In 2014, Black Friday really took off in the UK, becoming the nation’s busiest retail day of the year. Since then, we have been monitoring ecommerce data and trends, and looking into the effects of Black Friday on retailers, technology and consumers. Here’s what we found on Black Friday 2016.
Total number of transactions
This year, compared to the past 2, has been an unusual one for British shoppers, as Black Friday lasted not just one day, but was spread out over a much longer period, with some retailers offering up to 13 days of discounts. It is possible that this distracted consumers’ attention away from the traditional one-day event and caused a dispersion of sales. This year, we saw a record number of Black Friday online transactions, which came to 8,136,130. This figure was just 6.7% up on Black Friday 2015; particularly low compared to the 31% increase between Black Friday 2014 and 2015. The fact that the Black Friday sales began before national payday, means some shoppers may have missed out on discounts.
Busiest time of day
Black Friday got off to a busy start at midnight, with shoppers staying up late to get their hands on some discounted goods. The peak shopping time recorded on Ecommerce Trends was between 1 and 2 pm, indicating that people were using their lunch break to pick up a bargain online.
Most popular device
In 2015, desktop accounted for 51% of all Black Friday online transactions, but this year it dropped to 48%, with mobile usage increasing to 42%; up 26% on the year before. Between midnight and 8am, 60% of shoppers purchased Black Friday bargains on mobile devices, and this trend continued as workers used their mobiles on their morning commute. However, as office hours began, mobile usage dipped and desktop usage took over, suggesting that workers were stealthily shopping during work time.
The increase in mobile usage is most likely down to an improvement in technology and an increased confidence in consumers attitudes to mobile.
Top 5 locations
The areas that were most influenced by the online Black Friday 2016 deals were Chester and London, which, compared to an average day in 2016, saw increases in online traffic of 2400%. This was closely followed by Brighton, Peterborough and Perth. These thrifty shoppers were definitely ahead of the game when it came to sales shopping.
Despite the fact that there were fewer Black Friday transactions than expected, it is interesting to note that sales were still up on the previous year, and that discounts were spread over a much longer period than usual, giving shoppers the chance to weigh up prices and shop around rather than rush to make purchases in a short time frame. It looks like longer sales periods are likely continue in coming years, but it would still seem that Black Friday has become engraved in consumer culture and won’t be going away anytime soon. It is also safe to say that mobile usage will only continue to rise.
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