Retail analyst IMRG expects Black Friday online sales to rise by 12.5% to £8.1 billion over the eight days starting from Monday, November 19.
Sales activity continues to be at its peak for this period on the actual day itself, with sales expected to reach £1.54bn (up 13.2% on last year) on Black Friday (Nov 23).
However, IMRG advises jewellery retailers to start campaigns now, and run offers an extended period (at least the weekend) to help ease the pressure on their operations.
So while, in 2014, Black Friday campaigns were typically just specific to the day itself, in 2015 it extended over a long weekend and in 2016 several stretched their campaigns over a whole week (starting Monday or Tuesday leading into Black Friday).
It is predicted this year that Black Friday will be even more online than offline this year, particularly with footfall declining on the high street. Last year online retailers witness a 15% rise in sales during Nov, while footfall fell significantly.
While the jewellery industry by large is not in favour of Black Friday, especially at a time where margins are already being squeezed, those with discounted goods already on offer online should consider packaging these deals as ‘Black Friday’ offers and making the most of any specials brands supply for the day.
Over the past two years it has also became common for retailers to ‘soft-launch’ their Black Friday campaigns. This involves either promoting deals that reference the main event but do not form part of an official campaign or, more subtly, changing elements on retail site pages to become black (such as the background or buy button) to instill the idea psychologically in shoppers’ minds that the deals available are Black Friday-quality.
This is why ‘Black Friday’ has become ‘Blackvember’ – even though official campaigns might only run for a relatively short duration in many cases, in reality the design of sites and marketing messages reference the event strongly throughout the whole month.
Jewellers should use social media to interact with customers during and ahead of the day. If brands have supplied Black Friday deals, tease these online, and promote them on all online channels.
Last year’s Black Friday weekend was the most successful in history for online retailers in the UK, with research revealing top companies, including multiple jewellers, reported on average a 23% boost in year-on-year revenue.