Black Friday 2015 is upon us and the annual post Thanksgiving retail charge is set to stay across the water.
So what does Black Friday look like this year and how are retailers reacting to consumer trends?
Traditionally a one day in-store event, Black Friday has quickly evolved into an online festival. Irish consumers are set to drop up to €100 million today and Irish retailers are expecting a big Christmas this year in terms of sales.
Interestingly 1 in 3 of us plans to buy online on Cyber Monday. This shift to online activity is also reflected in advertising spend. Earlier this year IAB released some figures showing that digital ad spending had increased by 34% over last year and that mobile had jumped 134%.
This is only set to increase and you may have noticed some Black Friday display ads following you around the internet.
Our neighbours in the UK are seeing even more startling numbers. Experian are predicting that the UK will see their first ever £1 billion shopping day. Amazingly E-commerce spend could double over last year with mobile transactions increasing by 12% (which now amounts to 1 in 3 transactions).
RetailMeNot conducted some research into online retailers tactics for this year. More than half of retailers are scrapping time-bound deals this year to discourage the “lurkers” who are refreshing pages to anticipate certain deals.
84% of retailers have dedicated Black Friday pages and 9 out of 10 are promoting click and collect services as well extending delivery day ranges to ease pressure on delivery companies (you can imagine a busy week ahead for them).
So who is taking part this year? Many of the big retailers such as Argos, Arnotts, Debenhams, DID and Harvey Norman are heavily promoting their Black Friday deals many having discounts of over 30%.
Big brands are also recognising the fact that we like to buy online and are running simultaneous promotions on their online stores.
SME’s, however, are slightly behind the curve on this, only 35% of Irish SME’s can process payments online and only 1 in 6 use digital advertising (nearly half don’t advertise at all).
Our clients are certainly getting into the spirit of Black Friday. Here’s a quick look at what some of them are up to.
Dublin Town: the guys over in Dublin Town have got you sorted if you happen to go a bit mad with the credit card today. They are running a “Shop & Drop” service on Grafton Street and Henry Street where Dublin city centre shoppers can avail of free bag minding. This is running through the weekend in case you’re not in town today.
They have also put together this handy infographic to help you plan your attack:
Carl Scarpa: Clients like Carl Scarpa are taking a slightly different approach by merging Black Friday and Cyber Monday into a weekend long promotion as opposed to the smash and grab affair of many traditional retailers, particularly electronic goods. They are offering 20% off all their women’s shoe lines on their online store.
Marathon Travel: Travel is not one you would usually associate with Black Friday but the sports travel specialists have a range of sporting trips on offer for the weekend at www.marathonsportstravel.ie.
Black Friday Tips
It’s easy to get carried away on Black Friday (and Cyber Monday). Everyone loves a bargain – a steam pressure cooker at half-price looks a great deal even though you will only actually use it once. So here are a couple of tips and questions to ask yourself to avoid the traps:
- Is it really half price? — don’t be fooled by these amazing half price (or more) offers, check out the original price and compare it. Is it realistic? Some retailers buy in “expensive’ stock and slash the price just for Black Friday.
- Do I need it? Be honest, you don’t need a second tablet.
- Let the internet do the work — don’t spend hours searching for deals when you have the internet to do it for you. Sites like Techradar are very good for snooping out the best deals from the depths of the internet and Boards.ie’s Bargain Alerts forum is good for Irish deals.
- Use Google alerts — if you have something very specific you are looking for you can set up a Google alert which will notify you of any new web page related to the keywords you specify.
- Email — set up an account and subscribe to your favourite brands or retailers mailing lists. Email is a preferred channel for companies to share their discount codes and offers, plus you’ll be the first to know.
- Social: Twitter trends and hashtags can give you info on what is happening right now (good and bad).
Finally, check out this video for some Black Friday chaos.
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