Key dates in 2019

Half a dozen useful timestamps dancing around this pre-christmas sales event

Grey Thursday

28 NOVEMBER 2019


This day is actually Thanksgiving in America. The 4th Thursday in November. A tad controversial, because on a day people are meant to be spending time with their families, they are enticed to go shopping to spend money instead (often on gifts for the people they were meant to be having dinner with). But if you’re not in America, go nuts, guilt free. And if you are, Happy Holidays!

Black Friday

29 NOVEMBER 2019


Typically, Brits had a different kind of Black Friday originally: The last Friday before Christmas where revellers had one too many eggnogs and things got a bit messy. That has now appeared to have been replaced by it’s equally messy American cousin, the Black Friday retail event. Coined in the 1900’s as the day after thanksgiving became a popular shopping day for the masses. A bit like our Boxing Day sales.

Cyber Monday



Cyber Monday is just like Black Friday really. Although the difference is that a lot of people (in the US at least) are off work on the Friday, but back to work on the Monday. So we guess it’s easier to order online than hit the shops on the Monday. Most of the deals from Black Friday go right through to Cyber Monday anyway. Many retailers count Cyber Monday as the official start to the Christmas shopping period.

Small Business Saturday

30 NOVEMBER 2019


Here’s one you might not have heard of. It’s a campaign with the aim to champion small businesses. Shop local sort of vibe. Originally this started offline on the high street but some agile traders have been able to take the promotion online. And why not? There’s nothing stopping small businesses from competing online. Small Business Saturday reaches millions of customers and businesses each year. 

Free Shipping Day

14 DECEMBER 2019


Free Shipping Day is a promotion that combines a promise to deliver by Christmas Eve with the real sweetener that is Free Delivery. It’s a campaign that’s gained momentum since it’s inception in 2008. If you can afford to include free delivery on all orders then it might be worth getting on board. Probably not something you’d want to advertise in advance though, as it might tempt people to hold off ordering until the 14th.

Last UK Posting Day



Many e-tailers will benefit from winning last minute sales due to guaranteed Christmas delivery. What is the last date that you will be able to accept orders until? If you have an established relationship with a courier already, then you’ll want to check with them, but as a guide, here’s what Royal Mail are saying:

  • Friday 20th December – 1st Class
  • Monday 23rd December – Special Delivery

Cyber Wknd ’19

Cyber weekend is on the horizon. That’s basically Black Friday through Cyber Monday with the odd extended sales period either side. With many businesses expecting their largest chunk of orders during this adopted ‘holiday’ period, it’s arguably the biggest sales event in the calendar. Retailers slash prices for a limited time to create urgency and encourage sales. And it works.

The UK’s online shoppers spent £7bn over Cyber Weekend 2018. Not wanting to miss out on the fun, we’ll be launching our own event on Black Friday, so stay tuned. In the meantime, here are some key dates, cool facts and useful tips for all cyber sales fans out there.

Origins of Black Friday

Here’s a quick snippet that will make you popular at the pub quiz. Rumour has it in the 1950’s lots of people, tourists and shoppers, came out onto the streets of Philadelphia the day after Thanksgiving for the Army / Navy football game. It caused a bit of chaos on the streets which the Police had to deal with. They weren’t too keen on the extra hassle or overtime and so referred to the occasion as ‘Black Friday’. (1) (2)

This spread throughout Philadelphia initially and then was pretty much adopted across America by the 1980’s although later it was believed to have more to do with retailers getting into the black (i.e. turning a profit on their bottom line) for the first time that year.

Black Friday made its way to the UK on 2010 when Amazon introduced the concept. Incidentally, Amazon are responsible for over a quarter of the Black Friday sales still today. In 2013, ASDA (which is owned by Walmart) held it’s own sale and people had fisty cuffs over flat screen TVs.


What does it mean for the high street?

