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16 inspiring small business Black Friday ideas to drum up sales

small business Black Friday ideas

If you're an eCommerce business owner, listen up: the holiday season selling season is nearly upon us. Are you prepared to rake in that potential profit?

Even if your online store is brand new, you can still get in on the year-end sales blitz that takes place during Black Friday (and Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday). What’s more, you don’t need a huge marketing budget or drastic price cuts to grab your share of the market. All you need is a solid plan, a flair for promotion and a little bit of creativity.

Get your small business off of the sidelines. Use these 16 small business Black Friday ideas to find your inspiration and ramp up your sales.

Tackle Black Friday with an online store from Wix.

16 small business Black Friday ideas

01. Build value with product bundles

While it’s true that Black Friday shoppers will look for unbeatable deals, they’re not just interested in a low price tag. They’re also seeking value. That’s why product bundles are a top Black Friday idea for small businesses. By pairing related products and offering them at a combined, discounted price, you can create excitement for your customers and bring them added value.

The perfect pair—or trio—of products may also increase your average order value and boost your overall revenues. If you sell electronics, for example, you can bundle screen protectors and a charger with every new smartphone purchase. Sell fitness equipment? Consider combining dumbbells, resistance bands and workout mats into one unbeatable package. From your Wix store dashboard, you can use the Multiorders app to sell a bundle of items while still selling the items that make up the bundle individually—all while keeping track of your inventory.

Another Black Friday idea for small businesses: pair best-selling products with those that aren’t selling as well. This will allow you to sell off overstocks and clear out your warehouse.

02. Create curated collections

Black Friday kicks off the season of giving, and curated product collections can help your customers find the perfect gifts for their partner, family members or friends. Getting started is easy. Review your current product catalog and carefully select specific items that relate to your customer segments.

You could offer 10 gifts for foodies in your family, 20 fabulous gift ideas for under $20 or 15 amazing handcrafted trinkets that everyone will love. Or, you could create bespoke collections featuring your store’s most frequently purchased or highest-rated products.

Roll out your curated collections before Cyber Week. Then, add a wish list feature to your store’s eCommerce business website so your customers can save their favorite curated items and buy them on Black Friday with a single click. From your Wix dashboard, you can use the Wix app to create product collection categories to make it easy for customers to find what they are looking for.

Small business sales stories: Wix user Cristal Scott is the name (and hands) behind Cristal’s Clay, an online shop selling handcrafted clay earrings out of San Antonio, Texas. In 2022, Cristal’s Clay offered a limited-run line of curated rainbow keychains in honor of Small Business Saturday (the day after Black Friday, which is dedicated to supporting small and local businesses). For Cyber Monday, Cristal also offered 20% off everything in the shop.

03. Run a flash sale

As years of out-the-door lines for doorbusters have taught us, Black Friday success is all about timing. By running a flash sale, you can build a sense of urgency and encourage your customers to visit your eCommerce website or brick-and-mortar store multiple times on the big day.

Flash sales can work for all types of businesses and can even serve as the small business eCommerce replacement for the early-bird deals found at brick-and-mortar stores.

There's a lot you can do in terms of Black Friday sale ideas for small businesses. You can offer hourly deals on certain products throughout the day. Or you can start the morning with a small discount (5% off all purchases) and then further reduce prices on low-selling items as the day rolls on. Adding a countdown clock to your website and sending reminder emails (“Hurry! Time is running out.”) are two ways to encourage impulse buys and make your flash sales a hit. The Wix Countdown Clock app for online stores will tick down the days, hours, minutes or seconds leading up to any future event.

Pro tip: Explore eCommerce website templates to help you get started.

Wix Countdown app

04. Build some mystery

Sometimes, you don’t even have to advertise your low prices to generate small business Black Friday excitement. A mystery deal will get your customers excited about the potential to save big. All they have to do is virtually “scratch off the gift” (that is, follow the link in their email) to reveal their special discount. Your “mystery gifts” can include things like special discount codes, 10% off specific Black Friday items or special prices on specific items.

Mystery sales send a message that you’re thinking about your customers and offering them a special surprise. They also encourage customers to engage with you so they can discover their deal.

05. Sweeten the deal with freebies

Who doesn’t love getting something for free? Black Friday offers small businesses the unique opportunity to show both new and returning customers some appreciation by offering a small trinket at no charge.

