The Black Friday shopping weekend saw 133.7 million people make purchases in-store and online over the four-day holiday weekend kicked off by Thanksgiving last week. Total revenue for the shopping weekend is expected to fall 11 per cent to $50.9 billion from $57.4 billion last year, according to the National Retail Federation’s projections.
Many shoppers took advantage of pre Black Friday sales like Amazon, who saw a 26, 24, and 46 per cent increase in sales on Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Saturday, starting its special offers a week early. Research group, ShopperTrak reported that the early introduction of promotions increased retailer traffic on Thanksgiving Day by 27.3 per cent, but reduced Black Friday’s by 5.6 per cent. Analytics firm, Retail Next found similar results and estimated in-store traffic levels fell by 12.5 per cent, and sales were down by 10.3 per cent over the weekend due to the early introduction of promotions.
Tiffany & Co., Dollar Tree Inc. and T.J. Maxx are among the brands that chose not to promote Black Friday deals in the US. Whilst in the UK, Harvey Nichols, Selfridges, Harrods and Liberty also opted-out, unlike British retailers House of Fraser and John Lewis. Instead, they created smaller promotions outside of the Black Friday banner, preferring to hold off until Boxing Day for their big sale.
Despite retailers choosing not to participate, Visa estimated that £300,000 ($568,000) was spent every minute in the UK and it expects to process 8.5 million British online transactions during the Black Friday and Cyber Monday period. Kevin Jenkins, Visa’s managing director for the UK and Ireland, said: “Black Friday has become the UK's biggest online shopping day and we're forecasting £518 million to be spent this year."
Mobile was a major revenue driver for retailers this year, especially for players like Amazon and Ebay who saw up to 57% of their total traffic come from a mobile device. IBM reported that nearly 47 per cent of total online traffic came from mobile devices throughout the shopping weekend, an increase of 20 per cent from last year. The world’s largest retailer by sales, Walmart, reported that mobile was responsible for more than 70 per cent of their total online traffic during the Black Friday weekend. Apple iOS users remain to be the most valuable customers to retailers with an average basket size of $127.34 and accounting for 20.2 per cent of total online sales.
Reported by Jessica Anuna