Hey y’all! Anyone who knows me over the years knows…. I LOVE THE HOLIDAYS!!!! So I’m back again this year to talk about Black Friday and how it’s going to affect your business. I’m also sharing my Black Friday predictions as well as which stores will be open on Thanksgiving this year. There’s less than 50 days to Black Friday, so let’s get ready to kick off a slew of sales!
Here’s what we know:
- All big box retailers are starting holiday sales earlier and earlier. Heck, it was the end of September when to my amazement I saw – Christmas trees and decorations for sale (in a department store that will remain nameless). WOW! Starting earlier? Why? Because 170 million shoppers participated in Black Friday 2017. Big box ads will start going out November 1 this year, and by November 15 you’ll most likely see the last of them. The sales will begin immediately after to gain as many in-store transactions as they can before the online shopping starts.
- Did you have a TOYS R US near you? Walmart is basically the new TOYS R US. In fact, Walmart is poising itself to fill the void left by Toys "R" Us, announcing in late-August that it's going to ramp up its toy selection (including offering exclusive toys with partnering brands) and make its in-store toy-shopping experience better (with in-store events, demos and toys that parents and kids can test out on the spot). It's also going to host more than 2,000 toy play dates to put as many toys in front of as many kids as possible – and to influence their wish lists.
- Black Friday 2018 store opening time predictions These are this year’s predictions on when major stores will open on Thanksgiving Day:
Walmart: 6 PM • Target: 6 PM • Kohl’s: 5 PM • Best Buy: 5 PM • Macy’s: 5 PM
JCPenny: 3 PM • Kmart: Noon • Sears: 6 PM • Dick’s Sporting Goods: 6PM
What we can do to better position ourselves this year!
This year, you need to more aware of your surroundings than ever before. Open your doors earlier and definitely offer Layaway and Bundle Packages if possible. Try to use as many different avenues you already have available to you. Do you have a website? With our Storefront add-on, you can sell your inventory through an integrated shopping cart on your own website. TxTPawn uses text messaging to reach your customers when you’re having sales, and you have templates already available in PawnMaster. Our TxTValet program creates custom sales messages and schedules them for you, helping you direct traffic to your social media, website, eBay store, online store, your PHYSICAL store, wherever! Vanity Keywords give you a leg up on your competition and are designed to encourage easy customer opt-in. Do you have Customer Loyalty Points? Now is the time to advertising to customers that their loyalty points could be used to pay for items off of this year’s Christmas list.
Use what you have: Window displays, neon signage, receipts, business cards, flyers, giveaways, websites and social media platforms. Have a meet-and-great featuring free photos with Santa and ask your neighboring businesses if you can leave flyers advertising your event!
Paid advertising: Commercials, billboards, print ads, mailers, now’s the time to get your message out there!
My 2018 Holiday Sales Predictions:
4K TVs: listing anywhere from $150 -$750 this year depending on the size you choose, with the best savings being in the 50-60 inch range.
Smart Home Devices: ranging from $30-$100 (examples: Echo Dot, Google Home Mini, Echo, Google Home, Echo Plus (2nd Gen), Google Home Max, Echo Spot and Echo Show)
Cellular Phones: expect iPhone and Samsung to offer gift cards instead of discounts on actual pricing, and only with a contract. As far as other brands… expect to be surprise! At this point, -it’s anyone's guess.
Tablets and e-Readers: ranging between $80-$250 (examples: Kindle Paperwhite, Basic Kindle E-Reader, Fire 7 Tablet, Fire HD 8 Tablet, Fire HD 10 Tablet, iPad Mini 4, iPad, Samsung Galaxy Tab E)
Gun dealers: We didn’t forget you! Although firearms usually aren’t bought as gifts, the sales you have brings customers in the doors for deep discounts that they won’t see the rest of the year because of the small margins on these items. Included is a graph of holiday firearm sales through the past two decades. Although sales historically have been down in the last few years, there were still 2 million in firearm sales last holiday season.
What’s Hot List (lots of interactive toys this year) :
Hatchimals Hatchibabies, WowWee Fingerlings, Don’t Step In It Game (Unicorn Edition), ANYTHING L.O.L. Surprise! Related, Teddy Ruxpin, Pikmi Pops all sizes, Pomsies Interactive Pom Pom Pets, Ozobot Bit Coding Robot, Lego Harry Potter sets, Kano ‘Harry Potter Wand’ Coding Kit, Poopsie Unicorn Surprise Slime, PlayStation Classic Mini, littleBits ‘Avengers’ Super Hero Inventors Kit
In closing, I just want to impress upon everyone that you may not always be able to keep up with the big box retailers, and that’s ok… You’re not big box retailers! However you can keep yourselves moving forward while using their marketing strategies (on a smaller scale) and sales ideas (within your budget) to your benefit. Here’s an example: Your customer may not be able to afford a 40-inch 4K tv from a big box retailer, even on sale. But in your store, it’s in their price range, and they may even be able to purchase a 50-inch HD TV! You know your audience, so you can tailor your offers to fit their needs. As always, I’m here to help you market your shop, answer your questions, and most of all help you create a successful campaign. I want to wish each and every one of you a very happy, healthy, and prosperous Holiday season and New Year!