As you may have read in our blog last week, the ecommerce peak season has undertaken a change over the last few years. Retailers are starting to create deals much earlier than usual, some starting as early as the beginning of November. This year we’ve seen Amazon start their Black Friday Sale a week early with other retailers following suit. This makes us question what the future will look like for Black Friday, now that the event lasts more than two weeks in some cases.
Our own report shows that sales increased from the middle of the month (15th November), and motor and fashion categories were up 39% and 16% respectively*. However, there was a slight decrease overall in sales compared to previous years. To us, this comes as a surprise and we can only speculate why this happened.
We’ve come up with a few insights that might explain this slight downward trend.
No ‘it’ product launches
Tech sales have always been strong around this weekend and in the month leading up to Christmas. New games consoles such as the Playstation 4 were also released in the last two years, boosting electronics sales for retailers.
The beginning of the end for Black Friday & Cyber Monday
There’s talk of a new phenomenon that’s taking over the traditional peak weekend, and that’s November in its entirety. Retailers are beginning their deals earlier than usual, mirroring the consumers need to start shopping earlier for Christmas.
Reports showing better bargains before and after Black Friday
Which? have reported that almost half of last year's Black Friday deals were cheaper during other times of the year and that some products were actually cheaper before and after the weekend. They also found that less than 8% were one day offers. Some retailers have hit back suggesting that guidelines have been met and customers want to enjoy deals ‘not just for one day a year’.
And of course, one trend has stayed consistent
Some trends, however, did continue to have an upward trend. PayPal reported that mobile devices were responsible for a third of all total payments on Black Friday and the days leading up to it. This supports the ongoing trend of mobile becoming the biggest channel for sales.
We took to the streets to ask consumers what they thought about Black Friday. Here’s what they had to say:
“I had a look at the deals and I like the concept, but in the end I waited until Saturday to buy anything. I wasn’t rushed and stores have deals going on now the entire month”
“I bought a Kindle because it seemed like a good deal, it was £40 off”
“I wanted to buy a laptop and the deals were supposed to start at midnight but the website kept coming up with errors, so I ended up buying nothing.”
Want to know more about getting the most from peak periods like Black Friday, or the whole of November?