Sent Nov 23, 2016

Get ready for Black Friday

Estimated Reading Time: 3 Min

Black Friday has become a mainstay of European retail. For decades, the last Friday in November, the day after Thanksgiving in the US, has been the unofficial kickoff of the holiday season for retailers. (For more on the history of Black Friday, we looked it up and you can scroll down to read more.)

Last-minute tips

If you’re running any special events or promotions - which most retailers are - then it’s probably been your focus for a while. Here are some last-minute tips from the Young/Skilled growth team.

1. Get your servers ready: If you’re using Centra (formerly known as Silk), you don’t need to worry about this, since we handle your servers for you. If not, server runtime should be one of your main concerns. Make sure your servers can manage a huge increase in traffic, especially if you send an announcement to a large mailing list. If you’re a Centra customer, email support@youngskilled.comif you have questions about this.

2. Do a site cleanup: We understand the temptation to add lots of new content so you can make a real splash on Black Friday, but it’s better to focus on your site’s UX for shopping. On Black Friday, people want bargains, and they want them quick, so optimize your site for speed, reduce the size of images, scripts, and content. Want help with this? Email

3. Remind your customers: Black Friday is still pretty new in Europe, so today or tomorrow, send an email, post on social media, and/or add it to your email signatures. Do this all again when you go live. Need some guidance on how best to connect with your customers? Email

What we’re reading

Is this the end of the awkward “link in bio” on Instagram? They’ve started testing shoppable tags. If they roll it out, it could transform the way brands promote and sell online.

From Inside Intercom, this piece on what software companies can learn from the designers of shopping centers talks about what it takes to build a successful platform.

Our friends at Danish audio design company AIAIAI are creating a set of wireless modular headphones, and you can fund it on Kickstarter. They decided to design these because customers were asking for them. Get them while you can!

Where does Black Friday come from?

Many Americans have the day after Thanksgiving off, so it’s been a busy shopping since as far back as the mid-1920s, but the name Black Friday isn’t as old as it seems. The most plausible origin comes from 1961, when it was used by police in the city of Philadelphia to describe the smoke and general disruption of traffic caused by heavy shopping on the day after Thanksgiving.

It didn’t catch on as a term until at least the 1980s, and it didn’t become the biggest shopping day until 2005. It didn’t hit Europe until retailers had to start competing with ecommerce giants like Amazon and Zalando.

There are much darker versions of the origin story. There’s a historically baseless one about the slave trade. There’s also a possibly true (but unconfirmed) version centered on employer complaints about employees calling in sick the day after Thanksgiving; they joked that it was like an outbreak of the Black Plague, but the soundest evidence points to the Philadelphia police as its most likely point of origin.

Stay in touch!

As always, if you have questions, concerns, or comments, you can always email us or call.