• Black Friday
  • Digital Marketing

Is Black Friday Bigger for Digital Marketers Than Christmas?

Remember when Black Friday was an American thing?

We saw footage of men and women fighting over the last discount toaster, carrying three 40” TVs at 50% off, and said: “We want a bit of that.”

Now, Black Friday is arguably the retail event of the year in the UK.

But is it bigger than Christmas? Not as a cultural event, surely. But for shoppers – it could very well be.

And it’s only expected to get bigger.

Black Friday Is Getting Longer

Black Friday isn’t just about Black Friday. It’s basically Black Friday week – or fortnight, for some retailers.

You know how people often moan about Christmas starting earlier and earlier each year? Black Friday’s going to be a lot worse.

And once it’s over – we have Cyber Monday! Which also lasts a week, sometimes longer.

All in all Black Friday, once a single day of retail buzz, can be spread out over an entire month.

Not quite as long as Christmas, but it won’t be long.

Black Friday Sales vs Christmas Shopping

So, now digital marketers have longer to run their campaigns of discounted goods.

The fact that Black Friday is a month before Christmas also means it takes away from traditional Christmas shopping.

People think they can get it done early, and at discounted prices.

In 2017, British shoppers spent 1.5 percent less in December than they did in November. Could you ever have imagined people spending less at Christmas time?

That’s not to suggest Christmas is no longer important. Shoppers will still spend over £1 billion in December.

People Are Doing Their Black Friday Shopping before Black Friday

The figures of Black Friday 2018 are already out. In the UK, £1.49 billion was spent online.

Just to clarify, this is for Friday 23rd only. It does not include every other day that gets incorporated into the Black Friday event.

It might surprise you to know that, although this represents a 7.3 percent increase on last year, it was forecasted to grow by 13.2 percent.

The reason it didn’t perform as well, analysts argue, is because Black Friday has become a multi-day and multi-week event.

Many people got their shopping out of the way early. 40 percent of retailers had their campaigns running on Monday 19th November, up from 36% on the previous year.

Also, high-priced items such as electricals were all being bought earlier in the week.

Sales of these items were up just 0.6 percent on the Black Friday before. On the Monday, this number was 24 percent.

Black Friday Sales Surge despite Awkward Timing

Would Black Friday be even bigger if it didn’t fall at an awkward time?

This year it fell on the second to last Friday of the month. Lots of people don’t get paid until the week after – potentially preventing them from getting involved in the sales.

If you took a look at Twitter, you’ll see this is a common complaint.

Black-Friday Is Black Friday Bigger for Digital Marketers Than Christmas?

So what’s the solution? Do we abandon the American way completely and move Black Friday?

Probably not. But don’t be surprised to see the event expand even more, to the point where it steals more attention away from Christmas.

For digital marketers, Black Friday is one of the biggest days on the calendar. Bigger than Christmas?

Not yet, but give it time.