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Pre-Black Friday sales could be the answer to a cracking Christmas

Laura  Barnes
Pre-Black Friday sales could be the answer to a cracking Christmas

As the retail world starts to prepare for the impending holiday season, many are thinking about their strategies to make the most of Christmas shoppers.

The new tradition of Black Friday has offered an additional boost to the industry over recent years. And Cyber Monday continues to create a selling buzz online.

With Black Friday less than 100 days away, many are making sure their websites are in order and planning their in-store attractions to try and get the most out of the shopping event.

But are consumers still as excited about Black Friday as in previous years?
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Looking at last year’s stats, Black Friday did little to help the decline in footfall in November 2016, according to BRC’s footfall monitor.

And GfK’s head of retail, Michael McLaughlin, had this to day about 2016's event: “Black Friday week has again recorded growth, although less in percentage terms than in previous years.”

A recent article by Criteo’s UK and Northern Europe MD, John Gillan, offers some insight into why Black Friday’s charm is starting to wear off.

"Relying on the traditional festive spikes alone won’t be enough this year."

John Gillan, Criteo.

“Shoppers start researching big ticket items early and we saw the largest converted cart sizes last year well before Black Friday, in early November. While they may convert in November, they are actually shopping before Halloween,” revealed Gillan.

Looking at pre-Black Friday sales from last year, spending was well underway by mid-November. Gillan cited that supermarket chain ASDA started announcing discounted promotions on 18th November, causing an unexpected spike in shopping.

“This caught some merchants and brands off-guard,” said Gillan. “The volume of activity generated was so great that it flooded the entire online marketplace with eager shoppers.

“If there’s one lesson for brands here it’s that relying on the traditional festive spikes alone won’t be enough this year and that they should be prepared for surprise sale announcements and ready to jump on shopping spikes.”

With Black Friday falling on the 24th November, many keen shoppers may already be looking for bargains on big-ticket items. With musical instruments falling into that category, offering a pre-Black Friday discount may help clever retailers scoop up those Christmas purchases.

Tags: Retail , christmas , gfk , black friday , brc , christmas retail , Criteo

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