Black Friday is always a chaotic time, but it doesn’t have to be. Follow our easy guide and in 12 steps, your team will be fully ready to work retail on Black Friday.

With Black Friday just around the corner, it’s time to up your prepping game and get your retail team, sales floor, and inventory in tip-top shape and ready for some Black Friday action. 

Without careful planning and preparation for this most intense shopping day of the year, you can wind up understaffed, understocked, and losing a ton of money due to unsatisfied customers and low profits.

But don’t get your holiday pants all rolled up just yet! 

We’ve gathered some great insights from successful retail companies and created a helpful guide on how you, too, can get your retail team in gear for Black Friday.

10 Steps to Planning a Successful Black Friday

Getting Ready for Black Friday

Let’s dive into how to prepare for the Black Friday rush ahead of time! 

Manage your inventory

Make sure you’re fully stocked up for Black Friday. Have your retail workers run an inventory count and look at past Black Friday sales inventory data to see what items were sold in large quantities. This will allow you to make informed decisions on which items need to be ordered and restocked. Take shipping delays into account and do this far enough ahead of time.

Also, do a walk-through of the inventory with your Black Friday team to ensure everyone knows your stock size and how to locate each item. 

Schedule enough employees

Be sure to schedule enough employees to support the Black Friday sales rush. Schedule in a few extra employees than you usually would guarantee the day runs as smoothly as possible. 

Send out your Black Friday employee schedule far enough in advance so that your team knows who will be working. 

Hire more employees if needed

Hiring seasonal workers for the holiday shopping season is a common way retail companies get around this seasonal peak. So if you’re having difficulty filling your Black Friday and Cyber Monday working schedule, this might just be a sign that you need to hire some seasonal workers yourself. 

It’s recommended to hire experienced employees who have worked during Black Friday before and properly train and mentor employees who haven’t. 

Be sure to schedule enough veteran and experienced employees for Black Friday to help and guide new employees to ensure the shift goes smoothly.

Consider using a retail management app

If you’re wondering if there is a way to make managing your business easy – the answer is an absolute yes!

An all-in-one retail management app is a great tool to streamline your day-to-day processes, keep your floor workers connected, and ensure your business runs as smoothly and efficiently as possible – even on Black Friday.

A robust and powerful retail management app, like Connecteam for instance, helps you get ready for Black Friday in the following ways:

  1. Track employee hours: With an employee hour tracker, employees can clock in and out from their shifts and automatically record their work hours using their mobile devices or a central Kiosk app
  2. Schedule employees: Create optimal work schedules and easily avoid any scheduling conflicts or unfilled shifts. Attach optional notes or instructions for your employees to each shift.
  3. Instantly communicate: Use the in-app chat to maintain a direct line of communication and keep everyone on the same page. Attach images, videos, links, PDFs, GIFs, and more to keep communication engaging and efficient. 
  4. Manage tasks: Send daily tasks and checklists to guarantee everything gets done. Receive real-time updates when tasks are in progress and completed. 
  5. Optimize training and onboarding: Create and manage fully customizable courses and quizzes for your team. Receive real-time data on employee progress and performance. 
  6. Manage inventory: Have employees check and count inventory and upload photos or videos of damaged or broken items. 
  7. Show appreciation: Recognize and reward employees for their hard work and dedication during the holiday shopping season on your company app’s social. 

Simply put, a retail management app will make preparing and planning for Black Friday shopping much easier and less stressful.

You may also be interested in our list of the best free task management software solutions of 2024.

online checklists and forms for retail industry

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Ensure employees are trained properly

Black Friday isn’t your typical shopping day. Ensure your employees working retail on Black Friday are trained properly for the massive amounts of shoppers. Some things you may want to train them on include:

  1. How to control crowds within the store. 
  2. How to spot suspicious shoppers and avoid shoplifting.
  3. How to avoid return scams after Black Friday.
  4. How to handle upset or irate customers.
  5. Who to reach if things become too chaotic or overwhelming. 

It’s a lot for employees to stay on top of, but with proper training, they will be armed with the tools needed to successfully make it through Black Friday! 

Happy shoppers after your team was working retail on black friday
Photo by Gustavo Fring from Pexels

Communicate all expectations and tasks for Black Friday

Speak to your team working on Black Friday to ensure everyone is clear on what you expect from them and their tasks and responsibilities during their shift. 

Share daily tasks or checklists with your employees, so they know what to do and can get started as soon as they arrive for their shift. 

This will help create clarity, avoid chaos and disarray, and enable your team to provide your customers with the best shopping experience. 

Show your team some holiday appreciation

Don’t forget it’s the holiday season and your employees are people, too! Make sure you show your team some holiday appreciation to boost engagement, morale, productivity, and create a little holiday cheer!

There are a few easy and affordable ways to show appreciation for your Black Friday team’s hard work and dedication:

  1. Provide them with a nice gift, like a holiday candle or a gift card. 
  2. Recognize star employees that have gone above and beyond during Black Friday and the holiday season. With Connecteam, for instance, you can easily create a post expressing your appreciation for star employees on the social feed and allow colleagues to like, comment, and congratulate their fellow workers. 
  3. Plan a holiday work party!

Managing Post-Black Friday Operations

The fun doesn’t end there! After Black Friday and Cyber Monday, you may find yourself with heaps of unsold merchandise, customers returning tons of items, and some tired, burned-out employees. Here are some simple ways to manage post-Black Friday operations. 

Extend holiday deals

If following Black Friday and Cyber Monday you find yourself with a lot of unsold merchandise, extending your Black Friday deals a bit longer is a great option. The same goes for online stores that want to boost online shopping.

You can promote your holiday deal extension online as well, for instance, through social media or email marketing campaigns to get extra exposure and increase sales. 

Train employees about return fraud

Return fraud is a real thing that you should be concerned about. Due to the Black Friday rush and massive amounts of items sold, criminals know it is a good time to commit return fraud. 

Forbes notes that these criminals “have a deep knowledge of different large retailers’ policies, products, and returns processes — more than enough to cheat their way to a fraudulent return.” 

To combat these return frauds, train employees to spot fraudulent activity and communicate your return policy so everyone knows what customers can and cannot return. 

Use your experiences to plan for next year

Be sure to look back at how your Black Friday operations went and determine which aspects went well and which could use improvement. 

Did you hire enough staff? Did you schedule enough employees? If not, you know where you went wrong and know not to repeat the same problem next year. 

You can apply this approach to nearly every aspect of your business. For example, go through the inventory again and learn what customers did and didn’t like. What can you do differently next year to prevent buying too much merchandise or too little? 

Bottom Line on How to Prepare for Black Friday

While getting ready for Black Friday can be challenging and create a sense of urgency, it’s achievable with the right amount of planning and can even be made easy with an all-in-one retail management app

Be sure to get your inventory in check, your team in shape, and everyone on the same page regarding what they need to do to make Black Friday a huge success. And, of course, don’t forget to show your team some appreciation for their hard work and put everything you’ve learned into next year’s prep!

Good luck!

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