Black Friday 2016 UK Early Analysis

Christmas for retail has been changing every year since about 2012. When to go to sale, how much to discount and whether to abstain have been uncertain decisions. Initially retailer led (thanks Walmart!) UK consumers now have expectations on when they want to buy and how much of a discount they are willing to spend for. We will not be able to see the full impact of Black Friday 2016 until we can analyse the full Christmas shopping period but I have pulled together some initial insights which make an interesting read.

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Black Friday Search Term Trends the past 5 years in the UK

Trending Topics in the UK

On Friday afternoon Google Trends for the UK showed the following top 10 trending stories:

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We can clearly see that the top 5 trending stories across the UK on Friday were Black Friday related.

Digging a little deeper Google Trends shows us the top related search queries to “black Friday”:

  1. Sky black Friday
  2. Sky black Friday deals
  3. Debenhams black Friday
  4. Apple black Friday 2016 UK
  5. Boots black Friday
  6. HMV black Friday
  7. TK Maxx Black Friday
  8. Next black Friday
  9. Nike black Friday
  10. Selfridges black Friday

The main insight we can gain from this is that consumers know whom they intend to buy from and are looking for the deals available from that retailer. This suggests that consumers have already done their product research and were waiting for products to be discounted before buying.

This insight demonstrates the importance of investing in marketing ahead of important sales periods to capture site visitors in the research phase of their buying journey. This traffic in late-October and early November will not necessarily yield last-click revenue and may therefore appear to be unprofitable (particularly in paid search) however looking at the bigger picture can deliver bigger ROI. Furthermore, consumers are expecting you to give them discounts so there is no value in keeping it a secret in the hope that they will buy from you in the interim. Email, banner and offline advertising promoting the fact that you have some great deals for your customers will encourage them to look at what you have to offer when they come to purchase.

Black Friday Search Results Google UK

Looking at Google UK search results on the afternoon of Black Friday media outlets were undoubtedly the winners of the rankings battle:

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“Black Friday deals” search results feature several publishers

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Results for “black Friday fashion deals” were event more dominated by media outlets

The impact of these sites dominating the search results could undoubtedly be consumers reading-up on the available deals and then searching directly for the brand+black Friday search terms we identified earlier. This therefore demonstrating the need for a multi-channel multi-platform marketing strategy around this vital buying period in order to ensure success.

I am looking forward to diving into the performance numbers for even more insights on the impact of Black Friday on Christmas 2016 shopping trends. In the meantime, follow my contributions to the blog to find out more about digital marketing news and trends, or sign up to the ThoughtShift Guest List, our monthly email, to keep up-to-date on all our blogposts, guides and events.

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