With Christmas season approaching come the quick fire sales – with the intention of getting retail stores and eCommerce sites to sell their stock at knock-down figures. In recent years the UK has adopted this way of thinking by conforming to two usually American traditions, Black Friday and Cyber Monday. All the biggest brands will be getting involved in these annual sales. But are quick fire sales really a good thing for small businesses?
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Is it on Brand?
There is nothing like the site of frenzied shoppers fighting over television sets. This can just make this whole experience look like more trouble than it’s worth. Black Friday is often associated with images of shoppers fighting over even the most menial of items. According to SME insider “Last year, the media highlighted examples of public disorder as shoppers fought over discounted goods. Police Forces across the country have now warned store owners that they must have stringent security measures in place if they plan to run a similar sale in 2015”.
Is this huge spike in interest for such a small period of time – with the risks that come – something you want your business to take part in?
Some people like bargain’s – some don’t
According to research recently put out by Simply Plastic Cards many consumers are not enamoured with Black Friday or Cyber Monday: Around 70% of consumers are saying that they won’t buy anything on these days and that interestingly 89% of consumers won’t think negatively of a business that doesn’t run a quick fire sale. These perceptions may well have influenced Asda – who decided not to run Black Friday or Cyber monday sales this year. The reasons they state are that
“After listening to you, our customer, this year we have chosen not to take part in just one day of deals as part of the Black Friday flash sales. Instead we we’re investing in a range of fantastic offers, which are available to you in the lead up to christmas and into the New Year”
The lesson here is learn from your customers and what they want – rather than go on the bandwagon for the sake of it. If Asda are willing to take this risk then maybe you should take heed as well. So absolutely you should go ahead with Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales – however only if they are right for your business.
If you do a sale ensure your business doesn’t rely on it
With so many offers flying around it is said that these sale days are often a great opportunity for stores to go into the black and clear all debts. However if a business is not doing well then there can be a sense of desperation about days like this. As a small business you should not be relying on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, this is short termism at its worst. You should be planning and strategizing all year and trying to make your product and offerings the best they can be. If you are relying on quick fire sales this can be risky and might show lack of planning. Seasonal offerings should be a small part of the sales mix, not a vital part.
Of course I wouldn’t discourage any business doing Black Friday sales. Indeed if a business is doing well then the revenue generated by Black Friday sales can add greatly to that. Just ensure that you aren’t creating a risky strategy by relying on these sales days.
*This post was published on MadeSimple.com