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Black Friday 2020 Online – How Retailers Will Adapt

Scrambling for TVs, jumping over one another for computer games, fighting over that discounted pair of jeans. Back Friday certainly brings the best out of people! But things will surely look different this year, right? With stores closed due to lockdowns and social distancing measures in place, the usual animalistic ways of consumers will have to be tamed. But how will we react to one of the biggest sale days of the year? And how will retailers adapt to this Black Friday pandemic situation we’re all in? Let’s find out in Black Friday 2020 Online – How Retailers Will Adapt.

Black Friday – The Stats 2020

Black Friday takes place the day after Thanksgiving. That means it falls on Friday November 27, 2020. But is it really a big deal? Hell yes is the answer, even during a ‘Covid Crisis.’

  • Black Friday weekend has seen a steady growth over the years, with US retailers generating more than $5 billion in online sales between 2013 and 2019.

  • And it’s not just an American thing. According to Finder statistics, Brits spent a whopping £5.6 billion in the festive sales of 2019.

But let’s face it. Things have changed considerably since last year, so how will the Covid-19 age impact Black Friday spending? Well it seems there’s still going to be a fair amount of money flying around. More than last year in fact.

  • While fewer Brits are planning to take part in Black Friday and Cyber Monday in 2020 compares to 2019 (38% rather than 42%), those who will shop are predicted to up their spending, shelling out £295.67 on average which is 18% (£44.47) more than last year when shoppers planned to spend £251.20 on average during the sales. This means that Black Friday and Cyber Monday spending will hike to a whopping £6 billion in 2020.

There’s a similar situation across the pond too with data presented by Stock Apps indicating that about 42% of Americans plan to spend over $500 during Black Friday shopping. The survey was carried out nationwide in the US from October 9-11, 2020 and generated 30,223 online responses from individuals aged 18 years and older. It revealed that 28% of Americans also plan to spend the same amount as last year’s Black Friday shopping season – completely undeterred by the pandemic.

An Acceleration of Digital Spending

While making savings is the driving factor behind Black Friday’s popularity, the forced lockdowns and covid-19 news has altered consumer behaviour and led to an acceleration of digital spending. While shoppers once dashed to the shops and camped outside stores to grab a bargain, many now have their credit card ready to spend with their favourite digital brand.

Indeed, online retailers are expecting a 45% Black Friday boost.

This is backed by figures which indicate that e-commerce has already expanded by 34.9% in the year to October as opposed to last year. Andy Mulcahy, strategy and insight director at online retail association IMRG, said:

“We were anticipating a huge surge online this peak, and circumstances have conspired to ensure that is the case; the stores are closed, furlough has been extended and shoppers are being advised to get the bulk of their Christmas shopping done before December.“

Black Market Retail Strategies 2020

So, in light of the current landscape and all this data. How are retailers adapting and what can you do to ensure your brand has maximum Black Friday exposure?

Well, firstly it’s important to note that retail brands have had a shock. Stock that was meant to be sold in store may still be lingering. And if you only had a physical shop, you might still be spun out by the reality of e-commerce. The most important thing is to take a breather, adjust to the new environment and check out these useful tips:

Meet the Early Black Friday Demand

Technically, Black Friday 2020 should start on November 27. But with more people stuck at home in front of their computer, trees going up early and festive lights flashing outside houses in mid-November, retailers have spotted an early consumer demand and have launched their Black Friday initiatives sooner rather than later. This is a smart move considering 77% of consumers say they have bought more during lockdown and will continue to do so.

Having a solid online strategy this year is an absolute must. So let’s peek at the big brands getting in the Black Friday spirit sooner rather than later.

*Note, extended sales are also a great way to get rid of those boxes of products you over ordered in March, without knowing what was around the corner.

Currys PC World

According to Sara Skirboll, resident Shopping & Trends expert for RetailMeNot, electronics will sell out the fastest on Black Friday.

“If you see a good deal on TVs – Apple TVs and 4Ks are hot! – computers or phones, pick (them) up immediately,” she advises.

