What is Black Friday? Every year, more than 170 million people in the United States go shopping on Black Friday. These customers either browse and make purchases online or at brick-and-mortar locations. Black Friday has become one of the most lucrative business ventures available for businesses of every size. In fact, for more than a decade, Black Friday has been the biggest shopping day of the entire year.
If, as a business owner, you are unsure about the power of Black Friday, or just looking for ways to take advantage of its benefits, we can help. In this article, we will introduce you to Black Friday, its history, and how to make it work for your small business.
What Is Black Friday?
Black Friday is the unofficial title given to the Friday immediately after Thanksgiving in the United States. Thanksgiving is always celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November. The Friday after Thanksgiving has been considered the start of the Christmas shopping season in the United States since the middle of the last century. However, Black Friday is a much more recent phenomenon. Modern businesses tend to offer special deals and discounts on Black Friday as an incentive to create new business.
Stores often offer Black Friday sales starting at an hour earlier than Friday actually starts, such as midnight. Stores may also begin their Black Friday sales in the evening on Thanksgiving itself. Because Black Friday is not an official U.S. holiday, it does not generally receive support from the government. However, in many states, public employees, students, and nonretail employees are given Black Friday off along with Thanksgiving. This lets more people go shopping, boosting the economy.
What is Cyber Monday?
Cyber Monday grew out of the Black Friday tradition. Cyber Monday takes place the Monday after Thanksgiving. Like Black Friday, this day has come to be significant for sales and discounts but is geared toward online shopping rather than physical stores. Cyber Monday is much younger than Black Friday but has become a significant source of e-commerce for all kinds of businesses.
In that spirit, many companies have joined together to offer deals all through Cyber Week, the week of Cyber Monday. Meanwhile, other small businesses have begun to offer special deals and incentives to customers on Small Business Saturday, the day after Black Friday. This helps drive customers to shop at smaller, local establishments either online or in person.
Why Is Black Friday Important for Small Businesses?
Black Friday is a significant day for businesses of all types and sizes. Particularly small business owners stand to gain a lot from Black Friday and other post-Thanksgiving sales events. Many digital retailers see a major increase in their sales figures because of Black Friday and Cyber Monday specials. Cyber Monday sales grew to more than $6.5 billion in 2017 alone. This is more than double the $2.5 billion in sales merely three years prior. Black Friday, along with Small Business Saturday and Cyber Week specials, creates a unique avenue for companies to achieve record sales, and businesses can take advantage of it every year.
In 2018, Small Business Saturday alone generated almost $18 billion for small businesses, retailers, and restaurants. Since the program began in 2010, it is estimated that it has generated more than $100 billion for small businesses. And don’t forget that small businesses achieve that kind of patronage in a single 10-day time frame.
How to Make the Most of Black Friday in Your Business
Many small business owners wonder what they can do to make the most of Black Friday. We have complied 3 key tips to make your job easier:
1. Start planning ahead of time
The first step is to begin thinking about potential sales or specials your business can offer at this time of year. Starting a plan for Black Friday as soon as possible will save you work and anxiety. Waiting until the last minute only hurts you and your business. Keep a record of your sales campaigns and how they perform, too. This will help you improve for next year.
2. Use Social Media
One of the best ways to spread the news about your company’s Black Friday specials is by using social media. You can even offer special deals for social media followers to grow your audience. Simply use unique code words or tell customers to mention your social media posts when checking out. Make sure to encourage your audience to share your specials, too, so their friends and family see them.
3. Focus on your business, not your competitors
What is Black Friday? Definitely, it’s not a competition. A key component to keep in mind is that Black Friday and the Christmas shopping season are not about competing with larger companies. This time is really a prime scenario for improving your business’s sales and growing your customer base. Competing with big brands is, usually, a waste of your time. Many people love patronizing small, local businesses, and you can use your Black Friday or Cyber Monday specials to appeal to that impulse. Make sure to consult your audience, too. Ask your customers what they would like to see for Black Friday or what types of deals they most value.
We hope that by answering the question “What is Black Friday?” you gained some insight into the importance of this date. Do not be afraid to make the most of the Black Friday shopping period. At Camino Financial, our goal is to help small businesses be the best they can be. The best way to engage with Black Friday customers is to listen to them and try to meet their expectations. And above all, we recommend you to start planning your big sales as soon as possible. It’s never too early to start! What will your next big sale be?
Learn here how to price your products for Black Friday.