10 Ways to Stand Out & Drive Sales During the Biggest Shopping Weekend of the Year

Black Friday kicks off the busiest shopping weekend of the year.

Shoppers experience ‘sale’ messaging overload between Black Friday and Cyber Monday. They’ll see deals everywhere they look. Stand out with sales that are clear, creative, drive urgency, provide value and most of all, make sense for you. Combine interesting sales opportunities with customer service, showcase your product expertise, and focus on your core competencies as a business.

Here are the 10 tactics you can use to set yourself up for success.

1. Market your sales before they launch

All too often, shoppers learn about a sale once it’s already launched, or even worse, when it’s already over. Why? They weren’t given any time to prepare for what’s on the way by the Seller. Use the time leading up to Black Friday to begin marketing sales you’re planning for the weekend. Big Box retailers have been doing that in newspapers forever. As a shopper, you know the doorbuster for Black Friday before you head to the store, don’t you? Replicate that strategy online. Try to get shoppers to schedule a visit to your shop over the holiday weekend by sharing teasers for what you have planned.

2. Create Doorbusters#doorbuster

The name of the game is getting traffic (or visitors) to your OpenSky page between Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Create a few doorbusters that help catch the attention of someone browsing for a great deal. Regularly, doorbusters exceed a 50% discount,  include a GWP (gift with purchase, more on that below), and are available in a very limited quantity.

3. Create Time Sensitive Promotions

Create urgency and drive engagement by creating limited time offers.  Black Friday and Cyber Monday are perfect candidates for 1-Day Sales. But don’t be afraid to push the envelope – how about 4 Hour Sales throughout the course of the day? Or a sale every hour? (if  the size of your catalog permits).  Take shoppers on a journey throughout the weekend – make it fun. Make it a game.

4. Offer Free Shipping

This weekend, you aren’t just vying for sales against online sellers – you’re competing with the brick & mortar stores that don’t any charge shipping whatsoever. Solve this by offering Free Shipping for the weekend. Take this variable off the table completely, making it a non-issue for any prospective buyer.

5. Advertise the price after discount

Don’t make a shopper work to figure out the actual cost of an item after a discount. If you’re offering 30% off, tell shoppers what the cost is as checkout.  An $42 item with a 30% discount ends up costing the shopper $29.40.  Sounds a lot cheaper than $42, doesn’t it?  Use that final price as an asset in your messaging.

6. Create Buy 1, Get 1 Deals#bogo

Commonly referred to as a BOGO offer, buy one, get one sales are a great way to communicate clear savings to a shopper. Buy one and get one for free.  Can’t get much clearer than that.  But be careful – not every item is a candidate for a BOGO sale. Do people really need two navy blue winter jackets?

7. Create Buy 1, Get 1 Half OFF Sales

The cousin of BOGO is the commonly used Buy 1, Get 1 Half OFF sale.  It has a similar effect on the shopper and is a bit kinder to your margin, but remember – this weekend isn’t the time to hold back. If you’re going to drive sales, it’s time to get aggressive.

8. Gifts with Purchase (GWPs)

This is a BOGO deal in disguise, and with more possibilities.  Think for the shopper and give them the opportunity to buy one item, and get a little something extra as an added bonus for buying.  If you sell Pancake Mix, throw in some Syrup for free. If you sell a necklace, throw in an affordable pair of earrings for free.  Give shoppers the nudge they need to buy in the moment.

9. Launch New Products

What better weekend to create some intrigue for your existing customer base?  Add some new products to your store and advertise them. Exclusive launches of new products perk of the ears of your previous customers, driving clicks, traffic and sales.

10. Create Bundles with Savings

Tis the season for gift sets, gift baskets and bundling.  Create an easy way for the shopper looking for the perfect gift.  Think for them by creating bundles that make the shopping experience stress free.

Make sure you’re tuned in over the next 9 days, as we’ll be sharing new features, updates and community wide marketing initiatives that can help land you sales and exposure over the holiday weekend.

