Black Friday, the US phenomenon, traditionally the busiest shopping day of the year being brought to British shores by e-tail giants Amazon UK. For US retailers Black Friday is the day when the most profit is made, for many, it is the first time of a year that they come out of the red and into the black, hence where the name "Black Friday" came from. Since the mid 1960's, US shoppers have enjoyed huge savings during the annual shopping event that takes place the Friday after Thanks Giving- Friday 26th November. This year, Amazon.co.uk are giving UK online shoppers deals on this year's Christmas must haves during the week starting 22nd November 2010, they will be "lightening deals" with discounts on limited numbers of products for a short time period. Amazon announced in a press release they will offer deals on 200 products including:
- Over 60% off Nintendo Wii Console
- Over 60% off Flip Mino High Definition Camcorders
- Over 60% off Microsoft Xbox consoles
- Canon PowerShot Cameras at less than half price
- Over 60% off Eternity Moment Eau de Parfum
- Over 70% off Pearl Necklaces
- Sony TVs at half price
- Coronation Street Golden Anniversary Collection DVD at less than half price
Through a search on the Google Trends tool using the top 10 must have gifts for Christmas 2010, we can see that the Wii and Xbox 360 have had the highest volume of searches in the last 30 days. All the usual Apple suspects following closely with the growing popularity of the iPod Touch, iPad and iPhone 4. In past years, Apple iPod, Nintendo and Xbox have had a huge increase in searches in the last quarter; this trend is set to continue in the run up for Christmas 2010.
It has been predicted that Christmas 2010 will be the best for retailers since 2007, before the recession. With more competition between online stores with Black Friday deals cheaper or even free delivery and shorter delivery times in the run up to Christmas online shopping will once more grow in popularity for this Christmas. According to the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) online sales in the run up to Christmas are predicted to reach £11.5 billion in the UK, up £2.6 billion from last year, an astonishing 28.8% rise in total sales.
It will be interesting to see what other etailers will offer for their Black Friday Deals for the UK on this year's Christmas must have gifts to compete with Amazon. Kelkoo, the online comparison site has predicted that about £11.5bn will be spent by UK online shoppers in the run up to Christmas this year compared to £9.96bn in 2009. The chart below shows the top 10 Christmas gadgets for 2010 and their share of searches.
Cyber Monday is the first Monday in December (6th December) when US shoppers head online to buy their Christmas gifts. This year, another hot shopping date has been added to the calendar, Manic Monday. Falling on Monday 29th November, it is expected to be the busiest shopping day of the year for online retailers; sales are set to reach £22.4 million an hour in the UK according to the Centre of Retail Research (CRR). On this day alone, the CRR has predicted consumers will spend £537million online, a 29% increase on last year.
Amazon's announcement comes days after the ISACA warned that office workers will take the most risks when it comes to online shopping and McAfee, the anti-virus software provider warned of the "12 Scams of Christmas".
These threats include iPad offer scams, where the victim is asked to provide credit card details for a "free iPad" which doesn't exist and a social media version requesting a phone number for a "free iPad" this in fact results in a mobile scam costing $10 a week. E-cards are also being used by cyber-criminals to spread viruses and other malware rather than cheer. Charity scams, Christmas jobs, recession scams, phishing, fake gift cards, insecure wireless internet connections at airports/ hotels and Christmas themed downloads are also part of the warning.
Let's hope this Christmas is one of cheer with UK online shoppers becoming more savvy at avoiding scams and getting nothing other than the promised massive savings through buying their Christmas gifts online.