Today’s round-up of the latest peak trading news looks at how Amazon is pushing at the boundaries of last order times for Christmas delivery and looks back to discover the shape of consumer behaviour over Black Friday weekend
Amazon shows how it is pushing the limits for last minute online ordering for delivery ahead of Christmas. It says that Prime members can order as late as 10.59pm on Christmas Eve for delivery by midnight, when they pay £7.99 for one hour delivery using its Prime Now service.
Prime members can also order for free delivery before midnight when they order goods worth at least £40 before 9.15pm in selected areas including London, Surrey, Birmingham, Newcastle, Manchester and Leeds. Last year, it says, shoppers ordered a range of items right up to the last minute.
“December is a busy time for all of us, so to make things easier, members will be able to order right up until the last minute on Christmas Eve again this year,” said Matt Knight, head of marketing for Amazon’s Prime Now service in the UK. “Prime members certainly took advantage of this last year with wrapping paper, chocolates and stuffing being ordered as late as 22.30 on the 24th December in 2018.”
Those who are not Prime members must order by Friday December 20 for free delivery when ordering goods worth £20 or more, by 9.30am on Sunday December 22 for standard paid-for delivery, on Monday December 23 for paid-for one-day delivery, and Tuesday December 24 for same-day delivery in selected areas.
• Black Friday was the biggest single day of the Cyber weekend for retailers, as measured by digital media specialist NMPi. It analysed consumer shopping trends among its largest retail clients and found that revenue over the weekend rose by 14%, year-on-year, with Black Friday sales up by 25% and Cyber Monday up by 15%.
Black Friday created 280% more traffic, 484% more revenue, and achieved a 205% higher conversion rate compared to the average for the period between November 1 2019 and December 2 2019. However, Cyber Monday still performed well, in the same time period it generated 131% more traffic, 194% more revenue, and a 172% higher conversion rate. Some 73% of all Black Friday traffic came from a mobile device, with more than half of all revenue (53%) generated on mobile. The findings showed shoppers buying via desktop in the morning, with a peak from 6am to 9am, and by mobile in the evening, peaking between 4pm and 11pm. Visits from a tablet were much lower than either of the two other devices.
Zuzana Hughes, account manager at NMPi, said: "Cyber Weekend was a week later than usual this year and as a result, payday fell on Black Friday for many which we believe has been a key driver in year on year growth.
"Something we’ve seen this year that we didn’t see in 2018, was an uplift in interest, as well as revenue, around Friday November 22, the week prior to this year’s Black Friday. In fact, revenue was up 227% compared to the month’s average. This is another likely impact of Black Friday being so late in the month, and without Thanksgiving to act as a guide for shoppers in Europe – as it does in the US – many may have presumed it was earlier. This will have benefited any retailer who started running promotions earlier."
NMPi’s clients include M&S and WatchShop.
• vouchercodes.co.uk says the weekend was a big one for it – with Black Friday the biggest single day. Over the course of the weekend, it generated £18.37m in revenue for its retailer partners - up by £4.17m on 2018 – with 42% (£7.8m) of revenue made on the day alone. It saw 78% of shoppers searching via mobile or tablet devices, compared to 22% via desktop. And it says its most profitable hour was between 9am and 10am on Black Friday.
• Mobile apps were used more frequently over the course of Black Friday weekend, according to app platform Poq.
Poq tracked consumer behaviour on 45 shopping apps over Black Friday and Cyber Monday and found that shoppers spent 387,336 hours in apps on Black Friday - 105% higher than last year. When it looked at like-for-like traffic – focusing on apps that were operational both years – it found that Black Friday traffic was 240% higher than the previous years. It says that shoppers increased the amount of time they spent in apps more than they did on desktop or mobile web, and says that more shoppers saved products to their wishlist or baskets ahead of Black Friday to buy on the day.
Oyvind Henriksen, chief executive and co-founder at Poq, said: “It is encouraging to see that apps are a driving force behind the biggest Black Friday to date. We have uncovered a growing trend of shoppers spending more time in app and engaging more with in-app content. Looking ahead,we expect this trend to grow in 2020, with apps not just overtaking desktop in terms of traffic but for apps to overtake desktop revenue also.”
• Central London was the geographical area where shoppers made most online buys over Black Friday and Cyber Monday this year according to Royal Mail analysis. The capital was followed by Kirkwall, Lerwick and Llandrindod Wells. Central London tops the London list, Kirkwall the Scotland list and Llandrindod Wells the Wales list.
The top ten online shopping hotspots were based on analysis of parcels accepted into the Royal Mail network between November 26 and December 3 and weighted against the number of delivery points. Items were accepted from online retailers and ecommerce businesses for delivery via the Royal Mail Tracked 24 and Royal Mail Tracked 48 services.
A spokesperson for Royal Mail said: “We have looked at parcel delivery data across our network of delivery offices and this has revealed that Central London is the UK’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday online shopping hotspot for 2019. The data shows that parcel delivery at Christmas is just as important for our rural customers as it is for our city customers. We take the planning for the festive period very seriously and start preparing for the next year the moment the current one is over."
Image courtesy of Amazon