Consumers are on track to spend $1,007.24 during the holiday season this year, up 4.1 percent since last year’s $967.13, according to a recent survey from the National Retail Federation. A lot of that holiday shopping is going to happen during Black Friday, the unofficial start to the holiday season. If you haven’t already started preparing, now’s the time to do it. Every year, approach Black Friday weekend with a game plan: it’s not just one day we’re worrying about. Sales run through till Cyber Monday, meaning there’s an entire weekend of madness for your business, with the potential for a major improvement to your bottom line. There are many things that go into creating an effective Black Friday experience for your business and your customers. We encourage you to take a look at this guide, featuring advice from Inc.
- Start by organizing. If you need to hire more employees for the weekend, take care of that now. On top of that, focus on organizing your business as a whole, both online and in-store. Make sure sales are ready and promotions are clear to everyone on staff, and that everyone knows what the game plan will be.
- Figure out content and marketing goals early. Don’t create content on the fly; plan your marketing campaign ahead of time. Know what your sales are going to be and make sure to market them effectively.
- Talk to customers prior to the big weekend. Engage with customers prior to the big weekend, it can prove beneficial in your ball court. It can be very easy for shoppers to grow frustrated on Black Friday, and knowing how to ease that tension and placate the crowds will go a long way in making the holiday a successful one. Present coupons or offerings that’ll make their lives easier come that day.
- Make sure your technology side is secure. Don’t wait until the last second to test out anything running on a back end system. Things always happen at the last minute and you don’t want your POS system or website going down when it’s absolutely critical to have it. All this means is that all of your technology needs to be on its best behavior on Black Friday as well as Cyber Monday. A recent study by Baymard Institute found that an estimated 69.89 percent of people abandon their shopping cart online due to some kind of technical difficulty. Make sure you have multiple ways available to process payments.
- Be prepared by asking questions. Even the most prepped and savvy business owner will still have questions to ask come Black Friday. It’s perfectly okay to ask them, in fact, it’s better that you do. Not everyone celebrates Thanksgiving, but they may still want in on the deals. Preparing your overseas sales can be a good way to expect the unexpected. Think about whether items will sell out or if your best salesperson calls in sick that day. Start off with getting immersed in certain scenarios. Try to solve them. If you can come up with possible outcomes to your various scenarios, then you’re ready for this year’s Black Friday festivities.
- Check on your insurance coverage. Most businesses already have some form of insurance coverage, but Black Friday is no ordinary day in the retail world. The large crowds, much longer business hours, and cyber liabilities all greatly increase a business’s risk profile, and their ordinary insurance coverage may not be sufficient to cover a potential incident. There are some key insurance policies for a safe and successful Black Friday. Commercial General Liability insurance is key to protect against bodily injury against a third party, so any crowd-caused injuries in your store would have coverage. For the employees working longer hours, Workers’ Compensation coverage will cover any injuries that occur. Employment Practices Liability (EPL) insurance is key if you’re planning on doing any additional hiring for the holiday, as well as other employment-related claims. Finally, for Cyber Monday as well as for any other potential cyber crises that can arise during Black Friday, Cyber Liability coverage is key.
Black Friday can be a great boost to retail businesses, but it can also bring new risks and possible insurance claims. Don’t let the holiday season get off to a bad start. Contact your commercial insurance agent today to ensure that your business and your customers will be protected come November 23.
About ISU / The Olson Duncan Agency
At ISU – The Olson Duncan Agency, our goal is to provide clients with a total solution, not just a quote or a contract. We provide businesses and individuals with insurance and risk management solutions, and we aim to provide real value and build trustworthy, long-term relationships with our clients. To learn more about our services, give us a call today at (877) 941-0493 to speak with one of our professionals.