Black Friday - A Nation Addicted to Discounts?

Hannah Johnston | Senior Marketing Executive

A report undertaken in 2013 by RedEye states how the frequent sale periods throughout the year, with the addition of Black Friday making its way over from the USA, has left us a nation addicted to discounts. Now here we are in 2015 and Black Friday is still going strong, with a jaw-dropping estimation of the first ever purely online £1 billion shopping day – that’s not to say the shops won’t be packed too, let’s try and forget last year’s escapades

This year it is estimated £3.5 billion will be spent over the entire weekend online and offline. This has fast become a date retailers cannot afford to miss out on. Is it the same across Europe? Nowhere near as close, with the UK predicted to spend £31 billion, with Germany being the next closest market, only predicted to spend £281 million!

What did Black Friday 2013 Look Like?

Looking at a report RedEye carried out in 2013 about pre-Christmas sales we can take a step back to look at the predictions made for Black Friday 2013. We should bear in mind two years ago Black Friday was not as big as it is now, with nowhere near the amount of retailers adopting it as they do today!

In 2013 it was estimated Brits would spend an average of £174 each during pre-Christmas sales. In contrast, estimates this year predict Brits are on average going to spend £123 on themselves alone over Black Friday weekend, not even including the purchase of Christmas presents! This is down to the fact that ‘self-shopping’ has shifted from the January sales to the highly anticipated Black Friday period. It’s clear Black Friday is here to stay and it’s changing purchasing behaviours as it goes.

Our 2013 report also uncovered that a third of UK consumers were planning to use a mobile device to do their Christmas shopping. In 2014, 47% of spending on Black Friday was done via mobile. With this kind of rapid growth, the percentage of consumers we expect to see using their mobile to complete Christmas shopping will be even larger! We’re sure your site is fully optimised for mobile, but it may be worth taking a look through our checklist to be sure!

Creating Loyalty through Black Friday Shoppers

In our 2013 report it was found that the Black Friday period is key to kicking off the start of the most important season for retailers. It has become clear that by targeting the early-bird shoppers and ‘planners’, these high value customers can be turned into loyal repeat purchasers. Which makes sense as those last minute shoppers are usually out for a bargain or to find whichever retailer can deliver the quickest! The opportunity to market to the ‘planners’ with targeted content is an opportunity that marketers will not be missing out on! With the right segmentation in place retailers can return to this valuable group year on year with early-bird personalised communications.

What’s Predicted for this Year?

Research from Visa Europe has highlighted that the Black Friday spend will total an online plus offline £2 billion solely on the day itself. This equates to £83 million every hour, £1.4 million every minute and £23,000 every second! It also estimated that spending online will increase by 17% and spending in stores will increase by 4%. But with Google searches for ‘Black Friday’ 3.4 times ahead of 2014, who knows what the total spend might be this year, those estimates could be smashed!

With the wealth of consumers (hopefully) galloping across your online and in-store thresholds – make sure you’re set up and ready to use this influx to add valuable consumers, information and segmentation to your customer data platform. With twelve months of carefully personalised and relevant communications you could guarantee you are their first port of call for Black Friday 2016.

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