Happy Black Friday!

Happy Black Friday (and Thanksgiving)! I hope by now you’ve had your fill of turkey, pumpkin pie and football … maybe with a little midnight rush to the mall to wade through the hordes of shoppers for those mega-deals.

Now that the actual day is upon us, it’s all hands on deck — developers testing the website to make sure there are no hiccups while the marketing department and senior management wait for the final tallies on revenues. For this, I wish you all a very successful day.

Arranging for a fruitful Black Friday takes lots of hard work and (I’d estimate) a minimum of a month’s prep time. If you’re hoping to scrounge together a last minute ad hoc promotion for today, take a deep breath and save that gusto for next year.

Moreover, the postmortem on individual consumer spending habits are equally as important as the gross figures. Who is visiting your website? Where is the traffic coming from? Who is buying? Why is this particular group of people buying instead of other groups? What other pages are visitors clicking to on your website? What are people saying on social media? Have you asked them what they think?

So, if you’ve missed out this time around or if you aren’t meeting your Black Friday revenue target, rest assured there are more upcoming sales opportunities before the ball drops on December 31. It’s best nowadays to think of Black Friday as a consumption primer. It’s the first signpost to indicate to shoppers that it’s time to spend on gifts and treats in the lead up to Christmas. With this in mind, you can differentiate yourself by offering another sales period outside of the traditional Black-Friday-to-Cyber-Monday promotion window.

With consumers already primed, a standalone promotion for next weekend or two weekends from now may present a good option to drum up more sales. There’s still time before Christmas to put a plan together and boost your occupancy numbers for the traditional low season and beyond.

Keep in mind that more important than the timing is the promotion design — if it doesn’t entice then it won’t work today, next week, next month or next year. Put your heads together and build a package that offers something different, and you’re bound to generate interest.