Do you run a boutique clothing store? Consider giving away a free pair of socks with every set of shoes sold. Are you a makeup merchant? Throw in a free sample of a low-cost skincare product as a bonus with each purchase. Sell hair products? Give customers a link to a free class hosted by one of your best stylists.

You may choose to give out a very low-cost freebie to all customers. Or, you can set your freebies to trigger at a certain dollar amount (such as, “Free gift wrapping for all orders over $50”) to encourage your customers to spend more.

06. Partner with others

Whether you’re just researching how to start an eCommerce business or your store has been up and running for years, know that there’s strength in numbers. Cross-promotions or partnerships with other stores can help your small business compete against the bigger Black Friday players.

Maybe your jewelry store could team up with a boutique and share each other’s best Black Friday deals with your individual customers. Perhaps your home décor business could partner with a local antique shop and do one-day social media “takeover” events on each other’s Instagram feeds. In either case, you’ll open up your products—and your best deals—to a whole new audience.

Another partnership idea: join forces with a local nonprofit and offer a donation ($1, for example) for every sale. This may help inspire mission-minded shoppers to buy at your store. It will also show that your business is passionate about giving back to the community.

07. Check your inventory

You should understand how to handle and manage your inventory when you learn how to make a website. Before you can decide which items to promote with a wicked Black Friday deal, you need to know what’s sitting in your warehouse. Aim to understand which items are in surplus and which ones are in storage. As a Wix user, you can support these decisions by looking at one of several Wix Stores reports, such as “Slow-moving inventory,” “Inventory snapshot” or “Low inventory.”

This will help ensure that you won’t hit a common Black Friday pain point: running out of high-demand products before the day is over. It will also help you determine your best pricing strategies.

“After reviewing your inventory, you may decide to sell low-demand products at discounted prices but sell high-demand items at slightly higher-than-normal prices,” says Dana Peled, user relations manager at Wix Stores. When you start a business and build an online store with Wix, you get built-in inventory tracking tools that will sync your stock across all sales channels, giving you real-time information that can help you optimize your Black Friday preparations.

08. Pump up your online store

Last holiday season, online and non-store sales reached $261.6 billion, a 9.5% jump from the previous year. To get a piece of those sales, your website must work flawlessly on Black Friday. This is true whether you run a pure eCommerce business or operate a brick-and-mortar store with an online presence.

To stress-test your website, start by doing a virtual walkthrough. Test every aspect and see if it meets your expectations. Or, consider hiring a mystery shopper who can give you feedback on the ease (or lack thereof) of shopping on your current site. Look for any friction points—such as a lack of available payment options or a checkout process with too many form fields—and remedy them long before Black Friday begins.

In addition, make sure your website can handle increased holiday traffic safely and security. A website crash is the last thing you want to have happen on Black Friday, which is why a platform like Wix is so vital. Not only does Wix provide best-in-class, enterprise-level security, but load testing from last holiday season demonstrated that a store can process up to 750 transactions per second.

Don’t forget to use your website as a primary promotional channel, too. Create a special landing page for Black Friday deals, and use banners and pop-ups to promote flash sales and other offers.

Discover 14 other steps you can take to get ready for Black Friday in our eCommerce holiday checklist. And, if you’re an e-tailer who wants to know more about optimizing your online store in general, check out this guide on what is eCommerce.

Ready to start your holiday hustle? Build your eCommerce website today.

09. Promote early and often

While Black Friday is the historic start of the holiday season, today’s shoppers start thinking about gift shopping long before Thanksgiving weekend. This year, 50% of consumers expect to start their holiday shopping before Halloween. That’s why it’s important to begin your promotions as soon as possible.

Target mid-October as your Black Friday promo launch date. This will bring two specific benefits: you’ll capture more early-bird customers, and you’ll gain extra time to test your website copy and promotions, make small tweaks and perfect them in time for the big day.

10. Engage with email

Of all your potential Black Friday marketing channels, email is one of the most important. It’s a way to engage directly with your customers, promote your deals and offer incentives designed specifically for them.

You can handle all of your email marketing directly from your Wix dashboard, where you can set up simple automatic campaigns (letting customers know about the upcoming sale), monitor advanced analytics and work with customizable forms.

A few best practices for your email marketing strategy include:

  • Be specific: Segment your lists based on your customers’ purchase history and create personalized campaigns targeting specific shoppers with products you know they’ll love.

