Sales across the Cyber weekend, which started with Black Friday and continued to Cyber Monday, reached £3.3bn, according to estimates from the IMRG and Experian.
They put UK sales at £1.1bn online on Black Friday alone, making it the country’s biggest ever day for ecommerce, according to estimates from the IMRG and Experian. That’s 36% more than on Black Friday last year. Of that total, some £495m is thought to have been spent using smartphones and tablet computers.
On Cyber Monday, sales reached an estimated £968m, say IMRG and Experian, who put sales for Saturday November 28 at £561m, and Sunday November 29 at £676m.
Etailer trade association the IMRG says the Black Friday period was one of “transition” as the event moved away from a single day of discounts in-store and online, to an event stretching over a week or more and taking place mostly online.
Andy Mulcahy, editor, IMRG , said: “Black Friday appeared to be in a state of transition this year, as many retailers extended their campaigns to run over a week or even longer to ease the pressure on their operations. Nevertheless, it seems there is still a perception that the day itself is the time to get the best deals as it drew record volumes to retail sites – most likely boosted by shoppers who stayed away from the high street in order to avoid a repeat of the scenes from last year. Having so many different ways to browse and shop on retail sites will have played a part as well, with £495m being spent on smartphones and tablets on Black Friday.”
James Miller, senior retail consultant at Experian Marketing Services, said Black Friday looked set to remain a key date in the retail calendar, despite a drop in visitor numbers to stores, which FootFall said were down by 4.4% on the same time last year. “Consumers now see online shopping as a leisure activity, with pre-Christmas discount retail events such as Black Friday driven by this,” he said.
It was already becoming clear by early afternoon on Friday that the event would break last year’s record of £810m spent online in a single day. Payment processor Worldpay‘s analysis of the morning’s sales suggested UK online sales were already 52% ahead of the same time last year. Its busiest period, it said, was between 8.15am and 9.15am, when it processed 320 transactions a second.
The fact that this was a “record-breaking day of sales”, said Shane Happach, chief commercial officer, global ecommerce at Worldpay, sent a clear message to retailers that “shoppers’ appetite for major events like this remains strong.”
Amazon.co.uk said that Black Friday 2015 was its busiest ever day, with more than 7.4m items ordered, equivalent to 86 items every second. Its strategies included time-limited ‘lightning deals’, added every 10 minutes, as well as deals of the day that lasted all day, subject to availability. Black Friday Refreshed deals ran until Sunday night. “Throughout the year, we have been investing in more distribution centres and hiring many more great people in anticipation of our biggest Christmas period ever and, in particular, our biggest-ever Black Friday,” said Christopher North, managing director of Amazon.co.uk. “We are delighted that millions of customers loved the deals on offer.”
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Experian’s Miller says retailers would now be looking ahead to Manic Monday, on December 7, which has in previous years been seen as the last chance for customers to order online for Christmas delivery. “This year we are expecting £733m to be spent on this day, up 10% year-on-year,” he said. “In addition, retailers with bricks and mortar stores should also consider preparing for the post-Christmas sales rush, which Experian has found is more likely to be attractive to consumers who prefer shopping in-store.”