Black Friday discounts and tips to grow your business

After looking at Low budget Thanksgiving marketing ideas for small business owners in a previous article, let’s take a quick look at some Black Friday tips and discounts. Did you know that if we compare Black Friday with any other Friday of the year, on Black Friday sales increase by 663%? That would be the global average. In the USA and the UK the percentage is even higher! So how would you like to sell at least 7 times more this year, considerably increasing your profit margins? Sounds good? Keep reading.  

What is Black Friday and why should you care? 

Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving and this year it will be celebrated on November 29, 2019. The name started being famous in the last decades and it marks the start of the Christmas season in the United States. It is celebrated the last Friday of November, right after Thanksgiving Thursday. 

When thinking about it, the first question that came to mind was “why was it called Black Friday? Was it somehow related to Halloween?” Because that’s what the word “black” attached to a day of the week made me think about. As we know though, it has nothing to do with Halloween whatsoever, which I think it’s great. 

The phrase Black Friday comes from Philadelphia. Back at the beginning of the 1960s, it described the heavy pedestrian and vehicle traffic that would occur the day after Thanksgiving holiday. Decades later, the phrase spread out being related to the retailers who begin to turn a profit, going from being on the negative “in the red” towards the end of the year, to being “in the black”, meaning on the profit wave. You understand that well as a small business owner, and there’s your answer about why you should care. 

What about Buy Nothing Day? 

In order to be 100% transparent and honest with you, I must mention that there’s also a Buy Nothing Day. 

Buy Nothing Day is an international day of protest against consumerism. The reason I’m mentioning it here is because it is celebrated on the exact same day as Black Friday. Yes, exactly on the last Friday of November. It started in 1992 in Canada, then caught more spark in the United States, UK, etc. 

As you can imagine, it’s celebrated by different groups of people. Those who hunt for deals celebrate Black Friday by buying lots of stuff, while those who are not interested in spending a penny (being determined to protest against consumerism), celebrate the Buy Nothing Day that same Friday. They dress like zombies and walk around shopping malls with nothing in their shopping carts, explaining those who ask them that it’s Buy Nothing Day. 

So what can I say? Thank God for freedom to choose how to celebrate that last Friday of November. As the Spanish saying goes: “para gustos los colores”, meaning that there’s no accounting for taste. 

Now that we know there’s an alternative to spending $$$ on Black Friday, let’s see what to expect this year as pre-Christmas deals, and how you can offer the best deals to your clients as small business owners. 

Black Friday 2019 | Statistics and what to expect

According to statistics, this year Americans are expected to spend $87 billion on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Research shows that the average adult shopper will spend approx. $400  on pre-Christmas sales this year. 

You might be thinking that women are the ones hunting for deals and always scoring higher at shopping. While that might be the case in general, this year more men than women will be hunting for deals. 88% of men say they plan to shop over Black Friday and Cyber Monday, versus 85% of women. 

It’s only a 3% difference, but it does break the stereotypes. Men are expected to spend an average of $436.20 while women will limit themselves at $377.94, about $60 less than men, according to research. 

What age group is your target market?

Depending on the age group your business is marketing to, you should know what their spending plans are for the end of this year. 

Baby boomers will be the highest spenders, planning to spend on average $625 for Black Friday, which is more than double what the Millennials plan to spend. It’s interesting that the main interest of the Baby boomers in pre-Christmas deals, it’s not related to gadgets and other electronic devices, as it is for the other age groups. For Baby Boomers the main spending will be for travelling this year. So if you own a little travel agency, think about great vacation packages for this age group, who has both the money and the desire to spend on relaxing trips.  

Gen X is the second higher spender this year, planning to spend $460 on Black Friday deals. They plan to spend the most on electronics (31.8 billion) and the least on beauty and makeup ($5.9 billion). 

Millennials are planning to dedicate less money to Black Friday deals this year, limiting themselves to an average of $250 per person. That is considerably less than the Baby Boomers, but it’s still a lot of money. As a small business owner though, you’d surely like to attract as much of that pie to your business, if your target market are the millennials.  


No regrets

As you’re planning on how best to attack Black Friday marketing, you should know that many of the biggest spenders mentioned above, will probably regret their purchase later. The research shows that approximately 52% of the people who have bought something on sale, ended up later regretting making the purchase. 

Why is it important to know that? Because you don’t want to sell people something they’ll be sorry about later. Be genuine in your advertising and give people something that’s worth their money, time and loyalty. This approach can bring you both their respect as well as more profit in the long run, as you build trust and offer your clients a great product or service as a small business owner. 

