The Marketing Corner: Road to Black Friday

November 15, 2014 Updated: November 15, 2014

Bobby Helms sang the first released version of “Jingle Bells Rock” in 1958. Each year since, it’s played during the holiday shopping season at most retail locations. It’s become a tradition.

And it is also the tradition of retailers to have their registers rockin’ with cash during the holiday shopping season. As Black Friday nears, every retailer is checking their list twice to ensure they have enough product on-hand and that their promotional effort has been purchased and ready go live.

The real question is—what are consumers going to do? The economy has chugged along this year. Wall Street analysts have seen a bump in low income earners gaining employment. This could be seen as a bright spot with the expectation of these consumers spending during the holiday season. Consumer confidence is rising and expects shoppers to spend at comparable or higher levels than a year ago.

According to a RetailMeNot, there is a clear connection between deal and offer websites and shopper satisfaction, helping to predict how the numbers will look in 2014.

Electronics and apparels continue to lead expected holiday purchases. Consumers will use deals/coupons to extend overall budget they have allotted to spend.

Expect consumers to seek deals during the holiday shopping period. As a retailer, seek ways to enhance the overall shopping experience by offering reduced or free shipping, loyalty rewards and/or other savings for returning visitors if purchases are made. If you have a large database of loyalty consumers, think about offering them a private shopping session with savings not available to the general public.

These steps could go a long way to having a shopper become an ambassador who spends more dollars than planned during the private shopping session. The idea here is to keep that consumer coming back to you for all their needs and to refer your business to their family and friends.

In addition, don’t be shy to consider matching competitors’ coupons. The reality is this: in most cases, that consumer will also purchase something else. Remember to also keep your website up-to-date and ensure it is mobile ready. Make sure that all your assets, including staff, are working for an enjoyable shopping experience for the consumer. The more enjoyable the experience, the more likely the consumer will spend more time & money with you.

Adele Lassere is a marketing/advertising consultant with 20+ years experience, freelance writer and author of “Elements of Buying” (self-help advertising guide), available at Amazon.com. Adele was listed as Black Enterprise’s 2011 Top Execs in Marketing & Advertising and Black Enterprise’s 2013 Top Women Executives in Advertising & Marketing. Contact: adelelassere@gmail.com