In another unusual year, many shoppers are looking for cheer this upcoming holiday shopping season. And in the spirit of it all, Black Friday is one day that many consumers look forward to as an official “kickoff” to the holiday season.
Even with predicted supply shortages and holiday shopping already in full force, retailers can still prepare for and provide a great Black Friday shopping experience to maximize success. After all, with 66% of consumers in the UK and 64% of consumers in the US planning to spend more this holiday season, there are a lot of ways retailers can stand out from the crowd this Black Friday:
1. Create a safe shopping environment
Due to the pandemic’s impact on last year’s holiday season, many retailers have worked hard to establish safety measures throughout their stores to give customers peace of mind. As consumers become increasingly cautious with recent COVID-19 variants, safety has become a top priority for many shoppers again. And while many know what they do and do not feel comfortable with, the responsibility of maintaining a safe environment has fallen on retailers this year.
Lower store capacity to ensure your physical locations aren’t overcrowded
Create social distancing measures near checkouts so customers know where to queue
Post signage that encourages social distancing and other safety measures
2. Give shoppers control
Consumers have been through a lot over the past year and a half. When it comes to the holiday season, they are looking to enjoy their shopping experiences, while also feeling safe. By providing customers options to shop with you in the way they feel most comfortable, you will increase trust and improve loyalty.
This is where an omnichannel retail strategy becomes essential for success. Brands using an omnichannel strategy enjoy up to 90% customer retention rates when compared to brands that don't.
This Black Friday, customers will be searching for the most convenient, affordable, and frictionless ways to make purchases instead of favoring one channel over the other. Be sure to consider all of the ways your customers want to shop with you this year, whether that’s online, in-store, via curbside pickup, or a combination of it all.
3. Avoid long lines and prevent overcrowding
As consumers look to shop safely this Black Friday, one thing is certain: they don’t want to feel overcrowded at your stores. In order to prevent overcrowding, you should consider your maximum capacity and how to accommodate as many customers as possible without the inconvenience or health risks. Plus, if the weather outside is frightful...the last thing you want to do is make customers wait outside to enter your store!
This is where virtual queuing comes in to save the day! Virtual queues allow customers to wait in line without physically waiting in line. This means they can wait safely in their cars instead of waiting outside in crummy weather or at home until it’s their turn to shop or meet with an employee for an appointment.
4. Offer personalized appointments
Making sure that you provide appointments on Black Friday - whether in-person or remote - can drive value for your organization.
Many retailers are already implementing appointments to embrace the increase in early holiday shopping, and as a way to provide personalized experiences this Black Friday. By offering online video appointments and in-person appointments on Back Friday, you will be able to:
Minimize crowds and reduce wait times in stores
Provide more flexibility and a safer shopping experience
Provide a more personalized shopping experience
Increase transaction volumes by being able to share additional gift ideas on the fly
There are many benefits in offering appointments as a part of your Black Friday strategy, and it’s certain to be an experience your customers won’t forget.
What do consumers want this Black Friday? They are looking for safe, personalized, and convenient shopping experiences. To maximize your “kickoff” to the holiday season and earn share of wallet, consider how to prioritize safety, reduce wait times, and offer options like appointments to give customers the cheerful holiday shopping experience they want (and expect)!