Black Friday and Cyber Monday - is your Wholesale or Retail business ready?
As the clocks change and British Summer time ends the pinnacle of the Autumn/Winter fashion season occurs. One of the most recognised major discount shopping days, Black Friday, this year falls on 29th November 2019, shortly followed by Cyber Monday on 2nd December 2019. Both mark the beginning of the Christmas shopping season for high street retailers and online outlets, making it the ideal weekend to indulge in some retail therapy.
A considerable increase in sales tends to take place over this shopping weekend, as stores are packed with forward-thinking buyers who have researched good deals prior to shopping (typically for higher priced items), plus opportunistic customers bulk-buying Christmas gifts. Each year, thousands of shoppers descend on the high street and retail areas, and as a business you need to ensure you are prepared for this retail frenzy. The popularity of Black Friday, which originated in the United States as an antidote to the excesses of Thanksgiving and the start of the Christmas shopping season, has exploded in the UK over the last five years. Cyber Monday follows the same formula, but items can often be found on sale for an even higher percentage-off discount. Huge Electrical companies like Curries; high street retailers and department stores such as Marks and Spencer and Debenhams; and even supermarkets like Asda and Tesco have traditionally dominated these discount days, but even smaller independent stores can take advantage of the extra footfall generated by this pre-Christmas bonanza.
According to Bluecore, 2018 was a strong year for fashion, jewellery and footwear retailers - brands saw from 300-400% increase in general sales compared to a usual shopping day, with almost 70% of these purchases made by new customers who appear to wait for Black Friday deals to try new brands. Bluecore predicts that an average of 21% of these new customers will then become repeat buyers - done well, Black Friday isn’t simply an opportunity to offload excess stock, but an investment in future customers.
Black Friday is mainly thought of as an online sale, and it does seem to be the case that online retailers enjoy the most benefit, however high-street boutiques and retailers are also likely to see an increase in sales over the weekend. Despite discouraging figures for brick and mortar stores in 2018 (down 3.2% from the previous year according to Asian Trader), It’s a sensible idea to make sure that stock levels are high for the Black Friday period, as any unsold stock is likely to be snapped up in the pre-Christmas rush - according to Fashion Network, the third weekend of December is likely to be the most important date in the high street calendar.
For online sellers, it’s all about adaptability, stock availability and speed. According to Quantum Metric, as many as 36% of online shoppers would shop elsewhere if they experienced slow loading times, and almost 50% would look at other suppliers before joining a wait-list for an out of stock product. In 2017, according to Reuters, almost half of all online sales were made on mobile phones, and this number is likely to have increased over the last 2 years, so ensuring that your site is mobile friendly should be very high on your list of priorities.
For wholesalers, the Black Friday season starts early as retailers and buyers look to stock up on deals that they can later pass on to their customers at the end of the month. Here at TradeGala, our “Pre-Black Friday” sale starts from 6th November 2019 with a minimum of 30% off selected wholesale fashion, plus extra deals and discounts in the weeks leading up to the big Black Friday / Cyber Monday weekend. Our sellers can expect to see an increase in sales throughout the month, particularly on discounted items, while our boutiques and retailers can take advantage of the TradeGala’s one-stop-shop for top fashion brands. With the current difficult situation in the fashion industry, particularly in the UK and Europe, we believe that Black Friday 2019 is a great opportunity to draw in new buyers who in future will become brand loyal, repeat customers.
Written by: Luanne McLean
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