How to Perfect the Black Friday Customer Experience

Rosie Ramirez

22 November 2018    |   

The Black Friday shopping holiday traditionally takes place the day after the U.S celebration of Thanksgiving. This year, it falls on November 23. This also signals the beginning of the country’s biggest shopping weekend that ends with Cyber Monday. Its meaning as used today can be traced back to a 1966 American Philatelist magazine advertisement, and by the 1980s its use as a post-Thanksgiving sale period was commonplace among retailers. Last year, 174 million Americans went out shopping across the sales weekend, representing a retail sales increase of 5.5%. Because of the immense deals and discounts available in stores, Black Friday has a reputation for being chaotic. However, Black Friday and the four-day shopping weekend is the perfect opportunity to create a bond with customers. It’s a chance to ensure that they will be coming back, even when there’s no major sale. Gaining visibility for your products and highlighting your customer service during the event will help keep your business in mind long after the year is over. Perfecting the Black Friday customer experience isn’t rocket science though. Check out our top 3 tips to make this holiday count! Market what your customers value Tapping into what customers value involves knowing both who your customers are and who you are as a company. Black Friday is your best chance to showcase how well you know your target market. Structure your campaigns and discounts based on sales data and customer feedback, and build the buzz through all channels. To remind your customers about your brand amidst the barrage of advertisements, run personalized remarketing campaigns close to Black Friday. And try not to do too much! When you understand your customers and you know how to reach them, there’s no need to drop hundreds of thousands of dollars in advertisements. Read more: Black Friday Blues? 5 Tips to avoid a staffing slump Integrate Black Friday into your loyalty program Black Friday represents an immense amount of sales, but that should not be the end of it. Make sure that you integrate Black Friday into your company’s loyalty program. Every customer that walks in during the four-day shopping holiday should be convinced to come back. You can issue discount cards for the following year. You can also offer a special loyalty card where their Black Friday purchases already count towards a prize. Don’t waste the opportunity to win customers for life, because by taking care of the customers you already have, you will be able to secure your business, and even expand to new markets. Read more: Creating Customer Programs with Customology’s Michael Barnard Schedule the correct number of staff Great customer service is what separates winners from losers on Black Friday, and there’s a lot at stake for retailers. Avoiding a staffing slump during the shopping holidays means scheduling employees and organizing shifts to a T. This includes leveraging your pool of part-time staff to cover all possible bases, as well as distributing your A-Team across the day (and the weekend). Scheduling the correct number of staff will help you sell faster and perform better across the board. Don’t hesitate to spend a little more than usual, because this is an investment that’s going to pay off! Many managers who have difficulty scheduling staff, communicating schedules and changes, and managing leave requests and shift swaps are in that position because of the lack of appropriate tools. Meanwhile, managers who are using workforce management systems are ahead of the game. Not only can they schedule and communicate with ease, but also use Live Insights to monitor store traffic and call help in when necessary. And best of all, once the busy weekend is done, timesheets can automatically be exported to a number of payroll partners, ensuring everyone is paid on time. Read more: What is the Contingent Workforce and how can you leverage it in your business? Black Friday can, understandably, cause stress to managers and employees alike. But this start to the holiday shopping season presents an unparalleled opportunity to move the inventory and keep your brand at the top of your customers’ minds throughout the year. This is not the time to second-guess strategies; it’s the time to invest in appropriate technology and plan for success. As long as you market what your customers value, integrate Black Friday into your overall loyalty program, and schedule the correct number of staff, you’ll be closer to perfecting the Black Friday experience.

The Black Friday shopping holiday traditionally takes place the day after the U.S celebration of Thanksgiving. This year, it falls on November 23. This also signals the beginning of the country’s biggest shopping weekend that ends with Cyber Monday. Its meaning as used today can be traced back to a 1966 American Philatelist magazine advertisement, and by the 1980s its use as a post-Thanksgiving sale period was commonplace among retailers. Last year, 174 million Americans went out shopping across the sales weekend, representing a retail sales increase of 5.5%.

Because of the immense deals and discounts available in stores, Black Friday has a reputation for being chaotic. However, Black Friday and the four-day shopping weekend is the perfect opportunity to create a bond with customers. It’s a chance to ensure that they will be coming back, even when there’s no major sale. Gaining visibility for your products and highlighting your customer service during the event will help keep your business in mind long after the year is over. Perfecting the Black Friday customer experience isn’t rocket science though. Check out our top 3 tips to make this holiday count!

Market what your customers value

Tapping into what customers value involves knowing both who your customers are and who you are as a company. Black Friday is your best chance to showcase how well you know your target market. Structure your campaigns and discounts based on sales data and customer feedback, and build the buzz through all channels. To remind your customers about your brand amidst the barrage of advertisements, run personalized remarketing campaigns close to Black Friday. And try not to do too much! When you understand your customers and you know how to reach them, there’s no need to drop hundreds of thousands of dollars in advertisements.

