Let’s start with Black Friday! Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving and is known in America as the Christmas shopping kick-off. It is the day when stores offer the best discounts and deals of the year becoming one of the largest shopping days in the US.
The name Black Friday originated in 1961 in Philadelphia to describe the state of collapse caused on the roads the day after Thanksgiving Day. Black Friday marked the point at which shops began to turn a profit and move from red to black numbers after the low months occurred throughout the year.
Black Friday first arrived in the UK some years ago when Amazon thought it would a good idea to bring the shopping sensation to a new market by offering some Black Friday discounts. Later in 2013, Asda also ran a campaign promoting the Black Friday concept in the UK.
The date for Black Friday this year is November 24th along with Cyber Monday, probably the second busiest shopping day in the US, which will take place the Monday after.
The name Cyber Monday was created in America in 2005 in a Shop.org press release entitled “Cyber Monday quickly becoming one of the biggest shopping days of the year.” According to the release, 77% of marketers substantially increased online sales that at that time, many Americans were turning back to work where they had high speed internet connections and could buy what they liked.
In the last years, more British retailers adopted a Black Friday campaign and offered massively discounted prices to encourage shopper to start their Christmas sales.
Be part of the trend: How to prepare your shop
Anticipation and planning are undoubtedly the keys to success. Here are some ideas how you can prepare your shop for the upcoming special days.
- Determine the products that you would like to offer on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Don’t forget to also add the bestsellers of the last Holiday season.
- Prepare your stock and those products that will have a special offer. Nothing is worse than sold out products and disappointing your customers.
- Review and update your product pages and make sure you showcase the discount applied to the product price so customers can quickly see the normal price and the reduced price.
- Refresh your home page so visitors can see instantly that you have offers for these special dates. Here you should present: an updated image at the top that works as a link to your promotional products and also visible information about the shipping methods, duration of discounts (how long they will be available) and your return policy.
- Inform your existing and potential customers about the promotions in your shop. To do so, plan an email marketing campaign with special discounts for your database of customers and spread your promotions throughout your social networks.
- Create a countdown counting the days until Black Friday and/or Cyber Monday. This allows you to create anticipation and excitement among your customers.
What can you do to make a difference?
Creating a dedicated page in your online shop or a specific section with all the promotional products will help you organise the structure of your site and will also help your visitors find the products under promotion.
In addition, another useful resource – although it is not essential to join the trend of Black Friday and Cyber Monday – is to announce your business or specific campaigns on coupon websites. These pages are very common among online customers during sales seasons or special promotions like Black Friday/Cyber Monday to get even more interesting offers. Among the best known are:
- Vouchercodes.co.uk and co.uk are websites where you can advertise your coupons or promotions not only during special dates but any time you choose. More info, here and here.
- Groupon is very similar to the websites above but is specialised in products or services under promotion. Find out more here.
These are great dates to boost your online sales as well as for online shoppers. So take advantage of this growing trend and, above all, spread the word to your customers!
The original version of this article was written by Andrea del Campo. It has been updated in October 2017.