Offer a sneak peek of your Black Friday deals

Clients are making plans about what they’d like to get their hands on as Black Friday rolls around. In order to peak their curiosity, make a little promotional post in which you show and mention the products and services that will be a steal on Black Friday. 

If you need help creating a nice image, remember Canva tool which is your online friend for designing attractive posts. Among many others, as a quick example to get some inspiration from, I’ve seen Belk malls doing the Black Friday sneak peek quite successfully this year. Some of their deals really caught my eye and have my interest. 

What other retailers or small businesses got your attention this year? Any ideas you’ve tried and seem to be working great for your business? Please feel free to share in the comment section below. 

Promote your deals and discounts on social media

Take a little bit of time to prepare some nice visuals and share them on your social channels. Encourage people to share them, helping your small business create more buzz. Think about a frequency of posting something on social media. Ideally you should post something each day starting with the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, then on Thanksgiving, Black Friday and each day until and after Cyber Monday. 

Your main message should be informing people about the best deals, but the way you phrase it can be a little different each day. Try to add freshness and keep people interested and pleasantly surprised every day. It helps as you don’t want your campaign to come across as an aggressive sales pressure, but as a beneficial opportunity for your clients. 

You can offer 50% off for Black Friday, then you can change your message to “buy one get one free” for the rest of the weekend. This way there’s something new or different each day. 

Another little hint about social media: respond to people’s comments to your campaign. Interact with your clients, being human and genuine. Be present, kind and professional. When your client asks questions online, or make comments about your posts, they are waiting for an answer. Offering it is the way to go.  

Thank you card with a coupon 

Your clients have been loyal this year. As Thanksgiving is approaching, why not send them a Thank you card, and add a Black Friday discount coupon with it. As you’re probably not sending cards usually, your thank you note will be appreciated, and the Black Friday coupon should bring clients back to your door real soon. 

Best gifts for your spouse, boss, teacher, babysitter, cousin, etc. 

As Black Friday gives the start to the Christmas season, people are most interested in starting their Christmas shopping for gifts. Make their search easier by putting together a list of a few selected products or services of yours, offering some generous discounts. 

For example, if you’re selling homemade pastries, you can offer a “best gift for your Thanksgiving meal” including a mouth melting selection of your top sell goodies. 

If your small business is selling personalized T-shirts for example, you are very blessed as the list of ideas and combinations is pretty much endless in your case. From “gobble, gobble” fun turkey tees, to romantic “all I want for Christmas is you, sweet hubby” designs, your creativity can go really far. You can have the “best gifts for your boss” t-shirts and come up with some really cool messages.

Or “teacher of the year” with a nice quote like: “the best teachers are those who tell you where to look, but they don’t tell you what to see.” Or as Hellen Keller said it: “a well educated mind will always have more questions than answers.” Put together a Thanksgiving T-shirt with a Christmas one at full price, and maybe give a third one for free, etc. 

As a hairstylist, you can come up with: “best gifts for your favorite friend”. Included in the package can be a discounted hair service, and throwing in a freebie like a shampoo, mini hair treatment or styling product. Every woman has a one or more really close friends they need to get presents for. So why not offer some presents that spoil your friends? These types of gifts tend to be very well received. 

Introduce new products and services

If you’re wondering why should you introduce new products or services, when you already have enough to sell to your clients, the answer is obvious: for more profit! There are some new items on your portfolio of products or services which you’re just starting to sell. Great! Use Black Friday as an opportunity to present the new products in a more glamorous way and sell them at a discounted price. 

If you wouldn’t want to lower the price of the new items though, you might want to add one of your low priced existing products as a free gift, when your clients buy the newly launched products. If on top of this, you can throw in free shipping, then you can absolutely compete with the giant retail chains out there. 

Before doing that though, make sure you crunch some numbers, because no matter how awesome the sale is advertised and how big of a discount or free stuff you plan to offer, it all has to make sense on paper. At the end of the day, you need to be making money, that’s why you’re in business and you’re putting effort into a Black Friday campaign. 

For beauty industry professionals, hair stylists, salon owners, hairdressers, beauticians, makeup artists, nail tech, etc.  here are more Black Friday Marketing Ideas for Your Salon. They are more specific to your salon needs and you might want to give it a read. 

The biggest tip

One of the biggest tips we can give you if you’re a small business owner working with appointments in the beauty industry or other related area, is to check out Appointfix app Black Friday deals here and here. These deals come around pretty much once a year, so you don’t want to miss out on them. 

Happy pre-Christmas campaigning and happy shopping! Hoping your small business increases sales at least seven times this Black Friday! 😉

Emilia is Marketing Director at Appointfix, an app helping professionals and small businesses easily schedule appointments and reduce client no-shows using automated text reminders. Feel free to drop her an email at