Mobile critical for UK small businesses to compete against big retailers during Black Friday, says Google

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Google today revealed data to show that for small businesses to win against big retail on Black Friday, it is crucial they adjust to the mobile web quickly. Last year, close to 30% of retail revenue was driven by mobile, and since only a minority of small businesses are mobile-ready, they could miss out on over £300m in mobile revenue on Friday 27 November.

While the big retailers typically dominate Black Friday sales, Google wants to help small businesses get a slice of the profits through its newly launched The Digital Garage website. With free advice on a range of topics including improving search campaigns or how to best use the mobile web to reach a growing base of smartphone users, SMEs can thrive during this annual shopping extravaganza.

Today, Google is also unveiling some top trends to tap into for retail success:

  1. Mobile trends data

On Black Friday 2014, 31% of retail enquiries were on smartphones and they are expected to surge by 42% this year. That means SMEs need to ensure their website is mobile friendly. If they manage to attract customers, chances are the traffic to their website will be much higher than on a regular day so businesses need to make sure they can cope with heavy web traffic and not have websites crash. Google’s 25 principles of mobile site design can help companies build mobile sites that delight customers and drive conversions. If it’s slow to load or if the information requires too much scrolling, customers may not hang around. Resources like PageSpeed Insights can help check website load time.

  1. Keywords trends and local interest

Google searches for Black Friday usually begin three weeks prior to the event with some of the top ten most shopping related search terms between September and December 2014 including: Black Friday, Christmas Day, Coat, Boot, Gift, Jacket and Costume. In November alone, search terms such as ‘Black Friday Deals’ or ‘Black Friday UK’ were particularly popular. Understanding search trends and where they’re coming from can help businesses focus their campaigns on the most meaningful terms for their audience.

Top 5 UK cities trending for the keyword “Black Friday” in the past 90 days:

  1. Birmingham
  2. Nottingham
  3. Bristol
  4. Liverpool
  5. Manchester

Source: Google Trends, November 2015

The top questions people are asking about Black Friday on Google Search are:

  1. When is Black Friday?
  2. What is Black Friday?
  3. What time does Black Fridaystart?
  4. How much discount on Black Friday?
  5. What shops do Black Friday?
  6. How much are TVs on Black Friday?
  7. How much will an Xbox 1 be on Black Friday?

Source: Google Data, November 2015

  1. Best times to advertise

Google data shows that consumers are increasingly restless around shopping moments like Black Friday with one third of all shopping-related searches now happening between the hours of 10pm and 4am. Small businesses that sell their products or services online need to know that the buying experience is no longer confined to daytime or normal business hours. Search habits can vary significantly by time of day. On Black Friday for example, more apparel enquiries happened between 5am and 12pm versus a regular Friday as consumers hunted for early bargains.

Shane Nolan, director of SMB Sales at Google UK & Ireland, said: “This year, Black Friday is expected to once again set new sales records. As more retailers offer deals earlier in the season, Black Friday excitement is no longer confined to a single day. That’s why it’s so important for SMEs to plan ahead to meet the needs and expectations of customers, whilst giving them significant advantage over the competition. By creating the best mobile experience possible, understanding search behaviour and optimising keywords, SMEs can profit from the biggest ever day for UK online sales. We want to be a growth engine for small businesses so are excited to offer free advice on The Digital Garage website.”

For more Black Friday business advice and information on The Digital Garage, please visit https://digitalgarage.withgoogle.com/.