Marketing Strategy

Black Friday for Small Businesses: To do or not to do?

November 14, 2023

Black Friday is traditionally the day when shopping for the festive season starts with big discounts and amazing deals tempting shoppers to buy. It’s synonymous with amazing deals it’s a great opportunity for small businesses to get in on the frenzy when consumers are primed to buy. But is Black Friday the right fit for […]

Black Friday is traditionally the day when shopping for the festive season starts with big discounts and amazing deals tempting shoppers to buy. It’s synonymous with amazing deals it’s a great opportunity for small businesses to get in on the frenzy when consumers are primed to buy. But is Black Friday the right fit for your small business? Read on to find out more.

Black Friday for small businesses– is a topic that brings a mix of excitement and anxiety every year.

Are you considering joining the Black Friday sales for your small business? Wondering how to do it effectively? Or maybe you’re leaning towards not participating this year? Whatever your stance, let’s explore the best strategies for navigating Black Friday for your business, ensuring your marketing stays strong and effective throughout the weekend.

Understanding Black Friday for Small Businesses

Black Friday is all about those eye-catching deals. For small businesses like ours, it’s a tricky balance. We get a chance to boost sales and visibility, but it’s tough competing with big companies’ heavy discounts. The heart of a Black Friday campaign is the deal itself. It’s essential to define what makes a deal irresistible for your target audience. If you’re operating on small profit margins, slashing prices by 50% – 75% might not be practical. So, let’s break down what your Black Friday offer could look like:

Bestsellers as a Black Friday Offer

Bestsellers are a fantastic choice for Black Friday. They’re already popular, which means they’re likely to attract more attention during the sale. Plus, since your audience and email subscribers might already be familiar with these products, they’re more inclined to grab the deal.

New Products as a Black Friday Offer

Introducing new products during Black Friday is a bit more complex. The challenge is cutting through the noise and getting people interested in something new. This strategy might work better for big, well-known brands or if you have a highly engaged audience. For small businesses, it’s advisable to target these offers at your most loyal customers or previous buyers. Launching a new product at a discount can devalue its ‘newness’. However, offering something unique and special to your existing customers and fans could be a brilliant move.

Deep Discounts are they right for your business?

Deep discounts, typically around 50% or more, are synonymous with Black Friday. But it’s crucial to consider a few things here: Will you still profit from these sales? Have you got enough stock to meet a surge in demand? And importantly, does deep discounting align with your brand’s identity? Brands like Chanel, for example, never discount – it’s just not their style. Consistent discounting can change how consumers perceive your brand, so it’s worth considering whether your brand is more ‘premium’ like Chanel or ‘mass-market’ like Amazon.

Alternatives to Deep Discounting

If deep discounts aren’t your thing, there are other creative ways to make an offer appealing:

  • Bundles: Grouping products together can create a new, attractive price point while preserving your brand’s value.
  • Increase Average Order Value: Set a minimum order value for accessing the Black Friday deal. This helps ensure you’re still making the profit you need.
  • Free Shipping or Additional Benefits: Sometimes, the allure of a deal lies in the added benefits, like free shipping, rather than a discount on the main product.
  • Free Gifts: Offering a free item with a purchase can be an excellent way to maintain premium branding and protect profit margins.
  • Special Editions: Limited edition products can create excitement and demand without impacting your regular pricing structure.

Should Your Small Business Participate in Black Friday Sales?

Before jumping into Black Friday, think about whether it aligns with your business goals. Is your email list engaged and well-maintained? Black Friday success often hinges on an active email list because you’ll need to communicate frequently with your audience. Also, Black Friday deals tend to be more effective with customers who are already familiar with your brand or the product category. It’s generally not the time for converting people who’ve never heard of you.

Strategies for a Successful Black Friday:

Decided to take the plunge? Here are some key strategies to make your Black Friday a hit:

  • Leverage Social Media: Use your social platforms to keep your audience engaged and excited about your upcoming deals.
  • Build Anticipation: Start creating a buzz now. You don’t have to reveal everything just yet, but hint at something big coming up.
  • Effective Email Campaigns: Focus on your most active subscribers first. Play with the frequency of your emails – just enough to keep the momentum without overwhelming your audience.
  • Abandoned Cart Automations: These are particularly useful during Black Friday. Make sure they’re in place and ready to go.
  • Retargeting Ads: Focus on retargeting your existing audience. Ads aimed at new people might be less effective due to the saturated market.
  • Let your small business shine bright on Black Friday: Black Friday weekend is exactly the time to show how your small and mighty business can do things that big business can’t. Whether that’s personalisation, exceptional customer service. It’s all in the details, so make sure your target audience knows how to appreciate exactly what you can offer. This is not the time to hold back on why your audience should buy from you.

If You Choose Not to Do Black Friday

Opting out of Black Friday? That’s totally fine! Use this time to connect with your audience in a different way. Share your reasons for not participating in Black Friday sales. Maybe it’s an anti-commercialism stance, or because you already offer good value or whether it’s simply because your products and services are awesome and worth the money you charge. Whatever your reason, be proud and share it with your community.

You can do this with your social media, email marketing, an even include your website. There is a strategy that when everyone is Zigging you’ll get further Zagging. So if your are a Zagger – go Zag with pride!!

On a practical note it’s likely that amongst all the Black Friday noise you’ll see less engagement in your marketing activities. Ads may be more expensive at this time. So don’t panic, one week does not make a trend. But whatever you do, keep up your consistency. Don’t go quite because others are shouting from the rooftops. Your audience and your customers still want to hear from you Black Friday or not.

Black Friday isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. It can be a lucrative opportunity for some businesses but may not suit everyone. Take a good look at your options, think about your audience, and choose a strategy that aligns with your brand values and business goals.

What will you do this year?

Are you a small business planning a Black Friday offer? I’d love to hear all about it! Drop a comment below and let’s exchange ideas.

And if you’re looking for more marketing advice, take my quiz at www.kristina-rutherford.com/quiz to discover three actionable steps to focus your marketing efforts and boost your results.

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Kristina Rutherford

I'm on a mission to help small business owners save time and money with my effective time saving marketing strategies. 

I believe life is for living and dreams should be realised. Anti hustle campaigner and freedom chaser. Mum of two, wife to one :) cocktail loving, solopreneur.

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Kristina is a growth marketing strategist who believes life is for living and dreams should be realised. Her no nonsense fun approach helps business owners achieve their dreams the simple way!

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