Use Black Friday to improve your business – FNB

  • Black Friday generates a frenzy for businesses and SMEs should use the event to hone their business.
  • Business development head of SME Funding at FNB, Palesa Mabasa shares advice for how SMEs can best capitalise on the shopping day.
  • Black Friday can help a business sharpen its marketing and sales strategy going into the Festive Season.

South African retailers have really embraced Black Friday but with the economy in the state that it’s in, it would serve businesses well not to go all in on short-term hype and rather focus on long-term gains.

This is the advice of the business development head of SME Funding at FNB, Palesa Mabasa.

The fact of the matter is that offering massive discounts may get customers in the door for a day but they may not be around once the discounts disappear. However, this doesn’t mean that business owners should ignore the shopping day, rather capitalise on it in creative ways.

The first way this can be accomplished is through the use of marketing.

“Your marketing strategy should be armed with a memorable hook that targets the desires and needs of the consumers you’re keen on attracting, because the right message, in the right place, and at exactly the right time can significantly boost your sales and brand, often more so than a massive and expensive generalised campaign,” explains Mabasa.

This campaign should focus on the product or service that aligns most with current trends and sales data from previous years. For example, if Product A sold well over Black Friday in previous years, consider discounting it for more or lowering the price of similar products to cater to the lighter wallets consumers may have in 2023. This has the benefit of providing you with additional data on more products while also moving inventory.

Data analysis is incredibly valuable in this day and age so don’t discount its potential to assist your business, it could help boost sales, show you the best areas to advertise, and more.

Another area FNB says SMEs should focus on is online presence. Ecommerce is a great way to reach a wider market.

“Don’t overload your site, or your users, with Black Friday information and a mass of deals that make the site difficult to navigate or use, and remember to consider the mobile site experience as well, since many of your prospective customers will be doing their browsing and shopping there,” Mabasa adds.

Logistics are also of vital importance and should be an area of focus. While many couriers are going to be inundated with deliveries post-Black Friday, it’s important to communicate this with shoppers, especially to regulars. This goes for SMEs in brick-and-mortar stores as well as extra staff may be needed to handle the influx of customers. Folks may remember a good deal but they’ll shout about a bad shopping experience or a delayed delivery without hesitation.

“It’s a golden opportunity to attract new customers that you can then retain through targeted marketing and loyalty programmes going forward and Black Friday can also serve as a valuable, real-world testing ground for new products and marketing tactics – particularly as we enter the festive season,” Mabasa comments.

We often refer to Black Friday as the beginning of the Festive Season shopping drive and it’s a great way to get your business noticed. However, the short-term gains that may come from it may not translate into loyal customers or a steady income stream.

With that having been said, it would be folly to ignore the forecast that Black Friday is expected to generate R26.6 billion for retailers this year. Make hay while the sun shines this month then.


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