Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2014 are set to be major retail shopping days. A time for big sales and crazed shoppers, each is a key shopping date in the retailer’s calendar.
Originating in the US during the mid-1990’s, Black Friday is the Friday that follows Thanksgiving in the US (the forth Thursday in November). It has taken the retail sector by storm, and been the busiest shopping day of the year for nearly a decade.
In 2010, Black Friday became a permanent fixture during the run up to Christmas. UK retailers now also include Black Friday on their calendars, offering some of their best sales bargains for consumers to snatch up.
Cyber Monday was introduced in 2005 in an attempt to create an online equivalent of Black Friday. Traditionally speaking however, Black Friday is an in store sale and Cyber Monday online.
When is Black Friday/Cyber Monday?
This year Black Friday falls on November 28th. Cyber Monday immediately follows on Monday 1st December creating a 4 day weekend of crazy deals both in store and online.
What’s the big deal?
There are only 26 days between Black Friday and Christmas, so for retailers this is an incredibly important event to get right. It is expected that shoppers will be online as early as 6am on Black Friday to get hold of some bargains. According to Rakuten Marketing, 15% of sales made in previous years on Black Friday have taken placed before 9am whilst Cyber Monday shoppers normally hunt out deals the night before.
Limited time deals or ‘doorbusters’ are widely acknowledged to influence impulse shoppers and attract even more potential customers. Even those such as Apple, who do not have a sale at any other time of the year, will be partaking in Black Friday hoping for a boost in pre-Christmas sales.
Where do retailers advertise their Black Friday deals?
Whilst it’s not Black Friday for another week yet, a number of retailers have launched holding pages to let consumers know about the up and coming sales. If you haven’t started planning your event, you’ve still got time. Take a look at what some of the UK’s biggest retailers are offering this year and see how you can join in.
Slashing prices on a huge range of items, US retailer Amazon is one of the driving forces behind the success of the UK event. Super keen shoppers can subscribe to Amazon’s deals newsletter and be entered in a draw to win a £3,000 gift card.
The nation’s favourite catalogue retailer is all set for Black Friday and Cyber Monday, offering discounts on tech, toys, TVs and more.
Offering free next day delivery with Collect+ and free returns on top of the Black Friday discounts, Very promises amazing deals on this season’s most wanted gifts and fashion. Customers can also sign up to Very for exclusive emails.
Get big discounts in store and online at Currys. They’ll have amazing deals and offers on TVs, washing machines, cameras and more. Customers who register online will be the first to receive emails on the latest deals.
Continuing with their commitment to being ‘Never Knowingly Undersold’, John Lewis have said that on Black Friday they will match the prices of their competitors. For one day only, make sure to get a move on if you want to take advantage of their deals.
The early bird catches the worm
A switched on online retailer should already have implemented some sort of lightening deal offering a limited amount of stick at a discounted price. If not, here’s 5 top tips for remaining competitive on Black Friday
1. Feature different products and services each day – Whilst you can’t compete with Amazon and John Lewis, you can still stand out. Make each day of the week a special event to give customers a reason to engage with your brand throughout the week.
2. Set some discounts that will be consistent throughout the week – Whether it’s free delivery of 10% off everything; make sure to offer a week long deal as well. These will act as a short term incentive for shopping right now.
3. Offer shipping discounts – Generally speaking those who spend on Black Friday are looking to get a large bundle of items for the holidays. One of the biggest selling points for a SME is the personal customer service you can offer. Work with your customers to offer them timely and cheap/free shipping.
4. Promote on social media - Depending on your strategy, make sure to promote your event throughout the week or on the separate days you are holding your events. Create social buzz sense of exclusivity and excitement around your event instead of advertising it as a ‘buy something for less’ sale.
5. Host special events if you’re not online – If you’re the proud owner of a store on the highstreet attract customers in store with special Black Friday events. Schedule a reading from a local author or host a special story hour for kids. This will create a VIP edge to your business
For the SME there are lots of fantastic options for your Black Friday event. Take the time to think about your business and market before committing to a large flash sale like those seen advertised by John Lewis and Argos. Channel specific and time limited offers are a great choice and have the potential to drive sales as well as traffic. Make offers visible on social media to encourage sharing, drive awareness and reach.