Spawned from North America's insatiable taste for consumerism, with a little nudge from some sharkish business heads, the enigmatic Black Friday has well and truly made its way over the pond.
Derived from USA's festive season of ThanksGiving, it wasn't until 2014 UK-based retailers adopted the concept of Black Friday into their marketing strategy. Among them were ao.com, very.co.uk, John Lewis and Argos, who all offered discounted prices in a bid to attract Christmas shoppers.
Since then the hysteria around Black Friday, has only grown in the UK. In 2016, total spend on online retail sites on Black Friday 2016 was £1.23bn, marking a +12.2% increase on the £1.1bn spent on the same day in 2015. In 2017, these numbers are only expected to increase, and this new emphasis on Black Friday as a marketing campaign has profound implications for integrity, data collection and data compliancy, with many businesses leaving themselves vunerable in light of the impending GDPR.
Like UK organisations in other sectors, retailers are also unprepared for GDPR. The economical pressures for retailers to capitilise on Black Friday means they are neglecting ethical aspects such as data compliancy and integrity - soon to be legal requirements. Many businesses are emailing from "will-be" incompliant databases, to customers who haven't opted-in, meaning they could face huge financial penalties next year as opt-in will become compulsory as of May 25th 2018.
With more consumers buying online, businesses need to be increasingly vigilant to uphold legal operation. Instead of braving the crowds, consumers are now going online. Content around this time is completely Black Friday-centric, with quirky graphics, blogs and videos jumping out at us as we surf the www. Email strategy also blows up during this commercial event.
So, email marketing is another embellishment which helps to induce buying behaviour for Black Friday, but have we really opted-in to recieve contact from these brands? It only takes a quick look at our inbox to see how brands are becoming more and more relentless with their email strategy:
With more brands intensifying their digital marketing strategy for Black Friday, it's becoming quite obvious that UK sales are only going to increase in the coming years. With such increase in online transaction, brands will have to do more to ensure GDPR compliance.
Out of interest - At Prodo, we like looking into the future, so we've created a poll to find out exactly how much you think the UK will spend in 2017:
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