Watching footage from last year’s Black Friday, it’s hard to believe how much things have changed for retail in just 12 months. From heaving crowds of bargain hunters to sanitiser, social distancing and shutters – Covid-19 has had a devastating impact on the sector.
But while Black Friday 2020 will certainly be unrecognisable compared to previous years, it’s by no means cancelled. Many retailers rely on the booming trade that starts in late November to shore their businesses up for the rest of the year, so maximising sales is a matter of survival, even in the midst of a national lockdown.
Of course, with non-essential shops forced to close, online sales are looking like the mainstay of Black Friday with one survey revealing that half of shoppers are planning to do their sale shopping exclusively online. However, a further 35% said they would also look to support physical retailers where possible, with a big emphasis on ‘shopping local’ to try and help their local high street survive. Since non-essential shops are allowed to remain open for store collections, this means there’s a big opportunity to be grabbed – and retailers will need to bring their A-game on advertising if they want to make the most of it!
Still open for business
If your doors are closed but you’re still open for business this Black Friday, you need to let your customers know – and portable displays are the ideal way to do it. The options are endless, especially if you’re lucky enough to have a shop window you can use to display large format messaging using trade show style displays or hanging poster clamps to let people know they can still shop with you using ‘click and collect’ arrangements.
Even small businesses or those in unlikely locations can get in on the act – creative use of displays such as A-boards and pavement signs lets your customers know you’re still here and ready to add value to their Black Friday with personalised service and peace of mind they simply won’t find online.
When encouraging people to come to your business to collect an order, it’s vital you take their safety seriously with clear queuing systems to facilitate social distancing, as well as the appropriate information signage and hand sanitising facilities in place.
Of course, this is also true for the larger ‘essential’ stores like supermarkets that are permitted to stay open, and may offer Black Friday discounts on big ticket items such as electricals and appliances that could still potentially attract some crowds. In these instances, it’s even more important to make sure people don’t forget about infection control as they get caught up in the thrill of bargain shopping. Clear barrier systems to keep queues in check and manage one-way systems, robust hand sanitiser stations at key touchpoints throughout the customer journey, and an abundance of signage to make sure shoppers are fully informed are all essential features of every retailer’s toolkit this Black Friday, and indeed throughout the coming weeks as we head into a festive shopping season like no other.
For help on virus-proofing your Black Friday event, contact Silverback today.