Alexa, what’s all the fuss about Black Friday?

Photo by Ashkan Forouzani on Unsplash

The answer is sales, massive sales opportunities for retailers and extreme discounts for consumers, it is a win-win situation for all parties. Following on from previous years trends, Black Friday and Cyber Monday, which will fall on the 26 and 29 of November respectively, are expected to be the biggest and the longest shopping events of 2021. There are numerous opportunities up for grabs in the months ahead for both brands and retailers.

Traditionally ‘Black Friday is a day of extreme sales that started in the US, with retailers trying to clear stock by discounting 50% or more on products. For consumers, trying to avoid Black Friday shopping, can be like trying to say ‘no’ to a slice of your favourite cake. People are spoilt for choice, with discounts available for everyone, and retailers making it really hard to resist a good deal. In addition, items are often marketed as ‘limited-time offers’, which create the ‘fear of missing out’ on unique sales opportunities. Although, sales are not exclusive to Black Friday and Cyber Monday. In fact, in previous years there have been significant discounts offered throughout the whole month of November. In the UK, these events are getting bigger every year, and with the Covid-19 lockdown restrictions last year, online Black Friday sales were a tremendous success for many retailers.

The numbers are truly impressive in the UK, with 30% of all retail sales occurring from Black Friday till Christmas (1). In addition, online shopping is becoming increasingly more common and popular year on year. Last year, a staggering 87% of UK households made online purchases, which shows the importance of an e-commerce presence (2).

Amazon is key to brands in the UK, since it is the leading online retailer, with nearly 90% of all shoppers using Amazon to make purchases (3). It is therefore important for brands and retailers to think of a marketing strategy that ensures brand and product visibility on the platform, and one way this could be achieved would be through Amazon’s smart speaker, Alexa, which could put a brand ahead of its competitors in terms of awareness and innovation, while offering a large proportion of the UK population the chance to make purchases on their smart speaker.

Voice Tech is growing fast, and smart speakers are becoming a legitimate key channel for product search and purchase. The hype around Black Friday sales would make the perfect time to explore the untapped potential of voice this holiday season, while giving consumers something unique and innovative to try. With nearly 40% of UK households connected to a smart speaker, (4) and using them for a variety of daily tasks, a voice experience this upcoming holiday season has the potential to reach a larger audience than it would at any other point in time.

Black Friday sales offer retailers the possibility to experiment with the technology, while assessing the benefits of ecommerce on this fast emerging channel. Major top brands, such as Nike, Starbucks and Domino’s pizza are already leading the way with custom voice experiences. Voice applications offer their users the possibility to interact with a brand, explore their product selection and to make a purchase. Using voice for shopping is easy, convenient and innovative, and it allows users a hands-free way to multitask. The possibilities in voice are endless, and with so many people in the UK now connected to smart speakers, the channel awaits to be explored by brands and retailers. Voice is the next big thing, and the Black Friday sales are the perfect time for retailers to get onboard and explore the possibilities before missing the boat.

Building the next generation of voice apps for smart speakers.