Black Friday has once again reached our shores and this year seems to have brought with it even more panic and extravagance than ever before. Online retailers become glorified market stall traders for the day; caterwauling offers left right and centre, trying to attract as many customers to their website, bombarding them with time restricted deals, last chance offers and prices that will absolutely never be as low again (until the next sale anyway). Falling on the Friday following Thanksgiving, this once solely American tradition has now spread far and wide, with Black Friday deals going on all over the world with the UK being one of the major adopters. Not only has this day become the biggest day for online sales of the year, marketing comes into its own and every trick in the book is thrown at the Black Friday campaigns, with aims to drive as many people to the sales and to purchase in the quickest time possible.
There is no denying, Amazon have taken Black Friday and run with it. Courtesy of Amazon we now have Black Friday week. One day was just not good enough for these giants of e-commerce, so from the week commencing the 24th of November, Amazon have been running selected deals each day in the build up to the main Friday event. With new deals being posted every 10 minutes, it has definitely served its purpose of building hype and attracting the greatest number of customers to their website.
Amazon's Black Friday sale pages have taken on the format of an online auction site, adding countdown timers and stock counters to their sale products. It’s no marketing secret that countdown timers, limited stock notices and the like, add a sense of urgency which in turn prompts customers to buy quickly so as to not miss out on a good deal. With the sheer amount of these tactics Amazon employ during Black Friday/Week, it's hard not to get caught up in the panic; writing this blog I've been bombarded with deals for everything from Leopard print steering wheel covers to cleaning products. Do I want any of these things? No, does Amazon want me to think I need these things? Absolutely.
Scenes at Asda stores on Black Friday can only be described as utter carnage. With their sale items being in-store only, people line up at the doors waiting for the sales to begin at 8 am. Fights have even been known to break out, and stampedes form at the entrances, this years Black Friday has been no different.
No doubt helped along by their American owners Walmart (another major Black Friday promoter), Asda has pushed hard with their sale this year and have even made it a two day event. With Offline advertising and on-line promotion, the Asda Black Friday sale is difficult to avoid.
Asda now build up to the event in an almost apocalyptic way, promising 'EARTH SHATTERING PRICES' and counting down to the sale/end of the world with a daunting clock in the corner of their Black Friday landing page. The page structure on their newly created landing page is also designed to increase sales. Initially we land on a large bold banner displaying the Asda Black Friday sale logo. Then scrolling down, we come to the sale items on offer for the now two day event. After that, we come to a map telling you where your closest Asda store is, before landing on the positive reinforcements of the twitter feeds, all the while with that doomsday clock following your every scroll. It's intended to be simple and easy to navigate, whilst also building anticipation and encouraging the consumer to go to the store on the Friday and spend their life’s savings on five televisions, losing an arm in the process.
The Twitter feed displays tweets mentioning #asdablackfriday. This is a great way to promote social mentions and create a community surrounding their Black Friday sale. The tweets are all positive, no doubt due to the large amount of vetting and selection of the tweets that appear, but nonetheless, it does serve a purpose of both advertising the products on sale and also removes the need for Asda to bombard us with their deals; they can leave some of that task to the general public.
Other retailers that have become involved heavily with Black Friday this year include Currys, Game and John Lewis, with John Lewis forecasting record sales by the end of the day. Social media has exploded for many retailers, with new banners, promotional images, tweets, Facebook posts, Pintrest boards, you name it, being created and shared with the world. It's clear to see that retailers have really upped their game with their social activity regarding the sales this year, with more stores getting involved than ever before. Znet.com are reporting that this year, social mentions of 'Black Friday' far outweighed mentions of 'Thanksgiving', which demonstrates how much of an event this day has become and also the lengths that retailers have gone to in order to ensure that people are talking about their products.
With all of this hype surrounding Black Friday, is it time that everyone gives in and succumbs to the pressures and starts lowering their prices for this day? The evidence suggests yes. As well as many retailers claiming that Black Friday is their biggest day for sales of the year, here at Creode we have been running some Black Friday campaigns for our clients and the results are proving phenomenal. Profits have tripled and even quadrupled in some cases due to increased social activities based around the special offers, email marketing campaigns and homepage updates. Have you had any success with your Black Friday campaigns? Tell us in the comments below, we would love to hear from you!