  • Be engaging: Write engaging subject lines that tell customers exactly what they’re getting and motivate them to take action. Phrases like “20% off,” “Save $10” or “Reveal your mystery deal” will improve clickthrough rates and encourage eCommerce customer engagement.

  • Be vocal: Encourage customers to share your emails with their friends to build anticipation and broaden your audience.

11. Optimize your organic social media plan

Stretch your free advertising “dollars” as far as possible by maximizing your social media channels in the days and weeks leading up to Black Friday. Post teasers on Facebook, Instagram and X (formerly Twitter). Create videos that showcase bundled product offers or curated items.

Promote your discounts in an Instagram story. Use a countdown clock to build anticipation. Consider running contests that could offer your fans and followers additional and exclusive discounts.

Then, on the big day, encourage your followers to share their favorite deals using hashtags such as BlackFriday, BlackFridaySale or BlackFridayDeal. Or invite TikTokers to use your business’ unique hashtag. This will establish your business as a Black Friday destination and encourage more customers to check out your store.

12. Amplify your online advertising

Your organic social strategy will only take you so far. For maximum Black Friday results, you’ll also want to invest in a paid advertising strategy. This can include Google Ads or paid social media posts. The former can help you capture sales as people search for products or research similar items on Google; the latter can help you get your products in front of the right people as they’re casually scrolling on social media. Either can additionally retarget people who’ve already engaged with your site or social profiles in the past.

If your online store is powered by Wix, you can manage Facebook and Instagram ads and Google Ads directly from your website dashboard. All you need to do is create the ad campaign and set a budget. Then, Wix will take care of the targeting and A/B testing, continually optimizing your ads for maximum performance.

13. Take a multichannel approach

Your online store, email and social strategies will all attract online shoppers to your small business Black Friday deals. But what about customers who aren’t online? Two potential ways to reach out to them:

  • Try direct mail: Sending postcards or flyers to your customers by “snail mail” can surprise and delight, especially if you’re a pure eCommerce business that seldom uses physical mail channels.

  • Use in-store and “in-package” promotions: If you have a brick-and-mortar store, promote your Black Friday sales with in-store signage. Consider creating postcards or flyers promoting your best Black Friday deals, then drop them into customers’ bags each time they make a purchase a week or two in advance of the big day.

  • Expand to other marketplaces: Being truly “omnichannel” in your sales approach means expanding your presence to other online touchpoints. For example, consider selling on channels like Amazon and eBay in addition to your online store, both of which you can easily sync from your Wix dashboard. Remember that each platform has its own terms, conditions and quirks, so you’ll want to familiarize yourself with them before diving straight in.

14. Extend your deals beyond Black Friday

Black Friday used to be a one-day event. But now it’s expanded to Cyber Week, a seven-day period that also includes Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday. That means small businesses now have more opportunities to boost their profits beyond the traditional Black Friday sales.

For starters, create a second-chance or last-chance sale targeting customers who placed items in their online cart on Black Friday but didn’t complete the sale. By offering an extra discount for completing their purchases, you can reduce your cart abandonment rates, which reached 74% on mobile and 81% on desktop last Black Friday.

Saving a few of your best deals for Small Business Saturday is another wise move. Last year, Small Business Saturday drove $17.9 billion in sales alone.

Small business sales stories: Wix user Melita’s Home celebrated the whole weekend of Small Business Saturday with a holiday pop-up shop at their Ossining, New York storefront. The event featured handmade goods, crafts and food in celebration of locally owned businesses.

15. Shore up your service game

To turn any new shoppers into loyal customers on Black Friday, you’ll need to deliver outstanding customer service. Start by reviewing your return and shipping policies on your website. Make sure they’re up to date and accurate. Double-check all of your promotional content for accuracy so customers will understand exactly what to expect.

Consider setting up FAQs on your website specifically related to Black Friday. Also, offer multiple ways for your customers to contact you, such as email, phone or social media. Remember, you’ll need to deliver exceptional eCommerce customer service for a successful holiday sale.

16. Try a Black Friday alternative

While Black Friday gives small businesses a proven boost, it may not be for everyone. Some eCommerce and brick-and-mortar companies offer low prices all year long and choose not to participate in the big day. Others take a different tack by offering their best deals the week before Black Friday to attract shoppers who are already prepared to shop and save. The best approach for your business will be based on the type of products you sell, your customers’ historic shopping habits and your past Black Friday results.

cyber monday sales

Is Black Friday good for small businesses?

Yes. Here are four good reasons to put your best foot forward on Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday:

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