‘Black Friday’ is basically just a marketing term that was coined to mark the first Friday after the Thanksgiving celebrations in the US. Extended opening hours and mega discounts are offered to customers looking to start their Christmas shopping and over the past few years, the UK has jumped on this commercial bandwagon in a big way. In fact this year, the country’s online shoppers are expected to embark on a billion-pound festive splurge.
Jumping on the Black Friday bandwagon
Following its success across the pond, Black Friday lured in a whole plethora of leading UK retailers who are looking for the same astronomical boost in sales and it looks like they just might break records this year. Tesco, Argos, John Lewis and Currys are amongst those who will be taking advantage of bargain-hungry customers looking for the best discounts on their favourite products ahead of the Christmas period.
However it’s not just retail giants who get on-board this seasonal shopping frenzy, many small, medium and large companies also contend with the big boys to provide irresistible deals to determined shoppers. Vouchercodes.co.uk will be getting involved with Black Friday for the fifth consecutive year this year and had previously revealed that traffic during 2013 at this particular time was more than double the previous year.
In an interview with Real Business, Claire Davenport, MD of Vouchercodes.co.uk, said: “It’s only natural that Black Friday made it over the pond. Amazon coined the phrase here and it made sense: consumers have firmly settled in the money-saving mindset given the fact austere living is still on the agenda in double dip recession UK.
“I think retailers realise that customers here want a chance to take advantage of big sales and deals before Christmas – it’s an expensive occasion after all.”
Experts predict a £1bn Black Friday frenzy
With the many offers and discounts that will be available in honour of the seasonal spending spree, it comes as no surprise that the influx of online custom is pretty vast. Keen to avoid early mornings at the high street, never-ending queues and in-store rampages, more and more consumers are doing their shopping via the internet. In fact, Black Friday 2015 is expected to smash a brand new record for British ecommerce, with shoppers starting the process earlier than ever.
CTO at digital agency, Salmon, Glen Burson, said: “We believe that demand will start to surge before Friday 27 November as shoppers come online early to search for bargains.
“At Salmon we predict that in 2015 the frenzy of Black Friday, heightened by national press coverage, will lead to the first £1bn online shopping day in the UK.”
He added: “Overall we saw an average fourfold increase in traffic for Black Friday compared with other days in the Christmas Shopping period but interestingly a higher completion rate of orders, which may indicate that Black Friday shoppers were more ready and waiting to make an order due to both advanced publicity and the fact that many bargains were available on Black Friday only.”
Finally, Burson advised: “A key element of peak planning is a pre-defined set of processes and communications. One way to think of peak is as a crisis that you know will happen in advance.” The Black Friday hype is great news for sales and profits but it does also mean that those businesses looking to participate need to ensure that they’re physically, mentally and economically prepared for the inevitable consumer chaos. Check out our top tips on planning ahead for Black Friday and Cyber Monday here.
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