For the first time in a number of years, it’s forecasted that this time around, Black Friday could be challenged for sales and shopper visits* by the Friday before Christmas and Super Saturday, the last Saturday before Christmas, entering into the fray.
Don’t be caught flat-footed
Despite the aforementioned uncertainty around the top spot in the forecasts, Black Friday will still pack a powerful punch, as it always does.
Last year, the UK spent a total of £3.3 billion over the Black Friday weekend**, as shoppers looked to capitalise on discounted items. This resulted in the UK’s biggest day ever for online retail, and proved too much for 15% of retailers, leaving them with loss of service.
The projections across an extended five-day cyber weekend in the UK are pointing towards a £5bn total this time out. 2015 was the first year that online surpassed offline for spending, and experts have advised retailers to begin planning months in advance, with contingency plans able to handle possible issues throughout the period.
Some are planning staggered deals over the course of the week to ease the pressure on their systems, whilst others plan to employ temporary staff to capture greater revenues. Key is the need for retailers to be able to interpret and understand data, and to make in-store experiences as smart as online ones.
* USA Today: Is Black Friday dead?
** Business reporter: 5 amazing stats from Black Friday 2015 in the UK
*** Salmon: Black Friday 2016 Peak Trading Ecommerce Operations Playbook