

price-cutting frenzy was effectively cancelled for many “non-essential” bricks and mortar retailers, while unrestricted online players mopped up. Many observers – and even some retailers – have questioned the merit

in getting consumers hooked on discounts at a time of year when they should be splurging anyway. But, like it or not, Black Friday seems to be here to stay, as the day that really kicks off Christmas shopping in earnest. Happily, with a bit of planning and creativity, even smaller retailers can

turn Black Friday into an occasion that is positive for their brand and bottom line – or even use it as inspiration to do something different entirely.

Bundle up We all know by now that Black Friday discounts often need to come with a health check – Which?, for example, previously found that 98 per cent of the products it tracked were available for the same price or less in the six months after Black Friday. Consumers are rightly increasingly wise to the hype.

One way to keep customers’ trust while still clearing those end-of-line or

hard-to-sell products is to create some special Black Friday bundles. Offer a discount when two particular items are bought together, or turn old stock into a free gift when customers buy one of your star products or spend over a certain threshold.

Reward customer loyalty

Black Friday doesn’t have to be all about headline-grabbing price cuts – sometimes more targeted promotions can work just as well. As an independent electrical retailer, customers may not expect you to

be the cheapest, but they really value the trusted product knowledge and superlative customer service that they can’t always get online or at the big out-of-town sheds. So, play to those strengths. If you already have a reward scheme, offer

extra points when shopping instore on Black Friday weekend, or incentives for purchasing certain products. Customers who already support you will appreciate the gesture, and be more likely to return next time they need to make a big-ticket purchase.

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