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The numbers are in, and sales in the UK over the Black Friday weekend skyrocketed by 16.5%, with Barclaycard announcing that a groundbreaking number of transactions were recorded between the hours of 1pm to 2pm, with 1,184 per second, up 9% from last year. 

Our team at Stellar Search predicted this increase, which was partly due to Black Friday and Cyber Monday falling on November 29th and December 2nd retrospectively, which not only shortened the Christmas shopping period but also coincided with the majority of people’s pay-day before Christmas. This is due to happen again this year as Black Friday will fall on November 27th and Cyber Monday on November 30th in 2020. 

The work we undertook resulted in our clients having a record breaking period in sales without compromising on revenue. We credit this to being more process-driven and moving the focus away from the offers on the copy and creatives. We used our influence to ensure that clients have all their campaigns set up well in advance, resulting in one of our clients (an e-commerce beauty specialist) to record their highest amount of orders in history! 

In this article, we’ll run through everything we learnt from Black Friday in 2019, along with some actionable takeaways that you can apply to your Black Friday campaigns for 2020. 


Search Volumes and Trends  

Brand traction and preferences are often heightened over Black Friday, and 2019 was no different. In the UK, Searches for ‘Amazon Black Friday’ increased by 5% (jumping from 550k searches in 2018 to 578k in 2019) and ‘Agros Black Friday’ grew by 3% (from 550k to 567k).  

More users are also searching for specific products instead of generic brands on Black Friday – The Nintendo Switch was the most searched for product worldwide in both 2018 and 2019, with 1.8 million and 2.3 million searches retrospectively, it’s popularity increasing by 27% year-on-year

In 2020, ensure that you get your product pages ready and optimised in advance as we expect this trend to continue. Not only does it give search engines plenty of time to index each product page but you can establish the regular retail price for your customers so that when you put the item on sale there is a clear discount. 

Mobile Commerce

Black Friday has gradually become more and more of a mobile shopping event, with Adobe reporting that 58% of traffic came from smartphones up 7% last year

These findings correspond with our client’s data who are a popular luxury confectionery supplier. In 2019 our campaigns on mobile drove more traffic at a lower cost, resulting in transactions increasing by 55%, revenue growing by 48% and costs decreasing by 23% year-on-year. 

It’s no surprise that we predict that mobile usage will increase into 2020. Look into what Google and other search engines think of your site from a mobile perspective. Even more importantly, navigate your mobile site and find out what the user’s experience is like. 


Amazon 

Amazon does particularly well over Black Friday (owing to its board product range) and they have announced that Cyber Monday 2019 was their busiest day in history. They already have their Black Friday 2020 landing page live and it is easily findable on their website. 

If you’re a retailer, it can be hard to compete with the e-commerce giants like Amazon as they boast taking 26% of all website traffic over the weekend. Here at Stellar Search we recommend launching a paid strategy to help you compete in this competitive market. 


Google Shopping 

According to Merkle, Google Shopping Ads generate 42% of retail search clicks on Black Friday and this is growing 29% year-on-year. A client of ours saw their UK Google Shopping campaigns increase by 87% and 155% in revenue and sales when compared to the previous year. Our efforts also resulted in the number of impressions increasing two-fold and clicks increasing by 248% over the Black Friday period in comparison to 2018. 

With Google continually making updates and improvements to Shopping, such as rolling Shopping Ads, dynamic remarketing and cross-networking audience targeting into one, there is no doubt in our mind that in 2020 Google will be heavily investing in automation and promoting smart shopping more than ever. To ensure that your Google Shopping campaigns have the best chance of success, start to test your smart shopping campaigns as soon as possible. 


Social Media 

With over 17% of shoppers using Facebook to make Black Friday purchases, we created three different paid campaigns on this social media channel for a popular beauty brand. Our campaigns generated a CTR of 1.9% (which is above the industry average) resulting in a conversion rate of over 25% during the Black Friday period. 

If you want to see results like ours, start testing ads, identifying audience segments and ensuring that your Pixel and SDK integrations are working correctly in the summer months. This will ensure that you’ll be going into the next Black Friday period with the best chance of success. 

Here at Stellar Search we have years of experience with this crazy shopping season, so if you’re looking for an agency to help you get the most out of Black Friday (or any other time), look no further.