Sign Up to shop
Growing a Business

Black Friday: Should Your Small Business Take Part?


There’s an unmistakable chill in the air. Leaves are turning brown, and crunching underfoot. The nights are drawing in. It can all only mean one thing: Black Friday is just around the corner. 

If you’re wondering whether or not to take part this year, or indeed any year, we’ve pulled a few stats and pointers to help you make this decision. By the end, you should feel more confident about whether Black Friday discounting is actually right for your store.

On this page

  1. Black Friday is losing its novelty
  2. But it’s still a huge day in the retail calendar
  3. It’s very ecommerce-centered
  4. Preparation is key
  5. More people are using Black Friday for their Christmas shopping
  6. The most popular purchases are still electronics and tech, followed by adult fashion
  7. Ask yourself if it’s really ‘you’
  8. Small Business Saturday could be a better alternative

1. Black Friday is losing its novelty

There’s only so many years you can watch people fighting over new TVs before Black Friday loses its ‘charm’. Some research suggests last year may have been the tipping point, but this is of course hard to separate from the effect of lockdowns and pandemic-related economic uncertainty. 

What is on the rise, however, is anti-Black Friday campaigns, and their celebration. From Pategonia’s ‘Don’t buy this jacket’ campaign, to Allbirds’ ‘Break tradition, not the planet’, major brands are stepping forward to highlight and stand against the wasteful and excessive impulse purchasing that Black Friday can encourage. In 2023, 29% of people reported regretting a previous Black Friday purchase, with 24% saying they 'rarely used' the items they bought. 

2. But it’s still a huge day in the retail calendar

Black Friday may have lost its novelty, but people still spend a huge amount. There’s no denying it’s a huge day in the retail calendar. 

In fact, with deals emerging earlier and earlier each year, some people are now dubbing the event ‘Black November’, with deals pages for the event emerging months in advance, ready to be populated with fresh offers as they're released. 

It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. Each year, every brand and affiliate site wants to be the first to reach Black Friday shoppers, which in turn means the deals start to come out earlier (and last for longer) each year. 


3. It’s very ecommerce-centered

Perhaps it’s the all too familiar footage of crowds storming department stores, perhaps it’s Covid, perhaps it’s because most adults work on a Friday, or more likely, it’s a combination of all three and more… but the Black Friday period is now very much an online affair. 

Online sales were up 7.5% for Black Friday 2023 compared to 2022, with 52% of online sales now happening over mobile. 

If you don’t currently have an ecommerce option, you’re unlikely to feel the full benefits of Black Friday. Fewer people will be seeking out bargains on the streets. 


4. Preparation is key

If you do decide to participate in Black Friday and don’t advertise this, you aren’t going to see the results you want.

Make sure your website is up to the challenge of taking in an extra influx of visitors, and be sure to announce your promotions on all social media channels once they launch (you may also want to run some Black Friday focused paid ads). 

We generally don’t recommend mentioning your sale until it actually launches. This is because you risk encouraging people to hold off on making purchases in the days leading up to Black Friday because they know you’ll be offering a discount around that time. 


Tech and electronics is still the most popular category to shop over the Black Friday period (although it’s dropping each year), with ‘adult fashion’ coming in second. 

This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t discount items which aren’t in these more popular categories, but it gives an indication of where consumers plan to make big savings, and to spend their money.


6. Ask yourself if it’s really ‘you’

We recently conducted a survey of our UK retailers, with 93% saying that sustainability is 'a focus’ for their business in the next year. 

Sustainability and wild discounting periods don’t generally go hand in hand. Sustainable swimwear brand Stay Wild Swim only runs one annual sale with very conservative discounting. Because they produce swimwear with such strict sustainable and ethical practices, they cost more to make, and the markup is a lot smaller. This is common for more sustainable businesses — it’s not just that they don’t want to encourage reckless consumption, it’s that they only have a little bit of margin to work with.

The Green Out Black Friday movement encourages ‘planet-positive brands across the world to come together to take a stand against unconscious consumption and support sustainable businesses’. It cites some terrifying stats about the impact of excessive Black Friday consumption, like the 429,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions churned out by UK Black Friday deliveries in the last year alone.

And for some businesses, it’s not right from a brand messaging point of view. Squarespace, for example, only ever offers a maximum discount of 20%, which fits with its sleek and classy brand proposition. Wix, on the other hand, is constantly offering 50% discounts — it’s targeting people who want to feel like they’re getting a bargain. 

The bottom line is, don’t feel you have to rock bottom Black Friday discounts just because it’s what bigger businesses are doing. 

Could you put your own spin on Black Friday? Maybe turn it into ‘Green Friday’ by offering a reusable tote bag with every purchase? 


7. Small Business Saturday could be a better alternative

Small Business Saturday is a grassroots campaign which encourages customers to turn their attention to supporting small businesses on the Saturday after Black Friday. Let them know if you’re planning to get involved, and how, and you can get a shoutout on their social media, or a profile on their blog. 


Final thoughts

Maybe asking whether or not to take part in Black Friday isn’t the real question here. The real question is how to take part in a way which works for your business; if you choose not to get involved, this is a statement in itself, and something you can use to strengthen your brand image. And remember, Small Business Saturday is on hand as a viable and growing alternative way to boost your small business, without needing to cut your margins to the wire. 

Not registered with CREOATE yet? Sign up now and sell wholesale with us today.

Related articles:

Browse Popular Categories at CREOATE: Wholesale Jewellery | Wholesale Gifts | Wholesale Stationery | Wholesale Beauty Products | Wholesale Mugs | Wholesale Homeware | Wholesale Pet Supplies | Wholesale Gourmet Food | Wholesale Garden & Outdoor | Wholesale Baby & Kids Products

Browse Trending Collections on CREOATE: Wholesale Halloween | Wholesale Mother's Day Gifts | Wholesale Father's Day Gifts | Wholesale Valentine's Day Gifts | Wholesale Spiritual Supplies

>> View all

Join us

Never miss a thing!
Subscribe to our newsletter and stay up-to-date with CREOATE.

No Joining Fee
Low order minimums
Free shipping