iGen Insight on why Black Friday is here to stay

With Black Friday only a week away, iGen Insight look back at the story from last year and how the toys and games space can leverage themselves at this time.
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As we get closer to Christmas, one weekend has become pivotal in changing how consumers are buying products for the festive period.

All brands and retailers, including those in the toys and games market, need to be aware of the Black Friday/Cyber Monday weekend because whether you love it or hate it, it’s here to stay…

Originally an American phenomenon, Black Friday was introduced in 1960, following the thanksgiving weekend, to celebrate the beginning of the Christmas season. Black Friday is an occasion whereby the retail prices of products are dropped, enabling individuals to grab deals on a variety of goods.

In 2004, the National Trade Federation created Cyber Monday to follow on from Black Friday, as they had realised that there was a large peak in sales on this day - the day is called ‘Cyber’ as promotions are only available online.

Since 2010, Black Friday and Cyber Monday have existed in the UK, but it wasn’t until last year that the weekend of promotions really took off, causing websites to crash and riots to take over shops as individuals rushed to beat others to deals.

As we get closer to 2015’s Black Friday/Cyber Monday weekend, which will create the annual consumer frenzy on the 27th and 30th of November, we look back at what happened last year in terms of sales, and advertising media spend, and what this might mean for this year’s big event.

Sales over this weekend in 2014 increased by 22% from that recorded in 2013. However, it is important to note, opposed to creating incremental sales, it is consolidating consumer spend; people are not spending more in the run up to Christmas, but simply spending earlier as they take advantage of the deals that are on offer.

In this digital age it is not surprising that much of the growth in sales over this particular weekend is online as consumers try to avoid the ‘hustle and bustle’ of in-store shopping; in 2014 £810m was spent on Black Friday, and £720m on Cyber Monday, the total of which accounted for 4% of the yearly online sales.

Toys and games retailers are already beginning to tap into this demand, with the likes of Argos, Game, Amazon and John Lewis creating designated Black Friday pages last year. These are set up to help consumers grab the deals they want before they’re gone, and we can only anticipate that more will follow suit.

The largest proportion of online purchases occurred on Black Friday last year, with 1 in 4 Britons (Lightspeed GMI, Kantar, 2014) looking to grab a deal online on this day.

iGen Insight took to the streets to get parents perspective on the matter and it became apparent that many are aware of Black Friday but not Cyber Monday, and as a result we anticipate that as word spreads of Cyber Monday, due to the benefits associated with online shopping, it will compete more with Black Friday’s figures.

What does this mean in terms of advertising? Although brands and retailers are advertising across both Black Friday and Cyber Monday, the platform which they spend on is important; there is a short time frame in which advertising will be impactful, and it needs to reach a large percentage of the target audience during this period (tactical quick cover).

Thinking about this in terms of toys and games, in the majority of instances TV is ‘king’ when it comes to advertising, however during this weekend other platforms such as digital, outdoor and press need to be taken advantage of in order to achieve quick tactical cover.

In line with online sales, digital is the favoured medium in terms of both spend and consumer preference for consumption of deals.


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