Black Friday 2015: Our predictions
Remember when people used to wait until Christmas had passed to make their biggest purchases? "I'll just pick one up in the January sales," you'd hear people say about everything from washing machines and Wiis to power tools and PlayStations. These days, however, the bargain hunters tend to get a little more excited this side of the festive season.
The reason is Black Friday, an American-born event that arrived on British shores back in 2010. Now, every November, many of the retail world's biggest names handpick a bunch of products and drop the prices, much to the excitement of shoppers across the UK.
Smaller sellers are now starting to follow their multinational counterparts, but what should they expect to see from the big players?
An earlier start
You'd assume that Black Friday would take place on... well... a Friday. Nowadays, though, the sales tend to extend beyond those original 24 hours - retailers are starting earlier and earlier in the hope of capitalising on consumers' pre-Christmas shopping spirit, with many treating the event as a period as opposed to one day.
As you might expect, Amazon usually leads the pack, if not by running the deals early, then at least by publishing the relevant details during the build-up in the hope of getting people excited. This year, the ecommerce pioneer has revealed there will be "more deals than ever" with around 7,000 offers going live throughout the week commencing November 23.
More than this, Amazon is rewarding members of its Prime delivery programme with early access to some deals - those signed up have a 30-minute head start on everyone else. Even if you're not registered just yet, you can get involved for a reduced price of £59 (£20 off the usual fee). That's a deal that gives you access to more deals - madness!
All kinds of products get reduced for Black Friday, but much of the focus will this year remain on electronics. If we were to go only by the images used in last year's news reports, it could be assumed that only budget flat-screen televisions were reduced, but in truth the spotlight is on anything tech-related.
With the popularity of Sony and Microsoft's latest consoles - the PS4 and Xbox - growing rapidly at present, expect gaming to be a big part of Black Friday 2015. Hardware will take precedence, with starter bundles seeing the biggest cuts. Some of the bigger new titles should also see price drops; Fallout 4 and FIFA 16 being prime examples.
No more supermarkets?
So many of those aforementioned news images were set in branches of Asda, where some of the most high-profile deals were offered. This year, however, much to the surprise of almost everyone, the supermarket giant has decided not to get involved. It says it wants to invest instead in deals across the wider festive period.
Black Friday is closely associated with ecommerce, and rightly so - it's where all of the best deals are. This is because online retailers have more flexibility, and can make bigger reductions without taking too much of a hit. Supermarkets, on the other hand, won't always be able to compete. Even though these big stores are known for running loss-leaders to get people in through the doors buying other things, they still can't compete online across the board.
Looking ahead, then, we may well see more big-name physical retailers dropping out of Black Friday, leaving it to the internet sellers. This is great news for your web business, however big or small!
There are millions of pounds of shoppers' money up for grabs at the end of this month. With the right deals and promotion efforts, you shouldn't have any trouble getting hold of your share.
Also see related content...