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The UPS Store Small Business Blog
  • 25 November 2022
  • Tiffany Carey

How Black Friday Has Become a Season for Small Businesses

Black Friday, the Friday after Thanksgiving, is known for the year’s deepest retail discounts on merchandise and extended store hours. Buyers research in advance, are out in droves and hope to save money during the busy holiday season. But you may have noticed, Black Friday is no longer just one day. Not only do discounts last well into December, but retailers have also moved their holiday sales up – some start in October – essentially making it a “Black Friday Season” that lasts for over two months.

crowds inside mall shopping

Small Business Owners Can Reap the Rewards of Their Own Black Friday Season

So, why are businesses extending Black Friday, turning it into an entire shopping season? In 2015, Amazon introduced “Prime Day” in July, promising to beat Black Friday prices. Other retailers like Target and Best Buy quickly followed suit with similar sales as shoppers started thinking about the holidays in July. Amazon upped its game in October with its first ever “Prime Early Access Sale,” a second “Prime Day” to rid itself of excess inventory. These massive online sales have closed the calendar gap prior to traditional Black Friday sales.

What do these sales have in common? They’re online. According to a recent study by eMarketer, e-commerce will make up 18.4% of total 2022 US holiday retail sales, equating to an approximately $25 billion increase over 2021. Fortunately, brick-and-mortar retail sales growth is still expected to increase by 5.9%, roughly a third of the 16.5% growth retailers experienced last year.

Small Business Owners Can Reap the Rewards of Their Own Black Friday Season

Now more than ever, small business owners need to position themselves within the online space to meet this growing demand for e-commerce.  Ensuring inventory and website links are accurate and working correctly for the Black Friday season is paramount to keeping online shoppers shopping. According to a survey by, one in two visitors abandon a website that takes more than six seconds to load.

By creating a seamless e-commerce experience, small businesses are primed to optimize their own Black Friday season by promoting their products or services with irresistible offers. Additionally, small business owners can use this time to nurture robust buyer-to-seller relationships on a level that larger retailers cannot, which will increase revenue no matter the time of year.

As demonstrated by Amazon, this season is also an incredible opportunity to sell out older stock and introduce new products. Many retailers are stuck with a mountain of excess inventory as the supply chain opens up post-Covid. Since consumer intent-to-purchase is heightened, it’s a great time to off-load excess merchandise to make room for spring inventory.

Holiday Excitement and Inflation are Driving Spending and Early Black Friday Deals

According to McKinsey & Company’s recent Consumer Pulse Survey, people in the United States are more excited for the holidays than they’ve been in years, and they’re looking for value. The survey said most of its respondents have savings to spend. Because small businesses benefit from being nimble, they can move quickly, jump into Black Friday opportunities, and take advantage of an optimistic and eager-to-spend consumer base.

But what about inflation? Inflation intends to reduce the purchasing power of consumers. Ironically though, US consumers keep spending despite inflation surges. The data shows buyers are actively shopping, so big-box stores and national chains are striking while the iron’s hot. Small businesses can too.

It’s clear that Black Friday has evolved into a months-long season of deals and discounts for shoppers looking for bargains. This trend is likely to continue and small businesses can capitalize on it by being prepared, staying flexible and having a goal to end the year in the black.

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