Prepare for Black Friday & the Festive Season
It’s the time of year where Cyber Weekend is soon upon us. This is the period of time between Black Friday & Cyber Monday where businesses take a very large amount of orders, making this time of year possibly the biggest sale period of the year. Shops & online stores create crazy, almost unbelievable deals for a limited time to urge customers to buy & encourage sales. The UK’s online shoppers spent £7bn over Cyber Weekend 2018.
We wanted to make sure that you don’t miss out, so we’ve written up some useful information for you to use over both the Cyber Weekend and the rest of the festive period…
29 NOVEMBER 2019
Typically, Brits had a different kind of Black Friday originally: The last Friday before Christmas where revellers had one too many eggnogs and things got a bit messy. That has now appeared to have been replaced by it’s equally messy American cousin, the Black Friday retail event. Coined in the 1900’s as the day after thanksgiving became a popular shopping day for the masses. A bit like our Boxing Day sales.
Small Business Saturday
30 NOVEMBER 2019
Here’s one you might not have heard of. It’s a campaign with the aim to champion small businesses. Shop local sort of vibe. Originally this started offline on the high street but some agile traders have been able to take the promotion online. And why not? There’s nothing stopping small businesses from competing online. Small Business Saturday reaches millions of customers and businesses each year. Get involved here.
2 DECEMBER 2019
Cyber Monday is just like Black Friday really. Although the difference is that a lot of people (in the US at least) are off work on the Friday, but back to work on the Monday. So we guess it’s easier to order online than hit the shops on the Monday. Most of the deals from Black Friday go right through to Cyber Monday anyway. Many retailers count Cyber Monday as the official start to the Christmas shopping period.
Free Shipping Day
14 DECEMBER 2019
Free Shipping Day is a promotion that combines a promise to deliver by Christmas Eve with the real sweetener that is Free Delivery. It’s a campaign that’s gained momentum since it’s inception in 2008. If you can afford to include free delivery on all orders then it might be worth getting on board. Probably not something you’d want to advertise in advance though, as it might tempt people to hold off ordering until the 14th.
Last UK Posting Day
FROM 20 DECEMBER 2019
Many e-tailers will benefit from winning last minute sales due to guaranteed Christmas delivery. What is the last date that you will be able to accept orders until? If you have an established relationship with a courier already, then you’ll want to check with them, but as a guide, here’s what Royal Mail are saying:
- Friday 20th December – 1st Class
- Monday 23rd December – Special Delivery
Why is Black Friday a thing?
Here’s a quick snippet that will make you popular at the pub quiz. Rumour has it in the 1950’s lots of people, tourists and shoppers, came out onto the streets of Philadelphia the day after Thanksgiving for the Army / Navy football game. It caused a bit of chaos on the streets which the Police had to deal with. They weren’t too keen on the extra hassle or overtime and so referred to the occasion as ‘Black Friday’. (1) (2)
This spread throughout Philadelphia initially and then was pretty much adopted across America by the 1980’s although later it was believed to have more to do with retailers getting into the black (i.e. turning a profit on their bottom line) for the first time that year.
Black Friday made its way to the UK on 2010 when Amazon introduced the concept. Incidentally, Amazon are responsible for over a quarter of the Black Friday sales still today. In 2013, ASDA (which is owned by Walmart) held it’s own sale and people had fisty cuffs over flat screen TVs.
What does it mean for the high street?
No doubt any mention of Black Friday conjures visions of people camping in queues outside storefronts and fighting over televisions. However the reality is far from this as all the action tends to happen online. Look at this stat from a recent PWC survey. Almost 3/4 of all cyber weekend spend will be on a device.
That doesn’t mean real shops have to sit out. There’s an opportunity to focus on customers and create an event experience that people will want to be part of. Something Amazon cannot do. Here’s what Grant Coleman from Emarsys had to say and it’s a concept we care deeply about in our own stores.
“Consumers need to get an exceptional (and Instagram-worthy) experience to leave the house and engage with retailers. Apple was the first to understand how to use a physical space to inspire brand loyalty. Smart retailers will make physical stores or pop-ups a destination that acts as a marketing tool as much as a sales tool.”
Tips for Businesses
Mobile friendly website: As we all know, mobiles have overtaken desktops as the way that consumers browse online. Ensure your device intelligently adapts and scales to the device viewing.
Epos Integration: There’s nothing worse from a client’s perspective than having browsed for the product they want, placed the order to then receive an email from you that the item they wanted has sold out. It’s important to make sure that your customers can see if a product is in stock, but also when a product has sold out. Link your real shop with your web shop. Easy peasy.
Downtime: Make sure your shop is running as expected. You don’t want to experience any downtime because of a site bug or a spike in traffic that’s crashed your server.
Marketing: You’ve made all this effort to get your site ready, make sure your customers know what you’ve got planned. Email campaigns, Social Media, Flyers, In-store Posters and Displays are all great ways to get your message out there. We talk about marketing needing to be ‘omnipresent’.
Tips for Shoppers
Write a list: It’s a bit like shopping for groceries at the supermarket. Go in prepared and you’ll be ok. But have you ever rocked up on the off chance, with no list and feeling hungry? You’ll bag a cartload of stuff you originally had no intention of buying.
Research: Research the stuff you’re interested in beforehand. This will help you make sure that a) The product you’ve got your eye on isn’t a dud and b) That the sales price is a legitimate deal.
Wishlists: Wishlists can be a handy way of quickly seeing if the stuff you’re interested in is on offer or not. Add them to the basket beforehand and then do a quick refresh.
Check the price: A legit marketing tactic is to advertise the amount ‘saved’ compared to the highest price from yesteryear. It might have been £100 more when it was first launched 2 years ago, but just £10 more last week. So pay attention to the price rater than the advertised deal, to make sure it’s good value.
Get Black Friday ready…
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