Black Friday is a term marketing executives have come up with to kick-start billions of dollars in holiday sales.  Retailers, both large and small, give their Thanksgiving weekend sales effort an extraordinary push to accomplish two very important goals:

  • Invite retail customers to take advantage of great Thanksgiving weekend prices to increase yearly revenue.  
  • Build customer loyalty.  Retail customers typically reward retailers with their business if the perception of product value and quality and service is consistent with their first experience on Thanksgiving weekend.

Ads touting big discounts are the order of the day, but the second goal, establishing a long-term relationship with the customer, is a harder nut to crack, especially in shaky economic times.  How might a company ensure that consumers will come back after the Black Friday frenzy is over?

Best Buy, which specializes in electronics and computers, is a good example of a business that has an aggressive plan to increase sales and retain customers by:  

  • Matching competitors' online prices to disrupt "showrooming," which they fell victim to in the past few years. (Showrooming is the use of phone apps to scan the bar code of a product to show the lowest price among online retailers.)  
  • Introducing "My Best Buy," a new loyalty program consisting of three tiers of progressively added incentives that includes bonus points for purchases, concierge-type customer service, and extended return privileges.  

With their retail traffic at its peak in the next few days, Best Buy is hoping that the combination of discounts and perks will provide the right opportunity to increase sales and retain customers through the holidays and beyond.  Retailers don't want a one-time customer sale and great prices with great service initiates the feeling of customer loyalty.  Many businesses would do well to consider how to implement their own double-barreled approach this holiday season.

Have you experienced excellent sales and service recently?  Which stores have earned your loyalty?