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Black Friday, But Better (Insider Tips For Small and Medium-Sized Businesses)


In 2019, worldwide Black Friday sales generated more revenue in a day than Switzerland did in an entire year hitting $717.5 billion in the process.

This year, the numbers are finally in, and 2021 will be another record-breaker.

With US sales alone accounting for over $57 billion, it is pretty clear that Black Friday is a massive opportunity for businesses of every size to boost sales.

As November 27 gets closer, these are our insider tips to make your SMB stand-out among all the noise and competition on Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

1. Forget the competition

Black Friday isn’t fair. Online retail giants like Amazon reap way more of the benefits on Black Friday and Cyber Monday than small businesses with an average upswing of 62% in overall sales.

Still, your business isn’t Amazon, and it shouldn’t try to be. 

If you play your cards right, your SMB could be one of the small retailers that can expect a healthy sales boost of 27% on Black Friday, according to last year’s data.


Focus on your business and the things it can offer. Sure, your business may not be able to provide massive discounts, but what about free shipping? 

According to the National Retail Federation, free shipping was 13% more influential than limited-time sales in driving sales in 2019.

2. Dress-up

Whether your business is online or offline, you need to make sure that your store is in top shape when Black Friday rolls around.

For eCommerce businesses, that means taking the time to work on your website banners, calls-to-action, headlines, and images to make sure your online store is optimized for the big day.

Your business can prepare for this all year round in a few simple ways:

  • A/B test conversion rates. Optimize buy now buttons, calls-to-action, and payment methods.
  • Work on your landing page. Present your messaging in a straightforward style that focuses on the products you want to push.
  • Keep the UX simple. Encourage customers to move through the conversion funnel.
  • Stay streamlined. As the number of elements on a page goes from 400 to 6,000, the probability of conversion drops 95%.

Most of all, however, make sure your website is quick. With so many competitors out there, if your website doesn’t load, then your customers aren’t going to stick around.

3. Planning pays

Business model handwritten on a board

With so many retailers offering such big discounts, it can be easy to fall into an unrealistic business model, even if it is just for one day.

While big retailers can cover the cost and enjoy the boost in reputation, small and medium-sized businesses might not be so lucky.

On Black Friday, you need to plan to make sure that your business doesn’t take a hit for the sake of a promotion.

Discounting bundles of products is a simple but effective tactic to spread the load while also offering discounts that your customers will love.

They say that you can make a statistic for anything. And, while that isn’t exactly true, if you do your math right, your business should be able to offer discounts that actually add value. 

For example, free shipping on all orders over $50 might well negate the extra costs from your side and encourage your customers to spend more at the same time.

Black Friday isn’t easy, but it is worth it.

4. Go mobile

One of the most common advantages that small businesses have over large ones is customer loyalty and communication.

And one of the best places to be in touch with your customers is on mobile-devices.

In 2019, mobile sales on Black Friday topped $2.9 billion.

Mobile eCommerce used to be something that only big businesses could do well. These days, every business should have a responsive mobile store. 

To make your website mobile-friendly ensure that it features:

  • Responsive pages. 
  • Fast loading times.
  • Short paragraphs of text.
  • Simple, minimalist navigation.
  • Mobile search engine optimization.

Most website builders offer this functionality with their eCommerce plans, and as a small business, this is one place where you can absolutely take advantage.

5. Stay social

iPhone with social media apps

If yours isn’t one of the 72% of small businesses that use social media to promote itself, then now is the time to start.

On average, 44% of local businesses say they depend on social media to generate brand awareness, and 41% actually depend on it to drive revenue.

If this isn’t obvious, this is a good thing for small businesses on Black Friday.

Social media allows your business to communicate directly with your customers. 

Since we know that small businesses often enjoy greater brand loyalty, then it follows that social media can be an effective method to communicate offers to customers that will drive sales on Black Friday.

Remember, when creating content for social media, visual content is more than 40x more likely to get shared by your audience.

Beyond that, a smaller audience can be a benefit on social media since your business can focus on customer insights in real-time.

If you’re using Zyro eCommerce, it’s even possible to make shoppable Instagram ads and sell through Facebook too.

That way, when the day does roll around, you will know exactly what your customers want and how to give it to them.

6. Be yourself

Have you ever noticed how many start-ups try to look quirky? 

That’s not just because they are trying to stand out from the thousands of near-identical businesses in their sector.

It is also because they are trying to replicate the imperfections that people enjoy in small businesses.

Your brand identity as a small business is one of your biggest selling points. 

Since you don’t have to answer to a board of directors or to the stock exchange, you can afford to be yourself.

Obviously, don’t go overboard. But, do use those unique things that your customers know about your business in your Black Friday promotions.

Why? Well, for starters, consumers who have an emotional connection with a brand have a 306% higher lifetime value on average.

But, more importantly, it is the difference between your business and Amazon.

Amazon loses $25 million in goods per day, and a big part of that number comes through package theft. 

At the end of the day, Amazon makes enough money that it doesn’t care, and looking at that statistic; people don’t really care about Amazon.

Don’t be afraid to actually inject yourself, or your pets, or a little bit of your behind-the-scenes life into your branding. 

Your customers will care about your business if you give them a good reason. And as that stat shows, the best reasons aren’t anything to do with price.

7. Stay in touch

With all those tips in mind, your business will hopefully enjoy a record-breaking Black Friday too.

But don’t forget: Black Friday doesn’t end on November 27. 

Sure, there’s Cyber Monday, but we’re talking about making the most of the afterglow of successful customer interactions.

Yes, you can still use promotions after Black Friday to try and make those final sales, but it is more important to increase the lifetime value of the new customers that you have just made.

For that, email marketing is your best friend.

Over time, your business can use it to figure out what your customers like and dislike and use it to really narrow down your customer identity.

8. Learn your lessons

Plant growing from a pot of money

If you’ve been paying attention to this list, you should know that the final tip is to use all the new information that your business has gained to be even more successful on Black Friday in 2021.

Aside from seeing which products sold best on black friday, check your analytics to see which pages performed best.

Use that information to work out whether people interact with your website in a different way on Black Friday and optimize appropriately.

Additionally, now that you have a bigger mailing list from your new sales. It is worth investing the time to remarket appropriate products to your customers.

Show them that you understand their needs and you can guarantee that they will be back this time next year.

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Damien is a self-professed, semi-obsessed word-freak that wants nothing more than to tell small-business stories in a big way. Always scouring the market to find the right tools for the job, he is focused on finding creative ways to bring them to the people. When not writing, Damien is known to be a massive music bore, amateur radio enthusiast, and woodland wanderer.

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