The UK video game retailer Game has one of the most impressive Black Friday digital strategies in 2017.

But that is easily undermined if your site is down for an extended period of time.

The Game Black Friday strategy

There's much to admire about Game's strategy.

The retailer has changed its H1 tag on its homepage to include mention of 'Black Friday Deals including Phones & Consoles', as well as advertising Black Friday in its brand-term PPC ads. 

game search

What's more, once you click through to game.co.uk, it redirects to blackfriday.game.co.ukm bringing you homepage and category page takeovers which are designed to maximise the attention on big Black Friday deals.

homepage game black friday

The discounts are very prominent and the most popular products are displayed with large product listings to catch the eye.

Once a user clicks on to a product page, or wants to search within categories, they are taken back to the game.co.uk website, where they can continue their journey down the funnel towards purchase.

game black friday listings

We previously highlighted on the Econsultancy blog how Game's landing page in the run-up to Black Friday was also one of the better ones we had seen.

There was a clear form to register your interest and Game asked for extra details such as postcode and date of birth to help with its targeting.

Even better, Game asked the user to say whether they were a 'dedicated gamer', 'generous gifter' or 'gamer who gifts'. These three very clever categories gave a rough guide as to how much money the customer may have to spend and how much knowledge they had of the product range.

game landing page pre black friday

On social, the brand was also promoting the best deals.

But the site was down for too long

Game seemed really well prepared for Black Friday and once underway, search and site looked impressive. But arguably the site was down for too long as it transitioned to the Black Friday takeover.

The site was always going to go down – in fact I received a press release on Thanksgiving telling me "The site... will be out of action for a few hours during its transformation," and "is set to showcase all the best gaming bargains from 8pm on Thursday 23rd November."

This downtime was arguably ill-advised given gamers would be aiming to get the jump on their fellow shoppers and check out the Game website on Thursday afternoon and early evening.

Indeed, the press picked up on how annoyed some shoppers were.

And other retailers capitalised on the disappointment.

The lesson is surely that however well prepared a retailer seems, the most important thing is keeping your website live, otherwise consumers will lose faith and won't return, even if the deals do arrive later that evening.

Load testing is of course important, too. Issues were reported with both the Debenhams and Ted Baker websites early on.

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Ben Davis

Published 24 November, 2017 by Ben Davis @ Econsultancy

Ben Davis is Editor at Econsultancy. He lives in Manchester, England. You can contact him at ben.davis@econsultancy.com, follow at @herrhuld or connect via LinkedIn.

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