This year businesses across a variety of sectors have taken a huge hit thanks to coronavirus and left some smaller businesses owners struggling to stay afloat. With a second lockdown looming most if not all business owners are setting up online shops to avoid any missed opportunities this Black Friday season.

We’re going to be talking about why you should be preparing for Black Friday early in order to take advantage of the huge uplift in the number of online sales as a percentage of all retail sales. With ONS data stating that ecommerce has seen five years worth of growth over the span of only a few months we expect that Black Friday will be no different and may hit a record high for sales.

Why begin preparations now?

If you’re a busy business owner you’ll know that the day to day running of your business always takes priority and some tasks deemed less important or aren’t happening for a while may fall to the backburner.

This year, you simply can’t let your Black Friday preparations slip down your priority list. With an unprecedented record level of online sales due to the coronavirus, more businesses are getting online now, than ever before. This means that you now have even more competition online and to ensure that you stay competitive and increase your sales this Black Friday you should be starting the preparations now.

3 things you can do to pre-plan

Email Marketing

Email marketing is one of the most powerful tools you have at your disposal as a business owner. Email marketing can help create engagement, traffic to your online shop as well as helping to build a community.

You should already have a good list of customer and potential customer contacts from your newsletter sign up and now is the time to put that list to work. Make sure you’re segmenting your email lists and creating different messaging and perhaps exclusive offers for existing customers as studies have shown that those who use segmented campaigns note as much as a 760% increase in revenue.

Use your email list to start creating hype for your upcoming Black Friday sale and make sure to include relevant content such as blogs with a list of what’s included in your Black Friday sale, early bird access, discounts, offers and more. This is something you can draft, create and schedule weeks before the event, but make sure you have emails being sent on a regular basis in order to keep your audience engaged.

Social Media

The same can be said for social media. If you already use a social media scheduler then make sure in your next planning session you schedule in some Black Friday content to be published across your social media channels. This can include text only posts as well as posts that are supported by images, which we’ll talk about in the next section.

Make sure you’re also scheduling some of your usual content alongside the content you’re creating for Black Friday. Your Black Friday content can include things like teasers for the products in your sale, any blogs such as gift guides as well as promotions for both your sale and to join your newsletter for exclusive offers.

Promotional Images

If you feel you’re able to design your promotional and social media images yourself, then you should look to create some new cover images for your social media channels, images to promote your Black Friday sale and any flyers you may need for your brick and mortar shop. The creatives or images you create can cover as much or as little as you want for example just creating promotional images for your Black Friday sale to creating a whole Instagram story for the days leading up to it – it’s completely up to you.

Canva is a great free online tool for creating images that has hundreds of templates to use but if you’re either not confident in creating something yourself or don’t have the time or want something very specific, you should look to hire a graphic designer.

Once you’ve got these things pre-planned it will help reduce the number of tasks you’ll need to do nearer the time, help with your planning and ensuring that you have the best Black Friday sale yet.

Download my company’s Black Friday Guide for Small Businesses with a whole range of images you can customise and use on your own social media channels.