Business owners are always trying to maximize their sales during the busiest times of the year, none more so than Black Friday weekend. Black Friday marks the peak of one of the biggest retail weekends of the year; according to the National Retail Federation, an estimated 164 million people took part in Black Friday shopping in 2018. If you are a business owner, attracting these holiday shoppers could make a significant impact on your bottom line. If you’re wondering what you can do differently this year to increase sales, we’ve put together a list that can help:

1. Start planning now.

As a business owner, one of the best things you can do to prepare yourself for a profitable fourth quarter is beginning to plan your marketing strategy early. When you plan early, you’re allowing yourself time to think through ideas, make adjustments, and tackle unforeseen projects before it’s too late. If you aren’t sure where to start, you can begin by thinking through high-level concepts; ask yourself questions like:

  • What products and services do I want to promote?
  • How and where will I advertise my specials?
  • Will I offer in-store and online deals?
  • When will my marketing campaign begin and end?

2. Follow the eyeballs—Get in the go-to guide

If you want to drive holiday shoppers into your store, you need to place your ads in areas where consumers expect to find Black Friday deals:

  • One of the most effective ways to get your message in front of shoppers is to advertise in the Thanksgiving Day paper, also known as the “Black Friday paper”
  • If you’re a local business owner in Lancaster, taking advantage of LNP’s Black Friday advertising specials will get your business’s message in front of more than 200,000* readers seeking special deals and coupons.

3. Don’t get lost in the shuffle.

If you’re serious about having a profitable fourth quarter, you need to create a marketing plan that involves promoting your message multiple times on several platforms:

  • Running one ad to promote your big sale will never get you the returns you need.
  • LNP Media Group offers holiday marketing packages providing you with ad frequency in print, on LancasterOnline, and through mobile devices.
  • These advertising packages include ad design, photography and video services, making it easy for you to set up a successful ad campaign at an affordable price.

4. Give them an offer they can’t resist.

When it comes to holiday deals, offering at least 25 percent off is a must for most businesses that use specials for the purpose of attracting shoppers:

  • According to a study by CreditDonkey, “forty-three percent of shoppers agree that clipping coupons is a good investment of time when the discount is worth up to 25 percent off.”
  • Consider your industry and competition, and let that be your guide for the discounts that you choose to offer.

5. Don’t forget about shoppers who are buying for themselves.

We’ve all been guilty of personal shopping during the holiday season when we should have been buying for friends and family. If you’re a business owner, it’s important to think about how you can position your products in a way that attracts gift buyers and personal buyers:

  • According to the National Retail Federation roughly 58 percent of consumers said they will shop for themselves during the holidays, spending an average of $139.61
  • Consider offering a two for the price of one deal so that personal buyers can get something for themselves and a gift for someone on their list.

6. Think small, earn big

Thanks to American Express, Small Business Saturday has become the biggest day of the year for small business owners across the country. Local shoppers are loyal shoppers, making this demographic one you can’t afford to miss out on:

  • If you own a business in Lancaster County, you already know that our community has an uncommonly strong commitment to shopping local.
  • To reach this audience, advertise in places where locals will be looking, like LNP’s Small Business Saturday section. This special section provides advertisers with a variety of ad sizes to choose from with rates designed to fit into every budget.

7. Step-up your digital presence on Cyber Monday

If you don’t yet have an online presence, expanding your business to include e-commerce sales could help you capture more of the local market share. If an e-commerce website isn’t in the cards, get creative. Consider emailing a coupon on Cyber Monday that’s valid in-store during the following week. You could also run a similar offer using digital ads on LancasterOnline.

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