Is Black Friday eCommerce a Thing in the UK?


For retailers and consumers in the USA, Black Friday is the most anticipated shopping day of the year. Retailers put on the best sales they can offer, and consumers stampede the shopping malls searching for bargains.

Recent year have seen Black Friday make the move online and enter the world of eCommerce.

In 2012 there were over $1 billion of online sales on Black Friday, up 26% compared to the previous year.

Black Friday is based in American culture. It’s the day after Thanksgiving, a holiday we don’t celebrate in the UK.

But as cyberspace has no boundaries, could Black Friday be coming to the UK? If so, what should British eCommerce traders do to get ready for it?

The truth is, Black Friday is already here. Like it or not, retailers in the UK are taking part in the Black Friday frenzy.

Last year, the BBC reported that Asda and Tesco both offered special online deals over the Black Friday weekend.

This year, Amazon UK is already promoting Black Friday Deals Week, which it has been running since 2010. It promises “unprecedented discounts” and “time-limited deals.”

Black Friday is a great way to generate buzz around your eCommerce store, even if you are in the UK. Offering special deals will get your customers talking, sending more traffic to your site.

What must you do to prepare?

Educate your customers and build anticipation. UK consumers are still learning what Black Friday is all about. So, in the days and weeks before Black Friday, let your customers know you’ll be having a sale. Spread the word on social media, on your website, and using your email list. Whet the appetite of your customers with some of the deals you’ll be offering. But don’t give everything away – they still need a reason to come and visit your store!

Choose your offers. Black Friday is the perfect opportunity to clear excess stock. Or you can use it to promote your headline products. Either way, choose which products you’ll be putting on offer ahead of time so you can make sure you’ve got the stock you need for the extra orders. (For more ideas on what offers you might put on, check out what big name retailers got up to last year)

Get your online store ready. If your Black Friday campaign is a success, you’ll have lots of extra visitors to your store. That’s great news for your sales figures – unless all the traffic crashes your servers. Make sure your web host can manage the extra load. If your store isn’t yet mobile ready, Black Friday is a good opportunity to get it in shape. Remember, nearly a third of mobile shoppers abandon transactions if the shopping experience isn’t mobile optimised.

What’s your take on Black Friday? Is it just a fad that will disappear in a year or two? Or is it here to stay? Let us know your views in the comments

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Written by David Masters

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