With that time of year rolling around once again, Black Friday and Cyber Monday loom large on the near horizon for many of us, regardless of if you go into this period as a business or a customer, there is no doubt that it is a vital time for us all. With that being said, if you have been keeping even half an ear on the conversations happening in certain commerce circles, you will have noticed that there is an increasingly vocal majority that have decided upon the idea that Black Friday is the most important date on the commercial calendar, sidelining Christmas, January Sales and Summer Sales.
If you omit the anomaly that was 2020, national spend in the UK over the Black Friday period has continuously encompassed the previous year and has done every year since its migration from the US in 2010 (or 2013 depending on who you believe). With the overall spend figure predicted to climb to over 9 billion pounds in 2021 and personal spend estimates growing each year, there is real weight to the argument that they are the most important two days of the year for both customers and businesses… but should they be viewed as a standalone moment and worshipped, or a base for something greater, something to build from?
Statista, an online statistics website, cites that in 2018 the average spend per person was £346 per person, an incredibly impressive amount when considering that is a nationwide average and not a figure exclusive to London, Manchester, Birmingham or any of our bigger cities where one would expect people to spend more. With the pandemic hitting that number fell to approx. £250 per person in 2020, but this relatively low number could largely be explained by the furlough-fuelled-free-spending mindset that engulfed many of us during what was a difficult year, and when the purchases are spread across a year on a more consistent basis, there is less chance of a lump sum being set aside for a specific day, such as Black Friday. During the early phases of the pandemic and the UK’s first lockdown – retailers across the board witnesses a surge of transactions and revenue. While Black Friday weekend still delivered impressive numbers, perhaps some of the revenue had already been secured at earlier points this year.
Although Statista found 2020 to be a slight anomaly across the board, when comparing against our own portfolio, we can see that there were positive trends across certain areas when compared to the previous year. Black Friday 2020 saw huge increases across the board for sports and exercise companies, with sports/athleisure wear increasing in gross revenue by 107% and gym equipment increasing by 75%! It was not just the sporting world that we saw a notable increase in, as people began to look forward to the return to the office, with office supplies gross revenue increasing by 78%. With that being only a snapshot of our Black Friday growth, we were incredibly proud to support our clients through a difficult year, and the overall growth of 18% when compared to the previous Black Friday was testament to the work we are doing.
Turning our attention to the present day and looking forward to Black Friday in 2021, with things opening back up and life returning to something resembling normal and a chance at a Christmas together with loved ones once again, it is safe to say that this years’ Black Friday could be another blockbuster moment on all our financial calendars. A Statista survey of London shoppers found that people were expecting to spend on average £468 over Black Friday and Cyber Monday, so it is safe to say that anyone hoping for a bumper sales day should be expecting the best.
Revisiting Statista once again, they found that over 55% of the people planning to take part in Black Friday and Cyber Monday in 2021 were looking to do so online, as opposed to the traditional high street pilgrimage. To give that a figure that online retailers can ponder over, in the seven-day period that included Black Friday and Cyber Monday, department stores in the UK saw an astonishing 486.1 million site views, and that figure is JUST department stores.
If we take a dive into the world of affiliate marketing, and how Black Friday could impact us an industry, for every visit to a retailer there is the inevitable search for voucher codes to try and maximise the saving, and for every search for discount vouchers there is an incentive publisher. If your business is utilising an affiliate marketing program that includes the usage of voucher sites, you are open to a huge potential customer pool that is there for the taking. Combined over 20m consumers are registered with an incentive platform, showing an undeniable need to serve this segment of the market.
During a time of unprecedented website visits, there is no reason to not introduce an affiliate marketing program to boost your sales to new heights. Whilst many would view the Black Friday bubble as an oasis of income, we firmly believe there is an argument to be made for it being viewed as a launch point for growth as a business, and a sustained focus on retention tactics could yield huge benefits for every single company brave enough to dedicate the time to it. It is unrealistic to expect to turn every page visit into a sale but turning a certain percentage of page visits into newsletter sign-ups is realistic, what is more realistic is turning those people who did sign-up into sales down the line.
Overall, it is safe to say that no business can afford to view Black Friday as a one-off bonus day, when there are a multitude of ways to turn one good day, into a fantastic year. With affiliate marketing being a tool in retention and customer conversion, there is no better time than now to set up a program to have your business covered this Black Friday.