Here at the Skai offices in Chicago and across the United States, Thanksgiving means a few different things. Among the turkey and stuffing and uncomfortable conversations with relatives, there is also football (although that’s increasingly depressing in Chicago unless you count Internet memes), and then there is the phenomenon of Black Friday, ostensibly the biggest shopping day of the year.
But as I actually learned from watching English football (or as we continue to call it in the States, soccer) over the weekend, Black Friday is starting to become a thing in the U.K. as well. When I heard the commentators for the Spurs-Everton match bring it up, I thought to myself that it’s one thing for advertisers and retailers to try to affect shopping behavior with an event from across the pond, but the proof would be in the (Yorkshire) pudding.
Lo and behold, when we look at retail clients in the U.K. who were on the Skai platform in both 2013 and 2014, the only interesting difference seems to be that advertiser spend is more spread out over the days of the week this year. Then once we get past Thanksgiving—or as they call it in the United Kingdom, Thursday—we see an upward tick of much greater magnitude than we did last year.
In 2013, overall U.K. retail search spend increased 44% from Thursday to Friday, so the spike is not a totally new development. This year, that increase jumped to 145%. That also works out to an increase of 88% year-over-year for Black Friday itself, compared to just an 11% increase for the day before. It would appear that this monumental retail event is getting so big, even oceans cannot contain it.