Alan Watson is managing director of retail IT service support specialist, Barron McCann.
What can retailers do to benefit from the perks of Black Friday, but avoid the negative aspects? It is going to be a tough call and one which may take a few cycles to perfect, but from a customer service and IT maintenance perspective, I would recommend the following:
Limit Black Friday offers
Whilst there is the temptation for retailers to slash prices across a range of items to ensure they target a wider customer demographic, it may be more practical to consider a limited range of products, so that they are still participating but it’s unlikely to impact too many product lines and promotions.
Evaluate IT, store and logistics requirements ahead of time
Managing the influx of demand during promotions like Black Friday is essential to the smooth running of the campaign, so retailers need to ensure they have fully evaluated their online and offline IT requirements ahead of time.
Keep customers informed
Managing customer expectations can be the difference between a good experience and a negative one, even if a retailer can’t avoid IT downtime or delivery delays. If customers are kept informed and feel that a retailer has done everything possible then they are far likely to feel disappointed or let down by the service.
Ensure marketing extends beyond just Black Friday
Keeping customers engaged throughout the year is key to sustaining sales, so retailers need to make sure that they don’t put all of your eggs into one basket when it comes to Black Friday. Keep customers engaged, interested and inspired with regularly communications, loyalty incentives and special promotions that will entice them to shop all year round.