Business

Prepare for Black Friday and Small Business Saturday Despite COVID-19

Don’t let these holidays pass you by. Discover what you can do to make the most of Black Friday and Small Business Saturday.
Photo Credit: Unsplash

Author: Cassie Gasaway

Black Friday (Nov. 27) and Small Business Saturday (Nov. 28) might look a little different this year, but many businesses are still offering their customers deals and promotions – and you should, too! Here’s what you can do to attract customers and make the most of the money-making holidays.

 

Update Your Contact Information with the ATA

The ATA steers customers to your store with the ATA store locator. The store locator lets customers use their computers or mobile devices to find the nearest ATA-member archery stores. You’ll find the store locator on the Archery 360 and Bowhunting 360 websites. But customers won’t connect with you if you haven’t renewed your ATA membership or your store’s information isn’t up to date. To get in on the action as consumers buy gifts for friends and family, update your information with the Archery Trade Association as soon as possible. Doing so ensures your name, address, services, website link and contact information are accurate in the ATA’s store locator.

Your ATA membership must be active to be listed in the ATA’s store locator. The individual designated as your store’s primary contact person is the only one authorized to change your organization’s records. Click here for step-by-step instructions to update your store’s information. Be sure to click “Save” at the bottom of your screen when updating your account information. Questions? Contact the ATA’s membership office at info@archerytrade.org, or (866) 266-2776, option 1, for assistance.

State your COVID-19 procedures clearly on your website or social media. Photo Credit: Lancaster Archery

Share Your Hours, Store Policies and Cleaning Procedures

Many people want to shop deals during the holidays, but they’re nervous about being exposed to COVID-19. During this time of turmoil, effective communication is the best way to maintain customer relationships. Calm their nerves by reminding them of your efforts to keep staff and customers healthy. Post your store hours online and on your door, and if you’re limiting the number of people inside, tell customers that, too. While you’re at it, now is also a good time to share your store policies on returns, services, etc. Keep customers informed and in-the-know and they’ll likely feel more comfortable about visiting your shop in person.

 

Post Your Specials and Promotions Early

People like to plan ahead. Many big box retailers send customers mail or digital flyers that outline their holiday deals. Stock up on gaiter masks and other popular items. Then, let your community know what sales or specials you’re offering during the holidays so customers consider shopping your deals. Post your promotions in-store and on your website and social media accounts. You could also send everyone on your email list a list of your sale items. If you have time, create a holiday gift guide to advertise specific items that help customers make buying decisions. Read the ATA’s article “Inspire Shoppers and Increase Sales with Holiday Gift Guides” for more information.

 

Ask Your Community to Support Your Business

Remind customers of your roots and community spirit. After all, that’s what Small Business Saturday is all about. If you’re a family owned and operated business for two generations or more, let customers know. If your business supports your family, tell your community how much you appreciate their business. Make those human connections.

Small businesses play big roles in communities. Remind folks about the service and attention they’ll receive at your business. Introduce yourself. You’re the one who owns the business, answers the phone, donates to community events, and sponsors school and church youth teams. Wear your commitment to your community proudly. It’s a natural way to attract and hold new customers. Showcasing these details in a video on your social accounts is a good way to spread the word.

 

Offer Curbside Pickup

Conduct “porch pickups” or “drive-thru sales,” because they’re convenient for customers, especially during the holidays. These offerings also reduce the number of people in your shop, which helps limit exposure to potential viruses and bacteria. Have your customers call in their orders, pay over the phone, and swing by to pick them up. Then, bring their order to the parking lot when they arrive.

 

Accept Contactless Pay Options

Cash and cards can carry germs, bacteria and viruses like COVID-19. Offer contactless payment options, which allow customers to pay without exchanging cash or a card, or punching in a pin number. Most contactless payment systems use radio-frequency identification or near field communication to allow secure payments touch-free. The MyATA service provider Celerant Technology has software programs for contactless payments. Click here to learn more.

 

Plug Gift Cards

Gift cards and certificates are simple and convenient, and they help boost sales. Plus, gift cards are an easy option for friends and family who know someone interested in archery but aren’t sure what to get them. Buying gift cards also ensure you don’t accidently buy the wrong gear for someone. Instead, the gift card allows them to put money toward something they actually want or need.

Offer electronic gift cards on your website, and put professional plastic cards on your countertop to entice buyers. During the holiday season, you can run a special and tack on a free lesson or class with the purchase of a gift card. People love free money, so you might also consider giving away a $5 gift card with the purchase of a $25 gift card. There’s no doubt gift cards help generate more business.

 

Final Thoughts

Remember, COVID-19 is changing the way the world does business, but people are still interested in doing business. Read ATA’s article “How to Satisfy Customers During a Pandemic” for more tips on preparing your business for the holidays. The ATA article, “Go Digital or Go Home: How to Improve Your Online Presence” also has tips for boosting your digital presence, which is extremely important amid a worldwide pandemic.

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