Business development · 23 November 2020

Black Friday lockdown loss totals 1.26bn

Black Friday digital sales

With much of the UK still in the midst of a national lockdown and the majority of high street stores temporarily closed, the online activity surroundingblackfriday?(taking place on November 27th) is set to be higher this year than ever before.

Whilst many price sensitive shoppers will no doubt be enticed by the tempting deals and heavily discounted products global retailers offer in the lead up to Christmas; the ongoing repercussions of the global pandemic and the devastating impact it’s had on independent businesses means that a growing number of consumers will be looking to support smaller brands and retailers this year.

Before the England-wide lockdown, it wasestimated 6 billion would be spentin the United Kingdom over Black Friday and Cyber Monday. However, with lockdown 2.0 announced as a month-long measure throughout November, shops deemed non-essential have closed, and shoppers have been forced to turn to ecommerce during this time.


Within the restrictions, click-and-collect delivery options are still permitted but what has been the impact of closing bricks and mortar? Usingreliable ONS data, as well as original research conducted by of average spend per demographic, MRS Digital has calculated theestimated loss of Black Friday UK spend due to lockdown. As it stands, this loss is predicted to beover 1, 261, 497, 936.

It is estimated the?total cost of the second lockdown to retailers is 8 billion.

Now that England, Scotland and Northern Ireland will be in full nationwide lockdowns for Black Friday, more and more people will be forced to turn to online shopping during this time. While it may be true that a large proportion of shoppers from certain age groups move to the internet for their online shopping in the lead-up to Christmas, there are still some groups who are more likely to wait until after lockdown to purchase items or have tried to prepare beforehand.

Value, trust and handmade sentiment key toblackfridaybattle this year

Black?Friday£2020: How can small businesses prepare themselves this year?

Michelle O’sullivan, business development director at global affiliate network?, gave the following tips on how UK SME’s still have time to prepare effective sales tactics ahead ofblackfriday, to ensure they can drive as much interest to their offerings as possible.?

Decide on your promotion

If you are yet to decide on the sort of promotions you are going to be running during?Black?Fridayand in the run-up to Christmas, do this now.

Consider your margins, but also look at what your competitors are offering or have offered in the past and make sure your deals are competitive, or even better, to ensure you stand out. Differentiate by really emphasising what you’re selling and make potential customers aware that it is a one-time only offer. Whatever you do, your messaging has to be clear and concise to cut through all the noise.

Use your own data to inform your strategy

Provided you had an online shop during the Golden Quarter (the three-month run-up to Christmas and New Year) in 2019, it is really useful to use your own site’s data to inform your 2020 strategy. Because who knows your own customers and their buying behaviour better than you?

“Take a look at when traffic to your site started to peak around November and December last year, and time your offer to coincide with this; for example, if you saw lots of traffic coming in the?Fridaybefore?Black?Friday, time your offer to start from then to encourage repeat purchases and jog customers memories.”

If you’re a relatively new businesses and this is the first time you have sold items online during the Cyber Weekend, take time again to look at what some of your competitors are doing and have been doing in previous years, and learn from them.

Consider affiliate strategies

Whether or not you already have an existing affiliate programme, using a publisher to help get your promotions out there can be a useful strategy to help you stand out above the crowd this?Black?Friday.

Publishers can offer various different methods of exposure, ranging from newsletter slots, to on-site promotions all year round, so shop about and choose the one that is right for your brand.

How are you preparing for Black Friday 2020? Let us know by emailing

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Praseeda Nair is an impassioned advocate for women in leadership, and likes to profile business owners, advisors and experts in the field of entrepreneurship and management.

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