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How Christmas discounts are changing the shape of peak shopping

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In today’s InternetRetailing newsletter we’ve new evidence of the changing shape of the pre-Christmas shopping period. We already knew that more people went online to shop on Black Friday and in the lengthening Cyber Week of pre-Christmas sales. Now there are early signs that those discounted sales, as many will have suspected, may have come at the expense of later pre-Christmas full-price shopping. John Lewis, which saw its strongest ever day on Black Friday, November 25, has seen sales decline in the week just gone, compared to last year. The pattern that we saw last year, of weaker December sales following sharply higher November sales, looks set to be repeated. That is most likely because shoppers tend to buy when there are promotions, and not to buy when there are not promotions. They’ve come to expect a discount, and full price just won’t do any more.

But are those extra Black Friday sales worth having, from the retailer’s point of view? A guest analysis piece from Ometria’s Ivan Mazour suggests they may not be, since its data suggests that Black Friday shoppers may not become loyal customers.

Elsewhere, we take a look at Carpetright’s work to develop a convenient experience for customers shopping across channels, as set out in today’s half-year results.

We have the second part of our interview with Jonathan Newman of Office Depot, ahead of the InternetRetailing B2B Summit.

Today’s guest comment comes from Akamai’s Jason Miller on the popularity of images in retail, and best approaches to managing the weight of those images, especially on mobile websites.

Finally, we report that the IREU Top500 Mobile and Cross-channel Performance Dimension Report is now available to download.

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