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Will Black Friday / Cyber Monday become the new Boxing Day?

November 28th, 2014 at 10:40 by Catherine

Will Black Friday / Cyber Monday become the new Boxing Day Sale?

Black Friday – the retail sales that occur on the Friday after Thanksgiving—used to be an American tradition, until now. This year, the day of sales arrived in the UK.

UK based internet searches for “Black Friday” were up by 355% in 2013 and look to be even higher this year. This ever increasing online popularity of Black Friday has led to a large number of online retailers in the UK offering Black Friday deals. Last year, so many retailers ran promotions that 72% of the UK population said they know about the Black Friday sales.

If Black Friday continues to become more popular in the UK it’s possible it could overtake Boxing Day and be the biggest sales day in the UK. Plusnet looks into how possible this may be.

 

The growth of Black Friday

Last year Experian stated, that “Searches for ‘Black Friday’ were up 355% in 2013” and this huge growth in online search behaviour shows that there is still room for an even higher volume of Black Friday searches in the years to come. They also predicted that £10.5 billion would be spent on online retail transactions in December 2013 alone.

Black Friday’s popularity amongst UK consumers was also shown on Twitter as Crimson Hexagon showed “there were a total of 4,156,900 tweets about Black Friday, of which 43% were positive, 35% negative and 21% neutral”.

There were 129 million visits to retail websites on Boxing Day which was a year on year increase of 15 per cent which, according to Experian, still made the 26th December the biggest online shopping day ever. However, the growth of online searches for Black Friday deals are likely to keep increasing at a much faster rate than any other sales shopping day in the UK which could result in Boxing Day becoming a less popular day for consumers to buy products.

 

The emergence of Cyber Monday

Black Friday has proven so popular that the sales will often extend over the week, usually ending on the Monday—a day which is now dubbed Cyber Monday, due to the emphasis on online shopping.

Surprisingly, many retailers have already said that Cyber Monday last year was one of their busiest days on record despite Cyber Monday not having the same level of awareness amongst the UK audience. Amazon for example, said that last year they made 4.1m sales on the 2nd December 2013 (Cyber Monday) which actually beat their previous record of 4m on Black Friday, which was set 76 hours earlier.

 

Many UK retailers taking part in Black Friday have already announced that their sales will likely run through to Cyber Monday as they hope to emulate Amazon’s past success. Check out our previous guide to Cyber Monday and how to find the best deals using apps here.

 

A true bargain

There’s a cultural habit in the UK to always try to get a bargain especially on days with predictable discounts. However, many shoppers have started becoming wiser to sales that are advertised and don’t completely believe they genuinely being offered a good discount. Instead, consumers are now willing to spend money for the right kind of deal. If a high quality, expensive product is on sale, this is more likely to attract a consumer in 2014 than a cheaper product with a small discount or free delivery.

Even Black Friday isn’t immune from this way of thinking as research shows that Black Friday isn’t always the best day for deals as some retailers offer better deals on other days of the next year.

The rise in online comparison sites and mobile applications that can scan product barcodes for the best price, have given tech savvy consumers an advantage at spotting the deals that are the best value for money. This ability to compare prices much quicker and fast than ever before has led to a significant rise in sales on Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Boxing Day as retailers now have to compete to offer genuine savings.

 

Timing

As Black Friday and Cyber Monday take place before Christmas they seem more advantageous to shoppers at this time of year. Not only does Black Friday offer retailers large discounts, but it does so in time for Christmas. Many of the customers this weekend are likely buying presents. Boxing day on the other hand takes places after Christmas, which is great if you have a lot of money to spare, but most consumers don’t: Christmas has most likely taken its toll.

 

Conclusion

If you’re looking for a bargain you’d be hard pressed to find a day offering better value for money, especially before Christmas. This is Black Friday’s true strength: Boxing Day allows you to get a bargain for yourself, but Black Friday allows you to get a bargain for your loved ones.

 

Why not visit http://www.plus.net to check out our Black Friday deal and for further information on all Plusnet’s offers!

 

Are you doing some shopping for Black Friday? Have you come across some bargains you would like to share with the Plusnet Community below? Let us know… 

 

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A guide to viral charity fundraising

November 26th, 2014 at 10:15 by Catherine

 

A guide to viral charity fundraising

Over the past year it’s been hard to ignore the trend in online viral charity fundraising drives – #nomakeupselfie raised £8 million in less than a week, whilst the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge raised £62,000,000 over the course of its lifetime. We have had the chance to work with some incredible charities here at Plusnet, such as the Jane Tomlinson Appeal, so we thought we’d take a look at how both your own charity and yourself can emulate the success of others by setting a trend and getting something to go viral online.

What makes something viral?

Things go viral so quickly and frequently that we have almost become immune to it, but what actually is “going viral”? Going viral is when a video or image is shared (usually on social media) by many people, and with each share the content gets more well-known, thus generating more shares until it becomes so well-known that it stops being shared.

Gangnam Style is one of the most-watched of all time, breaking the two billion-view count on YouTube alone. Even a million views might seem insurmountable for charities, but that’s not the case – Invisible Children’s video “KONY 2012” has amassed nearly 100,000,000 views despite being 30 minutes long.

Igor Beuker of ViralBlog.com says, “When looking at the viral hits #icebucketchallenge and #nomakeupselfie, charities should understand that they can fuel their own fundraising by adding viral marketing.”