No doubt any mention of Black Friday conjures visions of people camping in queues outside storefronts and fighting over televisions. However the reality is far from this as all the action tends to happen online. Look at this stat from a recent  PWC survey. Almost 3/4 of all cyber weekend spend will be on a device.

That doesn’t mean real shops have to sit out. There’s an opportunity to focus on customers and create an event experience that people will want to be part of. Something Amazon cannot do. Here’s what Grant Coleman from Emarsys had to say and it’s a concept we care deeply about in our own stores.

“Consumers need to get an exceptional (and Instagram-worthy) experience to leave the house and engage with retailers. Apple was the first to understand how to use a physical space to inspire brand loyalty. Smart retailers will make physical stores or pop-ups a destination that acts as a marketing tool as much as a sales tool.”


Cyber tips for business

1. Mobile-friendly website

Mobile devices and tablets have long overtaken desktops as the way that consumers browse online. Although the stat above only shows around a quarter of online sales are made on a smartphone, you can be sure if a user has to scale and pinch to browse your site, they’ll quickly go elsewhere.

Make sure your site isn’t one of them. Our websites intelligently adapt and scale to the device viewing.

2. Integration with Epos

There’s nothing worse from a client’s perspective than having browsed for the product they want, placed the order to then receive an email from you that the item they wanted has sold out. It doesn’t lead to great customer satisfaction. So it’s important to make sure that your customers can see if a product is in stock, but also when a product has sold out.

Do you share stock between your retail outlet and website? Then making sure you have your stock in order will be especially important. Nettl:click&collect is a powerful web shop which works seamlessly with your real shop.

3. Houston, we have a problem

Make sure your shop is running as expected. You don’t want to experience any downtime because of a site bug or a spike in traffic that’s crashed your server. Nettl:cloud is powered by an elastic cloud server, so your hosting can scale as you gain more traffic.

4. Marketing, Marketing, Marketing

You’ve made all this effort to get your site ready, make sure your customers know what you’ve got planned. Email campaigns, Social Media, Flyers, In-store Posters and Displays are all great ways to get your message out there. We talk about marketing needing to be ‘omnipresent’. Your customers are more connected than ever and across a number of different channels, you need to be connecting with your customers via these channels too.

5. Turn those deal-seekers into brand advocates

Your marketing efforts shouldn’t stop there. You should be thinking about how you can nurture these new customers and generate repeat business. Keep your customers engaged with regular emails and keep active on social media. Didn’t sign up to your mailing list? Consider retargeting so these customers are still exposed to your brand. Talk to us about our Nettl:Concierge to see how we can help you generate traffic.


Cyber tips for shoppers

1. Use a list to stay on budget

It’s a bit like shopping for groceries at the supermarket. Go in prepared and you’ll be ok. But have you ever rocked up on the offchance, with no list and feeling hungry? You’ll bag a cartload of stuff you originally had no intention of buying.

2. Plan ahead

Research the stuff you’re interested in beforehand. This will help you make sure that a) The product you’ve got your eye on isn’t a dud and b) That the sales price is a legitimate deal. Check what it’s sold for previously https://uk.camelcamelcamel.com/ and shop around

3. Use a wishlist

You’ll be bombarded with offers on things you don’t need. Clear the decks a little with wishlists. Wishlists can be a handy way of quickly seeing if the stuff you’re interested in is on offer or not. Add them to the basket beforehand and then do a quick refresh.

4. Check the price not the saving

A legit marketing tactic is to advertise the amount ‘saved’ compared to the highest price from yesteryear. It might have been £100 more when it was first launched 2 years ago, but just £10 more last week. So pay attention to the price rater than the advertised deal, to make sure it’s good value.

5. Have a backup

You’re looking for a coffee machine. You’ve done your research and picked your favourite. Amazing! It’s included in the deal. Balls! Sold out. Have a back up in mind for when your first pick doesn’t come through so you’re not disappointed.


Any Questions?

Have a chat with us or keep reading. We publish customer-getting tips for free every month.