How Small Businesses can Capitalize on Black Friday
Millions of small businesses have had a difficult year in 2020. As the novel coronavirus COVID-19 spread across the globe, governments all over the world took unprecedented measures to prevent the virus from claiming more lives. Public health measures like social distancing undoubtedly saved lives, but small businesses bore the brunt of the economic impact of such measures.
According to the National Bureau of Economic Research, the number of active business owners decreased by 22 percent from February to April 2020. A Brookings analysis of Opportunity Insights Economic Tracker data found that, compared to January 2020, small businesses in North Dakota, Washington, D.C., and Hawaii experienced a 60 percent decline in revenue between mid-March and mid-May. In the wake of such challenges, many small businesses have been forced to shutter. For those that have managed to stay afloat, the upcoming holiday season could prove vital to their survival.
Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving and marks the unofficial beginning of the holiday shopping season. It’s a day when consumer spending annually reaches into the billions of dollars. For example, Adobe Analytics reported that Black Friday shoppers spent a record $7.4 billion in 2019. Capitalizing on Black Friday in 2020 can help small businesses generate a substantial amount of revenue in a year that has been chock full of financial challenges. The following are some strategies small businesses can employ to make this Black Friday as lucrative as possible.
- Connect with the locals. In recognition of the economic challenges faced by small businesses in 2020, local chambers of commerce have gone to great lengths to encourage residents to shop local as economies have slowly reopened. Residents have responded to such efforts, and small businesses can do their part by making concerted efforts to connect with locals in advance of Black Friday. Advertise Black Friday sales in local newspapers and join your local chamber of commerce in encouraging shop local efforts on Black Friday.
- Open early. To promote social distancing, some big box retailers have announced changes to their Black Friday strategies. Those changes may include more limited store hours and later openings. Local small business owners can capitalize on such strategical shifts by opening their stores early on Black Friday without compromising social distancing guidelines. Place a sign outside your store that highlights your early opening but also reminds customers of your mask and social distancing policy. Thank customers in advance for adhering to your policy and for bringing much-needed revenue to your business.
- Optimize your mobile site. Lines are the norm on a typical Black Friday, but they might be even longer this year as small businesses minimize the number of people, they allow in their store at one time. By optimizing their mobile sites in advance of Black Friday, small business owners can ensure shoppers waiting online have access to what’s inside the store even before they enter. That can make it easier to wait on line and ease customers’ concerns about spending too much time inside the store.
Emphasize your status as a small business. The pandemic will no doubt compel many Black Friday shoppers to avoid crowded malls and big box stores in 2020. Small business owners can use their status as small businesses to their advantage by reminding customers their showrooms are small and easily controlled.
Small businesses may be struggling in 2020. But Black Friday is a golden opportunity for small businesses to recoup some of the revenue they’ve lost in a challenging year.