GM Thought of the Week: Black Friday – How Amazon Brought it to the UK and How we Capitalise on it


GM Thought of the Week: Black Friday – How Amazon Brought it to the UK and How we Capitalise on it

The term, coined in America, unofficially marks the first shopping day of the US Christmas season from Thanksgiving Thursday to Cyber Monday, when consumers are off work and can shop around for this year’s bargains. The trend is ever increasing with previous year’s registering 20% of total Christmas sales coming from that weekend alone.


Although not on the same scale as the US trend, Amazon introduced the deals to the UK market back in 2010. Other UK retailers soon jumped on board with the time period now being a key shopping date across all consumer and brand calendars.


According to Barclaycard, spend across Black Friday delivered a 7% increase in 2017 compared to the previous year but it was online sales that saw the largest growth, rising by 11.7% YoY as footfall experienced a 4.2% decline.


Consumers are no doubt holding back spend in October each year as they save money for Black Friday deals adopting a click over bricks pattern, aiming to shop in as many places as possible for the largest discounts.


Introducing this sales weekend to the UK wasn’t enough for the behemoth that is Amazon, as they were also the driving retailer behind the Cyber Monday extension and in 2016 announcing the start of their 12-day sales promotion.


As seen previously, this move also led to other UK retailers following suit in 2017 and according to a study conducted by springboard produced an 11.3% YoY increase in UK retail sales in the week leading up to Black Friday. This extended period was even dubbed ‘Black Fiveday’ last year and with Amazon recently announcing their 10 days of sales in 2018 we expect to see the trend continue.


The top deals are still to be had on big-ticket electricals and we don’t see that changing with best seller lists in 2017 including the Echo Dot, Fire TV stick and Lego Ninjago Manta Ray Bomber showing it’s not only higher price point items that people are looking for.


Research produced by Hitwise last year also listed that the 9pm to 12am saw the largest peak for Toys related searches over this period. Potentially a result of parents searching online for Christmas present deals when children are asleep and therefore something that more toys and games advertisers could tap into.


Whether you advertise over this period or not is a question we always get asked and as with most cases it comes down to whether brands want to promote their products at a discount or if there is residual budget not already committed for the season. If you do have the budget to run a campaign the below should always be considered: –

  • Digital first approach reaching the consumer where they are searching which can also be switched on within 24 hours if needed vs the longer lead time of other channels
  • Don’t just focus on 1 or 2 days only, retailers like Amazon are pushing the sales holiday earlier and earlier so take advantage of this and extend your campaign dates
  • Evenings should be a core focus of your spend particularly if you’re a T&G advertiser and parents/gift givers are searching after children have gone to bed

If you need any further assistance with the above or starting a campaign in time for this buying period please do contact us!


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