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A marketing strategy will help you identify your best customers, understand their needs and implement the most effective marketing methods.

The internet has transformed business marketing. No matter what you do, the internet is likely to be at the heart of your marketing strategy.

Social media is firmly established as a marketing tool. Having a presence opens up new lines of communication with existing and potential customers.

Good advertising puts the right marketing message in front of the right people at the right time, raising awareness of your business.

Customer care is at the heart of all successful companies. It can help you develop customer loyalty and improve relationships with your customers.

Sales bring in the money that enables your business to survive and grow. Your sales strategy will be driven by your sales objectives.

Market research exists to guide your business decisions by giving you insight into your market, competitors, products, marketing and your customers.

Direct marketing can be a highly successful way to generate sales from existing and new customers. Find out how to target them in the best way.

Exhibitions and events are valuable for businesses because they allow face-to-face communication and offer opportunities for networking.

PR

Favourable media coverage can bring a range of business benefits. But how do you attract the attention of editors, broadcasters and journalists?

Black Friday set to be a record breaker

24 November 2020

New research suggests that Black Friday 2020 could be the busiest ever as online sales continue to soar.

Two-thirds of Brits (67%) say they plan to shop on Black Friday this year, up 10% on last year, according to the annual Black Friday survey by Retail Assist.

Black Friday takes place on 27 November. The poll of 1,200 shoppers by Retail Assist found that 41% said that Black Friday usually kicks off their Christmas shopping. However, 66% of UK shoppers said they plan to start shopping early anyway. The findings show that many Brits have been using lockdown to do their Christmas shopping online to spread out the cost.

Shoppers often shop on Black Friday to buy technology; this year, 55% of respondents said they were most interested in buying clothes, followed by beauty products (31%) and then technology (24%).

A poll of 2,000 UK consumers by Opinium for LiveArea has also found that Brits have been using the current lockdown to get on with their Christmas shopping. Its findings show that 36% of Brits will do all, or most, of their Christmas shopping during November's lockdown.

Over a quarter (27%) of UK consumers expect to spend less this year on Christmas, compared to previous years. The price of items (38%) will be the key factor for shoppers as well as reliable deliveries (24%). However, it seems that slow or malfunctioning websites are the biggest barrier to lockdown sales - cited by 90%.

"It is now undeniable - price, online experience and delivery are, and will remain, the most important consumer purchasing factors. The second lockdown has proven that the high street is simply not necessary for retail businesses to flourish," said Elliott Jacobs, EMEA commerce consulting director at LiveArea.

"The key to navigating the market is adaptability - all businesses need the ability to understand consumer changes and react instantly. Habits are changing at an unprecedented rate, a trend which will not change any time soon. Retailers can only flourish if they embrace digital and the benefits that come with it."

Confirming the findings of these surveys, the retail figures for October from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show that internet sales have grown 60% year-on-year. David Jinks, head of consumer research at ParcelHero, predicts that the figures for November will be even higher thanks to the lockdown.

"There are some truly astonishing figures for online sales this October," he said. "All in all, ecommerce now grabs 28.5% of all UK retail sales. All this is great news for online retailers … but this surge in home deliveries points to an intensely busy seasonal peak. Both consumers and retailers need to carefully plan this year to avoid the impact of this Mount Everest of Christmas peaks."

Written by Rachel Miller.

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