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This blog is the second in our series ‘Holiday Season Secrets to Retail Success’. If you missed the first blog, check out ‘Be Ready for the Holiday Rush: 5 Must-Have Shipping Supplies’. Up next is part 2 of our Black Friday and Cyber Monday content with ‘Getting involved? 3 Top Tips to Survive Black Friday and Cyber Monday'.

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are one of the most talked about days of the year, especially when it comes to retail. From retailers going against the grain to brawls breaking out as shoppers fight over a brand new TV, everyone starts talking about possibly the biggest shopping days of the year (and not always for the right reasons!) but does that mean retailers should be getting involved in 2016?

With the discount days fast-approaching and retailers soon needing to decide if they will participate - and if so, what they will do to entice shoppers - we’re taking a look back at last year’s crazy discount events to see what retailers can learn ahead of this year’s big days. We’ll be covering what happened last year and weighing up the pros and cons of getting involved.


A trip down memory lane to 2015

In 2015, retailers broke away from tradition with some retail-giants even deciding to opt out of participating in Black Friday. In the US, REI announced their stores would close and one of the UK’s leading supermarkets, Asda decided not to participate even after an incredibly successful Black Friday 2014. It seems that some retailers wanted to avoid the chaotic crowds and the chance of fights breaking out in their stores that we’ve seen many times before.

Last year, we also saw shoppers spending less on the Black Friday weekend with in-store spend totalling 102 million, down from 133.7 million in 2014. Does this mean the Black Friday and Cyber Monday craze is calming down?

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We also analyzed how our customer base got on over the key holiday shopping dates and found that there was a -5% percentage change in gross merchandise value for SMB retailers from 2014 to 2015. Additionally, on Black Friday there was a 2% increase, which was a tiny rise in comparison to the surrounding key shopping dates that saw a 27% increase on Thanksgiving and a 55% rise on Small Business Saturday (US).

Although Black Friday and Cyber Monday don’t seem to be as popular as they once were, there’s still a huge amount of orders processed on the discount days and major spikes in sales. So, should you participate? We’re taking a look at the pros and cons to help you decide...

 

The pros and cons of participating in Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2016

Whether you’re a retailer or a consumer, everybody has an opinion on Black Friday and Cyber Monday and the feelings surrounding the discount days seem to be like chalk and cheese as they couldn’t be further apart. You either love it or you hate it. But what are the pros and cons for independent retailers getting involved in Black Friday and Cyber Monday?

 

Pros

Boosted sales 

With the stats showing an inevitable rise in shoppers looking for deals, it’s extremely likely that your sales and profits will boost over the discount weekend. It may be worth the added stress if you see a big enough spike in sales.

Acquire new customers

More traffic? More footfall? Take advantage of that and aim to acquire new customers and keep them coming back time and time again.

Clear inventory

You have the chance to clear unwanted or overstocked inventory before the holiday season kicks into full swing by offering discounts on those products in need of a push.

 

Cons

Hectic crowds and high-volume traffic

A heavy flow of footfall to your brick-and-mortar store and an increase in online traffic is unavoidable on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. You need to be prepared for problems such as your website crashing or shoppers getting rowdy.

Pick, pack, ship stress

If you’re going to get involved, you have to be ready to fulfill all the extra orders and that can be a huge stress. It either means you need extra hands on deck or be prepared to spend more time packing. 

Low profit-margins

Black Friday and Cyber Monday sees retailers hack away at their prices, in return lowering profit-margins. Before you discount, make sure you work out the profit you will make and if it’s actually worth it.

 


So, what do you think of Black Friday and Cyber Monday? Let us know in the comments section below. And if you're thinking of getting involved, check out our top tips for surviving Black Friday and Cyber Monday

 

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About the Author

Danielle Ricketts is the Senior Global Content Manager at Brightpearl where she spends her time following her passions of writing, retail and social media. She can be found writing away about all things retail or engaging with followers online.