Midnight shopping, crashing websites and scenes of in-store hysteria, all contributed to what was the UK’s biggest Black Friday yet. After a slow start to November, retailers are finally seeing signs of the Christmas rush. And Black Friday marked the start of it.
Commentary from the day
Big Data Labs, Postcode Anywhere’s new online insight tool for the retail industry revealed some interesting stats about online shopping as the day evolved.
– Right from the start, consumers were eager to get involved. Online traffic at Midnight was up 130% compared to Black Friday last year. Almost three times higher than the night before.
– Throughout the night traffic levels were higher than normal, really picking up at around 6am as people woke up early to hunt for a deal.
– There was a huge increase in traffic from 7am through to 11am. Devices switched from iPhone and Android to Windows PC as people headed into to work.
– It was apparent that work didn’t get in the way of people grabbing a bargain online. The busiest minute of the day was 11.01am, mostly from Windows PCs. This pre-lunch time peak indicated an urgency to ‘buy whilst stocks last’.
– Traffic dropped slightly over the lunch period, perhaps as people visited local physical stores, though still strong at 170% up on last year.
– Traffic continued to stay very high through the afternoon, and by 6pm windows PCs had been switched for iPads and iPhones as the shopping continued from the sofa.
– The second highest peak of the day was 10pm – people were home and wanted a bargain.
– Right to the end of the day traffic was strong as the nation continued to hunt for bargains. Overall is was up 111% on last year.
The top 5 regions for ecommerce transactions were:
And footage showed that people weren’t just shopping for Christmas gifts. Bargain hunters also snapped up big ticket items including TVs and Vacuum cleaners, made irresistible by big discounts in-store and online. It will be interesting to see what impact this has on more traditional Boxing Day sales.
But it wasn’t all plain sale-ing
During the build-up, 65% of retailers in the UK had said that they were planning Black Friday promotions. Yet even some of the biggest struggled to cope with the huge surge in online demand on the day.
Argos had to encourage visitors to reserve and pay for items over the phone.
While Curry’s simply asked people to hold on.
Will Cyber Monday be even bigger?
Find out how ecommerce activity develops today and throughout the festive season at bigdatalabs.co.uk.