Black Friday Cyber Monday Tips for Small Businesses Amid Labour Shortages
As Ontario prepares for the upcoming holiday season, many industries are bracing for serious disruption as nearly 400,000 jobs are unfilled across the province.
With Ontario’s labour market continuing to see a dire shortage of workers to fill jobs, retail employers are facing a tough hiring situation during the busy holiday shopping period. Experts say the federal government needs to ramp up its immigration efforts to bring workers from other countries.
According to Rocco Rossi, president and CEO of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, more than 60 percent of the organization’s members across Ontario are “experiencing difficulty in filling positions.” Rossi further explained that the shortage is not specific to any one sector.
The current high vacancy rate of jobs is beneficial to workers. It is often not difficult for most workers to get a job these days, but for society the news isn’t so good. The goods and services we expect to be readily available may be at stake.
The Retail Council of Canada says labour shortages are a challenge for retailers. The Upper Canada Mall in Newmarket, Ont., is holding a job fair this weekend in an effort to fill 220 positions — more than double the number of openings in its last fair in March.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday (BFCM) are two significant revenue drivers for retailers as they look to give their customers the holiday season of their dreams. However, even though BFCM’s two-week window means shoppers have more time to shop, it also presents a new challenge: finding ways to delight customers in an increasingly competitive environment while facing a significant labour shortage.
As the retail sector braces for its busiest shopping months, businesses can leverage a few of these tips to help get ahead of the holiday season rush.
As the holiday season approaches, stay on top of email marketing campaigns. Many customers pay closer attention to emails during this time in anticipation of savings, and businesses can expect a more attentive audience. Consider setting up automated emails for price drops, savings and promotions notifications. Providing these as soon as they happen will help to increase conversions on your site or within your brick and mortar store.
Employing social media tactics are a great benefit to many businesses. If your company however does not have budget to support paid advertising, consider turning to Facebook or Instagram shopping. As a small business owner, it is important to create content for your social media account(s). It is a great way to get people talking about your brand and building trust with potential customers. But if you are not also using Instagram Shopping, you may miss an opportunity to sell more products. With 200 million accounts browsing the Explore tab daily, it is easy to get in front of more customers than ever before.
Review which items are best suited for discounts
Retailers can use data from the past year to predict what will be hot this season, or even what’s likely to be on trend for next season. These insights can help them better determine which items they should discount in order to drive sales. By looking at your customers’ recent purchase history, you can see products that have been purchased together and discount accordingly. This allows you to target specific items to cross-sell other items that may be of interest to customers. It also helps reduce cart abandonment, resulting in increased sales.
Pace sales and discounts over an extended period of time
It is easy to get caught up in the rush of BFCM. However, with so many promotional sales hitting this weekend, the average consumer is likely to be overwhelmed by discounts, deals and offers. Merchants who stagger their sales over a period of time will be able to spare customers from “shopping fatigue,” while increasing their chances of sale opportunities. Shoppers that are offered discounts over an extended period instead of just this weekend will also likely be happier.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday are not only inflated sales days, they’re also opportunities to identify your customers needs. Whether you are just starting out or a well-established store, this is the time to get involved and connect with your customers. Black Friday and Cyber Monday are often the perfect opportunity to not only gain new customers but create a community around your brand.