By Inayah Sadiq | Junior Consultant

Ahead of Black Friday (23rd November), Junior Consultant Inayah Sadiq, offers some last-minute advice for retailers and brands all over the world that are hoping to make the most of the retail phenomenon.

Before any planning should begin ahead of this key trading period, its essential to analyse the trends and behaviours across Cyber Weekend last year.

According to IMRG, the amount spent on UK online retail sites alone on Black Friday 2017 reached £1.4bn - an increase of nearly 11.7% over the year before. In comparison, Black Friday 2017 reached a record of $5.03 billion in online sales in the USA - an increase of 16.9%.

The graphs below show an interesting shift in spending across Cyber Weekend. For the first time in the USA, Cyber Monday sales overtook those of Black Friday, with $6.59bn spent, making it the biggest online sales day in history.

If last year is any indication, then 2018 is going to be another record-breaking weekend.

Black Friday 2017 sales peak graphs.jpg

Where to focus this year?

Mobile Targeting

In 2017, over 76% of all Black Friday sales were made online. Even if your brand’s mobile advertising hasn't performed well in non-offer periods it is likely to be key across Cyber Weekend. 

On Black Friday 2017, between the hours of 6am and 9am, a surge of shoppers in the UK were reaching for their mobile devices to browse. Data shows that mobile devices were responsible for 59% of browsing sessions, as well as 50% of sales. A dramatic increase on the previous year when just 43% of traffic was via mobile.

With this in mind, it's a high priority to review your existing mobile targeting strategies and ensure your mobile ad campaigns are live during the key browsing hours.

Black Friday revenue and traffic graphs by device.jpg

Delivery and Returns 

Almost half of shoppers interacting with sales days in 2017 encountered issues when completing purchases online, with key reasons being availability of items (28%), long delivery times (16%), or technical issues (10%). Retailers should prioritise preparing their logistics in the lead up to Black Friday to avoid any issues across the weekend. Free delivery offers, simple click-and-collect, and one-click checkout online will all help give brands an edge over their competitors.

Start Early

It’s never too soon to start your Black Friday advertising campaign. While the majority of retailers and brands launch their adverts in early to mid-November, a few select brands look to gain an advantage by kicking off their campaigns in late October.

According to the National Retail Federation (NRF) approximately 40% of consumers begin their holiday shopping before Halloween as they look to spread the cost of their shopping across a longer period. Brands that encourage consumers to shop early will reap the rewards as they stand to gain an advantage on their competitors whilst also easing the logistical pressures on their business as they approach peak period. 

If you’d like to find out more about developing marketing strategies for peak periods, or to discuss your Black Friday and Cyber Monday results, please get in touch.

 

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