Have you ever wondered how the term Black Friday came to represent one of the biggest shopping days in the U.S.? It’s worth taking a peak at the history of the name, how it came about, and, most importantly, how healthcare providers are starting to take advantage of this seasonal retail event.

Media reports from 1966 reveal that police officers in Philadelphia first referred to the day after Thanksgiving as “Black Friday” because of the increased traffic jams and large amounts of pedestrian traffic in the city’s shopping district! Alternative stories about Black Friday began to emerge in the 1980s. Today, shoppers believe that retailers’ balance sheets move into the black (and some actually do!) on the day after Thanksgiving, and accept the idea that Black Friday is a retail holiday. Since then, it has come to mark the official start of the Holiday Season.

Over the years, more and more providers are becoming trendsetters when it comes to developing creative marketing campaigns and sale offers. Providers can use Black Friday to engage with customers and stand out from the competition. We’ve seen many marketing ideas over the years and the campaigns that stand out most include:

  • special financing options on large purchases items (like lift chairs, for example)
  • free delivery with purchase
  • giveaway items
  • educational/lifestyle support materials
  • free CPAP mask cleaning/fitting
  • discounted accessories/ad-on-items
  • “on sale” showroom products

Choosing a promotion is half of the campaign and telling your customers about it is the other. They need to know what you are offering, why it’s of value to them, and a call-to-action for how they can take advantage of your offer. There are many creative ways for you to get this message out to the customers in your community:

  • email newsletters/blast
  • direct mailers
  • statement/invoice stuffers
  • your website/blog
  • social media
  • billboard advertising
  • local/regional newspaper ads

Finally, remember your sales staff, customer service representatives, or your hard-working drivers who are often the last touch point with the customer. They should be well-informed and prepped for any campaign you decide to execute. That being said, we’ve also seen some providers and retailers choose to buck the trend and stay closed on Black Friday so their employees can have a long holiday weekend with family and friends.

For more stories on how HME handles Black Friday, take a look at the article below from our friends at HME News plus another article on small retailers who are getting very creative:
Sales Strategies for Black Friday + Cyber Monday
Black Friday + Small Business Saturday

Written by: Will Troesken, senior consultant

 

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