Some offers are available today only (29 November), but other companies are extending deals across the weekend to Cyber Monday (2 December).
Those marking the occasion this year include B2C and B2B specialist Moo, which is offering 30% off all products until next Wednesday (4 December), Photobox, which is offering up to 70% off everything, and Printed.com, which is offering 20% off all orders until midnight for its own ‘Pink Friday’ event.
Printed.com founder Nick Green said his company has found the event a boost to business.
“We first started running a Pink Friday campaign about four years ago and saw really nice early-stage traction with our clients. So we then decided the following year to put some investment behind it in terms of proper marketing, and we saw maybe a 150% uplift in terms of our sales compared to a normal Friday.
“In the last two years, that’s risen to nearer to 250% – so that’s why we’ve continued to engage in the activity.
“I think there’s a possibility this year that we may see a little bit of Black Friday fatigue, because it has now been in the marketplace for quite some time, and it’s not clear to me that against the current backdrop, everyone’s spending quite as much as they have done historically.
“At this point [10.15am], though, I can tell you we’re running just slightly ahead of last year in terms of our hour-by-hour meter, so we’re certainly in a good place right now!”
Plenty of other printers are likewise getting involved. Peter Scott Printers is offering a 10% discount on flyers and leaflets this year, while seasoned Black Friday discounter Solopress is offering up to 40% off selected large-format print.
Earls Barton-based Able Print UK has chosen a unique type of discount, offering different ‘double-up’ two-for-the-price-of-one deals each day this week leading up to Black Friday.
Operations manager Andy Dowling said: “We participate in Black Friday for several reasons, the main one being expectation from our customers.
“Over the past few years we have noticed the trend of [customers] holding fire with ordering until an offer is presented to them.
“[Black Friday] certainly is a big deal for us as a company, generating the largest spike of orders in any one period annually.”
Black Friday began as a post-Thanksgiving festivity in the US, where it marks the beginning of the Christmas shopping season. Introduced to the UK by Amazon in 2010, it is now one of the country’s biggest shopping days of the year, with retailers across the board cutting stock prices to fuel sales before Christmas.
Green said: “I think if you’re in the retail space in the UK, Black Friday and Cyber Monday are firmly part of the promotional calendar.
“The newspapers, the press, the TV have made Black Friday a proper event within the UK. I think you’ve got to probably join in – but to what extent is up to each business.”
UK consumers spent £8.3bn over Black Friday weekend last year. It is predicted that they will spend £8.6b this year, according to research by VoucherCodes: £4.8bn in-store and £3.8b online.