Black Friday 2018 results: How can retailers prepare for 2019?

The Black Friday weekend has fast become the most important day in the retail calendar. This year, British shoppers were predicted to spend £7 billion across Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but some retailers still struggle to make the most of this annual event.

Let’s take a look at how successful Black Friday 2018 was for retailers and what you can do to ensure you have a fantastic Black Friday when it rolls around again in 2019.

Was Black Friday 2018 a success?

Yes and no. Online channels saw record-breaking sales as expected, but the high street is continuing to struggle. Amazon, for example, had sold 100,000 toys and 60,000 beauty products in the UK by mid-morning on Black Friday. Shopper monitoring firm Springboard reported that footfall in town centres, shopping centres and retail parks was down 6% compared to the previous year. Shoppers also cut back their spending this year; according to Barclaycard, consumers had spent 10% less on Black Friday by mid-afternoon.

It wasn’t all bad news for the high street though; John Lewis reported a 7.7% rise in sales compared with the previous year. This increase was fuelled by offers on luxury items, electrical and homeware goods. The retailer also matched the promotions being offered by its competitors.

What did retailers learn from Black Friday 2018?

Speed and ease is key when offering Black Friday deals. Shoppers opted to stay home this year to avoid the crowds and the disappointment finding out the thing they wanted had already sold out in-store. With online retailers such as Amazon starting their offers from midnight, there was no need for shoppers to wait until the high street stores opened.

Some retailers even decided to beat the rush this year and started their sales in the weeks leading up to Black Friday, allowing shoppers to take advantage of deals even earlier. However, if this trend continues, it could start to dampen the excitement of Black Friday, as the discounts may not be seen as significant or special.

How to prepare for Black Friday 2019

Based on this year’s findings, there are a few basics you need to get right to have a successful Black Friday in 2019.

Get your site up to speed

Google says that nearly half of all visitors will leave a mobile site if the pages don’t load within three seconds. Shoppers, especially those trying to grab a deal, will not wait around for your site to function as it should, they’ll simply go elsewhere. Reducing your page load times before Black Friday is a must, but it’s also important to check your site can cope with a huge influx of traffic too. A speedy site is no good if it crashes as soon as your deals launch!

Keep shoppers on your site

Once browsers click-through to your site, what’s stopping them from leaving? An amazing deal isn’t always enough, especially if you don’t provide them with enough information about the product.

Giving consumers extra information such as detailed product photos, videos and customer reviews on your product pages can all help build trust and improve conversions.

Host store-based events

Want to boost in-store visits? Make sure shoppers get something out of coming to your store that they wouldn’t get online. Whether it’s exclusive offers, competitions or free giveaways, make sure whatever you do, you collect feedback on what your customers did and didn’t like about their in-store Black Friday experience. You can use this valuable insight to help you improve next year!

Download our eBook!

Our new guide to Black Friday will show you how Feefo can help you succeed in the sales next year, by improving your online visibility, giving you the insight to improve your offers and much more!

Whether you’re a small independent business or an enterprise outfit, you’ll benefit from our free eBook. Click the banner below to download it today!

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