In the UK, many of us used to watch and judge with guilty pleasure as our American friends would tear each other apart to get that all-important ‘Thanksgiving’ bargain, with the slightly pompous thought that we would never resort to such extreme measures ourselves.
We were, of course, all proven wrong as we fell in to the exact same situation just a few short years after Black Friday was introduced in to the UK, starting with Amazon in 2010, Asda following suit in 2013 and many more taking part by 2014.
Black Friday has become synonymous with chaos on the high streets and in stores, however as of 2015 this no longer needs to be the case as online sales have far surpassed that of in-store sales.
The event originally lasted just the duration of Friday itself, however over the past few years ‘Cyber Monday’ was introduced, whereby there are additional deals which are exclusively online. The name was adopted to entice people in to shopping online post-Thanksgiving weekend. £968 million was spent in 2015 which was a 34% increase from 2014.
With these two bookends in place, Black Friday evolved in to a full weekend affair and in 2015 over £3.3 billion was spent throughout the entire duration, £1.1 billion on the day itself.
The downside however was that several websites received so much traffic that it resulted in many online issues with several sites crashing entirely, some big names including Tesco, Argos and John Lewis.
To combat this, many stores and companies have now extended the duration Black Friday further by launching deals as early as 14th November. Amazon, again instigated this new trend with other companies following in formation.
It is predicted that 2016 sales will be higher still, with estimates of £4-5 billion across the weekend, with more companies taking part than ever before and more time for customers to make purchases. This could eliminate some of the more frugal, impulse purchases however with the added time to browse, who knows how much we will all end up spending this year!
It is no secret that web experiences impact business. Websites and apps must be fast, reliable and secure at all hours and under all traffic conditions, or retailers will see less engagement, higher bounce rates and abandoned shopping baskets, which can ultimately affect consumer loyalty and spend. In order to learn from the previous shopping season, online retailers must closely analyse their websites’ strengths and weaknesses, as well as explore how each user accessed and experienced the site.
Happy bargain hunting 😉