As we enter the pinnacle shopping season of the year, our high streets begin to fill with intense promotional messaging from large retailers already gearing up for the now week-long event of Black Friday. So how can smaller retailers take advantage of the biggest shopping event of the year?

Shift in Spending

Scenes of mile-long queues and shoppers clambering over each other to grab the bargain of the year are no longer the vision of Britain’s modern Black Friday. Days and days of sales are now accessed online, with consumers able to search for deals anywhere, anytime with a simple tap. And the popularity of online shopping is evident – there’s been an 11.7% increase in year-on-year online Black Friday spending according to IMRG, and Campaign have found that 39% of last year’s Black Friday revenue was generated through smartphones. Tapping in to the mobile market is key for all retailers this year as this trend is only set to grow.

Black Friday: For Everyone

Salesforce found that 80% of customers value the shopping experience just as much as the product itself, so the small and medium businesses who feel that Black Friday is an event for large retailers are missing out on a huge opportunity to generate valuable revenue. YouGov reported that 82% of small retailers who take part in Black Friday expect to sell more stock than on an average day. It’s clear that independent stores have more of an opportunity to cash in on Black Friday by joining their large retail counterparts and taking part in the event, but how can they be heard above the crowd? 91% of UK retailers took part in last year’s event, and it’s clear that SMEs can use their size to their advantage.

Small and Mighty

In the face of global retail corporations, SMEs must use their size to their advantage. During Black Friday, smaller businesses can react far quicker to competitive campaigns run by corporate businesses. If large retailers are promoting a similar product, smaller businesses can promote their own at a better price without the drawn-out corporate process of getting approval by overheads. By sending out more personalised messages direct to customers’ mobile devices, SMEs can bring the competition and get ahead of the crowd.

Click, Collect, Upsell

30% of shoppers said that the Click and Collect offer from a retailer is a key element to make the shopping experience better. And over Black Friday, who can blame them? Those who can’t get out of work or just prefer to stay away from the crowds can still take advantage of the sales throughout the week and pick up their items when a store is quieter or simply at a more convenient time. What’s more, this brings increased footfall to your outlet for collections and presents an opportunity to upsell in-store on top of customers’ purchases.

Value in Shopping Small

According to eBay, 79% of shoppers are likely to purchase from another retailer or brand when a product is on order or out of stock. As thousands of online shoppers flood the websites of larger retailers’, their stock levels will plummet and many consumers will be disappointed as that ‘out of stock’ sign pops up. This is where SMEs can sweep in and provide customers with an alternative solution outlet – as soon as a certain item is out of stock, send a text message to customers to keep them up to date in real time.

SMEs can offer customers a far more personalised shopping experience both instore and online by harnessing the power of mobile communication. With Small Business Saturday coming up right after Black Friday – an event which we at Textlocal will be getting involved in – this could be the year SMEs take their share of the success of the biggest sales event of the year with the help of clear, simple mobile messaging.

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