A veritable feast: How advertisers need to make the most of extra Black Friday opportunities

Black Friday is right around the corner, with adverts everywhere reminding shoppers to grab a great deal on everything from gym wear to vacuum cleaners. As one of retail’s biggest spending milestones, it provides a significant opportunity for advertisers to engage with shoppers when they’re in the mood to splash some cash.

So, what can advertisers do to make the most of the “retail festival” that Black Friday has become?

Understand the move beyond tech

Traditionally, products discounted in Black Friday sales were mainly technology based. TVs, laptops and fridges dominated the majority of discounts both online and in-store, as Black Friday found its feet with a UK audience. But now, Black Friday has evolved into a multi-industry and sector-agnostic retail extravaganza, so advertisers working with all different kinds of brands should not let the opportunity pass them by.

Our latest insights found that, last year, purchases in the clothes, shoes and accessories category on ebay.co.uk lifted 36% on Black Friday compared to the previous week. Sporting equipment also saw an uplift with purchases in the category rising 27% overnight, while purchases of specific products such as ‘golf clubs’ and ‘ski jackets’ soared by 21% and 23% respectively. The automotive industry also cashed in, as purchases in the with the Vehicle Parts and Accessories category rose 11% overnight.

With the above in mind, advertisers shouldn’t make assumptions that they know exactly what shoppers will be searching for and should seek out insights to avoid missing any opportunities to engage with potential customers.

It’s all in the timing

In addition to appealing to more industries, Black Friday has also evolved into a much bigger and more time intensive event. Our data shows that Black Friday has become a longer-term shopping occasion, with consumers actively searching for Black Friday deals up to a week and a half before the event.

Advertisers should also not underestimate consumer spend through to Cyber Monday and beyond – with shoppers continuing to splash the cash on ‘Super Sunday’ (the Sunday between Black Friday and Cyber Monday). Last year on ebay.co.uk, we saw purchases of coffee brand ‘Krups’ rose by 23% two days after Black Friday, having already increased by 78% on the day itself.

There is another timing point which suggests that this Black Friday could be especially big – the calendar date on which it falls. This year, Black Friday is on the 29th of November, almost a week later than last year. This is significant for two reasons – it’s on the brink of December, meaning more people will see the event as an opportunity to do their Christmas shopping, and it is after (or on) payday for much of the UK – so more people will have the disposable income to make purchases.

The widening window of opportunity for brands to engage with sales-hungry shoppers means sensible advertisers should spread their spend over a longer period to ensure they reach the biggest audience as they tune into the occasion. At the same time, brands can take advantage of post-payday shoppers already being in a shopping mindset as their campaigns ramp up – allowing them to rely on contextual signals as well as targeting by behaviour or demographic.

It’s go time

As Black Friday looms again, advertisers must spring into action – and our findings make clear the necessity to have a solid but flexible strategy in place. Brands should incorporate meaningful data into their campaigns at every stage to ensure their efforts lead to big returns. If they play their cards right, advertisers could get more bang for their buck on their campaign spend, giving them the edge on rivals on the big day.

Interested in hearing leading global brands discuss subjects like this in person?

Find out more about Digital Marketing World Forum (#DMWF) Europe, London, North America, and Singapore.