If a ‘flat-footed’ Black Friday in the UK proved anything it’s that Brits prefer to do the bulk of their seasonal shopping online, rather than in-store. While the high streets were relatively calm, UK shoppers were spending a record 1.1bn with online retailers on Friday – a day designed for in-store promotions.

Black Friday’s online cousin, Cyber Monday, is expected to eclipse previous years too, once the stats have been confirmed. The online shopping bonanza is already projected to be up by more than 30% year on year at £943m. All this was expected though; the data was already there and the projections were largely accurate – but what does this mean for online retailers and high street stores that can’t compete with the likes of Amazon?


UK consumers are a different breed

Early figures show that in-store visits were actually down by 9.6% on last year’s Black Friday event. Remember, this is the day designed to entice people into high–street stores before retailers take their promotions online for Cyber Monday.

That’s not how things are panning out here in the UK, though. The American imported shopping events are taking a different spin here and it was only the retail parks that enjoyed a 4.9% rise in footfall on last year’s figures.

So what gives? Well, the big names at retail parks tend to offer ‘click and collect’ style services, allowing shoppers to buy products online and collect them in-store later. Meanwhile, Black Friday deals are being spread out over two days or more. Essentially, UK retailers are giving shoppers more time to make their buying decisions and bridging the gap between online and offline purchases.


Mobile is coming of age

With £495m being spent on smartphones and tablets on Black Friday, it’s fair to say mobile has come of age as a festive consumer platform. Again, these aren’t casual browsing sessions, these are pure sales on mobile devices. That doesn’t even consider the wider search and sales funnels users are navigating throughout their purchase path (admittedly a much shorter one for events like these).

So, it’s not only a question of merging the online and offline experience, but also the journey between multiple devices. Google and Facebook have been working hard to make this easier for advertisers this last years, as they compete to offer the most lucrative paid advertising platform. And you can take it from us, the holiday season is certainly the time to tap into high-intent users with some savvy advertising across multiple devices.


It’s not all about Black Friday and Cyber Monday

We tend to get a bit carried away by all this talk of Black Friday, big savings and colossal profits over the festive period. But it’s not all about Black Friday and Cyber Monday, though. First of all, consider the following three stats:


  • 70% of shoppers say they have no plans to shop online on Black Friday
  • 80% of ‘premium’ shoppers say they’re not influenced by Black Friday
  • 30% of shoppers dislike major discount events such as Black Friday


*Source: Econsultancy.com


That’s a huge chunk of audience you’re not tapping into if you put too much focus on your Black Friday and Cyber Monday promotions. Don’t forget you also have the small matters of Christmas and the New Year to think about over the next month – remember those?

Okay, sure, the vast majority of Black Friday and Cyber Monday purchases will be made with Christmas in mind, but the stats above show you how small pond that target audience is in the grand scheme of things.


Coming up in our next post

Following on from the stats we’ve picked up from this year’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday events, we’ll be back next week with some PPC tips for the entire holiday season, not just a select couple of days. So be sure to pay us another visit next week or follow us on social for instant updates.