How were your Black Friday 2017 sales? Were consumers as engaged as ever or has Black Friday been diluted in the UK with most retailers running sales over a 10 day period combined with the economy leaving shoppers with less cash in their pockets?
Whilst it will be a couple of days before we see the full picture, it appears that sales in the US were up, the UK high streets were relatively quite and UK shoppers purchased more items but at lower average selling prices.
Black Friday 2017 Sales
In the US, early reports indicate a healthy 16% to 18% rise in online sales this Black Friday sales compared to 2016. Shoppers spent $5 billion in 24 hours, compared to the $3.34 billion spent on Black Friday last year, according to data from Adobe Digital Insights. This still falls far short from the 39% growth seen on Alibaba’s Singles’ Day showing that the future of ecommerce growth lies in the East.
However in the UK Black Friday was a more muted affair with a distinct lack of crowds queuing for shops to open on Oxford Street. According to PCA Predict, the number of shoppers online between midnight and 7am was 2% lower than 2016. But that followed an 11% rise in shopping in the previous week suggesting that retailers have achieved their goal of spreading the load over a peak period rather than a single mega-sales day.
Black Friday 2017 saw more transactions but at a lower value
Barclaycard’s guesstimate is that that Black Friday 2017 in the UK is up around 8% based on the number of transactions they processed. Records were broken as they processed a 976 transactions per second between 12pm and 1pm compared to last year’s peak of 791 transactions per second. However consumers are seeking genuine deals as the monetary value of purchases slowed.
“The value spent is growing at a slightly slower rate than the number of transactions, indicating consumers may be opting to buy more goods at a lower price rather than investing in a handful of higher-value items. Nevertheless, it’s ‘so far, so normal’ on the high street and retailers will likely be encouraged by the results.”
– Paulette Rowe, MD, Barclaycard Payment Solutions
Black Friday was also marred for Amazon in Italy and Germany as workers downed tools choosing the busiest day of the year to go on strike. However as Amazon have taken on hordes of temporary workers for the run up to Christmas this is unlikely to significantly impact their operations.