Study: Focus on Black Friday and Small Business Saturday sales

There’s Small Business Saturday. And CyberMonday. And Giving Tuesday.

Yes, it does seem that there is a day during the holiday season for just about any kind of transaction. But a study released this past week suggests your store or organization still should capture a bigger share of dollars being spent on Black Friday and Dec. 23.

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San Francisco-based Womply said it analyzed transactions from nearly 5,600 local retailers in Florida during the 2016 holiday season. The data found that Black Friday and Dec. 23 were the stores’ biggest revenue days. For example, Womply found that these businesses’ Black Friday revenues were 158 percent of normal daily revenue while Dec. 23 saw 151 percent of normal daily revenue.

By the way, Womply defined “local retailers” as independent stores based in Florida — so their sample excluded the Florida locations for big box chains like Target, Best Buy, Toys R Us and Kohl’s.

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Meanwhile, sales for the highly promoted Small Business Saturday were 141 percent of daily revenue. That’s pretty good, but certainly not as strong as they were on the traditional Black Friday and day-just-before-Christmas Eve retailing.

“I don’t think any of this suggests that local businesses should do anything less for Small Business Saturday,” said Brad Plothow, Womply’s communications chief. “But it does show that there is still a huge carryover for them on Black Friday and Dec. 23. I would continue to piggyback on that and ask, ‘What else can we do to capitalize on the Black Friday ecosystem that is already there?’”

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Womply’s findings also reported a sharp boost in sales on weekends before Christmas.

So what gives? Why is there still such dominance in retail around Black Friday and Dec. 23 despite all the push for the other shopping dates, like Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday? Plothow speculates it’s human nature. People are creatures of habit — and they procrastinate. Hence the strong push on Black Friday and the last minute boost right before Christmas.

And, I’d add, the retail industry is still structured around Black Friday. Post business reporter Jennifer Sorentrue has been reporting and posting on the release of major retailers’ Black Friday ads in the past few weeks. Her reports suggest that the Black Friday brand even holds strong for online sales promotions.

The data, by the way, back tradition for non-profits, too.

While Womply’s data show a spike in giving for religious organizations around the Giving Tuesday date — the effort to promote charitable giving on the Tuesday after the Thanksgiving holiday — the biggest spike is still right before the Dec. 31 deadline when many donors make decisions on giving for tax deduction purposes.

So what’s the takeaway? Sure, market yourself as an option on Small Business Saturday. But also figure out ways to promote and pitch deals to shoppers on Black Friday, Dec. 23 and weekends in-between.

Tradition it seems is still a very valuable asset for business at a time when it’s celebrated the most.

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