Black Friday 2018 – What’s in store?

Originating in The States, ‘Black Friday’ earned its name as it described as the day retailers would “move into the black” – meaning they can cover their costs and become profitable. It has blossomed into a true global shopping phenomenon, with eager shoppers on standby to snap up the best deals in preparation for Christmas and the upcoming year. But what really is it about 23rd November that you need to be prepared for as a business? And what does this mean for businesses outside of retail?

You should start by ensuring that your company has the people-power & resources to achieve projected target sales for the day, and the holiday period as a whole. Hiring extra staff is a way to boost efficiency and ensure operations run smoothly, which even the biggest of companies do. According to Business Insider, on average, shoppers spend $655.8 billion in November and December, accounting for as much as 30 percent of annual sales for many retailers, it’s smart to hire extra temporary staff a few months before you need them so that they can come to grips with the way you work, and are able to portray your business in a positive manner during the hustle and bustle of the busiest time of the year.

Online retailers are forecast to grow between 7% and 10% vs last year, with turnover predicted to reach as much as $117billion, meaning even just a slight glitch on your website on a day as popular as Black Friday, can result in loss of sales up to millions of pounds for some retailers. Establish a great online strategy because, after all, it is 2018! Gone are the days that shoppers camp outside their favourite shop 3 days before a sale is set to hit – people can now sit in the comfort of their home (or their desk at work) and go straight to the front of the line for their deal of the year. Get your deals prepared early, update and amend your online marketing messages and activity accordingly.

Black Friday generates huge returns for retailers - getting the marketing right is important.Black Friday generates huge returns for retailers – getting the marketing right is important.

Utilising marketing channels, such as email campaigns and social media, is extremely important when preparing for the Black Friday rush. Many online shoppers are social media savvy, and 63% of consumers who search for businesses online are more likely to buy if a brand has an established social media presence – this is magnified even further if you can nail your digital marketing campaigns to arm shoppers with the info they require on the best deals, whilst adding to brand trust and awareness.

Despite the time-sensitive nature of Black Friday, created to generate hype and buzz and ensure people feel a real need to part with their hard earned money for FOMO (fear or missing out), many retailers have also launched and promoted their discounts early in November to make sure that people have enough time to make a purchase. This does, however, cause local businesses to be pushed aside as they cannot offer as substantial a discount, if any at all, compared to the online giants such as Amazon and Argos.

It’s fair to say Amazon really knows how to capitalise on Black Friday. They’re seasoned pros at creating hype, and strategically drip-feeding very restricted special offers with dynamic demand-based pricing, and they are masters of building anticipation in the lead up to the big day. To maximise returns and give shoppers a better experience, they’re UK Black Friday begins at 12am on November 16th, and ends at 11.59pm on November 25th.

Amazon said: “Amazon will offer new ‘Deals of the Day’ everyday throughout the period across the site, with products ranging from must-have electronics, toys and fashion to sports, beauty, home items and more.”

People go wild for Black Friday online and on the high street.People go wild for Black Friday online and on the high street.

“There will also be thousands of ‘Lightning Deals’ – products available at a discount, in limited quantities, for a short period of time – with new deals becoming available as often as every five minutes.”

Doug Gurr, Country Manager of Amazon.co.uk, said: “We know many of our customers are starting to think about Christmas presents, parties and decorations at this time of year and we’re excited to offer great deals when shoppers need them most.”

Standing out in a crowded Black Friday retail space, no matter how much you dominate, is of real importance. Some retailers have their Black Friday advertising in their high-street stores already, to raise awareness in advance of the day – whilst online retailers often have to distinguish themselves with an improved shopping experience. Amazon, again, have really led the charge here with their use of technology. Gurr continues:

“We focus on making shopping as easy and enjoyable for the customer as possible so we hope customers will enjoy the new AR View feature in the app, which uses augmented reality technology to allow shoppers to see selected products in their own home before they decide to buy, just in time for this year’s biggest ever Black Friday sale.”

Many people complete their Christmas Shopping before December even starts.Savvy shoppers can complete their Christmas Shopping before December even starts.

In 2017 UK retailers such as Argos, GAME and John Lewis launched online deals on the night before, giving customers an opportunity to snap up bargains from the comfort of their sofas, whilst adding a sense of ‘beating the system’ and ‘beating the queues’. We expect to see more of the same from the high street as it looks to compete with the online goliaths.

Outside of ‘retail’, the obvious winner on Black Friday, there are opportunities to capitalise on the zeitgeist and grab attention for clients. B2B marketers are now starting to use Black Friday as an excuse to offer something a little more to their clients, not just in the form of discounts on rates and pricing, but with genuine ‘value add’ on services. Public Transport operators may discount their tickets; and offers can also extend to the leisure, tourism and attractions industries too.

We’ve hunted some of the top Black Friday deals out there, and based on current information leaks and advertising activities, they include:

– Argos (in store and online) – The British high street staple is a great destination for those looking for discounts on toys and tech and electronics like laptops and TVs.
– Amazon (online) – We’re expecting discounts on a huge range of tech and gaming items including their own products like the Echo speaker and Fire tablet.
– John Lewis (online and in store) – With their famous ‘Never Knowingly Undersold’ strapline, the traditional department retailer are sure to be price-matching rivals.
– GAME (in store and online) – There’s rumoured to be huge discounts on the latest console bundles and top games like FIFA and Football Manager.
– Tesco (online and in store) – As the ‘Tesco Direct’ site was closed earlier this year, it’s sage to assume that the majority of deals run this year will be in store.
– Currys PC World (in store and online) – Shoppers should be able to make huge savings on tech gadgets and top brands like Fitbit, Apple & Dyson appliances.

Wonderful advise you to stay at home, get online early and save yourself from any injuries in-store (we’ve all seen the videos of shoppers fighting over discounted flat-screen TVs and bargain games consoles!). We’re living in a digital age, and the majority of the offers you can find in-store will also be available at the simple touch of a finger on your smartphone, tablet or computer!

At Wonderful, we recommend a measured and strategic approach to these types of seasonal digital marketing campaigns; ensuring the goals of the brand are met with a campaign that contributes to wider digital marketing efforts, rather than working separately from them. Are you looking to capitalise on Black Friday 2018? Do you need some help, guidance and experience in creating a campaign to drive business during the busiest retail day of the year? Feel free to give us a call on 01622 686228 or email hello@bewonderful.co.uk to see how you can capitalise on these opportunities for your business.
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