8 Tips for Managing Black Friday Crowds and Customers
With Black Friday just around the corner, retailers are stocking merchandise and mentally preparing for the annual crush of shoppers. With your sanity and profitability in mind, we’ve created a 5-part blog series on Black Friday best practices for retailers. In this first article, we offer 8 tips for managing crowds and customers so everybody wins.
- Look at the day from the shopper’s perspective, studying the psychology of waiting in line. Getting inside your customer’s head can help you give them a positive, memorable Black Friday experience, while successfully tempting them to purchase more than they had intended.
- If crowds build up before your doors even open, thank those early birds while they’re waiting. Hand out complimentary coffee and cocoa or small snacks so hunger pains don’t cut their shopping short.
- If you expect an especially large or excitable crowd, managing customers will go far more smoothly if you institute formal crowd control. Use shopping carts or some other type of barrier to enforce line formation, and have a visually-obvious presence of extra store personnel, off-duty law enforcement or private event control staff on duty.
- If you aren’t usually that busy right off the bat, build a bigger “door buster” crowd by offering a special discount, a gift card, or a branded giveaway to the first X-number of shoppers.
- For merchandise likely to create a true uproar – the latest electronic gadget or a must-have toy – hand out numbered tickets to make sure the first customers in line get what they wanted. Numbers help eliminate line-jumping and other disorderly conduct.
- Place impulse items where customers will be inspired to pick them up as they’re waiting in line to try on clothes or pay for their purchases. Strategic use of the right loss leader can significantly boost your sales and profits.
- Create a second wave of excitement – or perhaps spread out your Black Friday crowd – by offering afternoon specials just as most retailers do for early birds.
- Above all else, make sure you have plenty of checkout locations and “all hands on deck” staffing to make managing customers and crowds go as smoothly as possible. Outfit your sales staff with mobile tablets, if you can, so they can assist customers and even check them out right from the floor.
The more positively you handle managing customers, the better the shopping experience you’ll provide. Your customers will appreciate it – maybe as much as your bargains.
In our next article on Black Friday best practices for retailers, we’ll take a look at store safety – a critical consideration when managing some of your biggest crowds of the year.
Palmer Retail Solutions strives to offer our clients the absolute best combination of innovation, quality, service, and value for our diversified custom store fixtures and merchandising displays. For more information about our designs, retail fixtures, cash wraps, kiosks, or point of purchase displays, visit our website at: http://www.palmerretailsolutions.com.