A guide to viral charity fundraising
2,117,415,553 Gangnam Style http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9bZkp7q19f0&hl=en-GB&gl=GB
789,249,693 Charlie Bit My Finger http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_OBlgSz8sSM
284,436,079 Evolution of Dance http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dMH0bHeiRNg
99,869,312 KONY 2012 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y4MnpzG5Sqc
20,539,787 ALS http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XS6ysDFTbLU
15,827,260 Jacket – SOS Children’s Villages http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L9O8j9QPZc8
12,285,736 Girls Going Wild – Red District http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y-a8dAHDQoo
6,471,005 First world Problems http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fxyhfiCO_XQ
3,993,405 Fragile Childhood – Monsters  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XwdUXS94yNk
1,070,839 Ohio State Marching Band http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9UFW72NeTgg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So how can charities make it work for them?

The success of the #nomakeupselfie and Ice Bucket Challenge lied in their fun, easy to share nature coupled with the implied peer pressure of it being on social media. As people took part in the trends they were able to “nominate” people they wanted to also take part, and with it being on social media, they could upload it to Facebook or Twitter and share with their friends.

Don’t ask for too much

It’s important to keep the ask short and sweet – both in terms of what you’re asking people to do and how much you want them to donate. Although a donation of £10 would help, you are more likely to get someone to donate £3, and each £3 donation adds up. The same goes for what you’re asking people to do – the simpler it is, the more likely people will do it.

What do charities have to say about it?

We spoke to Jon Smith, Head of E-Commerce at YHA (England and Wales) and he said, “Having observed the incredible success of the Ice Bucket Challenge earlier this year, and similar charity campaigns on social media before it, I’m keen to discover how we might replicate such ideas to raise awareness of YHA.

Obviously, just how ‘viral’ something goes still appears to be very much the luck of the draw!  But it’s certainly something we’re keen to try in the near future.”

Have you taken part in a viral charity fundraiser? Perhaps you’re doing Movember this year? Let us know in the comments. 

 

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Plusnet Yorkshire Half Marathon - Sheffield launches today!

November 19th, 2014 at 15:51 by Catherine

Plusnet Yorkshire Half Marathon - Sheffield launches today!

Former England Cricket captain Michael Vaughan officially launched the first Plusnet Yorkshire Half Marathon-Sheffield. The new race, organised by Run For All in partnership with Sheffield City Council, will attract thousands of runners and spectators to the city on Sunday 12th April 2015 and help to raise money for various good causes and charities.

We first announced the event back in September, but we’re now delighted to announce further details of the race and the route the course will take around the city.

The race and route

The race itself contains a triple challenge, where entrants can be crowned ‘King of the Hill’ in a timed hill climb, a 10K sprint section and cross the finishing line ahead of the field to lift the Plusnet Yorkshire Half Marathon-Sheffield title.

Andy Baker, CEO of phone and broadband provider Plusnet, the half marathon’s title sponsors, said: “This is our home city so we are obviously delighted to be involved with a new event that we are sure will become a key part of the city’s sporting calendar.  Plusnet is always keen to get involved in major community events like this, that will raise thousands of pounds for good causes, we couldn’t be prouder to be headline sponsors.” 

The race starts in the city centre before heading out down Ecclesall Road before heading up towards Ringinglow. Heading out along country lanes, passing the famous Norfolk Arms, the route offers superb views of Sheffield and the Peak District. Heading back downhill the runners come back down Ecclesall Road before heading to the grand finish at the Town Hall.

Sara Birkinshaw, of Run For All, said: We are really looking forward to bringing this new event to Sheffield next spring in partnership with the City Council. With its triple challenge, scenic route and city centre start and finish, we are sure we can create a colourful event with a great atmosphere and one of which Sheffield can be proud.”

For more information and to enter either the half marathon or the Arena Group Mini and Junior Runs, go to http://www.runforall.com.

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Plusnet Business Broadband Offer November 2014

November 12th, 2014 at 10:50 by Catherine

Unlimited Business Broadband from £4.00 a monthStarting today, you can receive Plusnet Unlimited Business Broadband from just £4 per month, when you take line rental.

New customers can sign up to receive Plusnet Unlimited Business Broadband from only £4 per month for the first 12 months, £13 per month thereafter on a 24 month contract. Line rental at £10.50 per month applies throughout.

Sign up online before the 6th January 2015 to take advantage of this fantastic Business Broadband offer.

By taking our Unlimited Business Broadband you’ll no longer need to worry about unexpected usage charges and more people can be online at the same time.  The price includes both the cost of installation and your router*, plus you get a dedicated Business Support Team and 24/7 free phone access to our UK call centre.

To sign up for this deal you can visit our website at http://www.plus.net/business.

Terms and conditions

Available to new Plusnet Business customers who sign up to a 24 month contract and take Plusnet Unlimited Business Broadband with Plusnet Business Line Rental. For customers signing up by 6th January 2015 at http://www.plus.net/business

For Unlimited Business Broadband, if you are located in a low cost area and take Plusnet Business Line Rental at £10.50 a month you pay £4.00 a month for the first 12 months, then £13.00 a month from month 13 (otherwise £9.00 a month for the first 12 months, then £18.00 a month from month 13).

*Router delivery of £4.99 applies, should you choose one. Prices exclude VAT at 20%.

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