A noticeable drop in footfall across the UK compared to Black Friday 2014 has contributed to a huge boost for online retailers, with many consumers opting to stay home and browse. Smartphone sales are also up although conversions remain lower than on laptops.
In the US Adobe reported via data analysis that $2.7 billion was spent online on Friday alone, a 14.3% jump compared to last year. Almost £3.5bn is thought to have been spent in total by shoppers on UK soil over the four days from Black Friday to Cyber Monday, a huge increase over 2014. £495m of this was spent on mobiles and tablets in the UK on Friday.
It’s thought that both bad weather and the scenes of chaos from around the country seen during last year’s Black Friday event put many off going into traditional bricks and mortar stores to find bargains. Attitudes to the event are continuing to change, with Asda, Aldi, TK Maxx and Fat Face among a growing list of retailers choosing not to take part.
With deals in participating stores spread out over the course of a week or in some cases, two, the sense of urgency to head out and get the best deals while stocks last seems to have been replaced with more a more laid-back pattern of spending as consumers browsed online at their convenience.
Looking at our own client order data, the highest proportion of orders in 2014 over the Friday to Monday period was Black Friday. This year however Black Friday’s bumper influx of orders has been far outshone by Cyber Monday’s, while orders across the entire week have also risen steeply.
Last year the likes Tesco, PC World, Argos and Boots all experienced downtime as servers became overloaded, with many sites also using holding pages to limit and stagger traffic. This year online retailers have had far more success in keeping their sites up-and-running during the inevitable spikes in traffic, no doubt seeing the value in investing in extra bandwidth.
The US still experienced its trademark scrambling crowds at the big department stores and supermarkets, although eCommerce saw a huge boost as more Americans are turning to tablets and large-screen smartphones to make purchases.
Comparing October to November this year we saw an increase in client order volume of 30%, and that’s including everything from clothing and gifts to supplements and household products. While some might suggest Black Friday is already wearing thin with the British public, it seems that at least for now the bumper deals event is encouraging people to spend.
Picking, packing and dispatching such a high order volume is a challenge we enjoy, so if the madness of the Cyber Weekend has proven too much for your eCommerce business, why not consider outsourcing your fulfilment in the future? We even offer returns handling, which can cause major disruption to retailers at this busy time of year.
Why not get in touch with us today to see how we can help your company grow?