Read more: Black Friday Blues? 5 Tips to avoid a staffing slump

Integrate Black Friday into your loyalty program

Black Friday represents an immense amount of sales, but that should not be the end of it. Make sure that you integrate Black Friday into your company’s loyalty program. Every customer that walks in during the four-day shopping holiday should be convinced to come back. You can issue discount cards for the following year. You can also offer a special loyalty card where their Black Friday purchases already count towards a prize. Don’t waste the opportunity to win customers for life, because by taking care of the customers you already have, you will be able to secure your business, and even expand to new markets.

Read more: Creating Customer Programs with Customology’s Michael Barnard

Schedule the correct number of staff

Great customer service is what separates winners from losers on Black Friday, and there’s a lot at stake for retailers. Avoiding a staffing slump during the shopping holidays means scheduling employees and organizing shifts to a T. This includes leveraging your pool of part-time staff to cover all possible bases, as well as distributing your A-Team across the day (and the weekend). Scheduling the correct number of staff will help you sell faster and perform better across the board. Don’t hesitate to spend a little more than usual, because this is an investment that’s going to pay off!

Many managers who have difficulty scheduling staff, communicating schedules and changes, and managing leave requests and shift swaps are in that position because of the lack of appropriate tools. Meanwhile, managers who are using workforce management systems are ahead of the game. Not only can they schedule and communicate with ease, but also use Live Insights to monitor store traffic and call help in when necessary. And best of all, once the busy weekend is done, timesheets can automatically be exported to a number of payroll partners, ensuring everyone is paid on time.

Read more: What is the Contingent Workforce and how can you leverage it in your business?

Black Friday can, understandably, cause stress to managers and employees alike. But this start to the holiday shopping season presents an unparalleled opportunity to move the inventory and keep your brand at the top of your customers’ minds throughout the year. This is not the time to second-guess strategies; it’s the time to invest in appropriate technology and plan for success. As long as you market what your customers value, integrate Black Friday into your overall loyalty program, and schedule the correct number of staff, you’ll be closer to perfecting the Black Friday experience.

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How much do full time staff really cost?

Being in the business of managing staff costs, we often hear people say that casual staff just cost so much more than their full time equivalents. I mean, that extra 25% is a killer, right? Especially for staff who work a fairly consistent schedule each week, it’s almost like free money. For a while there I went along with that, not really giving it much thought. But today the thought struck me – casuals miss out on plenty of benefits afforded to full and part timers, so are they really better off? I decided to investigate further. What follows may surprise you. First – how many days in a year does a full time employee work? Weeks in a Year: 52 Working Days in a Year: 260 So far so good. We’re going to ignore the 1 or 2 days that we’re off by, for the sake of a nice round number. Next, let’s look at this full time employee’s entitlements, in days. Annual Leave: 20 (4 weeks) Personal Leave: 10 (2 weeks) Public Holidays: 10 We’ll assume a 7.6 hour work day and 17.5% leave loading. So how many hours of leave are we paying? Annual Leave – Base: 152 Annual Leave – Loading: 26.6 Personal Leave: 76 Public Holidays: 76 Total Hours of Leave Paid: 330.6 Earlier we calculated how many days of work one can work in a year, now let’s subtract leave taken to get a more accurate figure. Days of Leave Taken: 40 Actual Days Worked in a Year: 220 Actual Hours Worked in a Year: 1672 Divide 330.6 (hours of leave paid) by 1672 (hours worked) and we get 19.77%. Remember, we are comparing this to the 25% loading paid for casual staff. So from this perspective, yes, your full time and part time staff are still cheaper – but only by 5.23%. And even that number is probably on the low side. We ignored long service leave and maternity leave because they are a bit more unreliable. Both they are also costs (or accruals) that can definitely add up! When you take into account the fact that you only have to pay casuals when you need them, it’s easy to see why more and more Australian employers are turning to casual staff. According to the ABS, this has been growing steadily since the 90’s, and today over 1 in 5 jobs in Australia are casual.

Product Updates    |   

Text Me Maybe: Share Your Rosters by SMS!

Tanda’s (PayAus) roster management tools just got even more powerful, with the ability to send your staff their rosters by SMS, instantly. No more printing rosters out and making sure they don’t get lost, or trampled on, or wet. No more casuals calling up during the busiest time of the day to ask when their next shift is. And no more typing text messages up yourself – Tanda can do it all for you. Once you’ve designed a roster in Tanda, just follow the prompts to SMS it to your staff. You’ll be able to select which staff members get their rosters delivered, and even see a preview of the message they’ll get. Rosters by SMS cost 25 cents per message, but as a gift to Tanda customers, we’re making the first month absolutely free. Have fun! P.S. rosters are sent to the phone number you’ve provided for your staff, so you’ll need to make sure that’s correct. If you are having issues entering phone numbers, or need help importing a lot of phone numbers, please contact us!

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Rosie Ramirez

Our team's goal is to provide practical advice for business owners and managers across industries.

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Awards & Rostering

How much do full time staff really cost?

Being in the business of managing staff costs, we often hear people say that casual staff just cost so much more than their full time equivalents. I mean, that extra 25% is a killer, right? Especially for staff who work a fairly consistent schedule each week, it’s almost like free money. For a while there […]

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