After last week’s look at weddings we thought we would take a trip to the dark side and look at Black Friday shopping. As predicted, Singles Day in China broke all previous records with online marketplace AliBaba reporting sales of over £14bn for the day which was a 32% increase on the previous year. Does that mean we should expect a similar block buster for our own Black Friday shopping event on November 25? Black Friday 2015 was our busiest online shopping period to date in the UK with consumers spending £1.1bn, and it outsold traditional Boxing Day sales by more than 3 times.
This year is looking like it could be another record for Black Friday shopping. In a recent survey, Royal Mail questioned 2,000 UK shoppers who had previously bought on Black Friday and found that 10% said they would be staying up late to buy between midnight and 3am on November 25. This corresponds to last year when, in the first 3 morning hours of Black Friday, Hitwise recorded a 75% increase in daily visit share. Another 40% said they planned to buy from work between 7am and 3pm on the day. A second study this month asked 600 UK shoppers on what day or days they planned to do their online shopping this year. Some 27% said they planned to do Black Friday shopping. The majority of shoppers are likely to browse in the evening, with the highest proportion of shoppers looking at retail sites online between 8pm to 10pm last year.
Black Friday shopping events are an import from the USA. Retailers there are keen to spread the shopping peak and get people to buy early. However a report from LCP Consulting questioned more than 100 retailers in the UK and US. Over 60% of UK traders questioned saw Black Friday as an unprofitable and unsustainable promotion, up from 32% who felt that way in 2015. Not surprising we think as why would you discount a load of stock that you have acquired for Christmas a month before the big day? If you are planning to stay up late and do your Christmas shopping you better read this; a study by online marketplace Flubit.com, found that one in 20 people had bought goods online after consuming alcohol. Among the most bizarre drunken purchases revealed were a didgeridoo, a plastic croaking frog, two turtles and a snake while the most expensive drunken purchase was a £6,500 Volvo.