Black Friday has become a household holiday in the UK since it was introduced from America. Recent years have seen hysteria caused by the sales, with shoppers keen to get the best deals in the lead-up and on the day of the holiday. However, we’ve seen an increase in shoppers becoming savvier when it comes to Black Friday and Cyber Monday. This has seen a 7% drop in revenue made between the most recent Black Friday and the one before it. With this in mind, many have begun to ask the question, what is the future of Black Friday?
The nature of Black Friday, similarly to other retail holidays, has evolved significantly. We have seen the in-store approach to shift to online, with retailers like Amazon being the big winner on Cyber Monday. Shoppers now buy for convenience, and what is more convenient than an online sale? The impact of online shopping has seen it take over from the in-store retailer. This has ultimately defeated the object of the holiday, with high-street stores looking to increase footfall through dropping their prices for one day only.
The changing approach to Black Friday
Organisations have had to change their approach towards Black Friday, with a lot of preparation needed before the sale hits. Big retailers have to bulk buy their products and increase prices beforehand so that when they lower the prices later down the line, they don’t lose out on too much revenue.
As mentioned above, Black Friday for high-street retailers was all about increasing the footfall to their stores. Making sure you have enough staff to man the tills, restock, and clean up the store are crucial to ensure that the shopper’s experience is as easy as possible, regardless of how many people are in the shop at any one time.
The Cyber Monday effect
From Black Friday we have seen the birth of a new sales holiday on Cyber Monday. Cyber Monday focuses on online sales and is the online giants chance to increase their revenue and sales when all of the shoppers are excited to grab a bargain. There is no doubt that the introduction of Cyber Monday has affected the nature of the Black Friday holiday, as most shoppers now choose to shop online rather than go in-store anyway.
Ultimately, it doesn’t cost online retailers as much to alter the prices of their products for a sale. High-street retailers need employees to mark down stock, and increase the number of people working on the day. Therefore, the online market will spend less time and money on resources, whilst reaping the benefits of a huge sale at the same time.
How to prepare for the future of retail
These days, shoppers want more than just an easy sale and a mediocre shop to buy their products from. It’s more about the in-store and online experience than ever before, and retailers should be buying into this as much as possible. It is important to offer something more than a decreased price point, improve your offering, and you will see more people shopping with you in the future.
If the holidays are all about cheaper products, then shoppers will hold out for Cyber Monday for ease, more stock, and a wider product range. Shoppers who prefer the high street often go there for the experience more than what they are going to shop for. Here are some of the ways that you can improve your in-store experience:
- New and exclusive lines
Point of difference rather than just a low price point
Hiring for the retail uplift
Organisations that operate online are recruiting more professionals in order to meet the high-delivery demand. Factory workers such as packers and drivers will be highly sought after during the holiday as they will need more manpower to be able to meet the next day delivery increase.
In terms of in-store demand, businesses don’t tend to hire temporary staff to cover the busier periods. It is likely that they will call in on their zero-hour contract staff and up part-time hours to cover the shop floor and handle the increased footfall.
The future of Black Friday in the UK
In the UK, sale opportunities drive the retail market. Therefore, sales and periods of low-prices will always be in the market. Outside of high-end shopping, the UK’s retail spends on purchasing and luxuries are driven through sales. Black Friday sales will gradually and undoubtedly decline over time, but there will always be an opportunity for large retailers to drop their prices to increase sales. Purely because the shoppers in the UK are bargain driven.
That is what the UK wants and desires from the retail market. We predict that we will see less footfall in-store and more shoppers choosing to purchase online. Therefore, retailers without a strong e-commerce presence will need to develop one or increase their offering to keep up with their competition.
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Manager, Michael Page Retail & Fashion