This year, Black Friday falls on 23rd November 2018.

Do you know why businesses host Black Friday? Let us explain…

When is it Black Friday?

Black Friday first came about in the US and in recent years has also become a highly anticipated shopping event in the UK. This year it falls on the 23rd November, followed by Cyber Monday on 26th November.

Traditionally falling on the day after Thanksgiving in the US, Black Friday is a fairly new phenomenon in the UK. Black Friday is the day when businesses (mainly in the retail sector) around the UK offer the biggest discounts and offers of the whole year. Thereby giving consumers the valuable opportunity to get ahead on Christmas shopping, purchasing items such as tech, toys, clothes, gifts and appliances that are all heavily discounted for a limited amount of time, creating a sense of urgency to BUY. Cyber Monday follows Black Friday as businesses offer similar discounted products, exclusively online and continuing the bargain-hunting frenzy.




When did Black Friday start? 

Interestingly, Police officers in Philadelphia, USA, where the first to use the term "Black Friday" in the 1950s, when large crowds of tourists and shoppers flooded the city the day after Thanksgiving, creating mayhem, plenty of traffic and shoplifting opportunities. A more positive explanation for the term ‘black’ was also circulated in the 1980s, Black Friday is the day when retailers finally begin to turn a profit for the year and be ‘in the black’ once again. In accounting terms, operating at a loss was called being “in the red" because accountants traditionally used red ink to show negative amounts. Black ink was used to demonstrate when stores were operating at a profit. At its core, Black Friday presents opportunities for business to stimulate consumer spending and boost profits.

Nowadays, the chaos that occurred all those years ago in Philadelphia hasn’t exactly altered with shoppers surging into stores, grappling for discounted products as witnessed in the Black Friday sale of 2013, customers made national headlines as they were filmed wrestling over flat-screen televisions. 

However, things have calmed down a little since 2013 as Black Friday has become an established event in consumer’s calendar. Although, the buzz, excitement and opportunities for businesses remain.

Cyber Monday was originally unconnected to Black Friday – as the term was coined to mark the date when consumers panic-bought Christmas presents, ordering online at the office when people were supposed to be working.




Black Friday Marketing

For smaller businesses, Black Friday can feel mind-boggling and in a lot of ways, out of reach. At first glance, Black Friday can seem like an event more suitable for bigger companies who can afford to slash prices and offer special deals.

In reality, there are many ways that a small business can benefit from the number of consumers shopping over the weekend, by following suit and taking advantage of all the excitement. This can be in the form of smaller promotions, deals and giveaways, Christmas gift guides or deal of the day. Make sure you analyse your market and promote deals through real-time email marketing and on social media. Don’t forget to take advantage of Black Friday hashtags.




Over the years Black Friday has transformed into an overwhelmingly online phenomena as customers would rather sit at a computer in fluffy slippers, sipping tea and browsing for purchases from home, rather than braving dismal winter weather. For this reason, Black Friday is critical for e-commerce businesses, whatever the size. This being said, businesses do consistently offer Black Friday deals in their physical stores and the results in terms of foot-fall and purchases are worthwhile.

If you would like to read some of our Black Friday Marketing Ideas , click here.




Written by Lydia Daniels September of 2018