Ready, set, spend. Are you prepared for Black Friday?

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You may think it’s too early to be thinking about Black Friday and Cyber Monday (although some of Team Lynx have been talking about Christmas already). But the two biggest discount shopping days of the calendar year are now something to be put in the diary months ahead of the big weekend thanks to our pals across the pond.

Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving in the US. It’s regarded as the beginning of the Christmas shopping season and sees stores reducing all types of goods by staggering amounts, but with a focus on discounted electronics. It’s hard for smaller retailers to stand out on Black Friday, so many of them don’t bother.

Enter Cyber Monday. Cyber Monday follows Black Friday and encourages shoppers to spend their money online, on everything from electronics and larger technology items, to fashion and shoes. And it’s happening in the UK as well, thanks to the likes of Amazon, just without the Thanksgiving turkey and pumpkin pie. You might remember it last year, when UK shoppers were crushing each other to get through the doors of supermarkets so they could get their hands on half-price laptops and when a woman was hit by a falling television.

We’re not the only ones talking about Black Friday already. The Guardian reported that there has been a slowdown in online sales growth this year and it might be due to shoppers holding back on spending until the infamous November weekend. Some shoppers are even holding off on purchasing the new iPhone until Black Friday when you can get a cheap deal. So will this mean it will be crazier than last year’s antics?

Forbes has stated that this year’s Black Friday is set to be the UK’s first £1bn online shopping day, and with the increased awareness of it in the UK, retailers need to be prepared for the day. Digital Marketing Magazine has shared a few techniques that retailers will use to reel in bargain-hungry customers.

One which you may remember from last year is counting down in real time on both the website and embedded in emails, letting shoppers know exactly how many seconds of the sales are left. For example, retailers would send an email at 11am with a lunch time countdown for a limited time only, creating even more urgency.

So if you’re holding off for that Black Friday deal, be prepared, have your credit card at the ready and watch the countdown to the madness commence.