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At Studio 24 we are all traditionalists, Christmas preparations can begin after Halloween and Bonfire night have passed. But now there’s a new player in the game, unheard of until a few years ago. Black Friday, previously described as ‘An Americanism that doesn’t translate well’. Whoever said that can pretty much eat their own hat.

Where has this tradition come from? Indeed, primarily Black Friday is an American tradition, falling anywhere between 23rd and 29th November, the Friday after Thanksgiving. We have read many theories as to where the name originated:

The term allegedly came about in the 1960’s as the unofficial start of the Christmas shopping season. The ‘Black’ refers to accounting records, red indicating a loss and black, profit. Black Friday was also used in a non retail sense to describe the congested and bustling streets. It also refers to a financial crisis of 1869, a stock market catastrophe caused by gold spectators failing to corner the gold market, the market collapsed and stocks plummeted.

Although here in the UK we are experiencing Black Friday as a fairly new fad, we don’t think we’re quite convinced, after shocking scenes from 2014 Black Friday madness appearing in the news. Many of us will choose to stay at home, and not risk life and limb for a discount on a plasma TV.

There has even been a call for a nationwide boycott of the event which ‘caused unnecessarily high demands” on police resources – Lib Dem MP Greg Mulholland and Tory MP Sir Peter Bottomley. Asda have confirmed that they will not be taking part in 2015 Black Friday, but retailers like: Tesco, John Lewis, Morrisons, Sainsburys and Argos will still continue.

Our top tips for online retailers!

So even if Black Friday in the high street still needs some time to catch on, UK online sales rose by £180m and search queries increased by 273% from 2013-2014. If you are planning on running an online campaign for Black Friday this year, here are a few tips:

One of the main challenges of Black Friday is that there is limited time for customers to be enticed with offers, search queries only start to ramp up in the week or so before the sale. In light of this, some of the best advice would be to prepare, stay proactive and cover all your bases in order to run a successful Black Friday campaign.

Be aware that consumer behaviours changes, users will quite happily rise early to get the best bargains, adjust your PPC campaigns appropriately, this is not a normal Friday and user behaviour will change hourly.

Shoppers will be mobile: although it goes without saying that your website should be optimised for mobile, Black Friday shoppers will almost certainly be using a mobile device. With offers being sent out throughout the day users will want to make sure they have access at all times.

Some things you can do to optimise your marketing for mobile are: optimise your emails for mobile devices, make sure that banners are easy to read and don’t over complicate tap targets, otherwise you will frustrate your customers when they try to access your offers.

Spread it out: don’t forget Cyber Monday, although Friday is the big headliner day, it will be difficult to compete with some of the bigger brands with their endless PPC and marketing budgets. Cyber Monday is a chance to get a piece of the action for smaller companies.

Another day we have come across is ‘Small Business Saturday’, this reflects the notion that your sales can last all weekend until Cyber Monday. Black Friday now spans a whole weekend or even a week, small businesses may be better off planning their flash sales around other days than Black Friday in order to be more competitive.