What does Black Friday mean for the UK?

From Kardashians “breaking the internet” to Louisiana BBQ popping up on just about every menu going, it seems like 2014 has been a year of American invasion on UK culture. If that wasn’t enough, the mass, panic buying hysteria of Black Friday is upon us; an American phenomenon which takes place the day after Thanksgiving, offering up some serious deals. We’d happily bet our mince pies that savvy shoppers and retailers alike have been bracing themselves for many months already.

Not to be out done by our friends across the pond, Black Friday has been gaining traction in the UK in recent years, first rearing its head on Amazon. Since then, leading UK retailers, especially those with a technology focus, have been hot on the internet giant’s heels. This year expects to see some irresistible deals from the likes of Argos, Very.co.uk, Currys, John Lewis and Asda, and predicts that Black Friday itself, 28th November, to be the start of the biggest shopping weekend of the year.

What is Cyber Monday?

But it’s not all queues and stampedes at “crack of dawn” opening times, it’s equally about web page refreshes and the thrill of “adding to basket”. For those not down with the lingo, Cyber Monday taking place on 1st December, is the online equivalent of Black Friday, but without the risk of injury…

So what are retailers doing on social media to prepare for Black Friday/ Cyber Monday?

Ahead of these shopping events of epic proportions, the UK’s main contenders have been using social media to their advantage, in order to get one step ahead of competition.

Just like shops have been introducing their promotions and opening hours earlier in America year on year, social media has been following this early bird trend too, with retailers keen not to miss the boat on capturing the interest of potential buyers.

Research by Yesmail Interactive has discovered that brands should consider starting their social media campaigns earlier in the week, in order to get the full impact from their Black Friday campaigns.

They said:

“Black Friday is the most popular day for brands to tweet out deals, accounting for more than 35 percent of campaign deployments. By shifting some of their Twitter campaigns to earlier in the week, marketers should see more retweets, giving their promotions a higher chance to reach a larger audience.”

So whether you are gearing yourself up for a busy Black Friday, or are keen to see how you could apply key learnings when preparing for promotions on social media, here’s how the big boys have been playing it.

Will Asda’s Black Friday event really be the only event worth talking about?

Will Very’s £1m investment pay off?

We take a look at who’s ready for a Black Friday battle with a social media showdown.

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As we predict that John Lewis will see a very healthy Black Friday through its social media efforts, Mark Lewis, online director at John Lewis, has recognised its importance in their strategy.

He said:

“Black Friday has definitely become one of the key dates in the UK’s shopping calendar.

“Following steady growth over the last few years, Black Friday really emerged in the UK in 2013, when we saw the day break our previous records for a single day’s online trade.

“Now that customers are aware of the date and expecting it, we anticipate that this year’s Black Friday will be bigger still.

“Black Friday is changing the way our customers plan their Christmas shopping and we expect this year will see it come of age in the retail calendar.”

A final thought if your business is opening its doors on Black Friday; make sure you have a few extra security staff on call, or you’ll have some viral user generated content to fire fight on social media that might be something similar to this…

We reckon Monty the Penguin could more than hold his own over in the John Lewis corner however…