Black Friday 2020: Where is Your Focus?

Have you found that 2020 has become more of a verb than a calendar year? Do you feel like you’ve been “2020’d”?  

All (inappropriate) jokes aside, 2020 has definitely taken its toll on many businesses. As Black Friday 2020 approaches many companies are in full battle mode to ensure that they make the most of this critical sales time. 

Wisely so!

We’ve talked recently about essential Black Friday preparation and the value of a thorough test and audit of your online systems and connectivity. The BFCM weekend is not one in which you want any sort of downtime. 

However, 2020 being the villain that it is, may require a little more in the way of business readiness. 

Which of these factors do you think will affect your business, and how are you planning to combat them?

Black Friday 2020 Business Readiness 

We simply must be prepared for anything. What should we plan for?

An article answering the question, “Is Black Friday Cancelled? makes an interesting point saying, “There’s no doubt that 2020 has been a crazy year, which has probably left some shoppers wondering whether Black Friday is cancelled. Thankfully, the answer is absolutely not. However, this annual shopping event is going to look different this year. In general, retailers are announcing deals early, throwing multiple (or month-long) Black Friday events and molding Black Friday to fit 2020.”

Looming lockdown?

With much of Europe going back into Lockdown 2.0 at the beginning of November, there is the very real danger that we in South Africa may face the same situation. 

Without diving too deeply into the politics of the situation and the pros and cons of the highly subjective positions on the matter, the fact is that COVID-19 is still present and still spreading.

One fascinating article on the expected “second wave” starts by saying, “In recent days, health minister Zweli Mkhize has warned about a marked increase in new Covid-19 infections as a result of declining adherence to measures such as mask-wearing, physical distancing and hand-washing. The United States and many western European countries are experiencing a dramatic resurgence, often called a ‘second wave’, of the coronavirus.”

Despite claims to the contrary, the possibility of a second lockdown remains. As we’ve seen, these nationwide changes can, and have been made overnight.

In this worst-case scenario, what is your contingency plan?

The much-anticipated walk-in trade and the stampede to the sales will dry up completely. What will we be left with? Have we given enough thought to our online sales platforms? Have we balanced our online and walk-in traffic channels in terms of marketing? Do we have a Plan B?

Social distancing 

We’re holding thumbs that we won’t have to deal with shopping centres which resemble a ghost town during the upcoming BFCM shopping time. 

However, there is still the possibility that COVID will be a deterrent to shoppers who would ordinarily not have a problem in a bustling retail outlet. Perhaps some just won’t want to risk rubbing shoulders with – well – anyone, even for 75% off.

The Black Friday article mentioned above goes on to say, “Social distancing has been the term of the year, which means that retailers won’t be encouraging people to flock to their stores this year. While there will be in-store sales, we predict that more retailers will encourage people to do their shopping online. This means we’ll see more cyber deals for Black Friday. This is likely fine with the approximately 45% of shoppers who don’t feel safe shopping in stores this year.”

This point helps us to circle back to offering the best online shopping experiences so that we can cater for the cautious. A fast website, a seamless checkout procedure, secure payment, and we’re done. 

Full shops with full wallets

What we’re all really hoping for, of course, is a steady stream of walk-in traffic to our retail outlets with shoppers being socially sensible but still eager to grab a great deal.

In this instance, your team want to process these transactions as fast as possible to avoid queues, bottle-necked areas in the store, or frustrated customers who abandon their purchases and leave.

What is your plan to achieve this? Do your card terminals have a failover in the event of a power outage? What if your internet fails? How will you handle a slow Wi-Fi connection while your staff contend with a dozen other businesses who may be sharing mall’s open internet? (Remember, this is 2020 – anything can happen!)

Ready for business?

We don’t know what Black Friday 2020 will bring. Whether it be online bargain hunters or a satisfyingly full and busy store. 

What we do know, though, is that we need to be ready for anything. 

Please feel free to pick up the phone and chat with one of our friendly team members who will be more than happy to discuss your concerns and help you to be ready for Black Friday 2020.

Sourced from: Huge Connect Blog. View the original article here.