From The Editor | November 21, 2011

Four Tips For Black Friday Excellence

Retail WFM 2011 Post-Show Wrap-Up

By Erin Harris, associate editor

It's Thanksgiving Week, and the countdown to Black Friday is on. Some retailers, such as Target and Walmart, will be open on Thanksgiving Day with "pre-Black Friday" deals. Toys 'R' Us will open at 9 p.m. on Thanksgiving for those looking to purchase "Let's Rock! Elmo" and all the other goodies deemed must-haves by children of all ages. No matter what time your store opens later this week, here's a compilation of some last-minute marketing tactics to consider before the Black Friday masses take over your stores.

Earlier this month, I told you about a conversation I had with Joe LaRocca, senior asset protection advisor at NRF during which he imparted ways to thwart theft and fraud this season. In that same spirit, I recently spoke to Chris Duffy, VP workforce operations and strategy at The Home Depot, about the home improvement giant's plans for the holiday season. Duffy explained that thanks to the incorporation of strategically-placed "gift-giving centers" combined with seasonal products to ready the home for the holidays, The Home Depot has created new business between Black Friday and Christmas over the years — and projects the same outcome for this shopping season.

The Home Depot's made adjustments over the years to attract Black Friday shoppers. According to Jim Davidson, manager of marketing research at Bronto Software, "Retailers are in full holiday marketing mode and the tendency for many marketers is to watch, wait, and observe as their carefully crafted plans are implemented, but there are always tweaks and adjustments that can be made at any stage." Here are some last-ditch, light-lifting ways Bronto's compiled to keep your numbers up and your customers satisfied throughout the shopping season.

Holiday Centric Email Navigation

  • Highlight the "Gifts" section by using a different color treatment or seasonal imagery.
  • Include "Shop For" navigation with bold headings to help shoppers find the perfect gift by categories, such as "For Him/Her," "Mom/Dad," "Gifts Under $20, Under $50, Over $75," "Top Rated Products."

Countdown Promotions

  • Entice your audience with daily deals, progressive discounts, countdown promotions, and flash sales.

Social Call-To-Action

  • Provide clear calls-to-action for fans and followers to "Like" you, "Like" a product, and share your holiday offers.
  • Encourage sharing with incentives and rewards and make sure you engage the conversation without forcing a conversion.

Go Mobile

  • Drive holiday sales in-store and online with QR (quick response) codes, SMS (short message service) coupons, and promo codes for your mobile subscribers.

Once the Black Friday dust settles, let us know how your efforts fared by emailing me at Until then, from all of us at Integrated Solutions For Retailers/Retail Solutions Online, Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!