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Originating from an accounting term, where the day after Thanksgiving was the one day a year that retailers were “in the black”, Black Friday is a retail event that is traditionally met with hysteria. In recent years, this excitement of slashed prices has sailed across from the US and onto the shores of the UK resulting in brawls over reduced TVs and queues down the high street. In 2018 however, it seems that UK shoppers are shopping more sensibly than ever before.
In 2018, Black Friday saw a surge of customers using their mobiles to browse for the best bargains with footfall in shops seeing an all time low in the UK and the US. Several reports have suggested that Black Friday is becoming more and more of an online event each year, allowing customers to purchase their bargains in their own homes. The total value of spending on the day was also much lower than last year even though the amount of UK card payments was up. Does this mean that shoppers were spending more wisely or is this due to the current Brexit uncertainty? Reports suggest that this sudden trend may be attributed to retailers spreading their deals over a week long period rather than the traditional one day offer. In the US, consumers saw deals going live on Thanksgiving Day, which is most unusual for this period.
The key products that many shoppers were after this year weren’t the high ticket items that we have seen previously, but a reduced spend on smaller items as gifts for loved ones in the run up to Christmas. Holidays also saw a huge increase this year with the guardian stating that;“Internet searches for Black Friday holiday deals were up more than 1,000% on the same period in 2017”.*
Another interesting factor in this year’s Black Friday period was the return of retailers who decided to boycott Black Friday in 2017. With whispers that Black Friday deals could lead to dangerously thin profit margins, may retailers have decided to join in with the deals simply due to customer demand. Consumers are expecting to see discounts pre and post Christmas with retailers having to make the decision to get rid of stock at a much lower profit to keep their customers engaged with their brand, or risk not moving the stock at all.
With the trend for sales continuing to move online during Black Friday and Cyber Monday, here at Vertical Plus we always focus our efforts in ensuring that we stay ahead of the curve. Offering pricing suggestions, marketing material and SEO practices ahead of time we work with our Partners to help them achieve their sales targets, whilst responding to shopping trends. If you would like to know how we can help your business achieve growth during peak sale periods contact our Sales & Marketing Director at Justin@verticalplus.co.uk.