Following the incredible success of online sales in the UK it is being predicted that this year’s event on the 27th November will see the first £1bn UK online shopping day.
The prediction comes following a steady increase in online shopping in the UK in general, as well as more widespread consumer knowledge of what Black Friday has to offer following the introduction of last year’s sales. Salmon anticipates a 22% increase in online shoppers making a purchase on Black Friday.
Glen Burson, Chief Technology Officer at Salmon, said: “Black Friday’s surge in sales in November 2014 threw traditional British pre-Christmas shopping habits into disarray. Shoppers, lured to online retailers with significantly discounted flash promotions, spent an estimated £810m online in a single day – almost 50% more than industry experts had predicted.”
As would have been expected, last year the increased traffic caused a number of issues on more popular websites, including site outages, decreased browsing speed and users having to queue on ‘holding pages’ that led to many frustrated buyers being force to abandon their purchases.
According to a report by Hammerson/Conlumino, 65% of shoppers agreed or strongly agreed that retailers “were not well prepared enough to cope with the demand on Black Friday”. Hopefully these sites would be better prepared to deal with the massive increase in activity on their websites from online shopping.
John Munnelly, Head of Operations at John Lewis Magna Park National Distribution Centre, suggested that “retailers must now get good at being transparent with the capacity we all have in the engine room… if we don’t have fuel to keep the customer promise we’ll pay handsomely after the event”.
During the period covered by Salmon’s study, sales spiked close to 7am, with peak traffic occurring around 9am as shoppers browsed for bargains at the start of the day.
Apparently, shoppers spent four times as much on Black Friday as compared to Christmas and that says a lot. There’s no doubt the deals and bargains will be plenty and hopefully these stores have improved their websites so that the online shopping experience can still be fun for us shoppers.
As always though, be sure to keep some of these things in mind when shopping online