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A Guide to Black Friday & Cyber Monday sales for independent retailers

What’s Black Friday & Cyber Monday 

Black Friday is considered the start of the U.S Christmas shopping season and is always the day after Thanksgiving. On Black Friday retailers offer promotions both in store and online. This year Black Friday will be on Friday 27th November. Cyber Monday, launched in 2005, originated as a way for ecommerce to compete with bricks and mortar retailers. Cyber Monday is always the Monday after Thanksgiving which this year will be the 30th November. In recent years the consumer event of Black Friday and Cyber Monday have become more prominent globally and now, both events are seen in businesses throughout the UK. 

Why get involved? 

Large multiples and online giants have dominated Black Friday weekend historically, with many independent retailers questioning how they can compete with doorbusting deals, or if it’s even worth taking part. We’ve listed the pros and cons to consider, as an independent retailer, when considering joining in with Black Friday and Cyber Monday. 


Pros Cons
Benefit from the traffic of shoppers looking for Black Friday offers. Trying to compete on price will result in slim to no product margin.
Opportunity to clear lines to make way for new products. Pressure on retailers to devalue their business.
Instead of attempting to compete on price, independent retailers can set up a retail campaign that is unique to their business. Difficult to be heard without allocating a big budget.


Adapting your Black Friday and Cyber Monday strategy considering Covid-19

Retailers will need to adapt this year due to social distancing measures to not only drive sales but to keep queues and crowds down.

Plan now, but remain flexible

The key to success over Black Friday and Cyber Monday is to plan early and to make sure your plan is flexible. Decide what promotions you want to run and make sure that stock is available from your suppliers.

If you’re running an in-store campaign make sure that if your business was to temporarily close, due to government guidelines, that you can transfer your offering online easily.

Spread offers out

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are evolving, despite being named after days of the week, in recent years large retailers and department stores have begun to run their offers over a period of weeks leading up to Black Friday, finishing with Cyber Monday on the Monday after Thanksgiving.

Only 6% of consumers plan to wait until Black Friday to begin their Christmas buying, so it’s important to cater to these demands. Last minute shoppers are being forced to reconsider their shopping habits as manufacturers and distributors struggle to meet demands.

Anticipate mission-based shoppers

It’s more important than ever to make sure your customers can find you online. If you haven’t already set up an ecommerce solution, our guide to ecommerce can help you to decide which platform is right for your business.

Due to Covid-19, bricks and mortar retailers are getting more mission-based customers rather than customers who want to come in and browse. Adapt your merchandising to reflect this, make your promotions easy to find and well signposted. You can download our free Black Friday POS that is easily customisable to promote your offers clearly.

90% of global shoppers who visited a store in the last week said they used online search prior to going to a store. By completing your Google My Business profile, potential customers can see your opening hours, and by using a service like Pointy, you can automatically list your inventory online.

Keep it local and don’t try to compete with Amazon

Play to the strengths within your business rather than trying to compete with Amazon’s prices. Focus on customer experience and connect with your local community, reach out to local influencers or regular customers with unique offers. You don’t have to offer a traditional discount for example you could donate a percentage of profits to a local charity, offer a free gift when making a purchase or enter customers into a competition to win a gift card.

Offer kerbside collection, local delivery and drop shipping to make it easier for customers who are apprehensive about visiting the high street.

black friday guidance from Bira

How can Bira Help?

If you’re already a Bira member, you can access a wide range of resources and services to help prepare you for Black Friday.

Download our free Black Friday POS below to easily signpost your deals to mission-based shoppers.

Black Friday Free Assets

Our coronavirus hub has the latest information on government legislation and support to help you trading in this difficult time.

Coronavirus hub

Members can also take advantage of exclusive buying terms and product buying discounts from our buying group, Bira Direct. Effortlessly find festive discounts for your Black Friday promotions by visiting the Festive Hub below.

Bira Direct Festive Offer Hub

It’s never been more important to have an online presence and be more visible to potential customers. If you aren’t already trading online click on the button below to find out how you can benefit from an extended 3-month free trial with ecommerce solution EKM and find out how to improve your online presence here.

Ecommerce Solutions

Benefit from a member discount on Pointy, which effortlessly lists your inventory on Google to help nearby shoppers find you, all through your ePOS system or Pointy box.


Find out more about the benefits of drop shipping as well as the latest list of Bira Direct suppliers who offer the service by clicking on the button below.

Drop shipping 101




Not a Bira member?

If you’re not yet a member but want to take advantage of the benefits available, join today from just £149 + VAT. Click the button below, email or call 0800 028 0245