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3 key trends retailers should know in the run up to Black Friday

Laura  Barnes
3 key trends retailers should know in the run up to Black Friday

It might feel a bit odd discussing Black Friday in August, but there are less than 100 days left before one of the biggest retail events in the UK takes place.

To help retailers prepare for the mammoth shopping day, PCA Predict has outlined some handy predictions about this year’s Black Friday.

According to Chris Boaz, head of marketing at PCA Predict, the three key trends for Black Friday 2017 are:

1. Sales will begin earlier…and earlier
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Last year Amazon trialled for the first time its “35 Days Of Deals” in the lead up to Black Friday, while Argos, also started its sales a week ahead of the day too. Other retailers, like Currys PC World, Debenhams, Boots, House of Fraser and eBay, also jumped on the bandwagon early. More retailers will undoubtedly adopt this approach and it is easy to see why.

It will help spread the demand over a longer time period which makes managing consumers’ expectations a bit easier, while also, crucially, enabling retailers to avoid any problems with missed deliveries. A by-product of this approach is that consumers have become increasingly savvy to these longer sales, by tracking product prices before, during and even after Black Friday to make sure they get the best deal possible.

2. It will continue to become an online-only shopping day for most UK consumers

Last year there was a 7% decline of footfall on high streets on Black Friday in the UK, but online sales actually rose by up to 25%. Meanwhile in the US, one in four consumers shopped in store.  

There is one some very simple reason for this disparity in the UK – online shopping is more convenient on this Friday as the majority of consumers are at work, contrasted by Americans being at home over the Thanksgiving holiday.

We’re unlikely to ever see the likes of 2014 again in the UK, where consumers queued patiently to shop in store on Black Friday. Instead, this year we can again expect to see consumers break the current record of eight million online purchases, while footfall continues to decrease.

3. Mobile might just replace desktop this year

Last year we saw a 26% increase in checkout traffic to mobile devices, with a 43% of all purchases coming via smartphones. This year might be the year when mobile actually replaces desktop in terms of purchases too.

The reasons for this include vastly improved mobile-ready websites and slicker checkout experiences thanks to address verification software and the ability to pay for items at the touch of one button.

PCA Predict’s address verification service is used by over 11,000 leading ecommerce brands including ASOS, Tesco and House of Fraser. This research is based off the billions of online purchase transactions that PCA Predict’s platform facilitates each day and this data is compiled by the company’s Ecommerce Trends tool.

Tags: Retail , black friday , Opinion , PCA Predict , retail trends , Black Friday 2017

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