Each year on the Friday following American Thanksgiving, retailers across the western world opt to take part in a day of exclusive discounts. Of course, this day is known as Black Friday. However, with changes brought by coronavirus to the retail landscape, Black Friday 2020 will look different than ever before.
Traditionally, “Black Friday Sales” were offered in-store only and on a limited first-come, first-served basis. These were often referred to as “doorbuster deals” due to the number of shoppers that would line up in advance of shops opening and often physically bust down the door in search of a bargain.
However, in recent years more businesses have gotten involved offering online sales on the following Cyber Monday, some throughout the entirety of the weekend.
This year, COVID-19 will cause an unprecedented change in the way retailers and consumers participate in Black Friday.
Social distancing guidelines within the UK still advise members of the public to remain 2 metres apart whilst shopping and stores are limiting the number of patrons allowed in at any one time. Shoppers are also required to wear a mask or face covering in the shops. With these guidelines, most consumers will likely choose to shop online deals from the comfort of their own home, rather than dealing with queues, guidelines and masks.
The aforementioned rules and regulations have already caused a spike in online shopping this year.
The UK Office for National Statistics released new data for retail, proving record breaking highs and growth for ecommerce in 2020.
The data compares internet sales as a percentage of total retail sales. Typically, a year on year rise or around 1-2% is expected from Q1 of the previous year.
ONS Retail sales, Great Britain: July 2020
From 2018-2019 an overall rise of 1.6% was observed, similarly a rise of 1.5% from Q1 of 2019 to the same quarter of 2020.
However, from 2020 Q1’s saturation value of 20.4% we saw an unprecedented growth of 11%, with 2020 Q2 coming in at 31.4% of all retail sales in the UK. In other words, ecommerce has seen five years worth of growth over the span of only a few months.
This sharp rise is almost certainly due to situations presented amidst COVID-19. As a whole, online shopping has become more pervasive than ever before. We expect to see this trend affect Black Friday in 2020 with similarly unprecedented highs in online sales.
In fact, within just a few weeks of Boris Johnson’s “stay at home” announcement UK ecommerce giant EKM saw a rise in total customer sales that was 100% higher than the largest ever Black Friday sales figures seen just a few months earlier in 2019.
Although overall revenue across the platform did begin to fall as lockdowns initially eased, the figures for 2020 are still averaging 42% higher when compared to the same timeframe in 2019.
As we inch closer and closer to Black Friday, we wonder what Black Friday 2020 will look like? We can only expect that Black Friday 2020 will hit record highs. Just how much higher than usual remains to be seen, but if the trends for this calendar year so far are any indication, online retailers need to be prepared to meet an increased demand this November.
The important dates to remember for Black Friday 2020 are:
- Black Friday – 27 November 2020
- Small Business Saturday/Sunday – 28-29 November 2020
- Cyber Monday – 30 November 2020
Start your preparations today with EKM’s free Black Friday Guide for Small Businesses. Visit ekm.com/blackfriday for your copy and you’ll also receive a free pack of assets for your social media channels.