Retailers all know that, when it comes to sales opportunities in the run up to Christmas, Black Friday (which this year falls on the 25th November) is the date that has dominated since Amazon and other American-owned retailers like Adsa brought it to the UK in the 2010s. But for those businesses looking for more promotions and sales ahead of the festive peak – or who would prefer to boycott the day in favour of a more local or purposeful focus – there are several alternatives.
Here are the other dates you should be aware of this year in order to increase your pre-Christmas profits:
Many retailers now begin their promotions and discounts at the start of November and run throughout the entire month. Though this is great for giving potential customers more opportunities to buy, it also lacks the urgency and scarcity that can incentivise people to purchase. So ecommerce businesses should weigh up the pros and cons before committing to an entire month of discounting.
Small Business Saturday
Now in its 11th year and typically falling on the last Saturday in November, this grassroots non-commercial campaign encourages people to shop small and shop local. If you’re a small business or marketplace seller there are plenty of ways to get involved, from advertising on their ‘small business finder’ to promoting your participation on social media and getting shout-outs.
A US movement now gaining traction in the UK, this occurs the Sunday after Black Friday and promotes shopping with local artists. If you’re selling your artisan crafts on an online marketplace, or you’re running a small business selling handmade goods, this is a great day to promote your products.
Referring to the Monday after Black Friday, this is typically the second-biggest shopping date over November period, and was created to boost online shopping and web-only deals when Black Friday focused more on in-person sales. Though the growth of online purchasing has since blurred the lines between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, the day is still another great opportunity for promotion. And if you’re an ecommerce retailer with no physical store, this is definitely the day for you! Consider running a 24 hour sale on your website or marketplace and sharing it on social media and via email.
The Tuesday after Black Friday is referred to as a “global generosity movement”: a day for doing good and giving back after such a commercially-focused period. People are encouraged to volunteer, donate to charities, or organise community events. As a business, this could form a critical part of your ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) strategy. You might consider nominating a ‘charity of the year’ to give to, organising a staff volunteering day, or running a fundraising activity in your office or local area. It’s also a great topic to talk about on social media and could be a way to affirm your position in your local community.
This is an alternative to Black Friday itself, occurring on the same day, and promotes conscientious, careful shopping from retailers that really care about the environment. If yours is an environmentally friendly business with sustainable products, it could be a good strategy to create an eco-friendly initiative and share on social that you’re disregarding Black Friday in favour of its greener cousin. Many companies, big and small alike across multiple retail verticals, are embracing Green Friday and sharing their own initiatives – with a view to reducing their impact on the environment.
Green Friday spotlight: IKEA
In 2022, IKEA announced they would not be participating in Black Friday, and would instead be focusing on Green Friday and promoting giving old furniture new life via their Buyback & Resell scheme, where customers could sell furniture back to IKEA. The scheme already existed, but for Green Friday 2022 customers could get an extra 50% off new items when returning used IKEA furniture to the store. Plus, they removed the limitation on only buying back furniture that was less than 7 years old, meaning more shoppers could benefit.
“We we are continuing to develop circular solutions for our customers, helping them to shop more sustainably and affordably,” said IKEA UK and Ireland Country Commercial Manager Michaela Quinlan. “We know this is a busy time of year for shoppers, but it’s also important we support people to be sustainable all year round.”
If you’re looking for more promotional opportunities pre-Christmas, try casting the net a little wider than Black Friday to include Small Business Saturday, Green Friday or Cyber Monday – and see an increase in profits. Which one will your business participate in this year?
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