UK shoppers spent an estimated £1.23bn online on Black Friday, according to figures from IMRG and SimilarWeb. That’s 12.2% higher than the same day in 2015, but lower than the 16% that the two organisations previously predicted. It’s part of £6.45bn that IMRG and SimilarWeb suggest was spent over an extended Black Friday period that ran from Monday November 21 to Monday November 28. That’s 4.8% below the £6.77bn that was forecast. IMRG now suggests that £7bn could change hands in Black Friday week 2017.
According to the IMRG analysis, although the number of visitors to online retail sites on Black Friday continued to grow this year, sales revenue was held back by a lower-than-expected increase in the percentage of those visitors converting to buyers.
By contrast, each of the four days leading up to Black Friday (Monday 21 – Thursday 24 November) experienced strong sales growth of between 23.4% and 33.7% on last year, with shoppers converting at a higher rate than on Black Friday.
Justin Opie, managing director at IMRG [IRDX VIMR], said: “Over the past few years Black Friday has consistently demonstrated a remarkable capacity for shifting in terms of size and scale. In 2014 the volume of orders exceeded forecast by over 30%, in 2015 we had empty shops and this year it seems to have become a genuinely extended period of heightened sales activity – taking place over a week (and more in some cases), which is not entirely dissimilar to the way that Xmas peak used to be online before Black Friday disrupted the established pattern in 2014.”
The IMRG and SimilarWeb analysis found that retailers launched their campaigns across the week. The number of top 100 retailers – as defined through the IMRG comScore Retailer Ranking – offering Black Friday campaigns were as follows:
Monday 21 Nov: 26 (15 launched that day), 25 offering non-Black Friday sale
Tuesday 22 Nov: 29 (3 launched that day), 27 offering non-Black Friday sale
Wednesday 23 Nov: 37 (8 launched that day), 24 offering non-Black Friday sale
Thursday 24 Nov: 44 (7 launched that day), 20 offering non-Black Friday sale
Friday 25 Nov: 66 (22 launched that day), 10 offering non-Black Friday sale
Nitzan Tamari, VP marketing at SimilarWeb [IRDX VSWB]: “In terms of traffic on both desktop and mobile to the shopping category in the UK, we are seeing a jump of 52% on black Friday and 81% for the four days leading up to Black Friday compared to 2015. While the overall growth in traffic is consistent with the general year over year growth in the category, it’s interesting that when you compare the traffic on the actual day versus the day before, you see a smaller jump this year. This indicates that retailers are creating enticing offerings earlier and consumers are feeling less pressure to buy on just one day.”