Black Friday Marketing: How Small Businesses Can Beat Big Box Stores

— November 1, 2016

You don’t have to own a zillion-dollar corporation to cash in on Black Friday sales; even though the Walmarts and Best Buys of the world seem to rule Black Friday with their volume and at-a-loss pricing strategies, they’re bound by limitations you don’t have – which can give you a distinct advantage with many customers. Here’s how small businesses can use those advantages to beat big box stores on Black Friday.

Support and service

As a small business, you’re positioned to offer the support and service many customers need before, during, and after their purchases. You’re far more flexible than big box stores, and you don’t have to outsource overseas, so you can offer local, friendly, expert support services that many customers want and need.

Customization services

That same flexibility also allows you to offer customization services, either as part of your product base or manifested as the ability to customize solutions for your customers. You don’t have to take a “one-size-fits-all” approach, so you can cater to customers who have unique needs. The big box stores simply can’t do that.

Installation services

If you sell something that needs installed, you already have a distinct advantage over many big box stores. And while some big box stores offer installation for things such as car stereos, the work is often delayed due to volume and performed by underpaid, inexperienced staff. You can offer quick, expert installation with full support, and that’s critical to many customers.

Personalized service

When people shop at Walmart, they’re doing business with a store. When they shop at your store, they’re doing business with a person. That distinction is important to many customers who expect personalized service and are willing to pay more for it. Remember: as a small business, you’re not after low-price buyers; you’re after customers who seek, understand, and are willing to pay for quality.

A better shopping experience

Every year we read headlines about someone getting trampled at a big box store on Black Friday. What kind of shopping experience is that? While you certainly want high traffic on Black Friday, you can offer a friendlier shopping experience by having plenty of staff on-hand to help customers find the perfect gifts for their loved ones.

Adopt a smart marketing strategy

Once you’ve established the benefits of buying from you versus big box stores, you need to promote your message to potential customers – and you don’t need a multi-million-dollar marketing campaign to do it.

Insert flyers in local papers with smaller, yet highly-targeted, reach. Build or rent a well-targeted mailing list and send direct-mail postcards; or, if you cater to a local audience, send cost-effective EDDM (Every Door Direct Mail) postcards. Place banners in high-traffic areas, and take advantage of cheap social media advertising to put your Black Friday sales – and all the benefits you offer – in front of likely buyers.

Use these strategies to demonstrate why you’re better, and you can beat the big box stores and earn more business than ever this Black Friday.

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Author: Brian Morris

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