Indeed, electronics retailers such as Currys PC World have already launched their Black Friday marketing and it’s looking pretty good so far. They’ve:

  • Updated their homepage, providing a clear CTA and a link to Black Friday discounts.

  • Created FOMO, with ‘must end soon’ messages encouraging consumers to buy.

  • Streamlined their social, providing ‘shop the event’ links. Remember, tweets with visuals get 10x the engagement of tweets without a visual component.

Other social media tips and tricks you can do for Black Friday include:

  • Linking through to content that’s ‘Covid friendly’. Many companies such as Superdrug are promoting home delivery during Black Friday or Click and Collect services.

  • Promote offers AND instant gifts. Everyone loves a freebie.


  • A whopping 65% of spend during Black Friday is predicted to be via Amazon. It’s therefore no surprise that the Seattle-based giant has joined in with the fun early on Facebook. In fact, the retail experts were so on the ball that they launched their campaign before Halloween, popping very specific dates in their marketing efforts to push people into action.

Note the simple yet effective slogan – Shop early. Relax later. It’s to the point and is directly aimed at those looking for something to do as they sit at home during lockdown situations.

Top marketing tip 1: Create Black Friday FOMO by giving your promotion a date as this lets shoppers know it’s not on forever and they’ve got to act. You can also place countdown clocks on specific Lightening Deals. This is something Amazon has also done to create excitement and bring in cash. Use bright fonts, cross out old prices and write reduction percentages so that people feel they’re getting an extra good deal.

Top marketing tip 2: Don’t forget that all-important Black Friday marketing upsell. Amazon is great at putting a large number of products in your line of vision to help customers buy as much as possible. Or at least to pick the cheapest one. Again, remember to include the Black Friday discounts. You can also group items together that match or are frequently sold together in order to push budgets further.

  • Optimise Your Homepage

The homepage of your website is a starting point for many consumers. And with 2020 pushing more and more people towards e-commerce it’s essential that your website is up to scratch. As well as making your Black Friday offers clear and highly visible, you should also make it super easy for consumers to head along your marketing funnel. In other words, minimise clicks and get the sale in the bag quickly.

Let’s use Sky as an example. They’ve been giving people extras during the pandemic. A smart idea considering TV consumption is up 24%. They’ve also launched early Black Friday deals adopting a visually impressive, no-nonsense, no hassle approach. Remember, competition is high as more businesses adapt a digital presence.

Sky’s Black Friday campaign is effective because:

  • The homepage is used to drive consumers down the sales funnel with simple ‘Get Started’ and ‘See all Deals’ CTAs. This is accompanied by bold, bright and attractive 50% off imagery which catches the attention of the consumer. Such messaging appears at the top of the homepage and is therefore given priority during the Black Friday period and is not buried elsewhere in the site.

  • Both the user experience and buyer journey are made clear which encourages people not to abandon what they’ve started. Transparency is key as it tells people they can get what they want quickly.

  • Basket updates are made clear every step of the way, so people won’t get a shock at the end and abandon their basket. This is important when considering the design of your e-commerce site, especially if you’re entering the digital retail world for the first time.

  • The Black Friday offer has wide appeal. As a retailer during Black Friday it’s important to cast your net wide and appeal to different audiences interested in your brand. For example, Sky has covered all angles by focussing on mobile, TV and broadband packages. Again, note how the Limited Time Offer message appears to induce FOMO.

  • Make Your Black Friday Campaign Mobile Friendly. Having a strong digital presence is a must for Black Friday 2020. But you also need your site to be mobile friendly. There are many reasons for this. Firstly $2.9 billion worth of Black Friday sales happen through mobile phones. So, if your site isn’t responsive and mobile friendly, you could be missing out on a huge chunk of sales. Secondly, Google has adopted a mobile first approach to SEO. This means it prioritises mobile over desktop content. So if your desktop content is strong but your mobile content is weak it’s time to for a content refresh and update.

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