Posted on: 16 November 2020

The biggest shopping events of the year and COVID-19

Black Friday is one of the biggest shopping events of the year where businesses offer huge discounts for customers in the run-up to Christmas.

This year, Black Friday will take place on Friday 27th November 2020, before the end of the current national lockdown in England, where non-essential businesses have been forced to close. How will this affect Black Friday 2020, and the businesses who use the event for a surge of end-of-year business and to clear seasonal stock?

What is Black Friday?

In a previous article, we covered preparing your business for Black Friday, and how businesses have used Black Friday to encourage shoppers.

Last year, shoppers spent an estimated £5.6bn on Black Friday, which was estimated to rise to £6bn in 2020, but now that COVID-19 has forced non-essential businesses to close, many businesses are likely to miss out on Black Friday.

Which shops can remain open and which must close

Essential retail businesses are allowed to stay open and will be able to offer deals on Black Friday. These businesses can include:

  • Food shops
  • Supermarkets
  • Garden centres
  • Hardware stores
  • Building merchants
  • Off-licences
  • Bicycle shops
  • Pet shops

Shops that must remain closed for Black Friday are:

  • Clothing shops
  • Homeware and Furniture
  • Electronic goods
  • Mobile phone shops
  • Vehicle showrooms
  • Tobacco and vape shops
  • Market stalls selling non-essential goods

How can businesses still benefit from Black Friday?

Despite stores being closed for browsing, there are still ways that non-essential businesses can continue to trade under the lockdown restrictions.

Click and Collect

One of the ways that you can keep your business going under the new lockdown restrictions is a click and collect option.

This is where customers can buy their goods online and come to your premises to be able to collect their items.

To be able to offer this, you will need to have a system that you can use to let customers shop in this way. If you don’t already have this in place, research some of the click and collect systems that are readily available in the marketplace and decide which one suits your business the best.

Having a click and collect service will allow you to trade over Black Friday so that you can make the most of the event.

Delivery option

Similar to the click and collect option, but instead of your customers coming to pick up their products, you can offer to deliver them, either for a cost or for free; it’s up to you!

You will also need an E-commerce system to allow your customers to browse for products online before placing their order.

Your delivery service will also mean that you can trade over Black Friday.

Vouchers

If a click and collect or delivery option isn’t viable for your business, consider offering vouchers/gift cards at discounted rates to keep some cash coming into your business.

For example, you could offer £20 worth of vouchers for £15 that can be redeemed once your business has opened.

Offering these discounted vouchers on Black Friday will let customers spend with you whilst you are closed and shop with you again once you have reopened, but it also means that you are keeping some money coming into your business. Look at offering these vouchers/gift cards online but if not possible you could arrange to sell them over the phone.

Subscription service

Subscription services have become increasingly popular in recent years, with many businesses favouring this model of selling as it helps to increase the customers’ lifetime value.

A range of businesses have taken up this model, such as Oddballs, Nespresso and even Amazon. Is there a product that you offer that customers might need to top up regularly? If so, a subscription service can help customers buy your products regularly, whilst keeping them loyal to your business.

Use Black Friday to offer discounts on the subscription service, or even throw in extras for taking out a subscription on Black Friday.

Wait for Cyber Monday

Black Friday is traditionally used for people to shop in stores. If you have an online option, it might be better to wait for Cyber Monday and promote huge offers then instead. This year Cyber Monday takes place on Monday 30th November 2020.

Research has shown that Cyber Monday has become the more favoured shopping event in recent years, which is also a reflection of the decline of the high street.

Retail insurance with Premierline

Because of the huge amount of diversity in the retail industry, getting your retail insurance right can be a challenge. You will face a number of unique risks depending on the kind of products that you sell and whether or not you sell your products online.

At Premierline, we understand these risks that retailers face, which is why our business insurance experts will assess your business’ needs and will help find insurance quotes that are right for your business. Get in touch to speak to a business insurance professional today. 

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