Black Friday is just two days away. This retail phenomenon has seen record online retail sales for the last 3 consecutive years and 2015 is unlikely to break the trend. With just about every vertical covered on this momentous day, technology is known to lead the way with prices of home goods and computer devices dropping dramatically and sale volumes soaring.
2014 was the year of the mobile milestone as 49.6% of all online Black Friday traffic was from a mobile device – an increase of 25% from the previous year. Although common knowledge that the mobile and tablet market is ever expanding in the workplace, it has always lagged behind slightly when it comes to the actual point of conversion, or the sale. Last year however saw mobile sales account for 27.9% of all Black Friday online sales, which was a 28.2% increase on 2013*. There is no denying that 2015 has seen an ever further leap in the use of mobile devices in all capacities, so we’re eagerly awaiting the figures from this year to see just how that will be impacting online sales on Friday.
In Britain and Europe, where Thanksgiving isn’t celebrated, Black Friday only became really popular in the last five years. Since then, however, retailers have been quick to embrace the opportunity it represents with as much vigour as in the U.S. To give a sense of the level of popularity across the pond, Visa Europe last year expected UK shoppers to spend around £6,000 every second during Black Friday, describing it as the ‘biggest day for e-commerce in UK history’.
With the competition intense, lots of retailers extend the discounts across a ‘Cyber Weekend’ or to ‘Cyber Monday’. This is the time when shoppers move online in pursuit of the best deals. However, Visa predicted that many discounts won’t be able to sustain such a high level of momentum across more than 24 hours, suggesting that online shopping peaks on Black Friday between 7pm and 8pm.
In the UK for example, Black Friday pushed sales at department store John Lewis to their highest level in the firm’s 150-year history, with one tablet computer sold every second. Across the UK Black Friday sales figures were up by 60 per cent on 2013 figures, with shoppers spending an estimated £810m. The shopping frenzy also hit stores, with Asda, a UK supermarket owned by Walmart, selling over 8,000 TVs in an hour after stores opened at 8am.
Last year, New York claimed the top spot for Black Friday online shopping, followed respectively by Washington D.C, Atlanta, LA and Chicago. New York shoppers reportedly spent an average of $121.91 per order on Black Friday itself. Interestingly, the statistics for computer devices sales matches the trend that Kensington have been monitoring throughout this year. 16% of online sales were driven by the purchase of a tablet compared to only 11.8% for smartphones. The tablet, as we have seen in the launch of the Microsoft Surface Pro 4, is continuing to grow in popularity and beginning to surpass the smartphone in many areas.
This year, the large online retailer Jet.com is doing something a little different for Black Friday. In keeping with its brand color scheme, they’re launching ‘Purple Friday’ and encouraging shoppers to take to the sidewalk as well as the smartphone. The site has partnered with Sports Authority, Uniqlo, Toys”R”Us, Babies”R”Us, Brookstone, and hhgregg to offer shoppers the chance to earn while they shop. From 5pm on 26 November, any Jet customers who spend over $50 in any of the partner stores will get $10 in JetCash to spend online.
For in-store and online retailers, then, Black (or Purple) Friday looks set to get people in the mood for Christmas once again and with only 2 days to go, everyone is gearing up for a day of shopping that surpasses all others.
Head on over to www.kensington.com/offers on Friday to make sure you don’t miss out on our own deals.
*Figures taken from IBM Trend Hub