Early Black Friday sales suggest promoting lower value items

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Black Friday 2018 has seen an increased number of sales compared to Black Friday 2017, but consumers are spending less purchasing lower value items rather than snapping up enormous TVs and the like.

Barclaycard, which accounts for around half of all UK card payments, reported at 3pm that the volume of transactions are up 15% but they’ve seen a 12% decrease in the amount spent as consumers snap up lower value items. This is when comparing Black Friday 2018 spend compared to the spend on Black Friday in 2017.

In their latest update at 5.30pm the number of transactions compared to last year had dropped to 10% but Barclaycard processed a record-high 1087 transactions per second between 1pm-2pm, breaking the previous record of 1056 set in the previous hour.

It’s still too early to get a full picture of Black Friday and marketplace data isn’t yet available, but it seems likely that shoppers are less turned on by the big ticket items and are shopping for lower value items such as stocking fillers and treats. With sales continuing on Small Business Saturday tomorrow followed by Cyber Monday to kick off next week, this indicates that it may be worth stepping up online advertising for reasonably priced products.

Consider the use of paid search on Google and other search engines as well as eBay Promoted Listings and Amazon Sponsored products, but focusing your ad spend away from expensive items and towards those stocking fillers, toys and gifts that are impulse buys, but for which you have deep inventory, could pay dividends.

3 Responses

  1. We’ve seen quite the opposite happen on Amazon. We sell mostly low value goods (less than £10) and have been seeing record sales throughout November on Amazon up UNTIL Wednesday 21st, then BANG, it’s been flat dead for two days straight. Sales have nosedived by over 75%.

    What the heck is that all about?

  2. Similar trend to Jay’s.

    Our Amazon Black Friday sales are down 50% compared Black Friday 2017. Up to that point they were up 10% compared to last year for November.

  3. Selling £9.99 items mostly – sales are up by 30% on average, on Amazon, during Wednesday, Thursday and now Sunday. Friday & Saturday was average days.

    We’re not doing any special deals or discounts though.

    But I believe that it’s impossible to compare any data here side by side because it comes down to the product you sell. Tech/gadgets are hot items during these sales, as well as kids toys, as many people are already planning Xmas presents. So if you sell something that is NOT a gift or tech/gadget related, no wonder you can’t see any effect OR even see the negative impact as all the attention is concentrated elsewhere.


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