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How Black Friday and Cyber Monday affected the way we shopped this Christmas

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In today’s Internet Retailing newsletter we report on factors from Black Friday to drone delivery that are likely to change retail both now and in years to come. We report on fresh ONS figures that offer fresh insights into how Black Friday and Cyber Monday affected Christmas spending this year. It seems to confirm suggestions that one effect of the deep discounting that marks Black Friday has been to pull sales that previously happened in December back into November, moving rather than boosting overall spending. That’s something that will no doubt remain in retailers minds as they make their plans for Black Friday 2016. But while Christmas shoppers spent earlier, the whole of 2015 was a strong year as measured in parcel dispatches, with more than 1bn sent this year, according to IMRG-MetaPack figures. The question for retailers will be whether those parcels were sent profitably, or at a discount.

Today we also report factors that could change retail in the future. Amazon is hiring as it looks to invest in invention – including the development of drone delivery through Prime Air. Then, guest analysis from Mark Caswell-Daniels of SapientNitro considers the evolving role of virtual reality in retail. Today’s guest comment is from Christian Arno of Lingo 24, who considers the role of machine translation in overseas online exports.

Last but not least, we report on N Brown Group and Halfords as they report their Christmas figures.

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Event presentations and interviews

In today’s newsletter we’re featuring an interview with Christine Bardwell of Oracle at Internet Retailing Conference 2015. You can also catch up with presentations and other interviews from IRC 2015 on the event website now.

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