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Tapping into mobile holds the key for Black Friday Sales, says new guide for retailers

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Retailers must adapt to a mobile marketplace if they are to effectively compete in this year’s Black Friday sales. 

So says a guide published by Textlocal, which aims to show retailers how sales have fundamentally changed with as many as 80% of consumers now engaging with retailers via their smartphones.

Last year, more than 90% of retailers took part in Black Friday and an incredible £1.4bn was spent in online sales in the UK on the day, an 11.7% increase year-on-year according to IMRG.  A recent report from Textlocal shows a growth in online shopping via mobile with three quarters (75%) using their phones to browse the internet every day and an average monthly spend growing to £36.12, according to Ofcom 2017.  

With the penetration of smartphones reaching record levels – currently 85% of the adult population – it is anticipated that the amount of sales completed on smartphones will increase from the 39% achieved last year, with a third of shoppers (35%) now stating that their mobile will become their primary tool for business. 

The opportunity for retailers is further evidenced in the guide that suggests that nearly half of the population (48%) welcome receiving promotional messages from their preferred brands and a further 60% are happy to receive vouchers via the mobile channel.

The opportunity is not only limited to sales, with Textlocal’s guide suggesting that retailers should not only consider mobile for generating sales, but also improving service.  The guide suggests that 67% of consumers welcomed delivery updates, 60% want to receive discounts as well as a third (35%) wish to receive offers – 37% of users have made a purchase as a direct result of receiving a message from a business.

“The uptake of smartphones has made shopping a 24/7 experience, with users no longer restricted to the opening times of bricks and mortar stores, and Black Friday sales have now become a week-long event,” says Textlocal MD Jason Palgrave-Jones.  He continues: “The way consumers shop has fundamentally changed and, as such, retailers who want to attract and engage with their customer base need to consider a mobile strategy.  The platform is proven to support retailers through the whole customer journey from targeting promotions and ordering through to delivery and ongoing customer service.”

The guide comes as shoppers start to plan their Black Friday strategy. 

Five million Brits are preparing for a long night on 22nd November this year, saying they will stay up and do their online Christmas shopping the moment the Black Friday sales start at midnight on 23rd November*, according to research released by leading click & collect provider Doddle, who works with over 50 of the UK’s top retailers including Amazon, ASOS and New Look.


A further two and half million will be setting their alarm for the early dawn hours, meaning that over seven million* will be disrupting their usual sleep routine to make their online savings this Black Friday.  One in five (18%) will be logging on around midday to power through their Christmas shopping list over lunch.


In just a few years Black Friday has become a calendar phenomenon for younger generations of shoppers with just under half of under 35s (44%) anticipating online shopping on 23rdNovember.  One in every three UK adults (29%) that shop for Christmas presents plan to check out the Black Friday online sales with one in every 25 35-44 year olds even admitting to already having the date set up as an alert in their calendar. 


Only 2% of those that buy Christmas presents are unaware of the Black Friday phenomenon now, says Doddle.

Image: Textlocal

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