Is this just an American retail fad? Can vacation rental managers profit from the hype and hysteria of the biggest day of the year for American shoppers?
Black Friday is traditionally the day after Thanksgiving, where retailers slash prices to signal the start of the festive shopping season. People camp outside shops for days prior, the queues are a mad scramble. The day has become synonymous with delirious crowds and scythed prices. For some, it’s a great day to get bargains and an early start on Christmas shopping. For others it’s a horrendous melee that is not worth the effort. Either way, there is a chance for vacation rental managers to be part of Black Friday by offering promotions and avoiding the mad rush that big name shops have to deal with.
You can take advantage of Black Friday not just by creating your own sales and promotions, but marketing your properties to coincide with the major retailers’ sales and shopping too. In America, there is a burgeoning tourism industry stemming from people travelling to the best shopping areas just for the weekend surrounding Black Friday. You could combine your promotions with advertising the local shopping in your area. Market your properties to show that Christmas shopping doesn't have to be a rushed, crowded hell-scape. It can involve travel to a new city, staying in a luxurious property, relaxing and taking your time. Black Friday presents plenty of opportunities for vacation rental managers to turn a divisive day into a worthwhile marketing angle.
Here are the best ways to promote your business for Black Friday:
Don’t Queue, Just Click!
Get all of the benefit of the Black Friday rush without having to deal with the marauding queues of people. If you do decide to offer limited promotions you may want to make sure you are ready and equipped for increased demand. A price promotion will surely bring increased traffic to your site but it thankfully won’t compare to the frenzy of shop queues on Black Friday. Shops in America regularly open at 5 am and have snaking queues for days. Make sure you use social media to promote any sales you are running and use the ease of online shopping to your advantage as much as possible.
Black Friday is the perfect time to market your properties for a last-minute seasonal or Christmas holiday. The combination of the holiday season and the emphasis on shopping gives you a great chance to fill the last weeks of the year.
Why not use images of the crowds and stuffed shops to contrast with the peace and quiet of your properties? A few clicks compared to taking to the November streets is surely going to be preferable for most shoppers.
Part of the reason that the tradition of Black Friday is creeping over from America’s shores is the publicity it generates. We have seen the power it exudes. Some companies and business have even declared it an unofficial public holiday, choosing to give staff this day off as opposed to Columbus day. When a day for shopping eclipses the day honouring the discoverer of the nation, you know this day has an immense importance for people.
Having an unbooked week coming up in the off season is the perfect chance to test out the power of Black Friday. You can fill an empty week and offer an attractive price to your guests. Using dynamic pricing to create tempting offers and having an on-line payment system that allows you to confirm and accept payment instantly will tempt shoppers to book these deals right away.
While mostly still an American trend, the ubiquity of on-line retailers means Black Friday is spreading across the world. You can use the publicity to reach American guests or do your best to use this day to book unsold weeks at attractive prices. It is certainly a strange phenomenon but days like Black Friday could be a great chance to give vacation rentals an end of year boost, no matter where they are.