Black Friday 2016: Economy Fuel

November 22, 2016

Black Friday 2016: Economy Fuel

Our economy, much like everything else, needs fuel. One of the key drivers for the economy is retail, so keeping our high streets buzzing and eCommerce stores thriving is important. When it comes to retail income, we rely on seasonal holidays as much as day-to-day necessities; in fact, Black Friday is a huge contributor to retail sales, totalling 30% of annual sales and in some sectors, such as jewellers, it can be 40% [1]. Last year was great for Black Friday, as predicted, spending broke the %1,000,000,000 mark. Let’s look closer at 2015’s success.

Black Friday 2015 Sales

When I say success, I am being selective:  eCommerce did especially well, brick-and-mortar sales weren’t as popular. The big news here is people prefer a busy eCommerce store to squeezing 20 abreast down the electronics isle. Madness. “The number of consumers who walked into a brick and mortar store this year dropped by an astounding 1 million versus 2014.” 2014’s Black Friday was reported as 14% mobile traffic, but 2015 saw 103 million online shoppers. This means that we saw 57% of Black Friday was mCommerce: “Do the math. That’s a 400% increase […] to mobile on the busiest shopping weekend of the year”.  [2] This statistic can’t be dismissed: retailers need a responsive mobile site and payment page. Websites aren’t alone here, apps generated 75% more revenue than last year.

What about our material retail cousins, brick-and-mortar sales? The shop fronts lost around $190 million dollars compared to 2014’s Black Friday. [3] Might this have to do brick and mortar being less capacious and accessible, versus the convenience and versatility of an eCommerce shop? Retailers may think that technology advances could be a factor; however, they also need to realise the power of marketing.  For example, this excerpt from the Guardian (a re-report from Adobe) should offer some insight “According to Adobe, email promotions drove 25% more sales than in 2014.” [4]

Black Friday 2016 Predictions

Amazon will be doing as well as ever on Black Friday, with a kick-start of 12 days of sales in the build up to Black Friday (12 days of Christmas anybody?) hoping to outpace themselves last year, in which they sold 86 products a second [5]. It looks like there will be some no-goers for this year again, such as Ikea and Asda [6]. Due to the booming success of Black Friday 2015 (transactions on this day exceeded our predicted £1bn), some have predicted that 2016’s Black Friday itself may not reach the dizzying-spending heights of 2015; but, opinions are voiced that the week as whole will generate more income [7] with predictions of a total of £2.55bn being anticipated by mobile alone and a total of a £5bn spend over the period becoming known as ‘Black Fiveday’ [8].

Cyber Monday

Another prominent event in Black Fiveday is Cyber Monday. Cyber Monday a day that is the result of retailers noticing site and purchasing behaviour growth on Monday following Black Friday. The continuing popularity indicated room for an additional event and marketing. Cyber Monday (this year falling on the 28th of November) was a term coined by in 2004 and remains a huge contributor to the Thanksgiving holiday period. Shouts out to Ve for letting us use their infographic:

Black Friday_stats

2015’s Cyber Monday was prosperous with reports of £968 million being spent in the UK alone. This is a 34% growth on 2014’s Cyber Monday in sales, which bolsters online traffic immensely: by 60%[9]! Purchasing behaviours do change on Cyber Mondays too, the items that sell change: there is a bigger focus on clothes sales than on Black Friday where electronics, beauty products and toys sell more.

When we talk about ‘Black Fiveday’ we are looking at an interesting, observable trend in consumer behaviour: the desire to spend and get real value for money. With an Amazon led revolution in driving down delivery times and reshaping eCommerce, merchants are often called to focus on creating a better consumer experience, accommodating more traffic and systems with reliable uptimes and online-focused sales. We can expect to see eCommerce and mCommerce become an integral part in not just day-to-day sales and in seasonal holidays.