9 thoughts on “10 Ways to Stand Out & Drive Sales During the Biggest Shopping Weekend of the Year

  1. Black Friday is, indeed, known as a huge shopping day. But I hope that we can all agree that the holiday shopping season is more than just sales: it’s about finding that perfect gift for those you love. Unique gifts, one-of-a-kind treasures, personalized hand-crafted, really special gifts. This is where artisan merchants who sell hand-crafted gifts can deliver a different KIND of shopper: Those looking for gifts with meaning, and are willing to pay a little extra for it. We cannot usually offer huge sales savings, but we CAN offer the unique experience, the discovery, the specialty item to be valued for years to come, and handed down to the next generation. I hope that during this season, Open Sky might see the benefit of offering a special “artisan preview” email, or “hand-crafted, museum-quality” offering. This fits with the discovery-spirit that Open Sky has promoted, and will do well to expand our audience.

    1. Very well said. While Black Friday and Cyber Monday are highly promotional sales days, the spirit of the overarching holiday season is just as you described it.

      And the discovery, personal touch and quality that OpenSky merchants bring to the platform is certain to provide an amazing shopping experience for each member of the community.

  2. Well said, Melissa! I couldn’t agree more. It’s hard- many people don’t understand that being a small business and making everything by hand, we can’t always afford larger discounts (especially along with free shipping and credits). But I do a 20% promotion on at least one item every day and it helps gets traffic to my store. I would LOVE it if OpenSky would consider a special email to highlight & support those of us who do handmade or handcrafted items for the holidays. There are so many of us here and OpenSky has provided us with a fabulous way to reach a new audience. Yes, Black Friday is a day people look for sales – and although we can’t provide BOGO’s or 50% discounts like the buy & sell merchants can, most of the stores don’t do sales that extreme, either. So I plan to do a few promotions for 20-30% off and hope that will help.

  3. So very well said melissasmotifs! By definition my customers are looking for that very special, one-of-a kind item, something unique, handcreated and not to be found in multiple places, that will make the recipient ask: “Where did you find this? I love it!” Which in turn will bring new interested followers. Think Galleries and Fine Giftshops!

  4. What a great post, melissamotifs! Well said. As an artist myself, it is often frustrating, especially at this time of year, not to be able to find well-made, MADE IN AMERICA gifts. I love that Open Sky gives us the opportunity to showcase our unique work. What a great place to find special gifts at a good price. It is heartwarming to me when I know that a little piece of the artists heart and soul has been “shared” in his or her artwork. I would love it, too, if Open Sky would offer a special “artisan preview” email with its members.

  5. as of the handmade-artisan community member on Opensky I want to applaud a voice from Great to hear from another artisan merchant. Melissa Motifs : )…and I’d like go a step further by suggesting that an “artisan on board type e mail preview be done once monthly sort of like what is done for other merchant groups; throughout the year so as to raise awareness of our presence here on the #opensky platform ( cause there is a huge audience beyond our followers looking for what we offer and don’t know we are here ).. Thanks for listening!: )

  6. It’s excitingto see how our community is growing and the many merchant to merchant and merchant to member relationships being formed. The mission of OpenSky is to empower the world’s best to grow their businesses and to give shoppers a way to discover extraordinary goods and people that make them. We’ve seen clear data that the more followers a merchant has, the more people they reach and interact with, the more goods they ultimately sell. Those followers can become your advocates and friends. The people that believe in you, your goods and your creativity. I encourage merchants to answer questions from members, interact with members, help them. Just like the small boutiques that we all love — our human touch makes shopping so much more meaningful.

    I love it when merchants are promoting other merchants on and off of OpenSky, when merchants are posting on Facebook (and email databases) about one another. Together we can build a vibrant and thriving network.

  7. Also, it’s really important to use hashtags every time you post a promotion. I created a list using the links on the Discover page. I use any or all of these every time I post. (depending on which apply)
    #giftsunder15 #giftsunder10 #giftsunder25 #giftsunder50 #giftsunder100 #clearance #handmade #madeintheusa #stockingstuffers #handcrafted
    and Katie has suggestsed we all use #shopsmall to get traffic on Small Business Saturday. If you are not yet using hashtags you are missing an important way to get traffic. The more of us who
    use them the better it is for ALL of us. And the more we use them the more other vendors will see them and use them. If anyone has any others they use or want to suggest, I’d love any other suggestions.

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