With the four day weekend including black Friday and Cyber Monday netting UK retailers £8 billion last year, optimising advertising spend this weekend is of paramount importance for marketers of all stripes. Here’s what the data suggests are some of the best ways to reach your customers this weekend.

Black Friday is Worth Almost Double Cyber Monday

Although, November 22nd-28th (The six days up to Cyber Monday) were the six busiest shopping days of 2017, Black Friday is still by far the front-runner with UK consumers spending 515% more online than the average Friday last year, and one in six people reporting they will definitely buy something this Black Friday. Cyber Monday also sees more than a 200% rise in average online sales, so to maximise sales over the weekend, it is worth spreading your ad spend out, though with a particular focus on Friday sales.

High Street footfall is predicted to further decline on Friday but remain steady over the weekend, so for retailers with a mix of online and bricks-and-mortar sales, it may be better to focus your marketing efforts online-only deals on Monday and Friday.

Shopping Ads Are the Best Source of Clicks

Data from Merkele shows Google shopping ads made up 61% of all paid clicks in Q3 of 2018, making them one of the most effective ways to reach your customers this Black Friday.

Showcase ads – which appear for more general search terms and show several products and images together – are also on the rise, amounting for 3 times more paid clicks now than at the end of 2017, in part because Google have recently expanded the range of search terms they will show for. Combined with Google’s ongoing shopping incentives, this could translate to a significant increase in advertising ROI for retailers with well-defined shopping campaigns.

Mobile Rules the Morning, But Conversions Happen Later

59% of browsing and 50% of sales between 6 am and 9 am on Cyber Weekend took place on mobile in 2017. This follows more general trends in mobile browsing and shopping, which is gradually seeing the decline of desktop as a dominant traffic source.

To maximise the effect of your digital advertising budget, retailers should focus on mobile advertising first thing in the morning. Overall, however, 4 pm is the peak time for both traffic and sales, once consumers have had time to browse through the deals available to them, so a mid-afternoon boost to your ad spend will be likely to yield the most conversions.

How will you be maximising your advertising ROI this weekend? Tell us in the comments.