Half of retailers scrap time-bound Black Friday deals

After last year’s Black Friday woes, where many retailers were caught off guard by unprecedented demand, retailers are taking extra precautions to make the most of the biggest online shopping day of the year and improve the shopping experience.

Over half of retailers (54%) are scrapping time-bound offers this Black Friday to discourage shoppers from lurking on websites and hitting ‘refresh’ every few seconds as new deals are revealed, according to research commissioned by RetailMeNot, the world’s largest marketplace for digital offers.

While fewer time-bound offers are expected, there are likely to be more bargains on offer. Two-thirds (66%) of retailers have stockpiled high-demand products, such as wearable devices, tablets, flat screen TVs, and other consumer electronics, in order to meet expected demand.

To get the most out of all channels, retailers are pushing online sales. Eight out of ten (84%) retailers have created dedicated Black Friday shopping pages, while three-quarters (78%) are investing in extra bandwidth to prevent websites from ‘toppling over’ during peak times.

But, don’t expect your order right away. Over three-quarters (78%) of retailers plan to allow additional time to deliver orders (of up to 4 – 5 days) to ease pressure on delivery firms, while nine out of ten (86%) retailers are touting ‘click-and-collect’ services, with the additional benefit of driving customers in store.

Giulio Montemagno, SVP & GM International, RetailMeNot, said: “Shoppers should expect a substantially different Black Friday this year. After underestimating demand in 2014, retailers are ‘throwing the kitchen sink’ at Black Friday to ensure that the shopping experience doesn’t falter. Retailers are pushing online sales, with dedicated Black Friday sites and greater investment in IT to ensure they can handle the hordes of shoppers.”

“With Brits set to spend £2.2 billion online this weekend, including £966 million on Black Friday, retailers are keen to avoid over-stretching themselves at the cost of the shopping experience. We expect retailers to offer fewer time-bound deals and in-store sales, and take a more realistic approach to delivery, with longer delivery times of 4 – 5 days and a greater emphasis on click-and-collect services.”