How to up your online game this Black Friday

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We've already taken Mother’s Day and Halloween under our wing, now Black Friday looks to be making itself at home as the UK’s latest retail import from America.

Falling this Friday (28 November), Black Friday is traditionally an onslaught of customers hitting the shops en masse to get cut prices. Where dashing to Asda at 6am for a few pieces of reduced tinsel and some bed linen may not be everyone’s cup of tea, more and more customers are snapping up the deals online.

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It’s not something to approach half-heartedly

Amazon started the trend for Black Friday deals in the UK back in 2010, giving way to a army of retailers that all jumped on the bandwagon. The extravaganza has since spread across an entire weekend, only bowing out on ‘Cyber Monday’ (1 December) – the fifth straight day of online shopping debauchery.

Black Friday is being picked up everywhere this year and just 17% of UK shoppers don’t know what it is, according to figures from Kantar Retail. A survey commissioned by Barclays also reveals 65% of UK online and offline retailers are planning Black Friday promotions.

Visa Europe meanwhile predicts that the UK’s obsession with online shopping will see £518 million being spent on its cards this Friday. According to Adobe’s Digital Index 2014, UK shoppers are expected to spend £281 million on Cyber Monday.

Toys R Us is the latest UK retailer to announce it will be offering special deals this Black Friday, with a number of in-store offers extending from Friday 28 November until the end of the weekend. Sainsbury’s and video game store Game have also had a song and dance about special deals for the weekend.

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Stand out on mobile

“Black Friday is a double-edged sword for most digital marketers. We know consumer engagement is going to be unusually high so it’s an ideal time to try and capture their attention, but we also know that all marketers are having the exact same thought so it can be difficult to stand out in such a crowded space," warns advertising tech company Spongecell chief executive, Ben Kartzman.

Maturity and ease of mobile systems see many retailers turning to mobile push marketing, and smart marketers will be working on their mobile conversions. Don’t hesitate to use mobile as your main communication channel during this peak time – especially as customers increasingly toggle between shopping on mobile and in-store during the process of a single conversion.

Make emails urgent

Create a sense of urgency through clever content and copy – paying particular attention to subject lines. Add interactive and engaging content, such as a countdown widget, to up your click-through rates.

Stand out from static and generic ads shoppers will be encountering on the streets, online and in their inboxes by mobilising rich video content and striking interactive elements. Flag up sweepstakes, store finders and online availability to bring home the immediacy factor.

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