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  2. Is Black Friday Significant in the UK?


When most people think of Black Friday, they think of huge crowds storming crazy American stores, fighting over TVs or tackling each other to get hold of reduced tablets and phones. After all, this was originally an event that came with Thanksgiving, a distinctly American holiday.

However, Black Friday is gaining an increasing foothold outside of the United States. In recent years, it has become a much-anticipated event in the UK despite the fact that it doesn’t relate to any holiday here. It is a day that seems to celebrate shopping for shopping’s sake.

There is still some debate as to how relevant Black Friday is to British retail. In this blog, we are going to explain the current situation, as well as how you can take advantage of this new and growing trend.

How Big is Black Friday?

Black Friday is not only huge already, but it’s also steadily growing. In 2014, UK Black Friday Sales totalled £0.81bn. By 2016, this had risen to £1.23bn. Last year, this shot up to an incredible £1.49bn. Despite the uncertainty around Brexit, this rise is set to continue in 2019.

It also appears that Black Friday, and it’s associated discounts, are making November a much more important month for consumer spending in general. The trends appear to show that British consumers are trying to snap up bargains in November with Christmas in mind.

According to the Office for National Statistics, in 2015, sales in the UK grew faster in November than December for the very first time. To make the most of this extended busy shopping period, businesses have to adapt. You can’t just focus on December now, November is staking its claim!

How to Capitalise on Black Friday

Whether you like it or not, Black Friday is established and here to stay. You can shake your fist at the commercialisation of society or you can embrace it and use some great marketing to increase your sales and attract a variety of new customers.

The first thing you need to work out is what deal you are going to put on. This will vary significantly depending on the type of business you run, but the vast majority of companies should be getting involved.

Don’t be afraid to go all-in particularly for VIP customers, if you are a company that posts regular sales, 10-20% discounts aren’t going to cut it. Discounts have been getting bigger and bigger in recent years, in order to stand out your offer needs to be compelling. If you don’t want to discount your entire store at once you can try category-specific sales to engage website visitors and generate incremental sales with higher margins.

Black Friday typically runs Friday to Monday on the last weekend of November. This year that covers the 29th November to 1st December.  However, depending on your customer base discount days could be stretched out across all of November. 

Businesses who primarily operate online will benefit hugely from Cyber Monday on the 2 December, while those with American or Chinese customer bases need to note key dates like, Thanksgiving and Single’s Day on the 11th and 28th. 

Many retailers now promote their sales long before Black Friday, dropping teasers and early access. Creating a Black Friday buzz-building campaign is just as important as the deal itself. Utilize countdowns, social media ads and segmented emails for maximum impact. Whatever your promotional strategy, it should be coordinated across all online channels, email, social etc. your online and offline store also need to tie in to maximize sales on the day. 

If you’re worried about site performance, now could be time for a refresh. Re-platform if you need to or be sure to have a backup plan installed if problems arise. Many businesses have lost out on Black Friday due to site crashes and slow load times. Ensure your website is running efficiently and is fully optimized before launch.

It’s also not too late to optimise your site or marketing strategy in time for Black Friday. At Red Media, our team will work quickly to come up with innovative and cost-effective marketing tactics to make sure you are all set to take advantage of the Black Friday to Cyber Monday madness. 

To see an example of some of the strategies you can use, take a look at our top Christmas marketing ideas!

Get in Touch

If your business could benefit from a digital partner to support them in the extended shopping period, get in touch today. Browse our range of services, everything from web to social can be found here.


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